As I closed the cottage door behind me this morning, I heard a noise inside. When I looked, I was stunned. Oh, no! White Kitty on the floor in a hundred pieces!
A very young part of me began to cry. The three-year-old who had received it as a gift from her Daddy, was in shock and overwhelmed with raw grief.
As I swept the floor, I remembered the many shelves upon which White Kitty had been displayed over the decades. Never packed away for safe keeping, she went from my childhood dresser, to my teenage desk, to my newlywed hutch. She watched over Baby Britain from the changing table, spent several years on the living room fireplace mantle, and did a stint in Mom’s sick room.
After Mom passed, I took White Kitty to the cottage to join several other memory-filled treasures. The grown-up part of me knows nothing lasts forever. She is sad but ready to move on. The three-year-old, though, is really struggling.
So I allowed that part of me to dig through the trash and put White Kitty’s head and the tip of her tail back on the shelf. Later, I got the urge to retrieve the rest of the big pieces and put them in a box. It just didn’t seem right to throw Kitty away like that. She needed to be honored, to be acknowledged for the 56 years of faithful service. A nice box, a few words, and a friend or two to help say goodbye.
Good grief! The three-year-old wants a funeral! I want to say, “Get real, girl! It’s just a ceramic figure!” But I would never say that to an actual three-year-old in pain. So, I am choosing not to say it to myself either. The fragile part of me deserves compassion, understanding, and most of all, some time to let go of a lifelong treasure.
So, I’ll leave the head on the shelf for a while and the rest of the pieces in the box. Showing compassion, tenderness, and love toward myself is a new practice for me. I’m not sure how this will unfold, but I do know, there’s no hurry. I will trust my heart to lead the way.