She was struck by a car two days ago and killed instantly.
This is not the first pet our family has lost. It is not the first time we have had to say good-bye to a cherished friend and companion.
It is the first time we have lost a pet to tragedy. And, the difference is significant.
There is something to be said for the gift of time. There is time in illness to prepare, to put your heart and mind in the proper place. There is time to think about, pray about, how to say good-bye.
But, when death happens suddenly, there is no time for any of this. And, not to sound morose, but there is a great deal of wisdom in living each moment as if it were your last. This is a concept that over the last two days since our beloved Mali was hit by that car and killed, we have tried to impart to our children.
This was “just a pet” some might say – but in our home, and in most every pet lover’s home, their pets are family. And, when family passes there is the sting of loss that requires mourning.
The Lord tells us that “no one knows the day or the hour” and that we must prepare for the thief that comes in the night. (Cf. Mt 24:36-44 ) These are statements that we have looked to several times over the last couple of days to help us gain strength and endurance for the journey yet ahead of us.
There’s been a wake-up call, a call to bring harmony and unity, to appreciate the neighbor in our own home, in our family, and in the outside world.
There’s been a reality check – are we too busy not to see what we are missing right here, right now; are we preparing and living with love and virtue each moment for God and neighbor?
Mali's loss will be felt for a long time; she was a truly loving, friendly companion with a spirit that couldn’t be contained, but for death. But, in her death we learn a greater lesson, a call to love and to trust that God will bring good to our family and to the world through this suffering.
In Memoriam: Mali Pac Vestermark 9/15/2009 – 2/28/2012