Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Goodbye Marimba

The day we put Marimba to sleep, I woke up thinking about Tina, my dog, who missed her 16th birthday by two weeks. I rescued her at six weeks old, and she had been with me ever since. It was the first time I had been faced with making *that* kind of decision. I found it odd that upon waking, Tina was the one in my thoughts instead of Marimba, but there she was.

Goodbyes are never easy, especially when they are final. Worse yet is the goodbye we must say when we made the decision. I made the choice not to end her life, but to end her pain. We like to think they'll be better off. We say goodbye dear friend. I love you. I will miss you. But whether or not they understand us, we don't know. There's regret, a very heavy heart, and a void left where there was once joy.

Marimba's final moments were spent here at home with me and my husband saying Goodbye. My vet offered to load Marimba on the trailer, take her away, and euthanize her at the clinic. But I couldn't bear the thought of her final moments being afraid in an unfamiliar place with strangers. It is important to say goodbye. And so we did.

Death is Nothing at All
by Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without affect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.

All is well.

Goodbye Marimba. I love you. I miss you.