Each day when I wake up, I look down by the side of my bed and realize that my Bailey is no longer here. This seems unreal to me, as he has been by my side for so long. He was the one to greet me and say good morning, many days before the sun rose. Because of Bailey, I will never be the person I was before he came into my life. For this I am thankful. He taught me lessons so many days. Taught me to keep going when things seem unbearable. Taught me that a little attention goes a long way. Taught me that sometimes, barking is good. He taught me the value of naps, of running around the yard a bit, and that the sun is worth enjoying.
Yesterday he taught me a new lesson - that life goes on, despite grief and despite pain. He also taught me that it's okay to let go of some things when the time is right.
I got a call from my friend, Lynnette. Through her ability to see the other side, she was able to connect with my dear friend, who was running through a meadow and chasing butterflies. (I'm sure he was so excited to be able to run again - it had been so long.) But she told me that a piece of my soul had gone with him. This should come as no surprise to those who have seen Bailey and me together. We were deeply connected energetically. Thing is...I need this piece of my soul. She recommended a meditation and that I release Bailey, and call back the piece of me that went with him. So I walked to the park, knowing that she was right. Not long after I sat under a tree in the grass and closed my eyes, trying to find Bailey, I felt his sweet head resting on my lap. He looked up at me with his soulful eyes, again, helping me to find comfort. This time it was easy for him, as his pain was gone. I told him it was okay to go, and that I was going to stay behind. I could see that he would be fine now. He didn't need me dragging on his neck into his next adventure. He was strong, the fur around his eyes not longer gray, but miraculously glossy black, as it was years ago. And at my urging, and with a final hug and caress or two, he got up and ran across the grass, slowly at first, as if a bit reluctant to leave me. But then I told him it was okay. I'm fine now, and happy. So he trotted off. At the top of the hill, he looked back at me, tail wagging, a big smile on his beautiful face. And then he was gone.
Though I said goodbye on Tuesday, yesterday I was able to release his gentle spirit back into the universe. There is peace in that. Perhaps now we can both move forward, leave the past behind, keeping only the happy memories only we shared.
Kindred spirits? Yes. I will see you again old friend, and we will laugh and play when I get to the other side. I am thankful for all the gifts you gave and the lessons you taught, and I will remember you always. I will feel you in the wind, and remember your warmth as I stand with my face to the sun.