You know what I have learned? I have learned that we Natural Mothers don't handle loss all that well. This morning at 9:10 AM, we said our last goodbyes to our beloved Rocky and released him from his suffering. We had to do what was best for him. Keeping him alive even though he was having great difficulty breathing and was bleeding internally from the Mast Cell Tumor cancer that had spread throughout his system would have been the ultimate cruelty. My husband and I are making our way through this day in a haze of tears and grief but knowing that no love, however brief, is ever wasted or without worth.
What we received from Rocky in the 23 months he was with us was unconditional, exuberant and priceless. He was a joy of a little guy who had very bad luck with his health, but good luck finding people who would fight for him. I don't feel that we lost the fight. We set him free and that is a victory, especially when we wanted so badly to try anything to keep him going.
Now one of my children would argue with me, but I am going to hope and believe that there is something after this life...maybe not the way it is presented in the churches...but something that keeps going after the body fails. I want to believe that his spirit is running free, digging up gopher tortoise holes, barking at doorbells and sniffing his way through the woods. I want to believe that he is waiting for us to throw his cow hoof so that he can fetch it and then play "keep-away" with us. I want to believe that there will come a time when he will play "race to the bed" with us, again. And I hope, in that place, wherever he is, there are all manner of garbage cans to investigate.
Go with our blessings, Rockmeister. You carry a big piece of our hearts with you. Rest now..the bad part is over.
On the death of the Beloved
by John O'Donohue
(1956 - 2008) Timeline
Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
Where no storm or might or pain can reach you.
Your love was like the dawn
Brightening over our lives
Awakening beneath the dark
A further adventure of colour.
The sound of your voice
Found for us
A new music
That brightened everything.
Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You placed smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart.
Your mind always sparkled
With wonder at things.
Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was alive, awake, complete.
We look towards each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.
Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul's gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.
Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.
When orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.
May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.
(Sent to me by a friend "Down Under" who is also dealing with canine cancer.)