I’ve heard that your pets stay with you until the part of you they came to heal is complete. That they leave you when you are ready to make space for something new. And then, because their souls were assigned to just you, they become your most powerful angels in the afterlife. I believe that, and while I hold such heaviness and grief in my heart, I am also able to simultaneously hold gratitude and curiosity and relief in my heart as well. While life feels so bone achingly meaningless, it also feels like it is overflowing with poignancy.
I’ve struggled with accepting loss my entire life. It’s not easy for anyone, but I am uniquely anxious about losing loved ones. So as I held my sweet Rhubarb and we locked eyes as she took her last breath, I was also looking into the eyes of my greatest fear.
There was beauty and there was terror. Simultaneously. In equal proportion.
I could not do anything to change anything. No amount of denial could change the fact that she had come to her end and the only question was how long was I willing to let her suffer. Which was not at all.
So I had to override myself. I had to face my fears. And in all the spaces where I grip tightly, I had to let go. Fully release to make space for grace and…space. I had to surrender.
The last days of Rhubarb’s life weren’t what I ever would have chosen for either of us. But they were what we got, and I trust that they were what we both needed.
I will miss my sassy, silly, crazy, slightly stupid sweet mess of a dog. She came to me during the darkest time of my life as such a force of light, and she left as the light illuminating the path forward.