Good morning, I’m so sorry that i have been away for some time. But here I am now and hope that we can stay in better connection. I think that I mentioned it before, but if you would like to reach me, it is better through the facebook group with the same name. Thanks.
Our beloved dog Jasmine is almost 15 and a half years old. As with all of us, she is getting closer to the time that she will leave this world. Ugg, I’m not sure how many of you have pets, but if you do, you will understand the grief that we are beginning to face.
For the past few months, she has had quite a few medical conditions happening. Each time as she would get sick, we were afraid that this might be it. But thanks to veterinary medicine, they have helped her quite a bit. And as much as I would like to live in the denial that now all is well, I did hear the vet, as she explained that now Jasmine is in palliative stages. She is alive because of medical intervention, and this gives us more time together and allows her to enjoy life, but this too is only for a time. Even writing this, I have tears streaming down my face as I have so many times during the past few months.
Many people will say, or think, well she is only a dog, and wonder how I would need to face grief in this way. Well, let me say, as I would say a great deal of animal lovers would, that our lives together with our pets, are greater than the relationships that we have with most human beings.
As I think of life with Jasmine, we go back about 9 years. She came with Marco. Marco and the kids have had her since she was a lively little pup. The third time that I saw Marco, there was Jasmine. Love at first site! and she has been with us ever since, camping, cottages, car trips, everyday, there she is, my sweet little shadow. When I took sick a few years back, Jasmine was the one that would lay on the bed beside me when everyone was at work, or school. Always there, and gave me reasons to get out of bed when she needed to go for a walk. Since moving here, Jasmine and I have been almost constant companions. Going for walks, being outside for gardening, naps, driving to do errands, and of course both of our favorite things, stopping at Tim Hortons for Timbits. They know her at a few stores now. lol Our walks by the river, or sitting in the car when it rained, having our treats and watching the river. I can truly say that this most sweet little girl has stolen a huge part of my heart. (tears)
But how do I, or any of us allow our selves to grieve, to grieve well. I know that for myself, I really don’t want to talk about it, because when I talk about it, it becomes more real. None of us want to face pain, and that has never been more true than in our society. We are so distracted with our phones, tv, work, internet, etc. Anything to avoid that which causes us hurt. Heck, I have even thought about asking for some pills, just to take the edge off. But what does that do? Nothing, its not fair to me, to Jasmine, or anyone else in my life or for those who too love Jasmine. Jasmine is a huge part of my life, and it does hurt, and it will hurt more before it gets better. Our hearts will break in the this life, but as tough as that is, it is also a great blessing. We have know a love that changed us! We went outside ourselves and allowed ourselves to be vulnerable. There is one reality that we all share and that is that we will die, and those we love will as well.
My dear psychologist was talking to me about Jasmine this week. One of the things that he said to me, was that when our heart breaks, it only grows bigger as we heal. It is a tribute to all those who we have loved. If I shut down because I know Jasmines time is limited now, or when she dies, what kind of a testiment to love is that. I have to love Jasmine everyday, enjoy our time, so that when time comes, there are no regrets. When Marco, my parents, or people ask about Jasmine, I cannot shut down and ask them not to talk about it. Tears and pain will come, but that’s ok, and you will get through it.
When the time comes to say our earthly goodbyes, take comfort in what you meant to the one who has passed and what they meant to you. To live well, I truly believe that we must be able to die well. Both ourselves and those who we say good bye too.
Honour your pain, share it, and share what you had with the departed. That relationship and soul who has left the earth, they made a mark, and changed others.
I still dread the day that I have to say good bye, but in faith I trust she will be at peace with God, and that I will see her again. She will always be in my heart, and when I go on that first walk without her, she will still be with me.
Much love, Matt