It turns out that the alternative is true after all, our bubba Duke has lymphoma. Inappropriate as it may seem, this new road that we have been given to walk with Duke reminds me a lot of how things went down when we lost Aaron. And when I say it “reminds” me of that time, what I really mean is that the experience is completely different. Put aside the idea that Aaron was a person and Duke is a canine, what I’m respectively referring to is how Aaron was taken from us abruptly – one day here next day gone, while with Duke we have been given a warning, time to prepare, a chance to say goodbye; the better end of an alternative we don’t want. Losing Aaron taught me a lot of lessons, one of the most important was in regards to closure. Losing an integral piece of your existence is never going to be easy, all you can ever do is hope that it not be insanely difficult.
Drawing a comparison between bubba and my old friend Aaron may seem in poor taste at first glance, but I know that Aaron wouldn’t take offense. Duke was the whole reason that Aaron ended up getting Squirt, he loved Squirt at least as much as he loved his human friends, and he loved his human friends a lot. If Aaron were here today, he would lament with us while we say goodbye to Duke, each in our own ways. That’s the difference between friends and best friends; friends sympathize by remembering what it’s like to have loved and lost something of their own, best friends feel the pain of your loss because it actually hurts them too.
“The universe, I’d learned was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.” ~Cheryl Strayed
The above quote has gripped me since all of this started -> the potential for bad news followed promptly by the actual bad news. After some thought, I’ve decided that Cheryl’s words are neither true nor false, beautiful though they might be. Painting the universe in a painful light is easy because science is amoral and humans as emotional entities are justifiably uncomfortable with that fact. God is the moral version of science, a face to explain the order, humanities first answer to the ever lingering question of “why?”
If you believe that the universe takes what it wants, then it stands to reason that you also believe the universe gives what it wants. I cannot in good conscience believe the universe gives or takes anything. There is beauty in the simplicity of what is, not because God made it this way, but because everything is what it is and that’s the only way it can be… at this moment in a measurement known as time, from our limited perspectives, and in this universe.