Day 4

Grief really is an ocean. It is deep and it ebbs and flows. This loss has such a sting and such an ache, just like ice-cold salt water before you finally get used to it.

My Rams, my brother-dog, my pup. We put him to sleep on Thursday, May 4th, sometime between 5:30 and 6. He was almost seventeen, we think. I was 13, or maybe 14 when we got him; a tiny, fluffy floppy thing. I remember so clearly the crisp mornings and his warm puppy breath while we tried to house-train him. Our first family pet.

I knew it would be this hard. I have gathered him up and bathed him in tears multiple times this last little while. That's the true bittersweetness of dogs: they fill you up, but they can't stay forever, and when they leave it empties you. I knew this was coming. I know it is coming for my two sweet girls, as well. Someday.

Ironically, perhaps, that is one peace I've felt since Thursday night. For maybe the first time in my life, a larger understanding of the futility of fearing death.

I've cried once today. Day 4. I'm still at work as I write this, and I think solitude might bring it out again later. I dread the sadness, but I know it is necessary. I dread it because it consumes me. In the midst of it, I can hardly see a way out. In the midst of it, I am certain that I don't want a life without his soft little nose and his corn-chip paws. But I come out of that place every time. I come back to the sunlight and I remember, remember, his happiness, his good life, the reality of life itself, and the final act of love that we chose to send him away with.

And though it was time; his body must've hurt, his anxiety was overwhelming him; how can it have been time? How can this be that we were already there? How, when for all the days of the last sixteen years, he was here, is he now gone? Just like a gust of wind. So sudden and so quick. One last rise of his chest, and then nothing.

That little soul. He'll be with me forever. You'll be with me forever, Rams. I know that to some, you're just a dog. To many, (maybe most?) all animals are just animals. But I know better. I know the deepest truth that you only know once you've loved an animal. You were never 'just' anything. You were a member of our family. You were my only brother. You were the laughter when all seemed lost. You were the light when things were so heavy. You were a bigger understanding that I can't even begin to tap into. You were a connection to something mystical. You were the personification of my heart. You were the earth. You were the sky. You were and you are and you always will be. If there is anything waiting for us when we leave this consciousness, I know I'll find you there.  


love after love

The time will come when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say
sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger
who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread.
Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life...

Take down the love
letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs,
the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror.
Feast on your life.

~Derek Walcott

bring it on back

and i am telling you..

i'm karlee. i have a husband and a daughter. (well ok, she's a puppy.) this is the world through my eyes.

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