Thursday, March 14, 2013


George is gone.  Becoming part of our family at six-weeks old, after 13 years and five-plus months, he left last Friday morning at 4:30.  

At night when I lie down knowing that I must sleep in case I wake up and have to go to work, mournful sighs seep out of the part of me where George used to live.  For a long moment, I thought of hanging myself, maybe somewhere near our landlord's appliance-train in the northeastern corner of our backyard.  This morning, I scanned the yard for an easily accessible stout tree, then remembered -- I live in an urban desert. 

Frankly, something about the choices and options of how to end a life seem limited, at best.   As with most parts of life, the less money you have, your do-in-yourself options barely exist.  I mean...walk in front of a bus, jump off a bridge.  That's pretty much it for the poor folks. 

You'd think when it came to the end of one's life choice that God might demonstrate a flash of equitable charity -- all same in the end?  Equal at the end -- one swift shared moment. 

Rhetorically, we catch ourselves often saying, "I know how you feel..."   I think it's possible that we might know how a person really feels, yet I'm fully aware of the impossibility of actually knowing. When surrendering to my daydreams in the middle of the night, I like to amuse myself:  I think of the possibility of everyone's "last" feeling being the same, precisely the same.  It would be the sole opportunity to be certain that we know how someone else "feels."

One bona fide collective experience felt in a singular way.  It seems like God might opt to do something propicious in that singular last gasp.  Finally a single truth, an exclusive experience -- a universally shared intimacy, at the end. 

It's like there's something stuck in my throat. It tastes like sadness.


  1. Oh Jer, I am sorry to hear this. What life George witnessed over these years! What a blessing you have been to one another. May his memory be like mischief, showing up when you least expect it and most need it.

  2. Shannon, thank you so much for your sweet words. Although I didn't publish the post until the 14th, I'd written it almost a month ago. Craige always says everything I write is dark -- he's probably right.

    George passed away the morning after Valentine's Day. Three weeks prior, he was diagnosed with a hemangiosarcoma -- a malignant splenetic mass. Although obviously not himself, he ate and drank right up until the end. We fed him cheeseburgers, french fries and vanilla ice cream -- almost anything he wanted at that point:-)) He always slept on my side of the bed and on his final night,I felt him suddenly move. I checked him, he took a couple of deep breaths and was gone.

    The local mortuary did a really nice job with his cremation, beautifully simple cream-colored stone urn, terracotta paw print, and a special card. We have our moments that are difficult -- it's strange how the feelings come out of no where and how remarkably painful they can be. At the same time, we have little Gracie (15 yrs. 2 mos.)to keep us company.

    Prayers that you are healthy and doing well. Remaining faith-filled, I have a good feeling about Francis:-)