Yesterday I wanted a drink. No, not true. Yesterday I wanted a bottle of wine, the whole bottle. Drunk felt like a reasonable place to be.
I voiced that thought out loud then got on with the rest of my evening. I didn’t of course having a drink, that sentiment was merely the way my thoughts and feelings manifested themselves. And that’s fine because I know why and I also knew it was a reaction to pain and nothing would come of that thought.
Yesterday I took my beautiful dog, in her 13th year, to the vets who confirmed what I already knew. Her time with us is coming to a close. Yesterday my friend said that the cost of loving a dog is grief but it’s a cost worth bearing.
So yesterday my heart was hurting and physically my body was feeling off centred, out of balance and I felt spacey as a result. Hence the old fallback of wanting a drink.
As my dog’s health began declining significantly I’ve been praying and meditating daily, asking for guidance and help so I am able to be the best advocate possible for her. So I can ensure she has the best remaining life possible and I make the wisest choices for her well being on all levels and of course I asked for support and strength for me.
Today I realised I am daily given the help and guidance I was so desperately seeking. It’s there in the kindness of my friend, in the thoughtfulness of the vets approach to our appointment yesterday and I saw today my own strength in how I allow her to keep doing what she loves to do because she loves to do it. It’s there in my attitude, in the little things I do and decide for her and in the strong sense of belief in how I am handling things. It’s there in the Reiki sessions we share together. I am strong and I will make the right decisions because I walking in the light.
Strength to come’s from my dog herself. She has dealt with her declining health with acceptance, a gentle dignity and in the simple way she just gets on with living in whatever way she is able to. Her insistence in coming down to feed out – the lure of potential tidbits quite the incentive – is admirable given the increasing hardship in being able to. She hasn’t given up, she just gets on with it. Today I carried her some of the way back and was humbled by her delight in this adventure. Her tail still wags and she can still throw that dirty look of disapproval our way but she is growing ever so weary.
It is my final gift to her to see her through this last part of her journey matching her strength and spirit with my own. Her final trip will likely be planned next week and I will treat her to an ice cream and chocolate and I will pick a special spot on the farm for her final resting place where she can enjoy sunshine and shade and sunshine again.
My friend was right, grief is the price to pay for loving her but had I shied away from the grief I would never have had this incredible experience of loving her and being loved by her.
Had I still been drinking I would not be who I am right now, I would not be able to see her through this honouring her specialness, protecting her dignity, and nor would I see the beauty in the lessons for me to learn here. I would not be genuine in our Reiki sessions, alcohol impairs the ability to channel energy healing authentically.
Being sober for this does not take away the pain of it but it does allow me to connect deeper to this experience and be worthy of her faith in me. It does make it easier to do it right and with love and see that everything I do is for her, with her and about her. In that I will find comfort. This is not about me but alcohol would have allowed me to make it so.
In conclusion I honour my beautiful dog, loyal loving friend and I salute her.
Drinking to prevent us from feeling doesn’t work, it’s a total myth. Feeling is hard but it’s bloody worth it.
I will cry and my heart will shatter in the moment. But I salute me to because I am alcohol free for this and in being so I am the best thing possible to both of us.
With much love