Thursday, January 11, 2024

Farewell, Henry

 


The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~Psalm 34:18


This has been a trying and sorrowful week for daughter, Sarah, and her husband, John, along with their daughters who are mourning the unexpected passing of their beloved cat, Henry.  A week ago, dear Henry curled himself under their Christmas tree and breathed his last.  No fanfare. No tell-tale signs of distress.  Just a quiet passing in peace.

Isn't that what we all hope for when our time comes?

Yet the loss and trauma are painfully real for everyone in the family, but especially, for Virginia as illustrated by these photos from 2020.






Henry was not just a family pet to her, but a best friend.  As he snuggled with her every night, she could share her thoughts and heart with him, knowing that he would love her without fail.  She has, on multiple occasions, referred to Henry as her closest confidant and beloved companion in life.

The home they live in now is a rental, so there was no option to bury him on that property.  Thankfully, John's parents, Paul and Karen, own a lovely acreage in North Carolina, about two hours away.  They readily agree to allow the family to come there to lay Henry to rest.  Not only that, but Paul takes the time to design and make a beautiful casket in his work shop.


Inside the coffin, Virginia, Savannah and Alexandra place photos and letters to Henry.  His remains now rest in a former garden plot, where the girls can revisit his gravesite whenever they visit their grandparents on a weekend in the future.



It will take lots of time to heal from this loss, and though it will grow less painful, they will always carry the grief with them.  In their hearts, minds and souls.

Will you all be so kind to keep them in your prayers?  Thank you!

63 comments:

  1. Dearest Martha Jane,
    After some four hours of sleep, I woke up and here I am...
    What was kitty Henry's age?
    It is a sad happening when one of our furry companions have to leave us.
    But their memories live on forever and they are not out of sight!
    For the children it is tough to live through this but it also teaches them a passage of real life.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Losing a beloved pet is always harder on the children in the family, Mariette, that is for sure. Henry came to their doorstep as a stray, so we really don't know his real age. Sarah and John think he was at least 15 or 16 years old - that is quite old for a kitty.
      He will be sorely missed.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  2. I am praying for all your family and for you right now, Martha. Best wishes to you all at this time.

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your prayers mean so much, Victor. Thank you!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  3. Awww, that is really sad. My heart goes out to Virginia and all the family. So sweet that their grandparents are able to give him such a nice burial and even a beautiful casket. Praying for all of them. (((hugs)))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so thankful for the kindness of Paul and Karen, Pamela. Their gesture truly helped everyone to get through this tough time. Thank you so much for your prayers and sympathy, my friend.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  4. The loss of a beloved pet is always hard. I discovered it was as hard for me and it was for my children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you on that one, Glynn. I've shed plenty of tears over pets who have passed in my life, including dear Henry.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  5. This is sad but beautifully documented. I have a friend who passed this week, peacefully. My prayer was the words to a song my mother used to sing in church choir when I was a young girl, "Lead me gently home, Father, lead me gently home." Oh that we all could slip into Heaven as gently as did Henry under the Christmas tree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, Barbara, but how wonderful that she passed peacefully. That is a blessing in and of itself. Yes, God did lead Henry gently home.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  6. how sad yet I love the burial and the holding onto lovely memories. All our loved ones, even pets live on in our hearts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do live on in our hearts, Jean, and always have a special place in them. I'm praying the sweet memories of Henry will help everyone to heal.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  7. Praying for them all. Most of us understand their pain & grief. Our beloved pets teach us so much about unconditional love.
    Blessings
    Lulu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they do, Lulu. Sometimes, I think they are the best teachers because they are the best examples of what it means to love for the sake of loving. Thanks for your prayers!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  8. So sorry for their loss. Keeping them in my thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Debby. Yes, Henry was a special cat and will be sorely missed.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  9. So sad but death comes to all that live

