Preparing for Loss

Dog sniffing a flower

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.—PSALM 147:3 (NIV)

Beethoven stopped eating. As I sent this text to the family, my eyes teared up. Our beloved dog is in his final days. My husband David and I are giving Beethoven what I call doggie hospice care. Seventeen years has shown me that Beethoven is more than a pet—he’s a real family member.

We both get up in the middle of the night to carry him downstairs so he can go to the bathroom, something we haven’t done since he was a puppy. We tenderly place diapers on him so he doesn’t have accidents during the day. We give him a few more head scratches and love on him a few minutes longer before we go about our day.

Beethoven sits at my feet, his breathing shallow. With his last breath, I will grieve. I will take time to remember all that he’s meant to our family. All that he’s meant to me, but I will accept his loss and know that you will heal my heart in time.

Today's Prayer:

Father I ask for your healing for all those in the process of losing a loved one, all kinds of loved ones.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts