Death! Live On Old Friend
One never looks forward to death, yet on the bright side we are told that life lives on. Grief, bereavement, mourning, loss of a loved one -- these are all that we have after the death of a friend. But I say to you that there is so much more after we die.
My Dedication to Shyanne: Our favourite Hymn
I was sitting at the end of the orchard with my best friend beside me. I spoke to her in a soft, reassuring voice as I held back the tears. She looked up at me with her sad looking brown eyes as if to say -- "it's O.K." I don't think she knew what was really going on but I just kept stroking her head. I couldn't look into that awful, deep hole that I had dug a few days earlier. This was to be Shyanne's final resting place under the big Maple tree, the most glorious and colourful tree on our property. My eyes began to swell up again as I waited for the gate to open.
It was 6:00pm on a cool but sunny Summer's day. My wife remained in the house as she couldn't cope with what was about to happen.
The gate at the far end of the small orchard finally opened and my heart began pounding faster and harder. It didn't seem real. I remember only yesterday, so it seemed, that we had carried this eight week old tiny pup into what was to be her new home. It was a happy, memorable time. Today, as I sat there watching these two people approach me from the opposite end of the spectrum, I felt so sad and helpless knowing that I had full control over the events of this day and yet, could not stop and would not stop what was about to happen.
After the long walk from the gate and through the orchard, these two women were now at my side. One of them crouched down on one knee in front of Shyanne and asked me "Are you ready?" I nodded as I stroked the head of my best friend for the last time. The tears were now flowing freely and I didn't care who saw me. I couldn't believe this was so hard.
A tube with a needle attached at the end was removed from a small, black leather case. Into that tube was placed a blue, liquid solution. The woman asked me again if I was ready and once again I nodded. What was I doing? I wanted to stop this whole thing right now but I knew it would only repeat itself in a few days. I watched as the needle was inserted into Shyanne's left leg. I so wanted this moment to be only a nightmare and I would wake up and all would be well again but, it was not a dream. The tears blocked my vision. The blue coloured liquid began flowing and within 10 seconds, I could feel my friends body quiver beneath my consoling hand and her head droopped suddenly into my arms.
It was over quickly, and I wept.
After a few moments of trying to regain my composure, the other woman asked me if I required assistance with Shyanne's body and I thanked her. The hole that I had spent three days digging through the rocks and roots of that old Maple tree had now claimed the body of my best friend, but not her soul. I knew that I would see her again, sometime in the not too distant future, and that gave me comfort.
Thirteen years had passed so quickly from the time we first introduced this little bundle of joy to her new home and what was to be an inviting, fresh path in life. Now, it was time for her to find her own way, only this time, she had to walk that path alone.
Three days passed before my eyes returned to normal and the swelling had gone down but that day will live with me for all eternity, -- that one heart wrenching moment in time -- the day my best friend died.
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