Yesterday I woke up to a rumbling stomach. Actually, rumbling isn’t the word, it was more like a grinding, pinging, can’t-find-third-gear feeling. The next three hours were like going through a colonoscopy prep, minus having to drink gallons of a lemon-lime concoction.

No headache, no fever, just losing my guts.

Once I could wander around the house without being four feet from the bathroom, I started cleaning out the icebox. Maybe the hummus I had at 8:30 the night before was off. (What was I thinking? Oreos at night are the way to go. Carrots and hummus? Who do I think I am?)

The leftover butternut squash from last week was NOT going to turn into soup. The black bananas were NOT going to become bread. The red salad dressing, bought on the spur of the moment, was NOT going to remind me of my childhood.

That purge led me to the pantry. Protein powder with a “best by” date of 2012? Out. Tapioca from 2008? Out. Pickled walnuts? You don’t even want to know how old that jar was.

After the flurry of pretend housekeeping, I took a walk down to the labyrinth where GA and now, 18-year-old Spooky, are buried. They are six feet apart. Peter set it up so the lawnmower can still do it’s job, however it’s a fitting placement for the cairns.

It took 7 years for Spooky to leave her studio apartment in my office and join GA and me on the bedroom floor for the nightly ritual of ending the day. I sat in between them with arms outstretched in order to reach and pat them both. Now they are enjoying each other’s company in the field, socially, physically, and comfortably distant.

I don’t think it was the spoiled tahini as much as the grief churning inside me, that got my engine sputtering and back firing. When we hold feelings in, try to keep control or suck it up, we end up flooding the engine. Mentally and philosophically, I know this. I also know that we need to allow ourselves some time to feel discomfort.

My friend Jo sent me this this morning.

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” Khalil Gibran

Sorrow, weeping, and discomfort remind us to think further …deeper. What we had is no longer and that’s sad, however, rather than bemoaning the loss it helps to appreciate the past with delight and appreciation.

Oreos help too.

Namaste- remembering days of animals at play.

I’ll miss the smell of a Frito Lay.

Tonight is the last night with Georgia. Her body is giving up.

I made the appointment with the vet three days ago, sort of realizing that nothing could be done over the weekend. I was wishing she would go in her sleep. She doesn’t whimper or moan, she just looks like she’s miserable.

But, she still looks.

Her eyes follow me, so I stay in her foggy vision. The sadness I feel now, is not the idea of her being gone. It’s more that I can’t make her feel better. It’s a sadness that would be relieved, if I could give her a tasty treat to let her drift off into the next world, tranquilly and painlessly. Instead, I have to figure out how to get her into the car tomorrow, without bugging her.

We’ll bury her at the center of the labyrinth, in the field where she spent so much time jumping in the tall grass, as if on a trampoline.

Georgia was rescued at age 3 from a home with 14 cats and three other dogs. That was 11 years ago. I have no doubt that the woman who owned her, and all of the other animals, cared deeply for them when she could.

My beautiful, sweet, brindle, pitbull mix has been my constant shadow until it became too difficult for her to get into the car or climb the stairs to our bedroom.

Everyone who has owned a dog, cat, horse, parakeet, turtle, gerbil or whatever, knows how I feel. It’s nothing new.

It’s the common feeling of a breaking heart.

I need to accept that the creature who gives me so much delight, will soon be gone. I also need to remember that I gave her delight too.

Many who know me, understand that I’m not fond of public sorrow. It’s not that I am so incredibly private, it’s more so that I need to process grief by myself.

I’m doing this public display for those who feel the same way. While writing, I can cry quietly. By writing, I can let those who don’t know me as well know, that yes, I do feel like you, even if it doesn’t seem so.

Letting go of unconditional love is scary, because sometimes we wonder if we will ever feel it again.

And then we do.

Namaste- Georgia’s paws still smell like a Frito-Lay.