“If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.”
In the past two weeks I haven’t done very much. I haven’t written a blog. I haven’t been to a yoga class. I haven’t walked through the bogs or watched What Not to Wear or called my mother, all tactics usually guaranteed to lift my spirits. Most important, in this my self-proclaimed Year of Giving, I haven’t given away a single thing.
This. Is. Resistance.
Resistance happens when the flow of your life is dammed by your own obstacles, your own obtuseness, and/or your own obstinacy. But, you say, I had a good reason for not being here, not going there, not doing this or achieving that. There’s always a good reason.
And I had a very good reason. Indeed, I had lots of good reasons, all of which amounted to this: I was sitting alone in my too-quiet house with no job and a dying dog feeling very sorry for myself.
Shakespeare has been my dearest companion since we adopted him in Las Vegas 13 years ago. A big, shaggy black mutt of sweet and even temperament, he’d been abandoned by his previous owners. Nameless and homeless and ageless, he was a grand dog who deserved a grand name—so I called him Shakespeare and took him home as an early Christmas present for me and Mikey. We fell in love with him, and he with us. Everyone loved Shakespeare, he was easy to love.
But ultimately he was my dog. Perhaps because he remembered that I saved him, and he thought it was his turn to save me. And he did save me—over and over again. Shakespeare saw me through lay-offs and break-ups and cross-country moves. He led me on long walks when, blinded by endless tears during my divorce, I took my grief outside where Mikey couldn’t see. He served as my sentry, positioning himself by my bedroom door for his watch every night. He curled up at my feet when I collapsed on the couch after work, too tired to move. And one evening when I fell asleep after putting the kettle on, thereby setting the kitchen on fire, it was Shakespeare who roused me just in time.
Such Sweet Sorrow
So there I was, sitting alone in my house feeling sorry for my poor self, with no job and a dying dog. Dr. B said that Shakespeare had cancer, but given his advanced age, surgery and chemo really weren’t options. He gave us meds to make our ailing dog more comfortable, and sent us home.
For a few weeks, Shakespeare seemed to rally. But then he took a sudden turn for worse. He couldn’t walk, he wouldn’t eat, he cried in his sleep. He was failing—fast. I sat by him, day after day, praising and petting him, as he slipped into the next world.
Resistance was futile. Shakespeare died. And I gave myself the time to mourn.