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A Deep Loss. And A Surprise

A Deep Loss. And A Surprise

By Natalie Caine, M.A.
NABBW’s Empty Nest Expert

Do you want the ending of the story or the beginning? Patience will give you the surprise ending that was greatly needed during loss.

My cat, Sophie, who we adopted fourteen years ago, was still chatty and cuddly, until the Monday morning she suddenly died. I wept and wept.

Home alone, I don\’t know where the movement in me came from, to swaddle her in a blanket, as I prepared to say goodbye. I know I was in shock, even though, I also knew she grew thinner and older weekly. Maybe, she was 91.

I had been out of town teaching for a week. I am so grateful she and I had the weekend together and she didn\’t die while I was gone presenting. She waited for me.

I miss her.

Monday morning, I wept goodbye to her, telling her all I love about her and thanking her for being part of me and my family.

Here is the surprise….Sophie died in the morning. That evening, I saw a yellow butterfly in the dining room on the window. Sophie use to sit by that window on the table to look out and be warmed by the sun.

I don\’t know how that butterfly came into the house. I had never seen it before. It stayed on the window. I spoke to it. I told it, “I am going to open this back door where the pool is, if you want to go.”

I looked for the butterfly every morning when I woke and before I went to sleep I chatted with it. One day it moved to a window, closer to the back door. It didn\’t leave. I closed the door. This went on for ten wonderful days.

I woke one morning, doors and windows closed, as always in the evening, and she was GONE. I still looked for her days after. I looked again today. No butterfly. I don\’t know how she entered my life or how she left.

Have you had this kind of surprise in loss or in life when you need love?

I am grateful for Sophie and the butterfly.


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Natalie Caine Founder of Empty Nest Support Services

Natalie Caine is the founder of Empty Nest Support Services. When her daughter was a senior in high school, she realized that as a soon-to-be “empty nester,” she would be undergoing a major life shift. Not wanting to confront this transition alone nor have her many friends face this abyss without strong support, she created a support services group, which quickly grew into a new career and an exciting full-time business.

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