Thank you for your comforting comments about Stella. I have cried a lot over the last couple of days. But I have also laughed too. All the emotions are okay. Every single one of them.
I felt that knot in my chest at various times during the past week. It was the knot of fear. I know that feeling well. It happens when I realize that something is going to happen to someone or one of my animals, and I can do nothing to change the course of that. It is the fear of the known--not the unknown but the knowing that things are out of control.
I've had that fear so many times--when my father died, when my mother died, when my wife was drinking, when she had her heart attack, when an animal was sick. That fear of losing loved ones would sit like a huge weight on my heart.
I take comfort these days in knowing that I can take action only to a point. I can do the medical things necessary. I can make someone comfortable who is in pain. I can hold them and be with them when death is near. But what happens ultimately is out of my control. I cannot love them back to life or wellness. And that has helped to ease the fear. I pray for those who are sick and suffering and give them to the God of my understanding--that great cosmic energy that connects us in life and in death.
I used to wish that my love was powerful enough to make others well, live longer, be happy. I wanted to love my wife out of her alcoholism. It does not work that way. And it was no coincidence that the first post I read this morning was one that Pammie wrote about how we can't love someone out of their addiction. We truly aren't that powerful. She says it best:
I want to somehow tell the normal people out there to lighten up on yourselves because you aren't that powerful, you can not do anything to change the damage, you can't fix the limp. Your life is valuable to God and it is OK, I believe, to not sacrifice so much of your life for the addict because all your love is not what's missing for the addict. If the only thing standing between drug addiction and sobriety was the addict needing love and support.......well damn, just about everyone would be clean and sober.