This is a picture of Bozzy, our Greyhound. Dogs – or other pets – can be wonderful companions. Accepting, loving and loyal. Optimistic, un-demanding and ready to enjoy at every opportunity. They listen and support without challenging and are always there to show affection and share time – whether happy or sad.
My friend was upset last weekend – he knew that the time to say goodbye to his beloved Border Terrier was quickly drawing closer. She had been gently declining over the past few months. The reality of a final goodbye came on Tuesday. Silly, he said, to feel such loss for an animal. but close friendship, be it with another person or an animal, is a strong tie to break.
The void that is left when that being is no longer there can feel immense. But it is not a void. If that person, or animal, has had such an impact on us, then we hold onto something that is left when they go. We are slightly changed as a result of knowing them and shared experiences. Sometimes we can feel let down by those who we invested a lot in, thinking that they would always be around. Other times, for no apparent reason, a friendship just seems to fizzle out. And sometimes, as in this case, people – or a pet – who we have loved and shared with over a long period, may be suddenly gone.
What is left are the memories and the impressions that were created by knowing that other person – or pet. It is up to us to make them a positive part of our life.
It reminded me of this beautiful poem, which helps me to understand partings. It may be a death, or it may be the break-up of a close relationship that had many hopes pinned on it. Or sometimes it is just that people pop into our lives then drift out again.
This poem helps me to make sense of it all:
Reason, Season, or Lifetime
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.