If you follow me on Facebook you already know my family lost our cat, Abigail, on Monday. It hit me harder than the rest of our family, probably because she was my cat. She slept on my pillow next to me, I had her before hubby and I lived together, and she was just the sweetest thing ever.
Abigail was the cat that never hissed or got upset. She would let my kids pick her up, sit on her, give her hugs, all without complaint. We have another cat, but no cat will ever replace Abigail in my heart.
Losing her made me realize just how much I loved her. Most days I was frustrated with her following me around (I tripped over her more times than I can count), telling me what to do, and having accidents (she’d been sick for a few weeks). But all of that was worth it to have her around.
But I didn’t appreciate her.
Now that she’s gone I wish I could go back and cuddle her more – not that she would have let me – or been sweeter to her. I loved her dearly, but loss always shows us how much we love someone.
Romance novels don’t talk about loss much because they’re usually about happy endings and something new starting. But when loss is a part of a story, it’s that much more powerful. One of my favorite books is The Remembrance Trilogy (yes, it’s three books, but it’s one story). I won’t spoil anything, but in the trilogy there is loss. It ripped my heart out and I felt like I was going through it with the characters.
Loss is painful, but it’s a part of life.
I don’t like writing about loss because it tears me up. I put myself in my characters position when I write, and I feel what they feel. Writing Becky’s story (Back In The Game) was hard because I knew she had to deal with the loss of her husband, Brian. Even though you never met Brian, I felt like I knew him because I knew Becky so well. Giving her the strength to deal with the loss she carried for over five years brought me to tears, literally.
But I knew it had to be done. Becky had to deal with Brian’s death before she could move on with her life. She had to go through the pain all over again so she could say goodbye to him once and for all, and live the rest of her life.
We all experience loss. Hopefully we all also know love. The stronger you love the harder it is to lose. Life is never the same when someone you love is gone. I know I’ll always miss Abigail sleeping next to me. I’ll miss her waiting to jump in the shower after I get out. I’ll even miss her telling me when something isn’t done to her liking. But my life will go on.
We look to love in times of loss to help us move forward. I look to my husband and kids to keep me strong. I know they will, but they’re missing her too. We will move forward together.
And before you ask, no, we will not be getting another cat!