If I had a blog, today I would write about grief.
Life is hard, often too hard. Losing a loved one to death is the hardest test we face. It is the price we pay for being human, and sometimes that price is too high. On October 20, we lost our border collie, Owain. Owain had shared our life for almost fourteen years and he was family. Owain’s intellect, his zest for life, and his boundless love made him as “human” as a dog can be. Owain not only shared our home, he was our partner in every moment of our lives. Whether we were working sheep, herding cows, playing at the river, or watching television, Owain was there – all day, every day for thirteen-and-a-half years. And now he is gone. My mind can’t seem to wrap itself around the fact that his absence is permanent; that until I make The Crossing myself, I will have to live without my most beloved friend.
Since Owain died, I feel as though I am afloat in an dark and perilous sea. I am overwhelmed by endless waves of emotion that send me down into darkness; a darkness where I can’t breathe, can’t see, can’t tell which way is up and which way is down. At first I thought i could keep myself atop the waves, but strength died with hope and now I just let the sea do with me as it will. If I was a selfish person, I would simply breathe in the icy flow and become bones on the sea-floor, but there are people and animals who depend on me, so I will do my best to keep my head above water until my rescue comes.
Today I found a glimmer of hope, a fleeting glimpse of the beams from a distant lighthouse; today, instead of talking to God, I talked to Owain. I told him how bereft I was, how sad and lonely and unbearable my life had become. I told him I didn’t know if I wanted to go on without his shining face to greet me and his boundless love to guide me. In the silence that followed my catharsis, I felt him. I felt Owain’s presence within me, filling a corner of the empty space his passing left behind and I considered the possibility my life might go on.
Though I am still at the mercy of the Ocean of Grief, there are moments when I feel hope; hope that one day I will see a shoreline and the high hill on which my lighthouse stands. Someday the waves of emotion will lap at my ankles, unable to pull me out to sea. Someday The Spirit of Owain will fill the hollow cavern in my heart and I will begin to live with joy again. Someday.
Until then, I will keep talking to my Mr. True, keep remembering the beauty he brought into my life and years of bliss we shared. Those memories will be my guiding light, the beam of hope that steers me through the reefs and back to safer shores.