Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Letting Go...

We had to say good-bye to our Siberian husky, Dasha, yesterday. A tumor took up residence in her brain, and the cost to her was too high. She was too noble a creature, too loving of life, to have her days stolen the way they were. 

So we made the hard choice. Held her as the vet performed the horrid act that would set her free. It was the right and best thing to do for her. But how deep the void she has left!

I've struggled with expressing the tumble of emotions roiling through me. This "wordsmith" couldn't find a single syllable to embody the mix of loss and peace, sorrow and relief--relief not for me, but for my sweet Dasha. And then this morning, my husband shows me this note he wrote after we came home from the vet. It's simply beautiful. 

So this is for all who have suffered loss, who have had to make hard decisions and hated the fact that it was necessary. Who know they've done what is right, though that doesn't take away the pain. 

And it's for Dasha, who brought us such joy.
Her life lasted less than 4 years, but oh! How she lived every moment of that time! 

May I face each day with such jubilance. 

From Don...

I have been standing at the edge of a cliff for a very long time. It's a beautiful and desolate place. The view is spectacular. The hues and colors take my breath away. It's painfully beautiful and dangerous standing here looking out over the rim, the balls of my feet on the very edge of forever.
Would the colors be as vibrant, or the air as sweet, if there were a railing in front of me and a pass in my pocket? 

I know my future. I has a purpose blessed by the Creator. Yet I grow tired. I long for a hand on my shoulder that gently turns me and lets me know with certainty that I can rest.

I long for a time I have no memory of.  I long for a time when I was innocent and could have played as a young child.

What is it like to not feel old?  Is it possible to go back and play like a kitten with a ball of string?  Or to fall asleep exhausted from simply being me? The thought makes me weep. I do not know if I weep with anticipation or mourning. But to weep is to be alive.

And to be alive is to feel and to think.

And to think is to decide.

And so...I decide. I choose today with all it brings and tomorrow with all its promise...

Sleep well.

And farewell, Dasha. We love you.


Maureen Lang said...

Oh, Karen, Dasha's beautiful! I'm so glad you have such a lovely visual to remember her. It's so much better to have had even a short time with Dasha than not to have had her at all. You're in my prayers, that the peace of knowing she's not in pain will help get you through this time.

Ronie Kendig said...

*tears* She will be missed--I know that sounds crazy, but I LOVED hearing about her on your pages. Thank you for sharing her with us, Karen. Sending love, hugs, and prayers.

Stephanie Whitson said...

What a stunning dog. What a joy to have been her person ... even for a little while. God's comfort to you both.

Patricia Hickman said...

"Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love...they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog; it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs, your heart is very big."
Erica Jong

Dasha came into your life and left your heart bigger, your grace deeper. hugs,Patty

Miralee Ferrell said...

I've been praying for you and Don, Karen. Animals are such a deep part of the fabric of our lives and hold such a special place. Warm hugs to you both.

Debbi said...

Oh, Karen, I know what you feel. I walked the same journey with my beloved rottweiler Ute (oota). A perfect creature, but I couldn't let her take that final step alone. Even these ten years later, I tear up remembering. I will tell you that she was surrounded by love and soothing words as she slipped from this earth. I KNOW that walk. Sharing Dasha's passing with her was not easy, but it is a testament to your love and bond. I salute you.

Jo Huddleston said...

Karen, you wrote a beautiful tribute to Dasha. I wept as I read, remembering our same experience at the Vet's with our Monica several years ago. But as Don wrote, to weep is to be alive. I weep, am alive, and pray that your loneliness will lessen as the days pass.

Pam Halter said...

Just saw this, Karen. It makes me remember when we buried my Smokey cat in our back yard almost 16 years ago ... I was kneeling at the gravesite, wailing and weeping, and I asked my husband, "Why do we do this? We get a pet, we love it and it dies and we grieve and THEN WE GET ANOTHER PET!!"

His response was so wise. He said, "God gave us dominion over the animals. I believe that means taking care of pets or supporting causes. There's something within all of us that needs to take care of animals in some way."

Thank you for taking care of Dasha.

And I hope this isn't too weird ... but the word I had to type in to post this comment was "Mista." Sounds like a good name for your next doggy. :)

Tammy Bowers said...

I am so so sorry. Dogs are full members of the family. I lost my cocker spaniel 6 months ago to liver disease and I miss her everyday.

Blessings and comfort to you.

Proverbs 12-10

Jennifer Harrison, APR said...

Such a beautiful dog and loyal companion, Karen. I am sure she thought the same of you and Don. My sympathies on your loss.
Jennifer Harrison

halee said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I actually just lost my kitty one month ago. She was only 4 and died suddenly. It hurts more than it seems like it should. I'm finally past the point where I spontaneously burst into tears, but I'll miss her for a while, just as you miss Dasha. We are so blessed to have had such sweet and amazing pets in our lives.

Karen B. said...

It's remarkable, isn't it, how much these animals add to our lives? They're a real gift. And as much as we miss those who leave us, God has given us an endless supply of love for those waiting to be part of our lives.

We've started visiting shelters and the humane society, seeking the doggie that will speak to my heart. Can't wait to see who the new member of the family will be.

halee said...

It is a beautiful thought - to be able to open your heart to a new little friend. I think about how good we made our kitty's life and being able to do that for another kitty who is waiting for us in some shelter.. it definitely warms my heart.