Three Truths and One Wish


1. Truth: Death is real. And it’s not always pretty. It doesn’t always happen painlessly at the end of a long, well lived and loved, full and finished life, with the one who’s leaving in a comfortable bed with candles lit and soft music playing and loved ones all around. It strikes those who are much too young, it is sometimes accidental, sudden, brutal, tragic. Sometimes it’s just not fair, not kind, not easy. But no matter how it comes, how it goes down, every mortal will go, be gone. No matter how well we love or how faithfully we care for each other, we will lose or be lost.

2. Truth: I am still trying to figure out how to live in a world where this is true, where what we love will die. Where we intentionally allow ourselves to be wounded, invite it, where we strip completely naked and hand the one we love the sharpest knife. I have seen death, understand it, have even felt a sort of peace in that moment of letting go, knowing that loved one has been released from their suffering. And yet, I am still trying to figure out how — how to fully surrender to this truth, accept it, stay open to it. Love unbound from form can feel almost like rage, running wild with the desire to smash and burn and break and scream, longing mixed with a strange confusion that insists someone must be to blame, must be punished, so much fierce energy with no place to go.

3. Truth: We are here now, together, and that makes all the eventual pain worth it. As much as I grieve those I have lost, I would not give up the time I had with them in order to avoid this suffering. And there is so much about this life to love. As I was reminded by one big heart today, when I reached out in my confusion, “and yet laughter and yet barbecued chicken and yet a glass of cold water on a hot day, Louis Armstrong, fresh raspberries,” and another reminded me that Winnie the Pooh says, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Magic is all around, waiting for us to notice and be amazed. On our walk this morning, a butterfly, busy feeding on a flower, let me get closer than I’ve ever been and stayed still so I could take a picture. Ram Dass says “we are all just walking each other home,” and when I can remember that, when I can slow down and see the vivid color and surprise of a butterfly, I feel myself soften, feel the whole tight knot begin to unwind.

One wish: That we stay awake, rather than denying or disconnecting, that we recognize our limitless potential, that we stay open to the connections that heal us, notice the magic and cultivate the medicine.

We are all just walking each other home.

12 thoughts on “Three Truths and One Wish

      1. Lisa Kaftori

        Yes, we are so very ” lucky to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard…” A deep graceful bow of gratitude to you Jill for sharing your beautiful, thought provoking reflections♥

  1. Joyce

    This was lovely. There was a little death in my world yesterday that broke my heart a bit…after reading your post I am focusing on the fact that I truly am lucky to even have creatures in my life who break my heart when they go…

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      I’m sorry, Joyce. Those of us with close connections to furries certainly get good at the letting go, have so many more opportunities to practice. ♥

  2. piercedfuzzis

    *sigh* Something happened to my sweet Cobbie dog over the holiday. Not sure what it was but she’s been traumatized and beyond trying to figure out what it was and being gentle with her as she regains her confidence and trust, I’m realizing that this sweet baby won’t always be with me. She’s 6.5 years now, and the grey is starting to creep into her chin. When she is gone, it will be so very hard. So for now I’m ok with her snuggling up in the bed, needing to be underfoot, having accidents in the house. It’s all ok. Because she’s still here and I get to love her while she is. ❤ (even if she is now the husband's dog and not mine. Traitor 😉 )

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      Jen, is Cobbie doing any better? I’ve been thinking about her. I’ve had one dog with serious anxiety issues and our Sam is a very reactive Border Collie, so I have a soft spot in my heart for the ones who struggle like she is. It is so hard to lose them, and yet the pain of that loss won’t stop me from always getting another dog. And I know what you mean about “traitor,” as my husband is the “fun one.”

      1. piercedfuzzis

        She is better in fits and starts, and my husband is losing patience with the fits part of it. He works with special needs students all day long and is incredibly patient with them; however, he forgets that when you have an anxious doggie, yelling because she’s piddled on the floor only produces more anxiety. *sigh* We’re putting her in her Thundershirt when we’re not home or when we’re out in yard working and she can’t be with us. That seems to be helping.

        She will be headed to the vet on Wednesday. She needs a cone of shame as she’s licked a swollen spot on her left front paw.

      2. jillsalahub Post author

        I know what you mean — I always have to ask myself with my dogs, when I react out of frustration, “is this actually working to change the behavior I’m irritated with?” and if I answer “no,” I try, try something different. You should talk to your vet about it too, because sometimes behavior changes are an indicator of a medical issue. And we also have experience with the “hot spots.” Dexter had some sort of allergy (that’s sometimes what causes that kind of joint pain) and every August, September, he’d lick a raw spot on one leg. He did it five years in a row. May you all soon find some ease, some peace. ♥

I'd love to hear what you think, kind and gentle reader.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s