Thursday, March 19, 2009

For Rufus

Dear Rufus,

I hope you are happily traipsing around in a breezy, grassy knoll somewhere quiet with all of your other pals. I miss you, but I know you know that. Today is a year since we said good-bye and it's been a tough journey. I don't think I'll ever stop missing you or thinking of you.

But, I'm starting to get it. I know why you went. And as much as I'd give anything to have you back with me, I'm glad you went. Your departure created an opening for me and I am finally living in that space. So thank you, my friend - you were that through your last breath. I love you. If heaven really exists, then I guess we'll meet again sometime...Until then, you are in my heart forever.


April 1, 2008

Rufus was my support system. He was always there to love me – no questions asked; no conditions. Only love. As he showed the first signs of real decline this past Summer, I began to realize, even then, the significance of his exit from my life. I knew that I was coming through a major turning point in my life, emotionally and as a result, my relationships with people were shifting, as was my relationship to myself.

I knew that once this part of me was in place and more solid, he would move on. It was horrible to realize this because I had so much fear and confusion. Maybe I should stop growing. Maybe I should just stay where I’m at and hold onto him. Hold onto his love. Accept no one else’s and live happily ever after. I was torn because I knew I’d already turned a corner and going back wasn’t really an option and more importantly, deep down inside, I didn’t want to go back.

I wanted to be stronger, more self-sufficient. I wanted to be connected to my own power and come from that place daily. I started to feel the physical pull away from leaning on him as I cultivated my ability to stand on my own two feet, steadily and solidly. The irony is that his deterioration was due to arthritis. At its worst, I had to carry him up and down the stairs outside my apartment to relieve himself. He couldn’t stand up through an entire meal, which for anyone that knew Rufus, was just unbelievable as this dog would stand all night if it meant getting some more food.

As I started to stand taller and stronger, he started to tire. Maybe it was symbolic that he’d served his time and couldn’t hold me up any longer. Perhaps he was comfortable and at ease with the fact that he could take a rest and I could survive with grace and beauty. I’m sure he did. That was Rufus. He knew exactly what I needed when I needed it.

Today, two weeks later after his death, my legs are shaky and weak. Some days, I can’t even imagine taking another step without him in my life. My heart literally aches with pain as I wake up each day and remember that he’s no longer here. But I do it. I get up. I go to work. I visit with friends. I talk to my family. Slowly, I move forward. Perhaps his strength lies so deep within me now, that he’s helping me move forward. He’s carrying me outside and down the stairs to the subway – to work. I think I like the idea of that – though I’d give anything to have him right next to me lying at my feet while I sit at my computer.

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