Loss: Our Pets–Holding on and Letting Go

This past Sunday we celebrated St. Francis of Assisi who was an Italian Catholic friar most associated as the Saint of the Animals and the Earth. He is believed to have been able to communicate with other species and was mindful with his life as he was with his work.

As we begin our theme of Loss and celebrate one area of reflection that is common to so many of us are our pets. Here are a few images to process about holding on and letting go.

Do you have a pet? Did you ever have a pet? Even if you have never had a pet you have a heart there is something here for you.

For those of you here who don’t have a pet you are just as big-hearted and tender-hearted as the rest of us find what you love and would protect and give space to and hold onto that and let go of any emptiness you harbor about your life.

And, while my experience with ‘pets’ has included  just a small range of pet like species there are so many others out there that while I would never think about bringing into my home you have brought it in, named it , given it a just right spot to eat and poop, and it holds a Marker in your heart that no one else can fill. Hold on to that and let go of the naysayers. A pet is a pet.

There are friends here who are grieving over the loss of a pet and wondering if the rest of us will ever understand how deep your pain goes or why the timing is so hard to accept and live with. Hold on to  that moment when you realize just how much love there was to result in so much sorrow and remember that you had in your life for a time something that precious. Then let go of any doubt that it could happen again. Because it can.

And for those of you who are beginning a pet journey….hold onto that feeling of new boundless joy and energy in the sights, sounds, and smells of every single day – and let go of your quiet times, your personal space, your full night’s sleep, and  your favorite chair in the house…..

Just enjoy the ride.

Lydia Patrick

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