I have sat down to write on this subject many times over the past 2 months. Massive words have been typed, copious tears have been shed, but each time, I just did not say what I wanted.
One thing about writing over and over, and realizing it just isn't right , is, each time, I learn something new. My words are not what I want,but they make me think, and sometimes re-reading, allows me to go a little deeper into my emotions. Today, I suddenly understood something, something I never put together until this trip through devastating sorrow.
On July 4th, my beloved dog Rupert would have turned 10. He left us/me on April the 5th, without any warning. We have no answers as to what caused him to go into severe shock, our Vet searched all avenues for a reason, and came up empty handed. I thought an answer may have helped, but now I realize, nothing would help. This experience would be the same, even if there was a reason. The same question would be asked, no matter what...why?
I have also come to realize, at this point in our lives, our love for our Dog was not unusual. Our kids are grown, and after almost 30 years of having a house full of children, only to have them become adults, and live their own lives, Rupert came along at the perfect time. He became the center of our universe, especially mine. He came into our home against my express wish.
We were about to say goodbye to our Nappy who we had for 16 years, and I did not want another furry soul who would likely leave before me, and cause grief. Yes, from the moment I fell in love with Rupert, in the back of my mind was the thought of how could I survive him passing?
I had 2 days in which I said goodbye to our faithful friend Napoleon (Napitrue/Nappy)They were difficult. I thanked him for loving us completely for the years the kids grew, and putting up with some neglect, and asking for so little. We sat side by side out in the yard, he was devoted, always by my side, and it was so painful. But he was old, and he was in pain, and he was ready for the final rest. I will say, I was grateful we had Rupert before Nappy left us, because he was love.
Sometimes people are very lucky to find true love, sometimes they are even luckier to find more than one true love. I am one of those lucky people. But, the love I found with Rupert was so enormous. He was special, and he was full of love. He assumed the whole world loved him, because he loved everyone he met. Yes, he was spoiled rotten, and yes, our whole world revolved around him, but...his world revolved around us. We thought he was the best dog in the whole wide world. Sure he wasn't the smartest, but we would always say..he didn't need to be smart, because he was beautiful, and he knew that too. He had lab eyes..they would look so very sad, he would always be offered the last bite. He would do something "bad" and be punished, told to lay down..which he would do while he turned on the eyes, and his punishment would end quickly, because the eyes would break our hearts.
The day he left us, was a total nightmare. Three of his family holding onto to him, not wanting to let go, pleading with him to stay, and only the eyes remained , right to the last moment. Those eyes were his greatest asset, they were used to attach himself to our world, and the moment they closed, our worlds were left with an emptiness I can't quite say I have ever experienced before.
So we suffered. We felt what those who have defined the emotion of grief. It is enormous. If one has never experienced it, one cannot imagine. The best I have heard it put into words, is, like drowning, with the water and the waves continually crashing into you. Most everyone of us will at some time suffer this, and..in truth, it is only if we are lucky enough to love.
I never once imagined that love would come with something so painful attached, but it does. Grief is completely balanced by how much one loves what is lost. Life can simply pause for an instant when a loss is experienced, and one can realize it is sad, but, moments later , things go on as normal. Mostly because, either it was not an integral part of life, or the loss did not impact one personally. But..when something that is loved so immensely, suddenly is gone, and nothing is the same, and there is a void, and every moment that which was, is no longer, the price for loving becomes the dark side of the greatest emotion known. Grief has to be powerful, because so is love. What brings the greatest happiness, turns backwards, and causes the unbearable pain.
So..suffice to say, Rupert was loved beyond measure, and for that, we pay the price of intense grief. I have questioned whether I could ever pay this price again, I wonder if I am able, are any of us, who love? But, what would the world be like if we protected ourselves from the possibility of grief by closing our hearts to love? Maybe the trick is never coming to this understanding? Maybe now I will forever worry about those left who I love? It is almost impossible to shield oneself from loving, and therefore, again, most everyone of us, will suffer the payment for the most pleasurable emotion, with the most painful. Nothing in life is ever free!