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Sometimes silence can be more than lack of sound … Sometimes it can be lack of presence.

Today, we lost a beloved member of our pack. Gracie has graced our family for nearly 13 years by filling our hearts with pure joy as she shared her unconditional love. She has been known as Miss Gracie, Gracie McGee, Gracie-mile, Rooter, Rooter McGee and dozens of other names, which she responded to with either excitement or laid back ears (depending on the tone of our voice.). Our daughter has never known a day without her beauty.

The silence created by her loss is more than the rhythmic jingle of her tags as she pranced around our home. Today, we listen for her beautiful presence with our hearts and we are lonely because we know she won’t be there to share our lives. She won’t be wagging her leaf catcher tail us as we walk in the back door, she won’t greet our friends with a sniff as we emphatically say “Get ’em Gracie”, she won’t be frolicking through the snow and returning with a black coat peppered with snow and a white nose and she won’t be at the foot of the stairs constantly watching for movement from our cat, the second floor dweller. She won’t be there and our house will be too quiet.

We will hear her ghosts reverberate through our home for the foreseeable future. When we race through the first floor track, while listening to songs on the radio, while watching programs on the television or just laughing because our family is together, we will hear our beloved family member. It’s only when the house is completely silent that we won’t hear her. When our home is quiet, there will be no no breathing, sighing, or “thump” as she hits floor after finding the perfect vantage point to view three rooms at once. The mechanical sounds of the furnace, refrigerator or sump pump will only reinforce the vacuum we experience because she kept our home alive, even when we weren’t there.

Today, we mourn for the loss of you, Miss Gracie; for you and for us.

Our pack is diminished because you have left us.

Our world will be too quiet without you.