imageIn the spirit of writing about whatever is going on in my world, it is inevitable that this week my musings are about Archie. Archie was our 12 year old Welch Corgi who on Thursday made his journey across the Rainbow Bridge. Off to new adventures with his brother Chance whose been gone for almost three years.

I know that many who read this newsletter are familiar with the sorrow of loosing a four-legged, furry family member. How much they are a part of our families. And the vacancy their departure leaves in our hearts and homes.

What I have really noticed these past few days is how much I cherish the grief. Grief of course is not a single emotion. It includes many emotions and phases. And each one can be repeated multiple times.., depending upon the circumstances. I was a support group facilitator for a ‘grief and bereavement’ group for several years during the initial rise of the AIDS epidemic. So I know this emotional ride well.

I am reminded once again what an honor it is to experience a loss through death.

In the stillness and quiet, I am reminded of the joy, love, playfulness and loyalty that Archie brought to our home. It is apparent how many daily routines are in a state of disruption and realignment. I wonder how long it will take to break the expectation that he is waiting at the door each time we return home.

I loved who he became as a senior dog. He was slower for sure. At the same time, he was less needy for attention than he was as a younger dog. Instead it felt like he simply cherished being near you. He loved all of our houseguest. If they were open to it, he would sleep in their room at night. If not, right outside their door. Snoring.

My friend use to call him a “roaster”.., as he was a big boy! And he definitely had worked out a routine for maximizing treats. He knew what time of day he would get one from me… But he also knew how to work his grandma next door for them. If one of us was cooking in the kitchen… Archie was there. Usually in the heart of the traffic pattern. So yes, we would have to step over him.

He loved kids and small children. He was the kind of gentle spirit that even the ones who had a fear of dogs, would warm up to. When the teenagers and adults played in the pool… Archie was always near by. Obnoxiously so at times. He definitely wanted to be in the middle of all the activity.

So I miss him. I find myself smiling at a fond memory. I find my eyes tearing up just as quickly. I know that soon, I will need to pickup his water and food dish and put them away. But right now, that feels too final. I am slowly adjusting. It will all be fine. But for now, I want to remain present and experience these emotional ups and downs. I love being reminded of what a blessing it was to have him in our lives for 12 years. I love that he mattered and that we mattered to him.

And it is just not the same around here.

With Light, Love, and Laughter
Charles

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