Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need of hell. ~Emily Dickinson
I have always loved that quote but never began to understand it until I began to lose loved ones and now it rings true in my mind and heart. After 11 years of nurturing and love I have to say goodbye to my best friend, Murphy.
The pain I feel right now is excrutiating and my heart is truly broken. That is the hell. However I would do it all over again, because his presence brought as close to heaven on earth as a human can know. By allowing me to love and care for him, Murphy became my teacher.
- He taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. He loved me whether I was blonde or brunette, overweight or thin, cranky or happy. If we as humans could see past the physical and the occassional grumpy personalities or adversity we would be a lot better off.
- I learned that his bladder and stomach didn't care if my depression is in a horrible downswing and I didn't want to get out of bed. He had to be walked, he had to be fed. Just keep the basics going, at least, and he was content to lie by my side and let me cry. Some days that's all you have to give and it's okay.
- Material items don't matter. Murphy was just as happy when we were younger living in a 585 sq. ft. apartment as he was in a house or in a condo. He didn't care how many toys he had or what the furniture looked liked. The important element was the company he kept. I will always remember that. Life's quality comes from who we share the experience with, not how much we acquired.
- There is always room for one more. When Murphy was one, we got a kitten, Murphy loved him like his own. When he was a bit older we added another kitten and he loved her just as much and played with her. He always shares his food with dog friends that come over and share his mom. I tend to be closed off and like my space to myself. He taught me to be open to having others around, the experience can be so much sweeter if you do.
I love you little man.