Monday, May 4, 2015

God's Merices after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother's Heart~Grieving Animals~The Devotional and A Mother's Memories

photo by Jean Williams~Joshua's Cat, LiahNora

“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
—Psalm 118:29 KJV

The more time I spent in my dead son’s room, the more my heart wrestled over his absence.

When my husband and I began the process of packing Joshua’s room, an odd thing happened. His cat, LiahNora, jumped on Joshua’s window ledge and howled. Never before had she done this, for she was a contented outside kitty.

After the third incident, I straightened from where I was bent over a box and stared hard at LiahNora. Tears stung my eyes, and I sighed. “Poor kitty misses her Joshua.”

Then I thought of Joshua’s Rottweiler, Heinrich. I walked out to the backyard to where the dog stayed. I fed him and gave him fresh water daily, but otherwise I ignored the poor animal. Had I noticed any changes in his habits? Heinrich had not been wolfing down his food in mere minutes, as was his habit before Joshua died. He let his food sit sometimes all day. His eyes drooped, and his once-hyperactive nature became one of a moping dog.

I sat down at the picnic table bench. “Come, boy.” I motioned for him to lay his head on my lap.

I no longer had Joshua to care for, but his animals needed my love and attention.

Lord, You made animals with feelings, and I never fully understood until now. I am grateful to have Joshua’s pets as my companions and a connection to my son. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

A Mother’s Memories

Two weeks before Joshua died he walked out on the front porch, where I was pulling weeds in my flowerbed below the steps.

I looked up. “Yes, Son?”
He kept his head bowed, eyes averted, as was his habit those last few years. “I’m giving you LiahNora.”
Sitting back on my heels, I said, “Why would you do that?”
He stared at the ground. “I’m tired of taking care of her.”
Never being a cat person, I chuckled. “That means I can get rid of her if I want?”
Joshua jerked his head up, a fierce frown on his face. His voice raised a notch higher. “You can’t do that.”
I stood and reached to touch his arm, but he took a step back.
“Son, I won’t do that.”
He stared at me. “You can have Heinrich too.” He turned and went back into the house before I could say another word.
A bad taste crawled up my throat. Why would Joshua do such a thing? I pondered this turn of events in my heart until after Joshua died, when it all became too terribly clear.

Father in heaven, I don’t understand my son. Please help me think of the right words to encourage him to talk and tell me what is on his mind. In Jesus’s name, I ask. Amen.

Reader Journal
~Your Mother Memories~
~Your Prayer of Praise~
~A Scripture of Encouragement~


  1. Jean, this devotional especially tears at my heart. It is so revealing of Joshua's pain and I suspect was one of the toughest for you to write. We have a connection with animals provided by the One who made both of us. I wonder if in Heaven we won't learn more about that relationship and God's mercies provided through our pets. My husband's cat grieved for weeks after his death, staying alone upstairs except to eat and go to her litter box. God bless you, Jean, as you dig deep into your soul to spread mercies upon other grieving parents. I love you.

  2. Pat, thank you for commenting and reading my book. I love you, too, Sister in Christ! And if we never meet here on earth, there's always Heaven.