A Furry Friend Brings Unexpected Joy After a Loss

July 8, 2022, Counseling & Support, Counseling and Support Patient Stories

A Furry Friend Brings Unexpected Joy After a Loss

In May, I met with my Gilchrist grief counselor, Hilary Harrington, after the loss of my stepfather. I had been his caretaker for three years, so we were quite close. Hilary and I discussed plans that might help with my feelings of loneliness. We talked about finding a church or possibly volunteering. I mentioned that I had also thought of getting a cat, as I hadn’t had one for the past three years since I came to take care of Dad.

A Destined Relationship

Then, out of the blue, Hilary learned from a Gilchrist nurse, Amy Wonder, that a family unexpectedly needed to find a new home for their cat. Hilary sent me photos of the cat and asked if I would be interested in taking her. It didn’t take long to make up my mind. The nurse saw the family that afternoon and brought the cat, Millie, to me that evening.

Ron and Millie

It’s wonderful how having a pet companion helps soothe loneliness. Millie has a soft purr, almost like the coo of a dove. She likes to check on me, especially when I go into the kitchen. Millie reminded me of another cat I had years ago—Hendrix. They were both beautiful, fluffy, long-haired cats—white with a tinge of light orange. Hendrix was larger, about 15 pounds, compared to Millie, who is eight pounds, but I’m sure they’re the same breed. It’s interesting how God gives you a sign that something is meant to be.

A friend asked me if Millie was a rescue cat, and I said she was. I got to thinking about that a little while later. The term ‘rescue cat’ certainly is an appropriate one. You see, I rescued her, but she also rescued me.

This story was written and contributed by Ronald White.

About Gilchrist Grief Counseling

Gilchrist grief counselors are available to provide emotional support before and after a loss through one-on-one grief counseling, support groups, workshops and remembrance events.

Helping Through Stages of Grief

One-on-one counseling can help guide you through your own unique stages of grief—leading you to a life that is different but still rich in meaning. Our team of counselors are master’s prepared in counseling. They are also recognized by the Association for Death Education and Counseling for competence in bereavement and end-of-life care.

Gilchrist offers support groups and workshops to help grieving family (including children and friends), as well as anyone in the community grieving a loss. In addition, we offer a number of events to help you celebrate and grieve for your loved one.

Learn more about Gilchrist Grief Counseling

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One thought on “A Furry Friend Brings Unexpected Joy After a Loss

  1. Betsy Schindler says:

    I love this story!! Hillary is a wonderful therapist and I am so happy she was able to help provide a furry friend for her client. Millie the cat is beautiful. I know how much love and support a cat can provide on a daily basis. They are the best comfort.

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