I stroke her head, kiss her, and tell her how grateful I am for our time together. But I do not linger long with her. She needs respectful silence. Still, as I touch her beautiful skin, her hanging ears, I am aware that soon I will never touch her again. Zoe has deeply touched my heart. My love for her will yield to waves of intense grief, and I will give grief its due. But I still prefer another way:
“Into your hands, good Lord, I commend the body and spirit of this beautiful, wonderful creature. You entrusted her to me for eight years, and for our time together, I thank you with my whole heart. You have truly enriched my life through Zoe, through our love, through our adventures. Having seen you in Rummy, I have never doubted your presence in Zoe, who in a number of evident ways is more like you than I am. There is no darkness in your Zoe, no ill-will, no despair, no petty-mindedness. She is the creature You created her to be. She has played her creaturely role very well. And she has been a delightful source of blessing to me—from the day I brought her home, to this day, to our last few days together, and I believe, into eternity.
Zoe is near death, and soon will disappear into the utter silliness, into “death’s dateless night.” All communication with her will cease, except for the longings of the heart, and memories, and a naked trust that as your creature, LORD God, Zoe lives in You alone. I will experience her death and loss, and only through the gift of faith in You will I have any sense that she is yours forever.
“The Lord has given, the Lord is taking away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”