My last post ended up being more prophetic than I would have hoped because Maisy, my Yorkie, died the same day I wrote it. It has been three weeks now since she left me. I am out of the fog of grief that surrounds you and threatens to swallow you up when you lose something or someone you love. It feels like it will be permanent, the knot in your stomach and the tears, but you know from experience that your grief will morph into a more sustainable state of mind. There is still loss, of course, and it will always be a loss, but it is less acute and less aching.
I wonder why we all take such a chance with our hearts. For the most part, we all know we will probably outlive our pets. My dog was 8 when I got her so I already knew I had lost precious years with her. Still, I chose the trade-off I knew would come someday: her devotion to me and my pain when she left me. I was a first-time dog owner but I had seen the same 'deal' made by friends and family with their animals. The incredible joy that an animal brings to your life and the immense grief when they are gone from it.
If you are reading this and you don't have a pet, you might think the reactions are inappropriate in a world where so much grief over weightier matters is experienced every day. And it is true that every day human life is lost to war, pandemic, violence, leaving in its wake grief-filled, heart-broken people. I am not quantifying grief in any way because what I know, and believe, is that heartache is a human condition and unique to everyone who experiences it. In our humanity, we share many things in common and grief is one of those commonalities. Wherever it originates, we all experience the pain, aching, and sadness that become our companions as we live life.
I share this with you because I know, if you have lived any time at all, you understand how I am feeling. You may be in the same place as I am now, or you may have moved to a more peaceful understanding. Our grief sometimes unites us, but for sure, it builds an understanding of what the human experience shares. We take chances when we love and grief is a price we may eventually pay. It doesn't make us stop loving though; that, is what I consider the great mystery and hope of humanity.