Six weeks ago I had to do the hardest thing in all of my 56 years. I had to choose to let Buddy Miles go. I had to let go of him so he could shed his tired body, no matter how much it hurt me.
Yes, I’ve been divorced, yes, I have lost a parent to illness, yes, I have sent a kid off to college not knowing how the hell we’d pay for it, yes, I have had family members missing and found deceased, I even lost a home in financial ruin, and loss of my health with Fibromyalgia. I have come close to losing faith, and I surely cried when I had my miscarriage at the tender age of twenty-one. . . but none of these were my choices. Okay, perhaps the divorce, it was, after all, he or I, and that is a whole other can of worms. In the end, though, these are the cards dealt in the hand of Fate, the knots of the Norn, and those losses were not to be questioned nor taken lightly.
Loss and gain are only a matter of gathering experience. I say to those who have not lost, or gained, or simply are not awake to know about what I am even talking about–well, those are the folks who live in the shallows. Those who skim through life may appear to have it easy, but it’s a tragic waste not to feel these emotions they are experiencing…
Now, of course, I don’t wish everyone a bad day, a horrible year–but the most beautiful thing about loss is the feeling of knowing how important what you HAD was to you. The empty space that hovers long after the person/place/thing becomes no longer part of your life, and you FEEL. To feel is to be alive, and ALL the feelings make a full life.
But the day that I let go of my precious Mr. Buddy Miles was the worst day, because that day, I had to decide to let him go. He wasn’t taken, it wasn’t sudden, it wasn’t that he got lost. He was sick and he grew weaker every day. I had to choose to put him down.
Many of us have lost pets and I know those of you understand my grieving. I found it odd at the end of all of this, that the act of putting him down would be so hard. I put other animals down who were older–but Buddy should’ve been in the prime of his German Shepard life at only 7 or 8 years old (he was a rescue.)
Being a priestess I have traveled down some dark roads and risen to some glorious heights. I understand the Wheel of the Year, the ebbs and flows of life, but somehow, the loss of my dog was like an odd puzzle piece. I just couldn’t find a place to put it. The experience is different, the guilt is mine, and I miss that boy every day.
It’s the Autumn Equinox, a time of balance, the dark and the light. I wanted to go to a special place and honor the fairies, especially Queen Mab, and welcome her to her Season. I loaded all the paraphernalia into the car and as quickly as an instant, I went to call Buddy to “load up” to take this woodland journey with me. As fast as a flame is snuffed my heart sank with the realization that he could not join me.
Screw that, I thought. I went to an outside altar that I had created for Buddy’s memories and snatched up a crow’s feather from a bouquet I had gathered on the last walk I’d taken with my dog. In fact, it was a Thursday and he was perfectly fine. He was normal until the next Wednesday when he seemed ill. The next day I took him to the vet and they gave me the bad news.
So, anyway, I took the feather, the one that he gathered with me, and I took it to a special place that he had never been, but I had only found before he died and I’d hoped to take him for a swim one day… and that day never came. But the feather contained a bit of his spirit, and I set the feather by the water and I gently said good-bye. . . and the water twinkled and the breeze came up and I knew he loved this place as much as I knew he would.
And I set his spirit free. I loved that dog with my whole heart, tears stream now, thinking of him but knowing he is free from struggle, and knowing I’d done my best to release him, I can welcome the Equinox with a less heavy heart. I’ll be able to journey through Winter’s darkness and come spring, I’ll open up to admit fresh joy.
Blessed Be, Buddy Miles, you helped me feel all of the feels. Blessed Be!