One week ago I said a final goodbye to a great friend and our family dog within a 24 hour period. Last week was a time and reminder that life goes on. We get back to business. We get back to our busyness.

But for many, there are still empty chairs at the table.

There are sounds that are reminders of those we’ve lost.

There are routines that change but for now they remind us of our loss.

Every morning, after I woke up, our dog would be right next to me. Every morning I would say “Alright buddy, let’s go.” We would make our way downstairs to let him out and get his breakfast. I did this day after day. Year after year. Now I feel like something is missing because my routine is off. It’s not the same.

There’s no more “alright buddy, let’s go.”

People have asked me “have you heard him yet?”

I have. I swear, I have heard him barking outside to come in. One night last week, I literally got up from my chair to let him in and realized it was just a neighborhood dog.

I’ve heard his nails clicking on the floor.

I’ve waited for him to meet me at the door.

I’ve heard his noises and yet, he is no longer there.

When we gathered around the table for Thanksgiving, my heart was heavy for those that gathered with an empty chair. There is a chair that was once filled with a part of the family. As we get closer to Christmas, there will be families missing a member of their family. There will be empty chairs.

My mom used to always say “God sends his angels.”

I have never believed anything more.

It’s the text from a friend out of nowhere.

It’s a package at the door.

It’s a comment on social media that catches you off guard.

It’s a direct message to say “I’m praying for you.”

God still sends his angels.

When your heart is hurting and there are empty chairs, familiar schedules, noises you swear from your lost loved ones……

Look and listen for His angels because they are all around us.

On that note, if you feel a prompt to reach out to a friend that is dealing with loss, DO IT.

Send that text or email. Make that phone call. Drop by their house. Order that gift.

You just might be that angel they needed today.