in my emotional state. i got her birth year wrong. it was '97, not '98. but i don't suppose that matters much. she's home with me now, along with 3 blessing stones - two of which will go to my kids, along with small vials. the very kind woman at the pet cemetery, offered to fill them, but i told her i would be opening the container anyway to incorporate her ashes which are not ashes, but bits of bone, into a portrait - celebrating the fact that she LIVED. and that she loved - and was loved - down to her bones. when i told her this, she asked for a card.
i wandered the grounds for a while, feeling disconnected and surreal here in the desert without her. we came here together. and while she missed the smell of grass (and geese poop), she loved the sunshine on her back. ringing the bell to acknowledge her wings, i knew that i couldn't say goodbye because my memory will always miss her and never stop asking about her.
right now, my eyesight is far too blurry from the unpredictable tears to even think about painting, but that will happen. sleeping was strange last night. too quiet without her sleep-sounds. the bed without her felt foreign and large. i am used to these things when i travel without her, but here at home - her marked absence makes home not feel like home. and i have become increasingly cognizant of a deep desire to move. go somewhere - else - experience something - else. even though my energy levels are far too low to consider it, my mind and heart want to be anywhere but here - where she is supposed to be - but isn't.
much gratitude to those who have reached out to me. i know i haven't responded to each of you individually, but your words and thoughts do help me through the grief - they are not lost in the ether. i'm also keenly aware that she was "just a dog," but, in the words of jonathan carroll; “Dogs are minor angels, and I don't mean that facetiously. They love unconditionally, forgive immediately, are the truest of friends, willing to do anything that makes us happy, etcetera. If we attributed some of those qualities to a person we would say they are special. If they had ALL of them, we would call them angelic. But because it's "only" a dog, we dismiss them as sweet or funny but little more. However when you think about it, what are the things that we most like in another human being? Many times those qualities are seen in our dogs every single day-- we're just so used to them that we pay no attention.”
anyone who has shared a bit of their life with a remarkable dog knows this to be true beyond any shadow of doubt. they are indeed angels among us.