A year ago tomorrow marks a sad day for us. We had to put down our beloved cat Elwood. I still think about him a lot. He was my first pet. From the minute he, Hubby and Hootie moved in with me, Elwood claimed me as "his."
Putting him down was not something we did lightly. He had been battling health problems for months, but seemed to be getting better. Then, almost overnight, he took a turn for the worse. Saying good-bye to him was the humane thing to do.
The girls still talk about Elwood and I think that's a good thing. They constantly say "I miss Elwood" or they ask what happened to him. They can tell you that Elwood was very sick, went to the doctor and is never coming home. Sometimes, though, I think they need to hear it from me or Hubby... to be reassured that they have the facts straight.
Elwood's memory has stayed alive. The girls know it's OK to say they miss him or to ask us to tell stories about him. He supplied us with an endless amount of giggle-inducing stories, so it's fun to recall those times... such as the time I was convinced he had a terrible injury on his paw due to the dried blood on it. Then I realized he had jumped on the counter overnight, chewed through the plastic on our morning chocolate pastry and eaten some of said pastry. The dried blood? Chocolate.
Elwood's death has somewhat helped the girls put the death of family members into perspective. They've started asking questions about why Grandpa is my daddy but Grandma isn't my mommy. I've shown them pictures of my mom and explained to them that she became very sick and died. Their response? "Oh, like Elwood.... do you think she and Elwood are playing together in Heaven?" She wasn't a cat person, but it's easier to say yes then to try to have that discussion. They have a similar response when they see pictures of their great-grandma. She died just before the girls' second birthday. They see themselves in pictures with her and slowly comprehending why they don't get to visit with her any more.
I definitely miss Elwood... but I'm glad we continue to talk about him. I'm grateful that he has helped my girls understand that losing a family member, friend or pet isn't easy, but that it's OK to grieve and it's also OK to laugh. We miss you, Elwood!
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