Before I start, let me say this. Pinky is our cat, a siamese mutt, that has been with my family from the earliest that I can remember. When she died, I was the only one home. It was very hard on me.

"There is no good way to die."

Truer words were never spoken. But when death is the consummation of a long, happy life, what more can one wish for? You live, you die, you are forgotten. That is the way of things.

I've never had firsthand experience with death before... it isn't pleasant. The dying seem to have a way of knowing when their time is upon them. Should they be left to themselves, unnumbed by painkillers and medication and other things that cloud the mind, the abject fear that they display is heartbreaking. As a bystander, you feel helpless. It kills you to know that, for all you want to do something... there's nothing to do. What is there? Caring touches, kind words. Small comfort.

Only one other time in my life has someone in my sphere of influence passed on. I was young then, but not too young to realize the implications that death has. Someone is gone. People that loved and cared about them are left with that void. All the condolences that can be offered only serve to smooth the edges of that void, numb it over.

If this is true, the strongest conviction that anyone can hold on to is that when someone passes away, they go on to a better place. That belief, small as it may seem, is the driving force for humanity. If it all ends when the lights finally go out, why bother working toward anything better?

RIP Pinky. You will be missed.