For eighteen months I’ve spent at least once a day caressing the toys my girls (Vision and Echo, my Leonberger dogs) used to play with. The toys are in my bedroom closet, in the toy box and even though I sent some with them, there were still a good number left; a tiny piece of each of them I have clung to in favor of sanity and self-preservation.
I had re-homed them in May of 2014 with a lovely couple that lives in Pennsylvania, many states away from me. A couple of weeks ago I looked into the box and knew it was time to release the toys, so it seemed donation to a shelter would be a good choice. But almost immediately I decided to send them to the girls instead, knowing how much they would enjoy them.
When the box arrived at its destination, the girls’ guardians decided to keep them until Christmas morning as presents.
I tell you this because I came to the determination that I have never truly ‘let them go’, which poses the question, ‘Do we ever really let anyone we love go?’ We grieve, we cry, we begin to feel better, at last we smile as we think of them and we move past the event to continue down our appointed path of life. But still they are there- in our lives, in our hearts, in our souls. They are forever part of us and so perhaps the best we can hope for is to move on.
I thought maybe it was because the girls were very much alive, having fun and loving their people that I hold them still. Or maybe because I talk to them and they to me.
But then I remember their mama Ammulett who transitioned two years ago, and Ammulett’s mom, Eclipse. And my Pyrenees Sebastian, Kodi and Chinook and the lovelies that came before them and I realize they are all still in my heart, part of who I am, a part of where I go from here. A piece of my life I never had any intention of releasing.
I purpose we don’t let go, we just move forward, with each of them coming along in a quiet, gentle way. There is no letting go of a piece of the heart- how would we move forward if our hearts were incomplete from letting a piece go here and a piece go there?
On Christmas morning the girls opened their presents I had sent them. Herb told me of how they buried their heads in the box, smelling deep and long for several minutes. But they refused to remove the toys from their resting place.
When I heard about the odd response I had a talk the next morning with each of them so they would know I had sent the toys for them to play with and enjoy. Vision, who is the problem solver of the two, told me they didn’t want to remove the toys from the box- because the smell of me and their mama, Ammulett, would be lost if the toys were separated. Such a rational reason not only surprised me in that they were quite aware of cause and effect, but also because of the similarity in their emotional response and my own.
Perhaps we humans are not the only animals who chose to move on rather than let go. Love is the only eternal emotion, having no boundary of time or space, and maybe it is not meant to be left behind by anyone once it has been tasted.