1993 a relative very close to me ...showed up at my door on a Saturday morning. Her husband had just died a very sudden tragic death a few hours before. She had her two cats with her. The only accomodations we had in our small house was a couch that pulled out into a bed in the living room.
She stayed about five days, but it was the worst five days ever. None of us slept, all we could do was cry. It was extremely difficult because, at that time, I did not know how to handle this type of situation. I said and did all the wrong things. My suggestions and opinions were a disaster. I thought I knew it all. I didn't. We had horrible fights and blow-ups because of it.
If I had it to do over, I would not make the mistakes I made almost 20 years ago. During her stay I remember sitting at my typewriter trying to complete an assignment that was due for a course I was taking at a community college. I was sobbing so hard I could not type. One of her cats, "Happy" came running into the room, meowed loudly at me, and jumped on my lap, purring, to comfort me. I have never forgotten the impact that animal had on me during that time.
Our relative stayed with us until after the memorial service, then moved into a new apartment that our family found for her.
I learned so much about what NOT to do when someone dies suddenly, and this awful "guest" experience was used by God as a LIGHT to show me how to behave better if and when a tragic circumstance should ever happen again.
My relative is doing fine now, and, to this day we remain extremely close. We are soul mates. I thank God for that.