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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Listening to the Heart

Today I found myself falling into a shadow of sadness. At first, I couldn't figure out why. I was enjoying a wonderful mountain bike ride with the Labraduo, with colorful flowers, fluttering butterflies, and singing birds all around us.

Every flower seemed to have a butterfly drinking its nectar. Why did that sight make me feel blue?

Then, I realized the reason. We are very close to the two year anniversary of K's death, and my heart was more aware of it than my mind. Indeed, when I looked at my post from exactly two years ago, I had photos of the same kind of butterfly perched on flowers.

But, that was a different kind of day than today. I was preparing myself to say goodbye to K. Indeed, the title of that day's post was "Let it be" - it was my way of trying to accept what was inevitable. And, most importantly, I was trying to tell K that it was okay to let go - that she didn't have to keep fighting for my sake - because I'd find my way after she was gone.

After I re-read that post, my heart literally hurt. If it weren't for cancer, K would still be alive - because she died at a young age. I miss her, and I'll never stop missing her.

Yet, I know that those who have died before us would want us to keep living, keep trying to be happy, and keep enjoying the days that we are given. My mother wanted that for me, when she died young so many years ago. And, I have no doubt that K would have found a way to be happy even if it had been me who died rather than her. Dogs seize the day and delight in each one.

Each of us has a finite number of days, and my approach is to always strive to be happy - so I don't waste my life wallowing in depths of despair. That doesn't mean that I don't get sad - like today - but it means that I try to find the good in today.

Last year, I used the strategy of taking a really fun field course on bear behavior in Minnesota close to this anniversary. I learned so much from observing wild bears... and it helped me with the anniversary.

I didn't do anything like that this year... and that's probably part of why I'm in a funk. Today has had many glorious parts, and I'll try to focus on those. The best part of all was spending time with the Labraduo. R and Shyla adore each other, and seeing that makes my heart sing.

As a side note, my hard drive crashed yesterday right after I posted to my blog. This is one of my first attempts to post from my iPad... so I couldn't include many photos and the formatting might be odd. If any of you has suggestions for posting from an iPad, I'd love to hear them! I'm using the Blogger App. Thanks for your understanding.


  1. Anniversaries do make us sad, but the memories help. We know K's with you on your mountain adventures.

    XXXOOO Bella Roxy & Dui

  2. Your photos are beautiful; surely taking them will help your heart to heal. Blessings to you.

  3. Hurray for iPads! The font is smaller, but it's still a great post. It made me sad, but in a rich sort of way --- the way I felt when I was nursing my mother when she was dying.

  4. Anniversaries are a time of sadness but also of celebration. It's so unfortunate that K's life was cut short - but look at the life you gave her while she was here! she was an incredibly lucky dog, that's for sure.

    Thinking of you and your pack.

  5. R and Shyla are so sweet together, I love photos of them.
    Sorry, but this post made my eyes water for you and for me as I lost my husband to cancer and it sucks!

    xo Linda & Cinnamon

  6. I know just how you feel. There are days when something deeply reminds me of Ellie and how she had to leave us far too soon. I miss her more rather than less as time goes by.

    Just as there will never be another K, there will never be another Ellie. You and I are kindred spirits in that way. I'm glad you have Shyla and I do wish I were ready to bring another dog into my life. But not yet.

    Meanwhile, I do enjoy your lovely sweet Shyla and your bears and lions and dear R.

  7. I couldn't tell that your post was any different than others until you mentioned that you used your iPad for it. I am not familiar with the Blogger app, but the Wordpress one isn't bad except that I find it nearly impossible to add pictures with it. I think the hardest part, really, though, is just getting used to doing it, if that makes sense!

    You know, we just passed the one year mark of losing Blueberry a couple of weeks ago, and I find myself really missing her, too. I think part of it for me is that I didn't really have time to prepare myself for it. When we took her in to the vet that day, I suspected we might get bad news, but I never dreamed that we'd be going home without her. Every one that we lose is a little different, but some feelings are universal, too.

    And I will reply to your email. I'm just currently not able to get into my Yahoo mail because of some problem they're having!

  8. Sad happens and I understand. You said it yourself though, dogs know how to sieze the day....I've learned so much from my animals over the years. Things that humans are supposed to teach each other dawned on me through my dogs eyes and actions. Cancer is taking too many of the good ones, animals and people....
    Sad to say, I know how you feel...

  9. Oh my goodness two years already. It feels like yesterday. It's still so hard for us. Keep taking in the love from your pups
    Lily & Edward

  10. The heart will always know. But your words have put it all so well. Beautiful photos as always. MOM always smiles real big when she sees the Duo together.

  11. I always try to focus on all the smiles my pups gave me, and not so much their leaving. I can't believe it has been nearly two years. She was beautiful.

    Monty and Harlow

  12. We don't even have an iPad so we can't help on that one.

    Sadness is a strange thing, hitting you out of the blue, sometimes for no obvious reason. But it is part of who we are, and if we stopped missing those we loved and who are no longer with us, that would be sadder still.

  13. I love that butterfly. And I hope you can remember all the good times with K, and get safely past this time.

  14. That butterfly is amazing. Yes, sadness and heartbreak has many triggers and we just never know when they will pop up.

  15. Has it really been two years? Wow. I'm sorry you are sad. If I allow myself to think about my Shadow - I feel a little sad too. That was such a hard time to get through because she was my heart-dog - I went through so many "firsts" while I had her so we shared a lot. I'm mostly at the point now where I can smile at the memories - but still, there are always those moments that creep up unexpectedly and the loss hits me anew.

  16. My mother died on August 4, 1974. It will be 40 years. I am 1 year older than she was when she died. Those sad feelings always sneak up on me this time of the year - out of the blue, often. I try to do some ritual, or something special on The Day. Some years, as I'm sure you know, are more difficult than others.

    Your post also makes me miss Gizmo, who also died young of osteo. He was only 6. What a goof he was! Like you, though, I have a new big goofball in my life who is different, but much the same -- at least in the goofball arena. We keep moving forward, enjoying each day as it comes.

  17. I think it's normal to feel sad about someone we love who is gone, but you are wise to try and focus on the good and the beauty that you have right now.

    Gentle hugs.

  18. Our mom is still wiping away the tears. K will be missed forever but you have such wonderful memories. We are so happy that R and Shyla adore each other!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  19. Yes, today is an anniversary day of sadness too.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  20. The scars those we have loved and lost never heal, it is the price we pay for loving. I lost both my first dogs too early (aged 8 and 6). Hardly a day goes by where I don't miss them. Thinking of you and hope moments of joy can be found during this difficult anniversary.

  21. What a fabulous butterfly photo - it must have posed for you.

  22. Kb
    We understand how your feeling...
    Anniversarys are hard to handle... for all of us,,, and we know all about feeling funky too.
    This post is so tender,,, and full of feeling- like they all are,, but this one is special.... and we understand how your heart is feeling.
    were sorry your computer crashed we do not know how to help--

  23. Is almost 2 years!! TIme is passing quickly.
    I miss all my dogs I had and dont want to Think about next time. Our dogs are fine but you never know and when the hunting season starts a lot can happen. We have nice area without Close roads and also GPS on them.


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