A good old friend is losing a loved one.
I know a wise woman, an old crone-carer soul, who all her life has been what I call an animal crooner. One of those people who speak to animals and is heard by them, who refuses, as we all should, to eat meat on the grounds that she cannot partake of a friends flesh, and who has rescued animals to change their lives with her love and companionship.
As I write this she as at home with her beautiful old dog Allie, settling her and calming her into death.
Allie has golden fur like the softest velvet, a sweet and motherly nature, a body warm and made for lap-cuddles. Yet she is old and frail and may be in pain.
All those who know Allie and her wise companion, her fur-mother, hope that Allie can move peacefully into the quiet. There, she will feel no more pain. She will be all: the space, the light, the stars, the earth, the chase, the tickle, the wag of the tail and the dust that hangs in a sunbeam. As she moves into this every-ness she will hear the soft voice of her best friend and Mum telling her she is a good girl, a good girl, a good old girl.
It is our hope, all of us who know these fine friends that this passing will happen naturally. And if it shouldn’t be so, if one has to decide to free her friend from further pain, then know this, that we can dignify a life held dear by crooning out a loved one as we assist them to die.
There is no shame in this, only the deepest compassion of one being for another’s pain.
Softly, softly, you loving friends, may your end song be sung as sweet as your life together.