“Pulvis et umbra sumus.”
~We are but dust and shadow~
It’s as if she’s still here.
But, she’s gone.
Life is fleeting, along with everything in it. All that we cherish. All that we love. All that we hate, and all that we may take too serious, or at times take for granted, is finite.
It all falls away. It all dissolves. It is all, one day, spread out as dust among the world. As what was once visible will become invisible. And what was once mighty will one day be no mightier than a tuft of down.
We are all but dust. From dust we came and to dust we shall return.
This is a somber lesson that we all must come to learn and accept, that all we care for is not in vain, but cared for because it is part of us, part of our lives, part of our hearts. And that in caring for it, we must accept our inevitable loss that will one day consume our emotions and cause us pain.
As we cling, we cause our own grief. But some things are truly difficult to let go of.
Our loved ones, our pets, even the idea of our lives are part of what makes us. This is our world, and these are the things and people that make it a joy to live.
As we all are born, so shall we all die. And we never know the hour nor the moment that this will come upon us.
And, this is good.
Nevertheless, losing a loved one causes a disturbance within us. As the root of word emotion, is “to disturb.” This is aptly put, and rightfully felt by all who care for another soul.
In caring, we must also welcome mourning.
We lost our family pet Tuesday morning. The most friendly and paranoid dog you’d ever meet. If she liked you, you knew it. If she didn’t, you’d certainly hear about it.
Nevertheless, she’s now gone. Yet all her things still remain, and it is as though she is still here.
Her blankets and toys, the marks of her fur and the empty spot that she once occupied for hours at a time are still here. Only she is not. But it is the empty routine that stings us all.
No more rushing home to take her out. No flapping of the ears early in the morning. No more greetings at the door, no shrill of barking when a knock sounds. And no more eyes staring, hypnotizing you for a go at your fries.
She gave us all ten solid years of happiness. And she remembered all of her family, no matter how long we’d spend away when we’d finally come home, there she’d be wagging the happiest greeting that anyone could receive.
We all saw her grow from a curious happy pup to the lazy yet still very happily loved dog that we all could count on. And now, we bid her farewell one last time.
But her empty space still remains. It has become an emptiness within our hearts. A reminder of how entwined our lives really were.
This is part of love, part of life.
It is not tragic to love. No matter what you love, no tragedy exists within love. Whether this is a pet, a person, a place or a passion. Love pervades all things.
And in loss, we can be comforted by the love that we shared. No matter what it was for.
We should all remember we cannot know the hour, or the moment when our loves will be lost, when the finite comes calling. Each moment is precious, and in valuing and being present in this truth we may transcend our limits and become infinite,
If only for a moment.
And as this moment passes, as life continues its fleeting dance, we will all live on, as we must all remain..
But, only as dust.
November 2008 ~ January 2019
Rest in Peace Ellie..
You will be missed.