Wilbur  May 2003-December 2012

May 2003-December 2012

“The death of a beloved is an amputation.”

C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

We never expect death, no matter the form it takes, therefore we are never really prepared for it. You might think, as I might too most days, that we should expect death. Death is the end which we all will meet, one day, in one manner or another. We should always expect it, right? It is always out there.

I’m not being morbid.

When I met Wilber, the dog featured in the photo above, we were equally lost and unloveable. He was the runt of an unwanted litter, the least of the least. He was free. He was exactly what I needed. God uses many things in life to help teach us about His love. Or the love we should exhibit for each other. Wilber taught me about acceptance.

Wilber taught almost everyone who knew him that lesson. He was a flawed creature, intimidating and frightening at times, gentle and silly at others. He was unpredictable, and yet, easily read.

Wilber was a dog.

And now, Wilber is gone. That Wilber lived as long as he did is a miracle in itself. As loving as he was to me, and to those who were family, he was also an animal filled with violence. He had bitten and he had scared people. And this part of him, the part that was so dangerous, was just as much a part of him as the gentle, frightened heart we cherished.

His imperfection reminded us that being imperfect is a sign you are living. Toward the end of Wilber’s life he had mellowed. He had endeared himself to those who would otherwise be fearful of him, and he had remained a significant pillar in the building of our family. He had a good life, as good any dog ever did. Then he had a sudden death, but one you could say had been chasing him all along.

We buried him behind the house he spent his last months in. I was there with three of my brothers, my husband and son, a longtime family friend with a special affinity for the black mutt, and my mom and dad. Wilber had lived most of his life in my parents home, and even though I had found him, he wasn’t mine. He was all of ours. So in the chill, on ground frozen still lingering white, we all said goodbye.

He will be sorely missed.

I don’t usually like to write like this. To encourage mindfulness, or to talk of finding greater meaning in the otherwise meaningless. I usually like to avoid putting things out there like this. But this holiday season, too much has happened not to make a statement about it. Not to employ you to hold close those one’s who are dear, or to examine the value in all that you touch.

“So, be careful then how you live, not as unwise, but as wise making the most of every opportunity for the days are evil. Do not be foolish.”

Eph. 5:15


18 thoughts on “Wilber

  1. I have a Black Lab, Sam. He is the most precious dog I have ever loved. He is ten years old and still teaching me life lessons. We are so sorry for your loss.

  2. Thank you Rebekah for your beautiful words, such a gift you have given. Wilbur was such a beautiful creation and he is free now. Thank you for putting your words out there.

  3. i am sorry for the loss of your pet. i lost mine too over 10
    years ago and i very much miss him as he was a friend to everyone
    in the family. May you rest in God’s peace and love at this time. Blessings.

  4. Thank you for sharing your heart! What a timely write up when so many are having similiar experiences during this season. This message does remind us of the frailty of life and encourages us to love one another despite character flaws or imperfections. What a source of strength and encouragement for those who are grieving and a reminder to us all not to take life for granted. Our prayers are with you and your family as you grieve the loss of your beloved Wilber.

  5. Thank you for sharing your heart.There are many great life lessons and reminders in your story. Be encouraged at this time, God Bless, Nancy

  6. Tears for you and your amputation…loving virtual hug from CA. May our Comforter hold you close and bring times of joy for your mourning.

  7. Hi,

    I’m so sorry for your loss, I lost my Annie this past yr. too and I’m sending you something that the LORD lead me to that helped heal my heart. It was written by John Wesley–one of the men that founded the Methodist Church– from Romans 8:19-22.

  8. Hi Rebeka,
    Thank you for sharing your fsmily’ experience. We too will be experiencing this same event in the near future. We found our Fritz at the pound 14 years ago. When his time comes I will remember your comments and be comforted in knowing we are not alone in the time of sorrow even if it is a beloved dog.

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