Selfie with Diamond, Summer 2014

It’s Time.

The “Say Whaaat” Project #3

“It’s time.”

I don’t have to think very hard to figure out what this message is about. I look at my dog and I know, while fighting the acknowledgment, that she has had it. That her life is winding down and she is ready to let go. Or, more accurately, have me let her go. All I’m doing now is treading the demarkation line between life and mere existence.

“It’s time.”

I wake up hearing the words. And I whisper them into the morning light, trying them out, testing them and waiting for someone to say, No, no, not yet. But no one does. There is no responsive reading on this one.

The words are an instruction. They are a permission slip, too — to do it. To play god — ugh, not a role anyone relishes when it matters.

Very soon, I will say to my vet, Yes, it’s time.

I’ve decided to do this alone rather than ask my sister or a friend to come with me. Diamond is a one-(wo)man dog. She has never liked to divide her attention and, luckily for me, I’ve been the epicenter of her universe for a long time now.

(It wasn’t always this way. I had to earn her trust. I had to convince her not to try to run back to her breeders’ house in Saugus, MA — not that she could have ever found it — everytime we went out for walk. But once convinced, Diamond has been steadfast and single-minded in her devotion and loyalty.)

I’ll put my arms around her and kiss her for the last time. I’ll bury my face in that soft fur and breathe deeply, taking in her doggie smell just one last time. I’ll thank her for nine amazing years together, for being my best friend, for getting me through a ton of shit and for never ever ever failing to give the bestest, most unconditional love anyone could ever dream of experiencing.

Then I’ll look her straight in the eyes and say, “Okay. We’re ready.” And the process will begin.

I’ll make sure it’s my face she sees as her beautiful brown eyes blink, then close. I will hold her even when her huge, loving heart ceases to beat.

Then, I will weep.

And begin that long, lonely process known as grief and mourning. Because, of course, that is what lies at the heart of the message, “It’s time”.

When we’re younger and we have less experience with loss (if we’re lucky enough to lead lives where the natural order of things prevails), we believe that time heals all and one day we’ll wake up and the heart will be fully healed. We will be “over it”.

Having now experienced a lot of loss in my life — my father, my mother, several friends, two beloved mentors, several beloved dogs (the loves of my life) — I understand grief differently. It fades but does not disappear.

The message “It’s time” is the universe’s way of reminding us of the natural order. Of the fact that death is as much a part of the plan as all of the other things we count on happening during our lives. There’s something reassuring when we see it that way, at least to me.

Grief nearly kills us, but then it doesn’t. And in the aftermath, our hearts are bruised and made more tender.

I believe that’s the quid pro quo.

If you like where this series is going, please Recommend the piece. And please come back next Sunday for more thoughts on intuition as insight ☺