I’m not gonna try to drizzle this with syrup, kittens.
We’ve been battered, beaten and boxed about the ears this month.
As the entertainment world has felt great oaks fall, Tabby’s Place has shuddered along.
Natalie Cole and Maggie crooned their goodbyes within hours.
We’ll see your David Bowie and raise you a Skittles.
Before we dried the tears from Alan Rickman, Bo slipped away.
And who was waiting at the pearly gates for Glenn Frey? None other than Hocus.
The foul flip side of loving luminaries for a long time is losing them once the love’s grown large and loud, wrapped its rhythm around your core and become a part of you. To love someone this long is to know that losing them will mean losing a piece of yourself, so inextricable are your lives and poems and promises.
But to love someone this much is to choose to love in the face of every “anyway.”
And it is, somehow, to trust that the song will pick up on the other side of life.
Our ancient furry loves have won their final sing-offs with death. Kidney disease has no hold on Skittles; cancer has lost Bo’s trail; heart failure has failed to follow Hocus to heaven.
But here, we’re still stumbling through the sour notes.
I wander into the Lounge and my eyes seek Skittles before my mind re-re-re-re-reprocesses her loss.
I’m happy our new old man Chester is there, but I feel the void. I can’t get the abyss out of my peripheral vision.
I find my way into Suite FIV and get assaulted by love, Adelaide-style. But even the five-pound-cat’s metric ton of affection doesn’t totally close the wound from two feline noblemen.
I believe they go on. I believe they will be resurrected to fullness of life. I believe in marvelous light. I believe that creation’s groans will finally give way to full-on redemption.
But for now, faith is seeking understanding.
Hope is seeking sight.
Sometimes, I confess, I want to see, feel, know that promised healing NOW.
I don’t know why we have to wait, why death has to stalk here and now.
I do know, as sure as love conquers fear, life will finally be worth it.
Meantime, there’s life enough, miracles enough, to keep marching. Just when we’re in danger of drowning in sorrow, life sings us ashore.
“I LOVE YOU!” shouts Chester (more on that in a minute).
I’m here, I’m new, notice me! frisks Mr. Grey Fluffy Pants.
Wilhelmina. Abby. Bacon. Chester. All new. Here. Fully alive.
There’s too much life to stare into the abyss.
As the old union chant had it, pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.
So we’ll fight, believe and sing another day.
The music never stops.
And if you’re caught between the already and the not yet today, know that you’re not alone, musical mourners.
Chester’s not the only one who loves you: