When a Pet Dies; My Lily

by Andrea
(Georgia, USA)

Lily on This Side of Heaven

Lily on This Side of Heaven

I want to share something to help a bit. When a pet dies, it is a terrible loss. We all know that. I lost my Lily a few days ago. The sobbing has ceased but the weeping has not.

There is a poem my sister sent me years ago. I just found it again and want to share it with you and then I'll tell you a little about my Lily.

It was written long ago, so the language is a bit different but the meaning is forever true.


Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Khalil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

...I got Lily at just three weeks old. This pit bull had to have been mixed with Great Dane or something. She grew into a 120 lb. gentle giant whose loves in life were in this order: Me, food,(the first two could be interchangeable) trash, paper towels, toilet paper. She loved my husband and the kids and one of our other dogs she left behind.

I was just a few feet away when she left this place. We both knew it was time and I was happy for her. She looked so peaceful and content, but now as I go on without her I am grieving for my loss.

And while I grieve, I laugh. How can this be? I will no longer hear the thump of the trash can falling over; no longer have to keep up the paper towels or close the bathroom door.

Why oh why do I want to hear that trash can fall just one more time?

Hi Andrea....

Because these are the sounds of your joy!

Now, whenever you hear the sound of a trash can falling, you will think of your lovely Lily. You will see her in your mind and smile...maybe even shed a tear...but in time, you will feel the joy of remembering her.

You will see her sleeping at your feet as you type away on your computer, and you will feel her presence there. It's where she belongs, right by your side. It was her favorite place.

Think about this right now. Close your eyes...see your Lily. There she is! Right there.


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