Farewell, Bestest Friend


Just two short days ago, my bestest best friend left this place we call earth—a mixture of dirt, sky, and water. In the end, God will do the right thing, but my heart believes that the precious lives found in our pets go home to be with Jesus. That one day, it will be both Jesus and Harvard who meet me in Heaven.

Harvard lived an extraordinary life of 17 years, 3 months, and 10 days. He was the answer to all my childhood prayers: miracle, best friend, someone who understood and loved me deeply, the light of my life and joy of my heart.

In all my years, there have only been a handful of things that really, truly make my heart sing and he was one of them. It was always Harvard who waited for me to come home, and greeted me every, single time. It’s always been Harvard who “got” me. Always Harvard.

Harvard was the one who had my heart. And in many ways, he took much of it with him when he died. But he also left me with much of his heart in mine. Though he was “just a cat”, I learned a lifetime’s worth of lessons from him.

  • Live in the moment: Don’t wait for tomorrow to really start living.
  • Embrace simplicity: It’s never the extravagant, excitable things that make life sustainable long-term.
  • Love deeply: Give and receive love for the unspeakably precious gift it is.
  • Laugh: Whether dreaming or awake, find things that make you jump for joy.
  • Be grateful: Express your gratitude in your actions.

Friday, I lost my best friend. The face I knew better than my own is gone. The white stripes running down his ears will never be stroked again. Never again will I run my finger over his soot-colored spot by his left eye. There will be no more sorrows to share with him. No more stories to tell him. No more tears to fall on his shiny coat. No more soul-eyes to stare into.

The deepest things of life were reserved for him and Jesus alone. On earth, only he truly knew the greatest dreams of my heart, the deepest hurts, and the happiest moments of my days.

My apartment feels hollow now, and no amount of music can ever replace his voice. Every day of his life, he talked to me and I miss our conversations. It is truly a rare thing to have a cat converse as much as this one did—with the greater thing being that he “answered” questions with a well-placed response.

Harvard was always the better best friend…and it will be a very long time before I find a friendship that comes close to all he was for me. Only God really knows how much that cat held life together for me in the times when there was nothing to live for.

Jesus, I am unspeakably grateful to you for giving me the greater greatest gift in the better best friend. There are no words to adequately express my thankfulness to you for sustaining his life through all the heartbreak of just this past year alone.

Dearest Harvard, I miss you in the depths of my heart. I’ll always love you. It will always be your voice I hear in response, when I come home in the evening saying, “Honey, I’m home.” And one spectacular day I’ll come Home to stay and my heart will again be home with you.

2 thoughts on “Farewell, Bestest Friend

  1. So sorry Rachel. You have had so many losses this last year. Hope this is a much better year. The joy of the Lord is your strength and I pray he fills you with his joy. Love you.

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