Sadness and Gratitude

It’s been a little over two weeks since our dog Molly passed away. I debated about whether or not to write a blog post about her passing since I tend to keep most of my blogs fairly lighthearted and fun. There’s nothing fun about a beloved pet dying. But I think there are some things about it that are good to reflect on.

The kids are doing okay. I was especially worried for Perrin in the days after Molly’s death. He didn’t feel like doing anything—not even eating or watching TV (behavior completely unheard of for him). He was probably the one who was closest to Molly. He took her for walks regularly, played with her on the floor more than anyone, gave her baths and brushed her teeth. A few weeks before Molly’s death, I let Perrin and Brielle have a sleepover with her on Perrin’s bedroom floor. I’m thankful for special memories they all have together and that she still had lots of energy right up until her last weekend. And now that a little time has passed, I’m seeing improvement in them. I’m proud and thankful for how my kids are walking courageously through their first brush with grief.

A few hours before Molly’s death, I could tell that she just wasn’t herself. I sat with her in the laundry room for a bit, stroking her head and telling her she was a good girl. I prayed for her, asking God to not allow her to suffer. The kids spent some extra time with her too, but when she died, I was the one alone with her, watching it happen. I’m thankful the kids didn’t have to see that. I’m thankful Molly didn’t have to suffer long.

We held a funeral for her that evening in the woods behind my parents’ house. The kids wrote letters to her and put them in her grave. We read from Psalm 50: “Every animal of the forest is mine, / and the cattle on a thousand hills. / I know every bird in the mountains, / and the insects in the field are mine.” We buried her and decorated her grave with flowers and a cross. I’m thankful we were able to honor her life and the 13.5 years that she was part of our family.

I’m thankful her life was long. I’m thankful she was always so kind and patient with the kids. I’m thankful she gave us lots of fun memories (I’m even able to laugh now about the time she ate all the Christmas presents a couple weeks before Christmas). I’m thankful we have lots of pictures of her. I’m thankful that God will use times like this in my kids’ lives to make them more compassionate and empathetic for those who are grieving.

There’s a lot of sadness, but there’s so much to be thankful for too. Thank you, God, for bringing Molly into our lives so many years ago. And thank you, Molly. We love you and miss you.

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