Thursday, November 8, 2007

never enough love

Realizing that our eldest dog was getting older and would not be with us forever, my husband and I started a few years ago to become very intentional about appreciating the days that we had with him. We began to say when Ness woke up in the morning, or when we returned from being away from home to find him galloping up to greet us, "Not dead yet!" The phrase became a macabre joke, but also an acknowledgement of the reality of life and death, and a reminder to love him while we had him.

I imagined that the care we took to love Ness fully knowing that we would inevitably lose him would help to innoculate ourselves against that loss when it did, finally, come, as it did last Sunday. But that has not been the case. I'm shocked that he's gone. I miss him terribly. I want him back.

Love is never satisfied. There never comes a point in loving where we say, "OK. Now I've loved enough. I've had all the love of that I need." Loving fully, as my husband and I did of our dog, did not mean that when Ness died that we had already expressed all of our love and had none left over. Instead the extent of our loving only produced more of itself, and more and more.

This morning a friend sympathized with my loss and said he could see how much I "love" my dog, then corrected himself to say "loved." But I decided that he was correct to put love in the present tense. The end of the object of my love has not ended my love. The well of love still flows out and there is no reason to attempt to stop it, or to think that because Ness isn't here to receive my love that my love is any less worthy.

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