In My Good Death



Feb 1, 2004-April 20, 2013

In the early hours of this day, our lovely sweet gentle dog named Cash was eased across the final threshold to a quiet death. A shocking, unexpected event.

I cannot write anything that even comes close to the grace note of his life, except to say that he embodied laughter and smiles and twinkling eyes in a generously sized body that didn’t come anywhere near the proportions of his immense spirit.

A friend sent this poem which says far more than I ever could:

In My Good Death

~Dalia Shevin
I will find myself waist deep in summer grass. The humming
shock of golden light. And I will hear them before I see
Them and know right away who is bounding across the field to meet
me. All my good dogs will come then, their wet noses
Bumping against my palms, their hot panting, their rough faithful
tongues. Their eyes young and shiny again. The wiry scruff of
their fur, the unspeakable softness of their bellies, their velvet ears
against my cheeks. I will bend to them, my face covered with
their kisses, my hands full of them. In the grass I will let them knock me down.

Reading this, I can only hope for a good death. Till then, so many animals accompany me in spirit that it is almost bearable to lose them in the physical form.

Not enough tears for this special dog who made everyone who knew him laugh and smile.

We buried him on the rise above the creek, in the hemlocks that I think of as our natural cathedral. It is a quiet, majestic place of green, of peace, of old tree wisdom. His body rests there now, with all the others who have gone before him. In life, he was never alone, and now even in death, still in good company. With him lies Ruby, who died in November, our fierce beautiful warrior princess who lived life passionately and fast.

It is hard to begin spring with such big holes in my heart. This winter has left me heartsore and weary, with the space at my feet empty where old friends had been. I want the restoration of warm sunny days, lush grass, flowers, new life. I want to walk in the hemlocks with the dogs still here, to watch them race vibrant with life, their bodies informed with joy and power, and feel the goodness of life all around me. I know Cash and Ruby join the unseen crowd that walks alongside me. But I will miss the physical reality of them, “their rough faithful tongues.”