Written for my sister, on the day that she said "farewell for now", to her Afghan Hound, Josiah -- the tears did flow --
On March 27, 2019, Josiah left his beautiful body that had become riddled with lymphoma cancer, crossed the 'Rainbow Bridge' and charged, running, as only an Afghan Hound can run, into the endless emerald meadows where waterfalls cascade down from their heights into the valleys, feeding crystal streams. I can almost see him now, running flat out, as he did when he was young and vibrant and overjoyed, his long hair wafting in the breeze, into the arms of the One who gifted him to my sister so many years ago. She rescued him out from a hoarder situation where he was one of 65 Afghan Hounds. Terrified of everything, he bravely allowed her near him and then to take him into a life of joy and luxury and love. This day, we said 'farewell for now' to beautiful, kind, Josiah, looking forward to the day when 'all things are made new'.
*** Each of us has a star-shaped hole -- These tears that are flowing are because I have had to say goodbye too early … saying goodbye is ALWAYS too early. The hole, the ache, the void left in this beautiful boy’s absence is enormous, palpable, pain filled … agonizingly too loud, too silent, and too close to fear … a broken heart always feels like fear it seems. This legitimate ache is because I have given my heart to a fur-bearing prince named Josiah …. His silky hair, his princely gaze, his generosity, kindness, and beautiful huge wet brown eyes --- treasures ever pressed into my flesh – my spirit, my very soul … without them, I would not be who I am ….
His grace leading me ever toward the throne of Grace – reminding me that I am loved – that I have been rescued, from a place of deep brokenness and loss, from a place of neglect and hunger, from a place where life was ebbing meaning out of every cell of my body … where my own beautiful bright shining eyes were dull, and would have known no trust, or love, or unconditional ….. Yes, my Josiah, I too have been rescued ---- by a Prince – the One who loves me – the One who gave me this treasure of you --- my prince, who I have had to say goodbye to on this very morning
…. See, the Prince now holds you, my beautiful Josiah … in his Strong arms. He sent you to me at a time when I needed you … when you needed me, and we have been journeying for some time together, learning along the way … trusting, rejoicing, laughing, weeping, and running.
I bear this scar now, and this grief that empties my soul … but only because of the joy, I chose long ago … I knew then that you, my Josiah, would precede me into that Place .. into the endless meadows of lush grasses and cool blue crystal springs, rivers of pure water that flow from the mountain heights above, and splash via waterfalls down into this valley – the one that you, my baby boy, walked into only hours ago… beauty -- beauty everywhere. I can shut my eyes and see him …. Josiah in the midst of it all, his flowing mane of silken hair wafting on the breeze, his nose pointed into the fresh scents, and his beautiful eyes taking in untold mysteries that I can only just barely imagine … A discovery …. Freedom … Oh, my precious Josiah!!!
And here I am, bereft, longing for his presence and yet the thought of him being where he is, waiting for me there … as he would … of course … oh, the stories he will have to tell! I think you have known forever that love’s softness grows and flows in the crucible of trust – and hope springs eternal in the heart God made from dust – you have taught me this over and over again. Oh, my baby, this morning, I loved you in the hardest and kindest way I possibly could and as my heart shattered, I handed you gently back, into the beautiful arms of Jesus who gifted you to me … an act holy, and one that turned my heart to tears … As you know, I have wept a lot these past months, and most certainly today. I have wept and I will weep more … and will miss you every day, terribly, and yet the gifts you have brought to me I will carry close in my very skin every day until I see you again.
Thank you for knowing me when you saw me and for overcoming your terror in order to come with me, to trust me enough to come to me and to gift me with you and your kindness, your trust, and your love … I promise you, even though today you know it better than I do, that when I pass into the truest, grandest Life, I will be looking for you, and oh the joy we will share! This parting feels impossible – I do not know how to do it … but for now, my precious beautiful boy, so greatly loved, RUN …. I will see you soon ….
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. ~Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie
Psalm 56:8 -- You put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your Book...
He is close to the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds and bringing forth beauty from ashes.