Loss is inevitable.
Over the course of my life, so far, I've lost plenty. I've cried over that spilt milk and then some, but the pain ebbs and life moves on as it is known to do.
Why the sudden urge to write about such a normal, yet depressing event in most every one's experiences?
Because Marley died.
I was channel flip-flopping between the Forty-niners/Steelers game and Marley and Me last night (that's an emotional roller coaster, right?!). I was riding that pendulum swing back and forth from sports enthusiasm to tear-jerking, Kleenex destroying and enjoying every minute of both. Marley, as a fictional dog, was one crazy beast. He was all energy, all heart, all love and all rolled up into one big ball of yellow Labrador. The movie made me think of my own best friend, Brutus
Once the movie got my mind reminiscing on Brutus, gradually, it progressed to other personalities that have graced my life. I thought of my dad, my kids, my ex-wife, a lot of my old friends and many of the relatives that I knew well or barely at all.
I've lost a lot and watching Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, with their movie family, mourn the impending and eventual passing of a loved family member and pet just tugged at my heart strings. But this story line and their process of dealing with that loss as it is occurring is part of what makes the movie a really enjoyable movie (I am told the book is really good, as well).
There is a plethora of wisdom out in this huge world for dealing with those losses. Plenty of experiences have happened to help shed light on living life and rolling with the punches as we go. One of the sayings that comes to mind during last nights emotional moments, was that we shouldn't cry because what we had is gone. Rather, we should smile because what we had was there and we got the privilege of enjoying it. I smile because I got to play with my boy, Brutus. We got to hunt together and take trans-Texas road trips. We chased rabbits and played in the rivers across this great state. We endured injuries and rain storms; enjoyed having little "me"s and suffered through losing little "me"s, we spent time with my dad and mom, my ex-wife, and each other.
I rescued him from a mean person and, in a way, he did the same for me.
Brutus was my Marley, and now he sleeps under the front tree at my house, just as Marley sleeps outside their house in the movie.
This holiday season, I'll spill a little bit of love on his grave and I'll spill a little love on my dad's grave. I'll lift a glass to family and friends who, although they may have slipped from my life for the time, are there none the less. I'll hug the ones that are here and share a bit of cheer and smile because I know and love them.
Yes, loss is inevitable for every human; but how we deal with those losses is up to each and every one of us. Celebrate the lives you've touched and been touched by over the years.
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