It is with a sad and heavy heart that I share the news of our sweet cat Goncobe passing away this morning. We knew this was coming, and in fact scheduled a house visit to put him down tomorrow morning from the same vet who put down his brother Juba this same time last year, but nature took its course and he passed away on his own accord.
Just the other day, as I was reading through a book of poetry by Mary Oliver, I came across this lovely line, which says it all:
To live in this world,
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
What a blessing that Mike and I and Jaden were all able to be with him in his active dying phase this morning, just as we were all together when we picked him and his brother Juba up from the Humane Society as kittens in 2004, when Jaden was just 4-years-old. The two brother litter-mate kittens looked so much alike that only Jaden could tell them apart. Until we got to know them, Mike and I would constantly ask 4-year-old Jaden which one was which!
Grief has a way of slowing the bones of time. Such is the way today.
I wrote this earlier today while at Goncobe’s side, as his last breaths came in fits and spurts:
I cradle my sorrow like fragile eggs,
hatching slowly in the nest of my heart.
Transfixed by the soft approach of light into an otherwise darkened place, through hairline fractures in the veil separating two worlds which serve as one, I reach out, crack myself open, and let my grief sing its rightful song.
Tender holding is what life asks for, in the moments before death. Tender holding, that is all. It is enough.
Please hold us in your heart during this time of mourning.
Nicole, Mike, and Jaden