Death is such a thing.
We took our angel Lucy to the vet today. After nine miraculous months of extra life, tail wagging, and smiles, it finally became too uncomfortable for her and we helped her leave her beautiful little body.
I’d never done this before.
Lucy was my wife’s dog when Annie and I met, seven years ago. She is an integral part of our story, of our life and of us. She shared with us everything we did, from sailing, to traveling, to spending time watching television in bed (find out more in Lucy’s last blog post, “The Last Cookie.”) When it became obvious that her malfunctioning kidneys were making her too miserable, we had to make that choice.
I kept thinking, “Okay, I (we) now make this choice, and this being, as I know her now, will be gone.” I (we) have the responsibility of stopping her earthly life. This angel that makes our life so beautiful and full of life and laughter, will stop because of a decision we make. This thought filled my heart with pain, even if I rationally understand that it’s better for Lucy. Who prefers pain, for ourselves or others, right?
For me the trickiest part is that I know what she’s got here, but I don’t really know what she’ll get, as a result of my (our) choice. What bothers me isn’t death. I became acquainted with death very early on in my life and accepted it as life itself.
What bothers me is the fact that we don’t really know what’s what. All we can do is live our entire life as an act of pure faith. Even agnostics live on faith, the faith in their belief that nothing else exists other than the material world and what we can intellectually comprehend. But they too don’t really know. They can only have faith in their belief.
For this reason (that we all exist on faith) I believe life is holy and we are all heroes.
I believe that there’s an energy place where our spirits, our souls exist above and beyond our bodies. This energy place is the source and the destination of all life as we know it and life as we don’t know it. I also believe that we can experience that energy field. But that’s the best I can do, believe. I don’t know.
When I was looking at our angel Lucy today I felt she was my hero because she was going to experience that transition by herself. Annie and I were there with her. We enveloped her with our love. But she was going to experience her transition by herself. And the feeling of her solitude in that moment wringed my heart and tears wouldn’t stop running. (The only thing more painful than that is to see my wife in pain.)
Annie was singing and talking to her, I kept telling her, “I love you, puppy,” as the solution mixed in her blood. I kept looking into her eyes, until the vet felt her heart and said, “She’s passed.”
I was so confused. Her body was still warm, her eyes still open. I put my hand on her and felt her stillness. I wasn’t sure what had happened, because nothing significant had happened, compared to the magnitude of what I was feeling in my heart.
So I kept holding my hand on her body, in disbelief. I didn’t feel that she had left.
Annie and I went home where Lucy is everywhere in the silence that surrounds us. Her absence is deafening.
Luckily we are okay feeling everything that we have to feel, because we know that this makes our hearts bigger, ready for more love.
Until, at a specific moment I felt something very clear in my heart. Like something went off and these words formed in my mind, “She left” (her body), and I felt joy. Even if for a moment, I felt happiness. And if I don’t think of how much I miss her, I can feel that joy.
As I write these words everything feels unreal. I feel lucky for having had Lucy in my life. It’s another thing I’m grateful and thankful to Annie.
The pure love and pure life that our angel brought to us is a privilege that stays with us forever.
Thank you Lucy. I love you, puppy, our angel.