Sunday, May 2, 2010
Woman and her dog on the grounds of the Capitol.
I know it's early; the anniversary of Jake's death isn't until June 30th. Still, I am already reminiscing. The truth is, I miss my dog terribly, but I'm simultaneously grateful for the time I've had alone this past almost-year. Honestly, I am.
That dog was my everything, he really was. He was my roommate, partner, best friend, spiritual community. By the time he died, I depended on him for all emotional needs, I looked to him to fill in all the blank spots in my heart. My god I was in a loop with that dog.
It didn't start that way. I had a partner when Jake came into my life, someone I lived with. I had a big spiritual community in San Francisco, and I also had a couple of great best friends.
One by one, during the thirteen years Jake and I spent together, all of the above fell away. I moved to Washington DC, split up with my partner, left my spiritual community. I'm not sure whether it was Jake stepping up to the plate or whether it was me turning to him every time I suffered another loss. No matter what happened, there he was, ready for a walk or a scratch behind the ears. He was my rock of Gibraltar. He was always there, always.
Which explains why his death was So Tremendously Huge. Still is, in fact.
For the past year, I've lived the life of a solitary in every way possible: unpartnered in love and work, no specific spiritual community, alone in my space. There is no one with whom I've shared an every-day intimacy, no one I check in with on a daily basis. I've had no personal or professional touchstone.
Is this sounding pathetic? I don't feel pathetic, not at all. Another truth is that during the past year, without Jake, I have reached out, connected with others of my own species in ways I haven't for years. Yes I have missed Jake and yes I have felt the loss so acutely. Ouch! But in fact I haven't been any lonelier without him than I was during Jake's final year. And I have had absolutely no interest in getting another dog. None. Zero.
An astrologer told me, once upon a time, that only through partnership would I express my soul's purpose. Hmmmm ... is that right? Did I express my soul's purpose with Jake? And is that all over now so it's OK to be so singularly single? I wonder. I really do.