Sunday, May 16, 2010

Eulogy of the death of Princess

I almost feel compelled to give a public statement about the death of our cat because of the number of times I have used her as a sermon illustration.

On Friday morning we found Princess had passed away from unknown causes.  I was a bit amazed at how her passing affected me and the thoughts I have had since.  Andrew found Kitty and immediately alerted the family.  I sent the family into the family room while I surveyed the situation.  When I went to examine her, I immediately felt the sorrow that a very present part of our family had been lost.

I know that there are those reading this that think I must be joking.  I did not like cats.  I really did not like many of the things that Princess did.  Sometimes she had very bad habits.  But none of those things changed the feeling of looking at her laying there lifeless.  It was not her.  She had gone.  The vehicle of her life was left behind, but she was not there.  My spirit sank.  I was afraid of her body.  How odd it is that hours before we would have petted her, snuggled her, shuffled her out of the way - yet now, I felt fear.  Fear of death.  Fear of a lifeless body.  I was struck by the realization that flesh is not life.  Flesh is a vehicle, a body only.  How quickly life can be separated from the vehicle.

Throughout that day, I kept thinking how quickly things can change.  We had talked about giving  Princess away because of her habits.  Perhaps someone else could have trained her....perhaps not.  But we did not give her away....she left; she  suddenly left.  The Bible says we do not know what a day will bring forth.  The moment before we found her, everything was normal.  I am reminded that we must seize everyday.  We must value and appreciate all that is around us in every day.  We must be thankful for what we have today, because there is a good chance that tomorrow it could be gone.

Amy and I also had many thoughts about people around us - appreciating people we have today.  We do not know when death will take any one of us.  We must value each other today.  We must say the things we want and need to say today.  We may not have tomorrow.

Princess slept on each of our beds on different nights, or times of the night.  She is not there now.  She greeted the day with me as we made coffee and I opened the door for her to the porch.  Our hearts are heavy because she is gone.  Some of you have lost pets.  It is a very real sorrow; loss. 

How much more the sorrow of losing a spouse or family member.  Today in my Sunday School class, the teacher spoke from I Thess. 3 about "sorrowing with hope".  We take heart that we will see saved loved ones again, but there is still great sorrow.  How hard it must be for those of you who have lost spouses.  Loss is real.  It hurts.  It is fearful, gray, sad. 

We buried Kitty in our back yard and the children wept as we placed flowers on her grave.  Amy wept.   I wept.  It was good to hate Kitty, it was good to love Kitty.  I feel the loss of her.

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