Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Bart’s story was a vivid, moving reminder of loss

I want to express my sympathies and to thank Megan James for her June 15 piece on the untimely death of her cat, Bart. Megan’s words were thoughtful and moving. 

Five years ago, my family similarly lost our elderly feline matriarch, Camilla. Camilla was very much Dad’s cat, and the two spent much time together in bed as both experienced the pain of age. Camilla was hit by a car only a month after Dad’s equally untimely death. I, too, experienced the guilt of not monitoring Camilla’s outside time more closely, as well as guilt surrounding my father’s death. The two deaths being so close together was definitely difficult to process, but in some ways, the experience of Camilla, and burying her in the garden with my nephews, helped me with my other grief as well. 

I still think often about those deaths. It is my experience that we never “get through” with grief; we only learn to be a new version of ourselves with those loved ones in our past and no longer our present. I appreciate occasions like Megan’s selfless sharing of her family’s grief, to reflect again on mine. It is painful still, but a useful prompt to reflect on the new version of myself I’ve become.

Thank you, Megan, and my sympathies to you and your family.

Kris Diehl

Middlebury

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