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Thursday, March 09, 2006

May God rest your souls

I guess every person eventually has to face this day. I guess every single living thing on this planet somehow instinctively knows that eventually their will come a time. I guess ultimately, it all comes down to how a person deals with it and moves on. I guess there is a time when the following phrase couldn't be any more true: "Nothing is certain except death and taxes."

Today, we said goodbye to Bruce and Trix. My aunt had had them for over 12 years now, and finally, when all is said and done, it came time to lay them to rest. I have to say that I was dreading it more than I actually had to, because when it came time they went quietly. However, on the other hand, I guess I've never actually witnessed the passing of life...or the passing on of the soul.

So, who are Bruce and Trix again? Well, Bruce was a dalmatian with liver-colored spots and Trix was a dachshund. Although they didn't begin by living together, over the years they had become inseparable. Well, here are a couple of pictures of them so you can see for yourselves.

So, here's Bruce. This photo was taken sometime last year or the year before when I bought my new phone. As you can see he's got the usual "sad face". In fact, I used to say that he's a two-expression dog: he could look sad or sadder.

And this is Trix. Here he is sitting in front of the saami muzhi, or the prayer room. I used to make fun of him saying that he, unlike all the other dogs I've known, had a lot of bhakti, or faith. He's also wearing a sweater, which he never liked to take off once he had it on. Parting is such sweet sorrow, eh? Indeed.

Well, the thing was that their overall health had been steadily deteriorating since the end of last year...wait, since before that as well. I mean, it became one thing after another. Eventually, it came down to both of them having visible signs of cancer, in the form of wounds that oozed blood and never seemed to heal. From that point in time was all just a matter of time. And, before it became too late or too painful in any way, it was time to take a decision.

I wanted to be there for their last breath and offer some kind of support, or maybe it was just to try and satisfy myself that their souls were truly at rest, or maybe it was just sheer and otherwise misplaced curiosity. But I imagine, and know inside, that my aunt has it hardest of all. She raised these two like her own children, and one of the toughest things to do is to first have to decide that it's better for them to not suffer, and to then have to deal with the immediate void that exists thereafter. I know she can do it, not only because she's done it before, but also because she's strong like that. Well, and for simply not knowing what to say next, I'm going to have to end by saying that there will always be memories, both good and bad, and if there was ever a time when I wasn't doing the best I could to take care of them, well, I'll find out about it as my life continues. Rest in peace you guys.

Here are a couple of pictures of Bruce and Trix up to their usual stuff.

Here's a picture of the two of them on the terrace. Trix used to love going up and sunning himself on the terrace in the pre-noonday sun, while Bruce loved to go up and play with his old scooter tire. Wait, that was after he'd examined his perimeter, by which I mean the environs of the house, for potential threats or other opportunities to bark.

And here they are chilling out on the diwan, or the Indian chaise lounge. As you can see, they had no trouble making themselves feel at home because it was their home. I guess that's something I'll miss about them; the chilling out.

Before I end I'd like to say that I've understood a little bit better what unconditional love is. It's not just about being at the front door wagging your tail and being excited that someone's come back home. It's not just about not holding a grudge when you've been disciplined about something that you did wrong. It's not even about having such ingratiating eyes that never seem to run out of love for you no matter what you've said and done. It's about knowing that when your time has been decided by someone who truly loves you and cares for you, and then being willing to go without kicking up a fuss. Yes, that's what I witnessed. Two brave souls who had lived life to its fullest and then went. For this is how their world ended...not with a bang...not even with a whimper.

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