Yesterday was the most beautiful morning I’ve witnessed in the three and a half years since I’ve lived in this house. Considering that I see hundreds of beautiful sunrises from my living room each year, that’s saying something.
Juxtaposed to the stunning beauty of the cobalt blue sky and the bright sunshine reflecting off the fresh coat of snow and ice, my dog panted heavily from his bed in the middle of my living room. He was in pain. He could no longer rise from his bed. As the glorious day flooded through the windows, Karin and I prepared to make that final ride to the vet. After several minutes of deliberation on the best way to move him, we shuffled through the house and squeezed through the doorway with Thai still lying in his bed, folded up like a taco.
My body did its best to take in all this information; to process the fact that my wonderful friend and I would be parting ways. To process the fact that in a short time I would be watching and holding him as the life faded from his body. To process that all of this was really happening — after all, he was still so full of life, spry enough to sneak a nap on the forbidden couches and run through the woods with elan just a week ago.
But today was that day. The day I knew would arrive. The day that I had mentally tried to prepare myself for, but secretly wished that we might be special enough to elude. I consciously worked to keep myself open, to keep the energy and emotion flowing through me. In my mind and under my breath, I repeated the word — "Yes. Yes. Yes." The combination of bright sunlight and warm tears stung my eyes as we moved toward our destination.
There have been so many tears — more tears than when either of my parents died — that I wonder what they are about. We associate tears with sadness. And without question, I am grieving at the loss of my constant companion of the last 14 years. But somewhere in those tears, I also feel deep, deep gratitude for having been blessed with this creature’s presence in my life. I remember being told that the Japanese have a word to describe an emotion that translates to "happy-sad." That would seem to best capture what’s flowing through me right now.
I am happy-sad.
And that feeling is intense. It is powerful. It’s flooding though me. I recognize all of this as the stuff of being human. Not to be resisted in any way. Like any powerful experience, I suspect that the energy that’s moving through me shall be transformative in ways that I cannot yet know. That said, my early sense is that Thai was here in part to teach me how to feel more completely and to purge some of the darker vestiges of my past.
We shall see, I suppose.
I hope to share more later.
For now, I ride the waves.
My boy. "Wonder Dog" as my dad called him. "The best boy ever" as Karin called him.
He’ll always be my boy. My good, good boy.
Sorting through the pictures of Thai, this one just grabbed me.