Yesterday, on the morning of my birthday, I had to put my four-year-old beagle-mix, Gracie Lou, to sleep. She had been battling congestive heart failure for a year and began to have seizures during the last week. Her heart was beginning to fail and I knew it was time to send her up to that golden doghouse in the sky.
This was Gracie a few days after I got her, in February of 2008. One of my best friends and I were driving home from college one cold afternoon and we nearly wrecked when this old lady slammed on her brakes! (Which is weird because my parents live in the middle of nowhere and no one drives on that one-car-lane road…) We stopped and saw a little puppy, chasing a butterfly in dead weeds. I knew she was instantly mine…
She gave us all she could these four years; love, playfulness, a warm disposition, her infamous bark (which always sounded like she was saying her name—“LULU!”), and friendship are just a few gifts my sweet puppy gave to me. And I will miss her every day now that she is gone.
I am reminded of a quote, though, and it gets me through the sorrow I feel right now. Emerson once said, “Sleep is not, Death is not; [those] Who seem to die…live.” I’ll always remember her as this sweet, precious baby that stole my heart, chasing that butterly, all those years ago.
When life is built around love, it can outlast death, because death is not the end.
When someone you love dies, it’s only temporary. No separation is permanent. Just, right now, there’s no cell phone service. That’s all.
(Dedicated to my good friend, Vanessa, who has helped me in learning this important lesson.)
The best way to show one’s condolences is to bring the gift of warm food. Family and friends always appreciate it.
This entry is especially dedicated to the friends and family who have shown support in my time of grief during the passing of my grandfather. He was much loved and will be missed.