I shoveled the manure out of the barn, somehow the donkeys got into the stall last night. I stopped, I felt the frigid air, the warm sunshine, and something else. I felt Rocky, he was there in the stall with me. It was impossible to doubt my feelings. I knew he was there. I started to cry, the sadness that comes over me when ever I think of Rocky filled me up and and sat heavy in my body. Every part of me sagged and my mind started to race. A confusing mess of feelings, love, sadness, guilt, exhaustion, my mind trying to” protect” me, trying to push the feelings and words away. “Stop” I said out loud, “and just listen”. My mind still whirled, but someplace in my body I heard the words. “You made me happy here.”
I’ve been avoiding Rocky. Ever since we euthanized him, I’ve been trying to put him behind me. I refuse to look at the photos Jon puts up on his blog, when he comes to mind I immediately stop myself from thinking about him. I didn’t want to feel the sadness, but in not allowing myself to feel the sadness, I was also not allowing myself to remember and feel the love and connection I had with Rocky. The love and connection I still have with Rocky. Because, when I allow myself, I can see that death hasn’t changed that connection. I can see that death isn’t a barrier to love. I don’t completely understand my relationship to Rocky, but I know it hasn’t ended. I felt it in the barn this morning. As if Rocky, so much wiser than me was saying, Don’t forget me, what we have is too important to let death and sadness get in it’s way.
I think we did make Rocky happy while he was here, not only by taking care of him and loving him in life, but by helping him move on when it was time. And I think that was only the beginning of it. I have so much more to learn from Rocky and give back, I know it, I can feel it, not in my mind, but in my body.