Death is a Clarifier

Do you know what connections really matter?

NOTE: this is pretty personal and gritty today, so if you don’t want it, stop reading.

This week got off to a horrible start.

Well, Monday day was fine, actually pretty solid. Woke up, felt good, visited a new gym, walked with my Fine Husband and two kids

Went about my day, blah blah blah, wrapping up with two business errands which brought be home at 530ish.
As usual, my two kids came happily out to greet me when I drove in the driveway.

About a half hour later, I noticed that Hops, the older kid, wasn’t inside.
Now, that may not seem unusual – it’s really lovely comfy fall weather right now, and lots of humans are outside in the early evenings too.

This was unusual because it was 6 pm.
And Hops knows 6 pm like a rocket scientist knows a count down.

“Where’s Hops?” I wondered….
I found her laying outside.
Okay, again not terribly unusual. She’s got one heck of a thick fur coat. I’d want cooler weather with that thing on to.

I went to her, laying in the side yard, and she wouldn’t wag her tail or even hardly lift her head from her laying down position. That was unusual.

To make a not very long story shorter, over the course of the next few hours, we’d called the vet, taken her in and tragically, made the choice to end her sudden suffering.

Some strange aggressive tumors were taking over, she had fluid around her heart and we’d have no way of knowing her condition…until it took over in full force which happened on Monday night.

She’s gone.

That was Monday.

Here’s why I share this.
Death is a great clarifier.

In every way, Hops’ very untimely demise (and 2 days before her brothers’ 3rd birthday) has impacted my life, Larry’s life and for certain Züc’s life.

We’re all quite lost not expecting to see her fluffy wagging tail come barreling at us, happy no matter.

For anyone who’s lost a loved one, you know this pain is intensely personal. No one feels the way you feel (so never offer seeming words of “I understand”) – no one. Every experience of grief is unique. (Choose “I’m so sorry for your loss” instead and simply be there. )

Why I choose to share this very personal story with you today is that it’s brought my purpose to a full hard stop, planted squarely and immediately in front of my brown eyes.

What the hell am I doing with my life?
What’s my purpose?
Who do I value?
Who do I spend enough time with, who do I want to spend more time with, who don’t I ever want to waste time again with?

Who and what am I connected with.
That’s the full hard stop in my head right now.

Life carries on, thankfully, though it’s tough sometimes, no lie – no faking it’s easy or all happy.

I canceled appointments, shifted my schedule, was quiet, cried, loved up Züc.
The eleven+ years we had with Hops covered a lot of significant ground. And her predecessor, Belle, at 15, covered even more. I can only hope Züc lives long and well.

I don’t trot out personal misfortune for your sympathy.
I share today to encourage you – to beg you – to get superdupercrystalclear on what your connections to your work, your efforts, your family, your friends and colleagues are to you.

Make time NOW to get clear (hopefully without a death to shock you into doing so).

Who and what are you connected to and with?

In recent months, I’ve made gobs of personal and professional progress.
And Hops’ death has brought it up to a new level of real for me.

Friends, know this.
You are valued, by me. I am grateful for every single one of you.
I notice you and appreciate you. Thank you from every facet of my healthy heart.
Be sure to let those you value know the same, every single day, every opportunity.

That’s it today.
Nothing to sell or promote.
A pretty f’n fundamental reminder we’re all animals and our time is finite. We have no way of knowing when the plug will get pulled.

Go. Think. Feel. Then, do what matters. Do what connects you to this one precious life. Don’t wait.

Yours,

g

Züc (l) & Hops (r), earlier this year.