In a lifetime, we each get only a finite amount of that kind of love. So when Grandma died in 1997, I was devastated. I’d never lost anyone that I felt so close to before.
I was a young, independent, married mother at the time. But with the loss of my grandma, I needed the support of my extended family. I drove the 40 miles to my parent’s house in Salem, Oregon and spent the first night with them after my grandma’s death.
I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. All I could do was cry.
At one or two in the morning, I got up out of bed and went outside on my parent’s deck. I sat in a chair in the dark to do my crying there for a while.
From seemingly nowhere, a gray and white tomcat appeared. I spoke to the cat and he leaped onto my lap. He purred as I stroked his fur. Listened as I cried. This will sound ridiculous, but I felt like I was in my grandma’s presence.
My tears slowed and stopped.
The cat jumped down from my lap and went on its way. Did he have a home to go to, or was he a stray? I felt so emotionally connected to the cat that if he was without a home, I wanted to give him one.
Later that morning when my parents got up, I asked Mom is she knew who the cat belonged to. She said she’d never seen a cat around their place like the one I described.
After Grandma’s service, and even weeks after that, whenever I spoke to my mom, I inquired about the cat. Mom never did spot the gray and white cat. She asked all the neighbors – they’d not seen one either.
It left me puzzled. And wondering. When someone dies, does part of their soul hang around on earth for a while to comfort those left behind? Could that cat have somehow been my grandma in disguise, or was he sent by my grandma or by God to help me get through the heart-wrenching grief?
Have you ever experienced anything similar?