Loss and love

Loss – that deep, heart-wrenching, unfathomable loss – cannot occur without love.

Love – that unconditional choice to care with commitment, platonic or romantic (not the obligatory family-so-I-should love) – risks all.

Great love, great loss.

My best friend’s birthday is July 4th. She died eleven years ago; Angie will always be my best friend. We shared our worlds for two decades. We were by each other’s sides literally and figuratively through loves and betrayals, health and diagnoses, laughter and tears. Her passing still hurts my heart. Great love, great loss.

My longtime companion died three weeks ago; I took her to the vet and let her go. For over thirteen years that little dog and I were inseparable. Each night she cuddled against me, expanding to sizes far greater than expected of a wee pup. When we road tripped, she slept between my neck and the headrest. We played, walked in the woods, snuggled, shared popcorn. She kept all my secrets – telling no one of my dreams, fears, sorrows, or disappointments. She cast her vote on the people in our lives, sharing long-term attention only with those deemed worthy. The last year or so, she slipped in and out. But when she knew me, we were happy together. At this moment, all I seem to do is cry. Great love, great loss.

And now, there’s a person with whom I want to share the next 49 years; we had one year already. This year together has included love and loss. Though they’ll not meet, I imagine that Angie would have approved, and they would have shared many a laugh at my expense. The little dog did approve, happily lavishing attention upon this new person in our life and walking all over the big dog who is part of the package. The legend of romantic love always perplexed me – its authenticity unsure, its capriciousness unrelenting. Courageous or foolish, maybe both, I took a chance to open my heart to that possibility. Great love.

Blessings – so much love, joy, caring.

Selfishly perhaps, I want only love, no more loss, please.
But neither exists in isolation.

So, knowingly, I choose to risk my chances on friendship.
I choose to risk my chances on the next 49 years and this romantic love.

And, most likely, I will choose to risk my chances on another little dog.