I accidentally spent most of the other morning in tears. Not one, not two, but cheek-soaking, hair-matting amounts of tears. Tears chased by gulps of air between grabby sobs—-tears squeezed from the epicenter of my very sad heart.
I started out upbeat. Honest. House to myself—an almost impossibility nowadays—I lay in bed, my hands rubbing together greedily as my head flooded virtual To Do blanks with productive and satiating tasks.
Now, you may be surprised to learn that although I do treasure my time alone, I do not love the absolute silence that comes with it, so, for comfort, I often turn on the TV. But this particular morning, that was a mistake of epic proportion.
I need only say three words – Marley and Me.
Sure, I’ve seen it before. We took our kids to watch it back in 2008, so no big deal, right?
Life, perspective, time, age, loss, choices, experiences…all of these things can change the way we absorb and process things.
I didn’t choose. I didn’t flick. The TV came to life and there it was. Dropped instantly into a world with a family much like my own. Complete with mom, dad, (who happens to be a writer—score) two sons, a daughter and a dog they all dread, but mostly plain old adore.
And, after many years of loyal shenanigans, he, the dog, simply dies.
I lie. It wasn’t simple. Far from it. They, the family, had to decide to let him die. And, much like my family’s past ordeal, it was not so much optional, but a surrender of suffering, a kindness. No matter though. Once it’s in your hands, you always, always feel like you chose to end the life of a living being and it’s utterly breaking.
I could hide the remote. I could cancel my cable. I could ban all pets. I could avoid attachment. I could toughen up. Or, I could embrace what it is to be compassionate. And human.
It’s okay to be emotional. It’s alright to take time. It’s okay to let it linger. (Now don’t be singing. We all love the Cranberries, but this is a serious post) It’s alright to feel. It’s okay to love. And it’s acceptable not to move on any faster than the pace of a slow moving cloud.
You’re allowed to well up every time you see a Beagle…or a box of Black Magic at Christmastime…or a jogger…or a brisk walker sporting an Irish cap…for as long as you like. Forever even.
It means you’re not a dick.