“Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” ~Alfred Lord Tennyson
We first met Joan through her mission to find a home for her beloved cat, Isis. Joan knew her life was coming to an end due to liver disease, and she wanted to make sure that Isis would be cared for after she left this world.
We knew when we first met Joan that we would lose her soon, but that didn’t matter. We wanted to give her the love of a lifetime in the short amount of time that she had left.
And that we did.
My good friend Dorian of Your Daily Cute first brought Joan and Isis to us through a plea for help on Facebook. Dorian had heard of Joan’s plight through an email from a rescue group who had been contacted by Joan. Joan was desperately looking for a home for Isis, as she had been forced to enter a hospice center for her own medical needs. Dorian jumped into action by alerting her expansive social network, and soon people from all over the world were sending love and help.
The first step was to find a temporary foster home for Isis, which happened relatively quickly. Then the search for a permanent home began. Eventually Isis did find a new home with a loving caregiver.
But the story did not end there.
We were all charmed by Joan and her sweet cat. Through a Facebook group, Dorian kept us updated on both Isis and Joan’s progress as she and other friends who lived near the hospice began to visit and develop a deep friendship with Joan. Isis visited as well, bringing great joy to this frail but spirited woman. Although many of us could not visit ourselves as we were too far away, we sent gifts and cards and messages of love to bring this woman the love she deserved.
My gift was this digital portrait of her sweet Isis, which I am told she kept by her bedside.
Dorian wrote about her experiences with Joan and Isis in this article for Catster. Many others shared the story on their blogs, and the national media picked up the story in numerous articles.
We all fell in love with Joan from afar, and we all hoped a miracle would happen so that we could keep our new found friend here on earth with us.
Sadly, the miracle we had hoped for did not happen. We lost Joan today. She left this world at 4:08 am with Dorian and and another friend holding her hands.
I have never met this woman in person, yet I am bereft with tears. We knew we would lose her, but no one wanted to. And now that we have, it hurts deeply.
Still yet, her final wish to find a home for her dear Isis was answered. And in the process, she found a worldwide family who loved and cared for her to the very end. We should all be so lucky. What more of a miracle does one need?
I have always believed Tennyson’s words to be true. Although loving someone, even through the virtual world, eventually hurts, it is certainly worth much, much more than what we give to it.
I know that I am a better person for having a connection to Joan and Isis and Dorian and everyone else who has joined Joan’s family. Thank you if you are among that family.
We often hear about how social media can bring out the worst in people – terrorism, cyber bullying, criminal flash mobs, etc. The stories where social media brings out the BEST in people maybe more silent and less headline grabbing. The story of Isis and Joan, though, proves to me that people are good, and they are loving, and they bring that out in social media in a much more profound way than the more negative aspects of humanity ever could.
Thank you Joan. Thank you Isis. Thank you Dorian. Thank you everyone else who has given and been a part of this human and feline drama. I love you all.
Whatever heaven is for you, Joan, I hope that it can bring you some of the peace and joy that you have brought to us. You have found the Rainbow Connection – someday the rest of us will find it too.
Life is an Adventure!