This is for Linda and Jim, because it’s been a few weeks now, but I know it’s still hard – because Keisha is gone. I also know that you will miss her forever. Which is something Jacek and I just went through last night. Over dinner. We missed Marcus as acutely as we did on the day he died back in 2015. That day, for him, was like Keisha – at home, where she was the happiest, because she made it your home, the safest place, the place she was always waiting and ready to love you and to be loved. So although Keisha couldn’t start the new decade with you, she did build this home, this haven that’s just yours where all the memories live, where all the best times happened. It’s a beautiful thing, to be able to welcome and say goodbye to the creature that was your heart in the very same place. 

And for Franziska who knew it was time when Bear stopped purring after 17 years and 6 months. That’s a little engine that ran a long time. You wrote in your message that “responsible pet ownership really sucks” and I had to laugh. Because it’s true! There’s no time for selfishness in these moments, especially when they depend on us to make the right decisions for them, and the most important decision is knowing they’re ready to leave us even though we’ll never be ready for them to leave. But those of us who are fortunate enough to share our lives with pets know that there is one else in your life who will like you every day without condition, not even our closest friends and family. Their hearts are so big, that’s why their time is so short. Your good boy earned his rest.