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Jo-Anne, death comes eventually for all of us. May we pray that we both live well and die well.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  10. Of course, Martha; I'm honored to pray. Knowing he was a treasured member of their family, his absence will be felt for a very long time. I hope they can find comfort in memories -- and prayer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sure hope they can, too, Myra. The girls have not known a day in their lives when Henry wasn't a part of it. That's a big hurdle to jump, so may they grieve well.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  11. It's very possible your family will see Henry again, since Romans 8:19-21 tells us that "the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God." Doesn't that sound like heaven, or perhaps the new earth? I think so!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It certainly does sound like heaven, Nancy, and I have no doubt that they will see Henry again one day. God loves all His creatures and His creation; if He's aware when a sparrow falls, and cares for it, won't He love and restore His other creatures, too?
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  12. As you know so well, Martha, the hard lessons in life are almost always the richest and most enduring. When it's genuine, love always costs, and when we decide to bring some little (or big) furry, four-legged friend into our home, they become adopted family members, and as your bittersweet post displayed so clearly, the love extended to them is real and so is the grief with we lose them. Our prayers certainly join yours and the family's and includes a request that our loving and compassionate Lord will use this experience as a means to reinforce the love He has for us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know that in all experiences, happy and sad, God has lessons for us to learn, Ron. The grief that is so raw for the girls right now will, in time, I believe, cement the concept of God's love in their hearts as they grow. Thank you so much for your kind words and your prayers.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  13. Praying, especially 🙏 for Virginia to learn Jesus is her best confidante, in times like these you need a Saviour. Prayer hugs Shaz in Oz.x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your prayers, Shaz; they mean so much. I believe Virginia will come to truly know and trust in the confidante she can have in Jesus.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  14. Awww, that's heartbreaking, Martha. I noticed before how attached Virginia was especially. I'm so sorry for their loss. I'm grateful they have grandparents on both sides who understand and can help them through their grief. I'm sure it's hard for you not to give them hugs in person, but I know you'll be a comfort to them in other ways. Love and blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heartbreaking, indeed, Trudy, and we will all offer whatever comfort to the girls that we can, even at a distance. Their love for Henry was so pure and sincere, and they will always remember him.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  15. Oh, I am so sorry. I know well the pain and the void left when a beloved pet goes to the rainbow bridge. What a blessing to have had such a sweet burial at the grandparents' home. Prayers for Virginia and the family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Terri! Yes, at our age, we've certainly seen our share of pets go to the rainbow bridge, and it hurts every time because of how much we love them and they love us. I know they will all get over the immense grief after a while, but they will always remember their beloved Henry.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  16. Losing a pet at any age is hard. I’ll certainly keep the family in my prayers for comfort. When I was seven, my dog was hit and killed by a car. It was devastating for me. One day, after we’d laid him to rest, I asked my mom if he would be in heaven. She gave me one of the wisest answers I’ve ever heard and it sticks with me to this day. She said, “God wants you to be happy in heaven. If you need your dog there, he’ll be there! Now, sixty some years later, I frankly don’t care, but the comfort those words gave me live on. B Blessed Martha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your mother was a very wise lady, Mike! I'm sure she wouldn't mind if I passed on this gem of a saying on to my granddaughters. I truly think these words will go far to give them comfort and a sense of peace.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  17. I am so sorry...we lost our sons dog about 6 months after he passed...Coffee simply laid down and went to sleep, just like his boy...he was so heart broken when our son suddenly passed away and we really didn't think he would make it/the move back here to Florida...anyways...sending much love to you all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a firm believer, Linda, that animals can die of a broken heart just like we can. What a bond of love your son and his dog shared! I'm sure that they are now joyfully reunited with each other, and heaven's a better place for it.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  18. Hi Martha! I've never had a cat so I can't speak on that. As an adult we didn't even have a dog...too much going on to take care of him properly. I lost a couple dogs when I was young (road kill) but that is so far back I can't remember how I felt. I know for a child to experience the death of a pet is traumatic. I pray the girls will see it as a way to experience God's peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I pray the same, Bill, for all of them. All my blogging friends have been so sweet, understanding and helpful here, including you, of course, and I can't thank them enough. I did let Sarah know about all the prayers lifted, and I could visibly see (FaceTime) the relief on her face. Such a comfort!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  19. I was very touched and saddened by your story of Henri's passing and the girls' grief. I had a cat myself in childhood, so I can relate. For a child, losing his pet is quite a trauma. Hopefully, the girls will overcome their sorrow and go on with their life. May God strenghten you all in this time of grief for Henri's passing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Duta, for your kind and sympathetic words here. We never forget the passing of a beloved pet, but I do hope the girls will be able to eventually move passed this, and just have sweet memories of dear Henry.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  20. My heart breaks for the family, especially Virginia, who lost her best friend and snuggle buddy. My prayers are present with those who grieve the loss of Henry. RIP, dear kitty. You are deeply loved and will be missed. When a furbaby leaves so suddenly grief is overwhelming. This I know. Love to you all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, indeed, Debra, the grief is overwhelming, almost suffocating. Henry was so special to everyone in the family, but Virginia is taking it the hardest. Your prayers are most appreciated for her and the entire family.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  21. So sorry to hear about Henry, Martha. With the loss of our precious pug, Big T back in November, I understand this pain all too well. Praying the girls and entire family remember all the found memories with Henry. And thankful for such a beautiful burial and resting place for him. Karen Friday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen, when my daughter called me to tell me that Henry had died, I immediately thought of Mike and you with the all-too-recent passing of that sweet boy, Big T. Losing a beloved pet hurts us to the core. I'm sure that at some point, the girls will be able to move on from the immediate pain, and remember Henry fondly and lovingly without shedding tears.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  22. So sorry to hear about Henry. Losing a pet is tough, especially for Virginia. The pictures show the special bond they had. It's heartwarming that Paul and Karen helped with a beautiful burial.
    I'll keep your family in my prayers for comfort during this difficult time.

