Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Dash of Grace

Everything and everyone in my world is fuel for this blog. While not always comfortable with the notion, most in my realm know that they may read their name or be made to stroll, (perhaps 'forced march' is more accurate,) through a memory. Everyone also knows, I never write anything that would embarrass them. They are treated with respect and courtesy as I share my world with you. With that said, I want you to know that today's entry is about a very emotional and personal experience. It's being shared with permission. This is Opie's sharing; I'm just the ghost writer today.

Dash has closed his eyes and released his pain. Melissa and Opie, along with Zach, stood close as he took his last breath. They did what was needed to send their beloved pup to a place far from hurt. They are understandably heartbroken. They are, also, relieved because they know their pet is not suffering needlessly. His life ended with those he trusted most gathered close. Their familiar, loved hands stroking his fur, letting him know it was all right to go. A true blessing. Something all of us hope for when it's our time to go...

Yesterday was a long day for all of them. All woke to a day feeling lead heavy with dread. Pressing on their nerves and emotions. There's always the struggle to answer the question, "Damn, is this the right thing? I'm doing the right thing by ending my animal's life now???" It burns your brain while it exhausts you in the mad chase for certainty.

Amidst all of that soreness, Opie had a life-altering moment. He shared it with me, starting by giving permission to tell you: "Holly, feel free to share this with anyone and everyone; especially with anybody who is doubting a decision they've made or are about to make...

"I went outside to smoke this morning. The sky was gray and gloomy; the ground was wet from a light shower which had ended 20 minutes earlier. And there was almost an uneasy quiet. I lit my cigarette and a moment later, a choir of birds began to chirp. All different types of birds from all around. Several flew overhead and something seemed to well up inside me.

"A lump came to my throat and a few tears leaked out. Then, the rain started. It was a light rain, but it was coming down fast, kinda' like the rains that take place in a rain forest on TV, but smaller drops. As it started to wash on me, I let loose and began crying pretty hard.

"Then as I was finishing my cigarette, a cool, steady, gentle breeze blew on my face and ruffled my shirt. It was very soothing, and any doubts I had about today were washed away. I smiled knowing that it's the right thing to do. The universe is a funny place, and I'm glad to be a part of it, and even more glad that it reached out and touched me today, in a way that I never expected. I miss him already."

There are sacred moments in life. Few and far between. Moments when Spirit takes you solidly by the hand and reveals the essence of the vast universe. A split second that changes everything. An experience that turns on the switch of awareness of being a true Human Being. In the moment of deepest dark, a light sparks to illuminate the way. Your soul awakens to the glory of being and you feel connected to everything. You are given a miraculous moment of grace. A Dash of grace.

As so often happens as they depart, our beloved companions find ways to remind us that love does not end even though our days will. The short span of their lives reminds us that real love is measured in moments, not years. And Spirit, who gives us these creatures as a testament to the power of love and being in relationship with another, never leaves us alone in the pain of our goodbyes. Never.

Thank you, Dash. For all the doggy smiles; the moments of laughter you gave us; for the cuddles and kisses; for helping us to learn what it means to behave responsibly with love. Even on your last day, you taught us lessons about the beauty of this world and being alive. We will not forget them or you. Farewell, Special Boy. Dashel Dog.

I have sent you on a journey to a land free from pain, not because I did not love you, but because I loved you too much to force you to stay. - Unknown

Namaste' Till Next Time,


MelissaS said...

This one made me cry.

Toni said...

As a small (very very very small) added grace note: at least the family got to be present, got to choose, knew what happened, got to 'love' him on his way. My lab, Blazer, got out of our yard 2 and a half years ago, and I was not then and still haven't been able to locate him. That means no closure for me, ever -- is he all right? Is someone loving him? Or is he gone but still ok? Drives me crazy; I loved that dog bonkers and miss him just as much.

Opie said...

Thanks Holly, love this posting, all though I am biased. I miss Dash like crazy already, but this experience I had made it much easier to deal with and that special boy has made me a better person today for it.

Anonymous said...

Like many others I relived this with your writing.
Eileen S.

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