Last Tuesday, we said goodbye to our 19-year-old cat, Edmond. He succumbed to hyperthyroid disease and just couldn’t fight any more. We were blessed with a long, wonderful life with this big Main Coon cat who leaves a huge hold in our hearts. Today would be his 20th birthday.
If you follow me, I have shared my concerns about social media. However, I must say that I have recently experienced the positive side of a connected world. I posted our heartbreaking news in the Shiba Inu and Black Cat Appreciation groups I follow, and within minutes, I was overwhelmed with hundreds and, ultimately, thousands of supportive likes and comments from people I’ve never met. But because we share a common interest of animals, they knew how we felt. They understood and showed great compassion. That is what social media should be about: human kindness.
The world is hard, and last year will go down in the record books as one of the most difficult any of us has ever seen. Perhaps we have learned that we need each other and that social media can connect us. I pray the days of using it to divide us are gone, although I’m not super hopeful, especially with blatant censorship occurring. Anyway…
I appreciate the outpouring of love from near and far. I cried my eyes out at times, but I knew I wasn’t alone in my grief. Others have been where I am standing, and they lived through it. Compassion in its purest form is putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes…to feel the pain and embrace the discomfort so that we can extend support and understanding.
I’m grateful we can extend this to one another through social media, but it still doesn’t replace the hug of a caring friend nor does it get us off the hook for doing something thoughtful and kind for someone we care about. That is where I still feel we fall short and reply too heavily on social media. Clicking the “like” button to a post is noticed, but a call or card is still treasured. Our human spirit requires close contact with one another. We were never designed to walk this life alone and to stare at a screen.
Like anything, social media is a tool, a channel, a means to the end but certainly not the end all be all. It is just one more way to connect, and I’m thankful I didn’t have to make a hundred calls and send letters out to notify everyone our sweet Edmond was gone. Yet rewind back to 2005 when my beloved cat, Wuz, died, and I received countless cards in the mail. Those were tangible expressions of sympathy that I treasured. Let us not forget all the tools available to us and use them!
In the meantime, my faith in humanity strengthened a bit, and I will focus on the positive of social media for now. If you would like to read more about Edmond and his life, view Kuma’s blog at: https://www.lorrainebosse-smith.com/goodbye-edmond/
Hug your cat and give your dog a big scratch on his butt! Our time with these precious angels is too short. What a gift they are in our lives, and I feel blessed to have been Edmond’s family all these years. Thanks for the memories, Edmond!
Life has losses, and they can pile up. I share some strategies and tips for overcoming those obstacles in my book, Defy Your Diagnosis – get your copy today! The best in me honors the best in you.