I first wrote that line in an autobiographical short story for my creative writing class in college.
It was about a young man (me) I always called Richard David Lucas, standing by his grandmother's grave.
"Life is still and over for one I loved."
My professor thought it was 'trite'. But I believed it then and believe it now. At the time of death, there is a certain relief in knowing 'life is still and over' for one you loved.
Today that is true for me. Through all the pain and loss and grief, I know life is still and over for one I love.
BELA (2004-2018) Requiescant in pace dear Puli dog
He was the dog of our empty nest. Bern more than adored him. He was not a friendly or 'good' dog--but we loved him deeply.
And now life is still and over for him.
Yesterday he started jumping up and running, instead of sleeping most of the day, as he has done for several months. He would run from one end of our upstairs and back and back again and again. He also had trouble eating, mistaking his bowl for his food. He didn't sleep at all last night and today Bern looked up 'dog dementia' on line and discovered this was a late development. About 3 p.m. she agreed with me that he shouldn't have to live like this. Our vet gave us a 7:30 p.m. appointment and put him down (what a weird euphemism!)
Bern couldn't stay in the room but I did, along with Dr. Matz and her big-boy assistant. She sedated him, so he slept for the first time in a day and a half. Then she gave the injection in his vein that made life still and over for him.
(When I came upstairs after coming back from the vet's, I glanced at my computer screen, which, when at rest, runs through my photos. The photo I saw was Bela on a bed with our daughter, Mimi, using him as a pillow. He loved Mimi perhaps most of all.)
We have shed more tears today and tonight than I ever remember Bern and I sharing.
We will miss him so. 13 and 1/2 years is a lot of living.
The pain for the death of a pet is deep and sharp--but without all the complications of mourning a human since dogs simply love you and you simply love them. No 'unfinished business' with a dog.
And there is this: life is still and over for one I loved profoundly.
There is some peace and healing in knowing that.
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- Maundy Thursday
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