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Honoring You After You're Gone


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I'm down to 2 dogs. One cat. It's almost numbing, the cumulative grief and sense of loss. Brilly, my first greyhound, my blonde bombshell, my old gentleman, was taken by osteo recently, like so many of our greyhounds, in a week. Wabi was swept away by bloat in a matter of hours. Happy was ground down by a hard life and digestive dysfunction over years. Two of my old kitties lived their lives with me, through thick and thin, and are now gone. Before that, there were others, down through the years. You know what I mean. It adds up. It never gets easier with repetition.


But, I don't want to remember them in tears! I made Wabi a promise to remember her in joy, as she lived, as she wanted everyone around her to live. It's not easy. Sometimes it's impossible. But that's how I want to honor her, and all my dear departed family.


I wrote this poem when I was trying to work this out, and I want to share it here in hopes that it might possibly help others find a path through the grief. Please share it if you think someone else might need a loving hand.


Happy Thanksgiving, my Greytalk family!



Honoring You

After you're gone

For now,

I will wash my freshly wounded heart with tears.

But our lives were shared with a common goal:

To give each other joy.

In the days to come,

will I revoke remembered joy

with sadness?

My lonely heart will cry

that any pleasure

betrays you,

that smiles defile

the sanctity of my pain,

that laughter profanes

the new emptiness that fills me,

that your absence means

all pleasure has ceased.

But, that was not our way.

We had a simple pact,

you and I:

to smile and laugh,

to share even the smallest joys

and every comfort,

to revel in all the humor we found

each day.

To be true to you,

my beloved,

to honor you,

I must choose the happiness you wished me to have.

When I think of you,

I will smile.

When my arms ache for the warmth of you,

I will reach for a friend,

and share the love you taught me.

This way, the space you leave in my heart

will fill with light,

not darkness.

This way,

I will honor you.

This way,

I will always have

the real you

here, with me.

Thank you

for being part of me.


~Xan Blackburn, 2013


My Inspirations: Grey Pogo, borzoi Katie, Meep the cat, AND MY BELOVED DH!!!
Missing Rowdy, Coco, Brilly, Happy and Wabi.

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This is very beautiful. Thank you for sharing

Mom to Macho (JS XtremeMachine 1/12/2007 -8/17/2012 ... Gotcha day 9/2/2011. I miss you BigMan)
Moonbeam (Ninos Full Moon 11/1/2009, Gotcha day 9/2/2012), Hattie (Kiowa Hats Off 4/14/2011, Gotcha day 10/13/2012), Keiva (JS Igotyourbooty 1/12/2007, Gotcha Day 1/8/2014)
Jimmy (Blu Too James 06/26/2014, Gotcha day 09/12/2015)
, a shepard mix named Tista, some cats, and some reptiles.

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Guest 4rooers

Thank you for sharing this. Sometimes holidays are hard because there are loved ones no longer here. Your words remind me that I need to remember the love, not the loss.

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thanks for that.


We too, have lost several family members...dogs, horses, cat, bunnies... over the years and it never gets easier.


Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Joshi.  Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.




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So beautiful. :cry1

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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Xan, I read this before and it still brings me to tears. But it's a lovely poem, and I will never look at dandelions the same way again. Wabi was such a beautiful creature inside and out, and taught us a lot about living in the moment leaving many wonderful memories.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si) and Abbey Field.  Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Thank you, Xan.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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{Xan} Thank you so much.

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. AnnIE Oooh M

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden 1-4.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Xan that was beautiful. I was just sitting here reading GT and really feeling the loss of Wink. Reading that poem made me realize that is exactly how she would want me to feel. Thank you


<p>Finn, Wink, Birdie, Snap and SmokeyJG Quicknfast 7/25/99-5/16/08, JG Quickwink 7/25/99-9/22/13, Iruska SweetDuv 7/19/03-11/9/16, Delbar 6/11/11 and Catahoula Smokey
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Guest lynne893

Exactly how I'm feeling now, that anything besides the deepest grief is a betrayal. But time will help me feel differently.


Thank you for your loving poem, and my condolences to you Xan.

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