Embracing Pain

Losing our 17-year-old cat Clarice was not a surprise. Seeing her wobble across our wood floors, hiss at our black lab puppy Daisy when she got too close, and resist extended holding painted Clarice as the uncomfortable and cranky old lady that she had become. We openly talked with our kids about the reality that Clarice might not make it through the year.

Hearing the kids say things like, “Can we get this kitten or that one when Clarice dies” appalled me. Sometimes they proposed to get another cat before Clarice was even dead!

It wasn’t unexpected to hear proposals of getting another cat on our somber drive to Clarice’s final resting place. My husband and I were united in saying we would not be getting another cat any time soon. We explained that our family needed to grieve Clarice, not run out and replace her.

Retail therapy, self-sedation, and materialistic numbing can be a downside of our capitalistic system of government. Universally, we recoil from feeling unpleasant feelings. The noise, the stuff, the activity effectively divert. But to grow, we have to live in the moment with whatever events and accompanying emotions God gives us, letting him guide us on how to work the feelings out.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationship Tip: Don’t escape unpleasant feelings; embrace them and be sanctified through them.