Real Reasons

Dear J-

The important thing is that she enjoys her work; I think I’ve told you before how theVet is working as a mobile veterinarian who performs at-home pet euthanasia. It may sound macabre but between the plastic bags and duct tape (I help to bag them at home and maneuver them into the freezer so the cremation service can pick them up) I feel a little like the fictional character Dexter, a serial killer who preys on serial killers. It sounds macabre but feels like a benediction: their suffering at rest, the animals could just be sleeping for all I know to see them when I do.

We’ve had to put our dogs to sleep in recent years, each time supplied with a moral certainty that this was indeed the right thing to do: before it got overwhelming, before some medical point of no return. Each time was hard but not impossible, and each time we got through it okay; I’m not sure if it’s given the kids a cavalier view of things but death is as much a part of life, it seems, as any inevitability: they understand the finality and we are better for it, for having these memories wrapped up inside of the happy joys: I remember how the dogs got in the fight that led to having the police knock on our door later, sure, but mostly as something to laugh at; likewise the way Bean would frisk about in unfettered delight when we would take him to the fields to run.

I know they’re hanging out and having fun somewhere, even if it’s only a corner of my mind. I know this with great certainty because I’m happier to know it. There’s not always enough concrete knowledge of everything in this world and that drives me to anxious measures at times, let’s see if we can’t make patterns and draw conclusions from thin data. You get so wrapped up in drawing these things out that you don’t realize your patterns are nothing but cobwebs and dust, how we want something so much they may be made real by the weight of your beliefs.

Mike

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