Discover more from the animal eats
No feeling is final
Learning to live at the edge of a cliff with a small, old, wonderful dog. And Rainer Maria Rilke, obviously.
Here it is: my heart is in an aching place and the last week has been a struggle. My sweet small perfect ancient dog has arrived, it seems, to a precipice.
I cannot keep her here forever, which I’ve always known. I’ve even tried to prepare for it, to fortify my heart against premature grief, to resist mourning what I have not yet lost. What’s the use? It’s coming either way. Why rush out to greet it?
And yet here we are, and I am not ready. I don’t feel big enough to hold the impossible truths:
I do not want her to go.
I do not want her to suffer.
Which puts us here, in limbo, teetering at a cliff’s edge, waiting every day to see what she’ll tell me. Doc says it’s not yet time to let her have a cheeseburger, which gives me hope, which feels like folly. Doc also says there’s little else to do but give her what comfort we can while we can, and just look out for the signs. I think I’m looking too hard.
I am living at the edge of my skin, watching and waiting for what waits for no one, but is always coming. Vigilance is hell on the human animal. Looking for calamity around every corner. Living on your toes instead of in them. It keeps you from staying present.
I don’t want to spend these final days or weeks or months afraid.
I want to love what I have while I have her.
I’ll keep trying. I’ll keep trying. I will try to stay with her as long as she’s willing to stay. I will try to be un-selfish when she’s ready to go. I will try to stop crying but if I cannot stop crying I will try to be kind to myself about it. And I will try to be as good a friend to me as my small perfect ancient sweet lovely friend Mimsy has been. I will try to let everything happen exactly as it’s going to and as it must, and god help me, I will try to know when it’s exactly the right time to get her that cheeseburger.