The Beauty of Sad Times

Posted on July 8, 2012

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Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress.
Charles Dickens
Sometimes change is gentle, sometimes it is not.  Seasons of loss can come upon us at any time.

The last week and a half have been one of those times when my family felt the highs and lows of life with a beloved pet.  As I mentioned in a post last week our beloved Lhasa Apso, Ginger has been ill.  We’ve been on a roller coaster of seeing her get better and then take a turn for the worse, over and over. Ginger has been on every medication imaginable to address a wide host of diseases, and the truth is the totality of her symptoms don’t match up to any normal disease.  She’s young to be experiencing disease the ways she is now.

Yesterday Ginger embodied many symptoms of a dog that was dying.  She wouldn’t eat, she couldn’t stand up, she was trembling, and had a sad vacant look in her eyes.  The veterinarian had warned me that she was in bad shape, and let me make the call to take her home.  I basically expected that we would be watching her die.  Both of my boys kept asking me if a miracle could happen, and I’d say yes.  Then, they would ask if I thought she was going to die soon, and I’d also say yes.

We all ended up keeping a watch on her until 4 am.  We spent hours crying, and in some ways became closer than we have been in a long time with each other. At one point, my youngest son asked if we could do anything to more to help her.  So, I suggested that we pick a healing angel card and ask the oracle what could we do for Ginger.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, I picked the Enchantment card.  I’m not making this up for those of you have been reading my recent posts on the Enchanted Oasis.   I took the card as an indication that I better walk my talk about what I’m recommending to others.

The advice on this Enchantment card was:

Recapture your childlike sense of wonder and awe.   View the world as a magical place. Ask God and the angels to help you with anything — small or large.

Certainly, I was already praying, but I prayed some more last night after seeing this card and decided to believe that anything was possible.  I also decided that as difficult as it is to do when a beloved is sick, there are still ways to create enchantment and magic for those we love.

And today Ginger provided her own enchantment for us.

This morning,  I went in another room to get a glass of water and returned to find Ginger perked up, with her eyes clear and wagging her tail.   She is so used to following me all over the house,  she was trying to do that. She looked like her normal self, except she was still to weak to walk.  Yet, I was able to carry her outside to do her business and she did this morning, something she couldn’t do yesterday.  To me, all of this was a kind of magic.

Since Ginger looked much better, I woke up the boys around 8:30 so they could see her in a lucid condition at least once more.  We decided she was well enough to create perhaps one last bit of enchantment in Ginger’s life and placed her in a Radio Flyer wagon and took her on a walk around the block so that she could feel the summer breeze on her face and see the places she loved to walk so much.  She was clearly happy to do this, even though it also exhausted her.

Ginger still looks better now, but it’s hard to know if she is recovering in some way or just having a good moment.

All of this reminds me of when my father was sick with Alzheimer’s Disease, and what it was like to spend his last hours on earth with him.  Moments of deep sadness rarely feel like enchanting ones.  But there was so much around my being present for my father’s death that now looks enchanting to me.

If we look for it, and make some effort to create it, there is an enchanting beauty even in our most sorrowful times.

And thank you.  I truly believe that all of your prayers and kind wishes have made a difference for Ginger whatever her outcome. My family thanks you from the bottom of our heart for the magic of your kindness.

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