It has been two weeks since my dog died. Abby was an Australian Shepherd who lived as a member of our family for 15 wonderful years from puppyhood to her dying day. She was a good friend.
For all 15 years of her life, Abby went in and out of her doggie door to access her kennel several times each day. You could tell when Abby went in and out because the see-through plastic door would flap closed making a unique clacking sound. When Abby died, we inserted the hard plastic security panel in the door to close its passage. It was one of the final reminders that our beloved friend was truly gone.
Yesterday, I walked by Abby’s door. I stopped and stared at the finality of its closure. In that moment, the Lord gave me a word about grief. It's a word that could apply to some of you who have experienced the deep sorrow of loss. I have found there is only one way a person can move forward and not stay trapped in the sorrow of loss and miss the goodness of God that constantly surrounds our lives.
In order to move forward in grief, we need to collect all the memories of goodness and joy that a relationship gave us, whether from a beloved pet or more importantly, from a person. These memories will be used by God to produce our emotional healing when He gently puts us back together after a hard loss.
Over time, these collected memories will work like erasers removing the sharp edges of our grief and sorrow. Loss cannot be forgotten. It can only be remembered in another way. With the help of God and good friends, our grief can actually become part of a healthy mental and emotional makeup. Under the gentle erasure of the harshness of loss, our memories will begin to transform into a more manageable emotion that no longer cripples us with its pain. The treasure of our memories will allow us to pass a forever-closed door on a loving relationship and not be incapacitated with grief. This happened to me yesterday when I passed Abby’s closed door. It can happen to you when you pass a forever-closed door in your life if you choose to remember the goodness.