Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Birth. Love. Death.

It was my birthday today. I had a pleasant day with phone calls from friends and family, a glass or two of scotch shared with Else, a bathroom renovation finally finished, a tasty seafood pasta dinner, a leisurely evening walk with my dogs.

And I thank my mother for birthing me, my mom and dad for loving me and raising me, my siblings for teaching me about peer relationships – yes, even my bratty brother for helping me to tolerate teasing! And, of course, my critters for loving me and walking with me in my retirement years.

And as I breathe deeply and cherish my family and friends and the many wonderful animals with whom I have shared my life, I also learn of the passing of a 17 year old sheltie who spent his last three years with my online friend, Connie. He passed peacefully in his bed, from sleep to coma to the Rainbow Bridge, his time on earth well spent, his earthly body worn out. It is the type of death I wish for my dogs, when their time comes, and for all whom I love. It is the type of death I would wish for myself.

People have often asked me how I can adopt seniors knowing they will be with me for only a few years, or how I could foster palliative dogs like Isaac, or how I could bear to say goodbye to my precious Caleb whom cancer took at only five or six.

It is the cycle of life. Some are born, some die. In between they are loved. At least, my wish for them is that they be loved in the time between their birth and their death. And at some point we say goodbye. Some times they live a very long time, sometimes not so long, but the end of earthly life will always come eventually. There are more souls waiting round the corner to be born, to be adopted, to be loved. It is not that the lives of those who pass are undervalued, but that they are so very valued, so very rich in the lessons they pass on to those blessed to know and love them, that we who continue life on earth can continue also to love.

We are born, if we are among the fortunate we are loved, and eventually we die. It is what life is about.

Thanks mom, for giving me life.
Thanks Connie, for loving Good Guy.
Thanks to all my friends who are currently caring for palliative or senior critters or humans.

We do what we are born to do – love. And when we die, our friends and family grieve even while their hearts are full of love for others. That is what the cycle of life is about. Birth, love, death, love, birth, love, death, love. Sunrise to sunset, with laughter between. Can there be a more wonderful celebration, a more blessed cycle in nature?


Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Birthday Jean - your post was very poignant, touching on the aspects of life including birth and the very sad passing of your friends Sheltie. It made me shed a tear to hear of her loss. I am so glad you had a nice relaxing day and hope that you got extra nose kisses and loves from "the kids". I'm sending you a birthday hug and Possum includes a nose kiss of his own. :o)

xo Katherine and Possum

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday a day late, Jean!

It sounds like you had a good day.....my wish for you for the coming year is good health - for both you and all your 4 leggeds!

RIP "Good Guy", you were loved.

Sharon & Crystal

Anonymous said...

Jean what a very moving entry to your blog.


Black Jack's Carol said...

A very late "Happy Birthday" to you, Jean. I've been out of touch for the entire first week of school, but hope to get caught up with my blogging friends this weekend. Yours was the first post I read today, and the link to Connie's, the second. While there's a lump in my throat, there is also appreciation for the beautifully expressed reminder to keep track of what life is all about. A lot of fortunate critters have been, and continue to be, the beneficiary of your wisdom.

RIP Good Guy. I guess you had a few rough bumps along the way, but in the end, you struck gold.