This weekend, one of my oldest and closest friends…had to say goodbye to one of their family pets.
I have contemplated this episodically from the moment I found out. Their dog was part of their loving family. We don’t live in the same area so when we planned on seeing their family, the premeditated thoughts always included the pets. To say “their dog” seems so dismissive and inaccurate…for she was so much more then just “a dog”. When we got the news…it was difficult to respond in words that are appropriate. I seem to encounter this more and more lately. The reflexive response is to instantly offer words of support and apology…next people tend to share their own stories of loss or illness. Having cancer and being on the other side of the curtain has given me a different view of this script.
When I heard the news I was at complete loss. I wanted them to know that, although I feel their loss and pain…I really can’t like they do. Over the last 5 years we too have lost a few pets. I was completly caught off guard as to how much it hurt…what a void it created…and how much I took their presence for granted. Their dog was the exceptional example what I want to be when I grow up…patient, loyal beyond belief, happy, relaxed, content, adhered to the family life, and always excited to see you. She was Purina’s definition of the perfect Flat Coat Retriever…even true to her expected life span…she was the perfect companion. And she will be missed.
Today…as I was exiting my car to head into the grociey store…I discoverd this crushed toy in the parking lot…almost right under my own wheels. Seeing this was like hitting proverbal virtual wall. The rain we encounterd over night had brought out the deep rich colors in all things outdoors. I had gone on a walk this moring and was still searching…still open to the new music in my world that the weather placed on the turntable.
I saw it…wondered what it was…and then was shocked upon discovering it’s original assembly. I tried to put it back together as if I could…as if I could through that gesture hold my friend…and put their world back together. I can’t. We take from losses like this, memories. The good ones will always dilute the bad. I had my camera with me becasue of the patterns in nature I had seen earlier and captured this photo as if it would subsitute for seeing her trot through the feilds again.
Season’s like this provide environments and surroundings that enable us to cherish those good memories and make more. Traditions that are recorded by all senses. Traditions that are challenged by changes that took place over the year. Changes that we have implemented on our own and some that just befall us. We keep moving on. We have to. But there is always room in our lugage for more good memories.
We all have a view of the after life…and mine is always changing. But for now…I view it as a place where there is no fear, a place where there is justice, places to gather with the ones we love, places to trout fish and places where pets like Kira, can run free.
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