It is a picture perfect fall day here in the Pacific Northwest. The sun is shining. The leaves are just starting to turn and the air has that wonderful little nip to it. Over the past several months I have turned into a “destination” walker which means I am usually on my way to an appointment or errand during my morning stroll. This morning it was a visit to the chiropractor. I realized as I walked that I have been avoiding my camera lately—ever since I requested and received Photoshop Elements for my birthday.
This morning, however, I decided to push past my hesitancy and take some photos with the hope of spending time immersed in learning at least how to crop and tune my photos up a bit. Alas, the camera rebelled and the battery died in the midst of the very first photo. So, I was left with only my photographic memory to capture the details of the day.
On my return home, I found myself walking through the park behind an older gentlemen and his golden retriever. I picked up the pace to catch up with them, because I cannot bypass the opportunity to receive a little “golden” love since the death of Curry. My selfish tendencies were in high gear and this was all about me getting what I needed this morning.
I politely asked if I could love on his dog for a minute and then felt like I had come face to face with the reincarnation of my old sweet guy. “He’s thirteen,” the owner announced. A lump in my throat, I confessed that we had just lost our 13-year-old golden. What ensued was a gentle and kind retelling of the last days and moments of Curry’s life. The owner asked me questions like “How did you know when it was time?” “Was it peaceful?” “Did he suffer?” Somewhere in the conversation, I realized that this moment was not just for me. Liberty’s (the dog) owner was entering his own process of letting go and had needed some reassurance that they would get through it. I am so grateful I was there to be that reassurance.
Much of this meeting reminds me of my recent post, “life cycles.” There was something in this encounter that spoke deeply of emptying and filling. I have not decided yet how the process transpired. Who was filled and who was emptied? Does it even matter? What I do know is that I followed my heart seeking what I needed in the moment to help me with my own grieving process and in the midst I met another person who had his own sorrow to share. Oddly, both of us walked away comforted. I will remember Liberty and his owner for quite some time. At first site Liberty appeared to be the ghost of Curry, but now I am pretty sure he was an angel. Dang, I wish I had my camera! ☺