Not long ago, I wrote a lament about the imminent passing of our friends' (Mr. & Mrs. Lesto) dog, Pepper. We were lucky to have her longer than we expected to. She wasn't in fighting form, but she was happy and unrestricted from any dietary worries. For once, she could eat whatever she wanted.
But, as we all knew would happen (but were hoping would never come), she ultimately could not go on. She was a wonderful dog (and this coming from a cat person, and a cynic). The Other Half and I will miss her terribly.
Coincidentally (and of course on an entirely different scale), another friend and his family are coping with loss as well. Jeff and Sandy, two friends of almost two decades, are dealing with the relatively sudden loss of Jeff's Mom. She was a very cool lady, and while I didn't know her well (though I had the privilege of working with her briefly), I'm glad I got to know her at all.
I come from a small family, and also a relatively young family, so I have not often had to deal with loss personally. So, I will confess, I do not deal with it well. Everything I say to the bereaved sounds to me to be hopelessly cliched, and inappropriate. So I have a tendency to clam up and say nothing at all. And while I do not wish to equate a pet death with a loss of a parent, I do know that both families have been dealt a blow. I'm sad for both, and I hope that my friends can accept my limited ability to express that adequately.