06 April 2024

My heart is broken, but it will heal, in time...

Life is strange sometimes, wouldn't you agree, Reader?  It truly is a wild ride of families, holiday celebrations, bickering children about whose turn it is to pick the next activity, going to events, learning new things, hobbies, and everything in between.  All those wonderful things that colour our very existence.  As Transcendental Meditation founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi famously stated, "Life is a festival of disruption."  

He wasn't wrong.  

It can be blissful, it can be painful, it can be overwhelming with all the constant activity around us, and all we want is just a pocket of time where we can just BE.  PAUSE.  At the end of the day, though, we learn, we grow, we adapt.  We learn to, as St Paul stated in his Second Letter to St Timothy, Chapter 4.5:  "...be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry."  

My beloved companion, Phil

While St Paul was speaking, specifically, about sharing the Gospel with others, I dare say that he'd encourage us to approach all aspects of our lives with that same enthusiasm.  As I'm sitting here writing this, I am fighting to keep my thoughts organized.  I am fighting hard.  The reason?  My beloved companion, a 16-year-old hound mix, crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday afternoon.  For the past few months, his clock had been winding down more and more, and it was excruciating to watch.  There aren't many times in my life I've felt so helpless, but this one is for sure one such circumstance.  My friends and I took my boy to the vet for a quality of life evaluation, to see what, if anything, we could do for him to help him.  After the vet heard about what we'd been seeing my dog doing with the strange behaviour that stems from "doggie dementia", as well as his disinterest in food, and how treats no longer gave him excitement, it was determined that the most compassionate thing for him would be to help him cross the Bridge.

Final hugs

Friends, that was one of the most difficult things I've ever faced in my life, but I am so grateful that I could be with him in those final moments.  I thanked him for his companionship, told him how much I love him, and how special and wonderful he always, always will be to me.  My friends also were able to share their love with him, to say their own good-byes to him.  My sweet, sweet boy was tired, and it was that type of tired that a nap would not fix.  My heart is in pieces, the tears come and go, but I am keeping my promise to him that I will be okay.  I love him more than I have words to truly convey that affection for him, but I know that he knows he is loved.  He was truly the most amazing companion, and he is missed so much.

It has only been a few days since he went Home, but I still find myself looking for him when I first wake up, or just as I move throughout my day, I catch myself wanting to call for him.  We have three kittens that are almost eight months old, and one of them, Kasper, absolutely hero worshiped my dog, so this loss is impacting him the hardest out of all the cats here (there are five).  It is one thing to try to help a human child understand what happens when a person or a beloved animal passes away, but when it comes to a baby animal that has only ever known that companion animal to always be around, and now he isn't, how do you explain where the kitten can understand that his friend is no longer around?   I have a blanket that my best friend made for my dog for Christmas, so I have that set aside for the kittens to be able to still have access to my dog's scent.  So far, it seems to be helping, even if only a little bit, but the kitten that was closest to my dog still walks around looking confused.  When he does, I call him to me, scoop him up, and snuggle him and whisper in his ears how I miss him, too, and that I understand.  

How fortunate we, as humans, are to be able to love someone so much that makes saying "good-bye" so difficult.  I was fortunate to have this special, wonderful boy in my life for just three weeks shy of four years.  Four years of laughter, chaos, surprises, questions of, "Are you serious, sir?" but most of all, the deepest love this side of Heaven a person could experience.  I am grateful for, and will always treasure, every second of the time I had with him.  

Paw print of the absolutely bestest, goodest boy
in the whole, entire universe, ever, ever, EVER!

Take too many photos. Love too much and too hard. Laugh too loud. Hug too tight. They are here but a moment, yet make such an imprint, an unbreakable bond that will never, ever go away. It is the glue that will, in the hardest, darkest times of life, hold you together to keep fighting, to keep going, because one day, one day that reunion is going to happen, and it won't be shadowed by worry of another separation, ever, ever again.

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