Last week Ardeth had a particularly difficult day. She attended the funeral of her best friend’s mother who died after a long and draining illness. She truly wanted to be a great support to her friend, Joan, but something happened that she just wasn’t expecting and it didn’t quite turn out as she had hoped.
Ardeth’s dog, Donut, almost 14, passed away a few months back. Ardeth and her kids all cried and shared stories about Donut, who was a part of their lives for a long time and who was very dear to them. Within a few days of his death, Ardeth and her husband packed up his belongings, gave away his leftover food, his bed, his toys, and safely placed on the kitchen fireplace mantle the pretty tin containing Donut’s ashes that their vet had given them. They were planning to hold some type of simple, but meaningful memorial for him with the kids and grandkids, but with the cold weather and life’s typical chaos and multiple obligations, they hadn’t gotten to it just yet.
Ardeth hadn’t known Joan’s mother well, but had liked her. She had arrived at Joan’s home after the funeral service, casserole in hand and visited for a while. Several friends and Joan’s extended family were gathered around Joan’s huge dining room table having coffee, when Ardeth felt a weight and a choking sensation in her chest and without warning, burst into tears. Instantaneously she found herself growing overwhelmed with grief and began to sob.
She was quite embarrassed because everyone stared and she could tell they felt her reaction was disproportionate to her relationship with the deceased, and was therefore, kind of strange. At that point she had to leave the room and went into the bathroom to try to compose herself. She was unable to stop her sobbing for some time, and realized that she was crying for her dear little dog, Donut. This surprised her, but made her feel a little guilty too, because Joan and her entire family were all in the kitchen suffering from very intense grief over the loss of their mother.