Dying like a dog
I spot her across the park walking with the deliberate care of the very old. Each step is an accomplishment and also a finale. I am witnessing her last, slow waltz with the colours, shapes and smells of this life. As she comes closer I can see how she has begun to say goodbye to her earthly form and is already maneuvering between obedience and loyalty and the call of the wild.
She and her human companion have been each others familiars for a decade. The sun rises today on their unbearable sadness and deep respect. The day that has been stored in a box and pushed to the back of a cupboard, hoping against reason and the relentless march of time that it will never have to be opened.
Both of them turn to look at me in that moment and their eyes mirror their hearts. One wild animal heart that has remained faithful for the love of a human and one human heart that is freeing the wild animal. They have never wearied of each other, these two companions, and I muse on the irony of human relationships.
The ritual of dying started in earnest some weeks before. The companions engaged in the wordless dance of letting go and preparing their own souls for the inevitable parting. These days have been reflective, poignant and graceful. Human soul and animal soul wending their way through the steps of an ancient and timeless final waltz.
It is a rare privilege to be a silent witness to their ritual. Each knows the shape of the others heart. I look and I wonder if human beings alone could find this expression of love. It is in that moment that I fear for our species and long to die as a dog.
Thank you Sasha.