Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thank You

It has been quite a while since I have been able to collect my thoughts and muster the motivation to return to this blog. First and foremost, Dad and I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers, and their kind words of sympathies and condolences. You can't begin to realize how much comfort you provided us. We were awestruck by the outpouring of sincerity from so many people we have encountered through this medium, and many we never even knew. Thank you so much.

It has been a difficult and painful time without Mom here, especially for Dad. I miss her very much too, but I know her spirit is with us because I can feel her presence wherever I go. There are times when Dad senses her spirit also, but they aren't as frequent and acute as my feelings. Humans may be analytical and intelligent, but dogs are perceptive. Dad tries very hard to be brave, but in private he has his moments of bitter sorrow. I don't feel like I am betraying his confidence by admitting this to anyone either. How do you even begin to know what normal is, when the person who was the center of your universe is taken from you so soon?

I do my best to try to comfort Dad, and to keep him busy. It isn't very easy though. I can make him laugh sometimes, but the laughter we share is often fleeting and shallow. Maybe it's just too tall an order for a Golden Retriever to try and compensate for the love and joy that Mom gave to everyone around her. I know how much Dad appreciates my efforts though, and I will continue to lavish my love and affection on him. God knows, he needs it.

I wish I could say that I will write more frequently, but I can't make that guarantee. I will promise you, however, that I will try my best. One thing that I have learned from being with Dad is that grief is a non-linear process. It advances and recedes like the tides. Just when you think you are making a little progress, it will strike, either by an event, or a thought, or even at times for no discernible reason, and it will set you back again. It is a reminder - that lives in the shadows - of all that you have lost.

Dad and I would like to thank everyone once again for being so supportive in our time of need. You have all been incredibly kind. And then there have been those who have and continue to be truly outstanding. In no particular order, we especially wish to thank Dad's cousins Paul and Gladys, and Rosalie and Jimmy, who were with us in our time of greatest suffering and need. To my friend and sitter, Karen, and her friend Kendra, and Mom's cubicle buddy, Amy, who successfully raised thousands of dollars for breast cancer research and walked 26.2 miles on Mom's behalf in the Avon Walk for the Cure, you ladies are amazing. To Sue and all of her incredible friends from the San Diego Golden Retriever Meet Up, who sent us so many cards and beautiful notes of sympathy and kindness. Dad and I sat on the bed and read each card and every note in them. Dad was deeply touched not simply by the thoughtfulness, but mostly by the love you showed for Mom. We also would like to thank Annemarie and Leila for the love and support they gave to Mom throughout her battle with this horrible disease. Lastly, we would like to thank Chaplain McGillicudy whose spiritual and emotional counsel has been a source of great comfort and support for Dad.

The outpouring of love and kindness that we have experienced from so many people has been humbling and so much appreciated. But it is equally a reflection and testament of the love and gracious spirit that Mom so freely shared. Mom taught us the most important lesson of life - there truly is a circle of love.

The world is too big to never ask why
The answers don’t fall straight out of the sky
I’m fighting to live and feel alive
But I can’t feel a thing without you by my side
Send me out a lifeline

- Mat Kearney