…..She had drawn her first breath; she quietly drew her last, with no farewell but one loving look, one little sigh.
With tears and prayers and tender hands, Mother and sisters made her ready for the long sleep that pain would never mar again, seeing with grateful eyes the beautiful serenity that soon replaced the pathetic patience that had wrung their hearts so long, and feeling with reverent joy that to their darlings death was a benignant angel, not a phantom full of dread.
When morning came, for the first time in many months the fire was out, [her] place was empty, and the room was very still. But a bird sang blithely on a budding bough, close by, the snowdrops blossomed freshly at the window, and the spring sunshine streamed in like a benediction over the placid face ….. a face so full of painless peace that those who loved it best smiled through their tears, and thanked God that [she] was well at last……
– from Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
The time finally came to let our beloved family pet, Lady, go. She had been with us for so long that it is hard to remember a time when she wasn’t here. She “grew up” with all of the girls – she was already part of our family when Rebecca was born.
Lady was always our quiet guardian – she placed herself between us and the rest of the world, and every night she followed us upstairs and laid on my side of the bed to protect us from intruders. Whenever a particularly bad thunderstorm blew through, she would “patrol” the house, making sure that all of the girls were safe before she took up her post.
She was a faithful companion for so many years. The last few days she hadn’t been eating or drinking, and she had lost a lot of weight. But she still soldiered on, going up and down the stairs to be with her “people”, and taking her place where she could keep all of us safe from harm.
We knew that it was time to let her go, but it was so hard. She didn’t appear to be in any pain, but it was obvious that she was tired. We wanted to let God take her in his own good time, but knew that there might come a point when we couldn’t in good conscience let things go on any further. We prayed that the end would come swiftly and peacefully, and we tried to make her last days as comfortable and full of love as possible.
Lady passed away quietly in her sleep this afternoon.
We will miss her so very, very much.
The race is run, the battle won.
Well done, good and faithful servant.