Well, this is a week of things getting gone.
I gave my little furry pal, Midnight to some friends yesterday. I was sad to see her go, but she'll have a much better home - free of Stinking Dogbreath Infidels, at the very least. She's been a good companion to me, so I know she'll make these folks happy.
Harder still to let go of is my truck... my faithful Birddog. Sad, but true, I'm selling it at the end of this week. The good thing is that it's staying in the family, as John's nephew is buying it. It will also give me a much needed financial break for a couple of months at least. We've had a lot of good gypsy adventures, the ol' dawg n' me, plus all my memories of sitting in the passenger seat next to John. It's almost as difficult to imagine the truck being gone as it is John being gone. But, it had to be done, and I know it'll have a good home and better care than I've been able to afford.
Beyond that, my thoughts have been filled with memories of everything I was dealing with two years ago... of watching a good man being taken apart piece by piece and dying. It's been my lot in life to care for people who die too young, and while I'm grateful for the strength I have to be able to do that, I also loathe it. I mostly loathe it because these people were taken much too soon and I was helpless to do anything but lend some feeble comfort, care and a warm hand to hold. I'm now in a relationship with a guy who is the same age (54) as my Dad was when he died - a weird thought that seems bent on rolling around in my head. I've outlived three of my closest friends by 3-5 years, and I'm only 47. John was 46.
If it's all given me anything, it's that I don't fear death. I don't even fear the pain of being the one left behind to grieve. My only fear is that those I love might suffer, or that they might be taken before they're allowed to realize the full potential of their lives (or even what they perceive as their full potential).
So, I watch the Spring leaves unfurl in their rebirth, and think of death. It's not morbid thinking of death, more of a curiosity. More of a contemplation of the impact that other's deaths have had in my life and how that has formed who I am. Sure, I have some abandonment issues, but I've been proud and honored to be any part of their journeys. I've held the hands of some great people as they've left this earth. I've watched their agony turn to peace. I've felt the comfort of their phantom kisses upon my temple long after they're gone.
Saying goodbye to anything or anyone is never easy, but just as we can't linger in the cool shade of the forest, or spend long basking in a sunny meadow along our journey, neither can we afford to linger long over loss. There is living to be done. It's what we do to immortalize what is no more. We continue, and we must be intrepid.
"Don't just go on living. Live well. Promise me. Promise me that. You have to promise me that much. Promise me."