1. I am currently working off lack of sleep and a vicious hangover. My apologies in advance.
  2. In the wake of @biz and the tragedy of that set of circumstances, I'd like to talk a little about this year and death.
  3. I realize that this is a severe downer of a topic, given we are all sharing the grief for her passing. Bear with me.
  4. This year, I have been presented with numerous challenges, the least of which is the knowledge that my dog, Twilly, is slowly dying. Mind you, she's not going to die today or tomorrow, but it will absolutely happen.
  5. Given that, my family and I have been mildly suffering in our own way with worry, anxiety, and tremendous guilt that we want to do more and cannot.
  6. You all have heard me state my various emotional states of being on here, and most of you have graciously extended warm words of sympathy and virtual hugs. Again, I thank you.
  7. However, this particular month has a major significance that I'd like chiefly address, as I believe it will wrap up the point.
  8. My mom, whom has been long gone for about eight years now, would have had her birthday at the end of this month.
  9. The other night, I dreamt about her. I hadn't thought of her in a long time. In the dream, I remember that Annie, the dogs, my mom and I were playing in the backyard. I was so excited because I realized that I had so much to talk to her about, and to get her advice and thoughts on things. She looked exactly the same as she was before.
  10. Then, in the dream, I remembered that she wasn't alive any more. My mom got this sad, almost bittersweet look on her face. She knew that too.
  11. That day, I got a message that the girl I went to prom with had suddenly died from a unexpected illness. We hadn't spoken in a few weeks, but her death was shocking. She was 38.
  12. It reminded me of my friend's death last year. Again, young guy. Not expected at all.
  13. Then again, can death ever be expected? I'll move on.
  14. The dream left me shaken up. Given the sudden impact of my friend's recent death, and the slow, inexorable fate for Twilly, I realized something small, but necessary:
  15. Dying is easy. It is living that is difficult.
  16. I fought myself trying to avoid the very concept of Twilly eventually dying, that I forgot how important her life is now.
  17. If I come home from work today and she is not alive, she would have been at peace, at home, surrounded by her pack. She would have died a: "good death".
  18. The point I am trying to make here is that the single hardest decision I have ever had to make for myself was accepting death for what it was. The aftermath isn't for us to determine; it's how we live with that loss that matters.
  19. Before she died, my mom said to me that she was frightened of dying and that she did not want to: "die alone in the dark."
  20. I've thought many years about her words.
  21. She wanted a "good death" too, surrounded by friends and family.
  22. I lost my Great Dane, Homer, unexpectedly due to a veterinarian's negligent diagnosis. He died shittily.
  23. What I am trying to say...as poorly as I feel that I'm saying it...is that once I accepted that Twilly is going to die, it made it easier to enjoy the life we have together.
  24. My anxiety over the possibility that she would die overshadowed my ability to feel the joy I have with her presence. Twilly cannot understand the concept of death, but I know that she deserves a "good one".
  25. So...my thought is: love your people, whomever they are, wherever they are. Let them know that they matter to you. Start now.
  26. We all need, nay DESERVE both a "good life" and an equally "good death".
  27. For Corie: I will miss you, kid.
  28. For Dionisio: I will always miss you, man.
  29. For Homer: Papa and Momma and Twilly and Froggy love you, son.
  30. For Ruth: You know.
  31. For you all: I love you. You are near and far and some of you I have met and most I have not.
  32. @biz was one of us. She was a "homie". She was in our tribe. She deserved a good life, even if she felt that she didn't deserve one herself.
  33. To @biz
  34. To you.
  35. To acceptance.
  36. 🍺