Thursday, May 8, 2008

retriever heaven - perfect stick fetching conditions

Yesterday morning when Winn and I arrived at the beach for our early morning walk it was warm and perfectly still. When we got to the lighthouse and the top of the first red clay cliff and looked down onto the beach, the water was as smooth as glass, and all I could think about was Jake. Such a perfect morning for stick fetching, how can it be that our beautiful spring beach weather has finally arrived and he's no longer here with us. Most mornings when I first step onto the beach I feel sad, I usually have a good cry as we walk along that first beach and lately most mornings it's just Winn and I and I'm free to be as sad as I like, to cry as long and as hard as I need to. It's my grief ... and it needs to be felt, unfettered.

I heard a piece on CBC radio the other morning on grief and how people who've lost someone crave keeping them alive through words and conversation. They want to say their name out loud and to someone, they want to remember them, again and again ... because they still can't believe they're gone. Most people stopped long ago mentioning him to me, if they ever broached the subject at all. Grief and sadness feels very taboo. I'm lucky though, I have two friends who understand how deep my sadness is, who know how incredibly big my love is and was for that dog. That I need to occasionally talk about him and how much I miss him still. I am so thankful also for this blog, that I have a place where Jake lives on in a big and bold way. Just like his big and bold red self.

So yesterday was tinged all day with sadness and by evening, compounded by a level of frustration I was feeling with my production drawing pace, I had a bit of a meltdown. I went back and read the month of January from the archives of this blog. The month of Jake's decline and death. I believe that all of this terrible aching sadness must come out of me and certainly reading through those days of January and looking at all the photos of his handsome self had me sobbing, almost uncontrollably...

Outside my makeshift office (guest room) window the sky had turned black and stormy, and a sudden and intense downpour of rain had soaked everything. But I could see blue sky and bits of sunshine so I washed my face and grabbed my girl Miss Dixon and said to her "Lets get outta here". She and I walked down into the park, along the harbour's edge, and the sky and clouds were beautiful, some clouds big, fluffy and pure white and others stormy grey and ominous. I stood at the waters edge looking up at the sky and out into the harbour and I breathed in deeply. Miss Dixon was already spellbound by her aroma investigations and paying no heed to me at all- off in her own little world of enticing dog smells. It was quiet and peaceful and beautiful. Quite suddenly a crow in a tree behind me made a loud cawing ruckus and I turned around with a start. And there in the sky, glowing bright against the dark storm clouds was a big beautiful rainbow ... I wouldn't have noticed it if the crow hadn't spoken, I wouldn't have turned around ... and I know without a doubt that the rainbow was meant for me, it was a message from my boy ... to not be so sad, to let me know that's he's OK and to remind me that he will always be with me.
I love ya Noodle.

should say "we" heart Jake ... and check out the front paws. smile.


  1. This type of days, moments, memories and awakenings are natural. I lost my brother Peter, Barkis, Peridot and Holly all in the span of a year. I feel deeply their lives and memories each everyday. They shape my life and will continue to do so forever.

    I believe those who do not talk about Jake or Emma aren’t trying to be cruel they just don’t know what to say.

    There are others who feel as deply as you do...

    CBC has been airing a six-part series of Atlantic Canada's finest short films.

    Last night they showed:
    The Sparky Book Directed by Mary Lewis.

    If the link doesn't work try this one. Scroll down to week four.

    My life is richer for my “brother shadow” they "know how my heart feels".

  2. Sorry you're feeling sad today about your Noodle. I remember Ralphy absolutely loved to fetch anything we threw...over and over. It was a delight. I feel such a twinge of grief when I pick up the keys to open the patio door or go to the car. Ralph would always come running.

  3. My grandmother used to always say that to talk about the dead keeps their memory alive. I'm sorry you are sad, but it is great that you can remember him as the fun loving Noodle he was.

  4. Hello Paula, Willow & Mary D, I know that I will have many, many more days that I will miss Jake intensely. I will be sad and I will cry, lots more, because I loved him and I miss him. I've recently read a lot about grief and the grieving process and I'm comforted by the fact that it seems I'm dealing with it all in a very healthy & healing way. Admitting it, talking about it (to whoever is strong enough to listen), crying and feeling my sadness and missing him...madly and deeply ... just as madly & deeply as I loved him. So many people (because they don't know how to feel it) keep their grief bottled up inside. I'm not that kinda girl, never have been ... never will be.

    Your kind comments are always greatly appreciated ... I have all of you to share my love and sadness with and that helps me tremendously !

    Thank you Paula for the links I will check them out later today when I have more time to properly view them.

    xo, S & Winn

  5. You are dealing with is all so well.
    People never know what to say and sometimes they do speak but say the wrong things. Some will never know the pure joy of being loved, and loving, a dog or cat. You are one of those who is blessed to know that priceless gift. It is a treasure. Your babies are and were your treasures. They will always be a part of who you are.

    I never stop missing those that went before me and believe I will see them all again. Somehow, someday. To paraphrase Stevenson, "If there are not to be animals in Heaven, then I am not going!"

    Warm hugs,

  6. Susan, your mention of the rainbow makes me think of my sweet dogs. There is a poem, very moving to any dog lover called The Rainbow Bridge. We said when they each died that they had only crossed over the rainbow bridge. When we have rainbows here now, I always think of those pups just waiting on the other side, all of them together now happy and healthy but waiting for us to join them some day.

    The poem is about how the dogs and people are rejoined eventually and all the dogs who never had good people find loving people there...across the rainbow bridge.

  7. Having moved away from everyone I was close to I don't get regular reminders of those who have died and are missed dearly--that must be very hard. I do dread the thought of my mother going as I've seen so little of her over the years and we're so far apart.


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