    Hugs and blessings, Martha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind and caring words here, Veronica. The photos do reveal the deep bond Virginia and Henry had. He was such a beloved kitty. And I'm so grateful for Paul and Karen taking such a meaningful role in making Henry's burial a special ceremony. My only regret is that we couldn't be there for the family at this sad time.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  23. I am so very, very sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved pet. We have a grandpup who is getting up in years and I do dread that day. Even the grandpets become dear to us. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Cindy, they certainly do become a part of our lives, too. I have so many fond memories of interacting with sweet Henry when the kids were all living close by. And he was a loyal and loving companion, especially Virginia.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  24. I'm so sorry for their loss of Henry. :( Losing a pet can be so difficult, whether as a child or as an adult. I remember the pain of losing beloved pets through the years; it's never an easy thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is absolutely never easy to lose a beloved pet, Lisa, whether as a child or an adult. I so think it will be quite awhile before the family will get over it. They will always hold a special place in their hearts for Henry.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  25. Você viu? Estou seguindo o seu blog. Queria que seguisse o meu também. Obrigada. Bjo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will check it out! Thanks for subscribing to my blog.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
    2. Gostei de você ter ido me visitar. Um beijo.

      Delete
    3. And, I'm now following you! Blessings!

      Delete
  26. Bom dia, Martha
    É muito triste perder um animal de estimação, que Deus conforte toda a família, em oração, um forte abraço.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers, Lucinalva.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  27. oh this is so hard when a 4-footed family member is no longer there. may Jesus be very near your sweet family, Martha. He cares.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda. Yes, Jesus will certainly comfort the broken-hearted. He does care so deeply for each and everyone of us.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  28. I have a cross hanging in my office/repair shop/study that says "Be Still and Know." Psalm 46:10. All things are in His hands.

    Blessings and Hugs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of my favorite Bible verses, Irish. We have the same inscription hanging at our home's entryway - a daily reminder that God cares for us at all times.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  29. Bless their dear hearts. I pray they are feeling the comfort of the Holy Spirit as they grieve this deep loss. It is even harder that they had to say goodbye to him at Christmas. May the Lord bless all of you, dear friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Cheryl. Yes, I know they will be grieving the loss of Henry for a long time, but feel assured God will give them comfort and peace.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  30. Praying for the girls, and all the family. Losing a four-legged family member is never easy. Especially when they're ones that we have talked with, shared burdens with, and loved silently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your prayers, J. D. It is never easy to lose one of our furry friends, especially when they've been so loving and loyal. I'm sure they will always miss dear Henry.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete

How Could We Ask for Anything More?

  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far h...