Life Is Still Out There
I don't know why, but today was one of the hardest days yet for me. Just after things seemed to improve a little bit every day even though I have been feeling the huge cloud of grief, I thought things were off to a great start. I was up early, did the usual two mile walk, came back for breakfast and settled into the routine of the Sunday paper and corresponding with friends on email.It was already in my plans to head out to Golden Gate Park on this glorious, clear spring day. Just as I finished the paper and was getting ready to go, my instincts told me that I should be saying, "Come on, Bow, let's go on an adventure." The silence in the house was one I was anxious to leave behind.Being in the San Francisco Botanical Gardens for the first time since the March rains helped a bit. I don't know if it cheered me as much as reminded me that there is still so much life out there. At times, I had a thought of "If only Bow were here to enjoy this." But then a morbid but realistic part of me thought of what it would be like had we not gone through with the procedure on Wednesday. If Bow had even survived until today, being here would be absolute agony for her. She would not have been able to enjoy the sun, the flower. She would not be able to chase the birds. She would have, at best, limped along, hanging her head in pain as the sun made it blindingly difficult for her to take each step. As I let this sobering thought settle in, I managed to clear my thoughts by just enjoying all the new life blooming around me. It was as if it was all there as a celebration of Bow's eight and a half years giving joy to our world. Even if my sinuses may be paying me back, I came away with more hope.
Over lunch two women sat at an outdoor table across from me with their charming female Boston terrier who sat patiently, sometimes begging intently and reminding me of Bow's familiar behaviors during dinner time. I could enjoy watching the love between the dog and her humans without jealousy or envy, just respecting that it was there. Something I have had and still have in my heart.
Afterward I bought a beautiful frame for one of my favorite photos of Bow that I plan to put up as a small memorial to her. I can actually look at it with comfort not tears. It will be another week or so before her ashes come back to me. There will be certain comfort in that, knowing that she has finally come home for her eternal rest. I can begin focusing on the joyful, funny moments we shared and think less of the last painful days. When the life left Bow's body, I knew that she was no longer there and walking away with me in my heart. But knowing that her remains will return home gives me something to look forward to in this process. It will be a benchmark in the long road of healing.