Thursday, October 27, 2011
Partings and Reunions
Oprah showed the youtube clip today of Christian the Lion's reunion with the two young men, Ace and John, who raised him as an orphaned cub in England, until he grew too big to keep. The men returned Christian to Africa, where George Adamson (of Born Free fame) agreed to reintroduce the lion to the wild. I had seen it before, months before Pup died.
A year later, the young men traveled to Kenya, hoping to see Christian again. They were warned that the lion was now fully integrated into the wild and likely would not remember them, that it could even prove dangerous. They went anyway. There is a link to the reunion, below, which makes me cry every time I see it.
The total joy of their reunion, the strength of their connection, the inter-species love, trust and joy, wonderful as it is to witness, just breaks my heart. This was the kind of greeting Pup gave me on return from being away. He, too, stood on his hind legs and tried to hug me, as Christian did Ace and John. It is hard to know that will never happen again in this life, when I so wish it could.
But I also have to believe that one day, we will meet again. Just before Pup died, I told him that when I die, I want him to come and get me. The way the energy in the room changed, I knew he understood, as he understood everything. He had a human intelligence inside that black fur body, and his gaze penetrated more deeply than other dogs in my life, or humans either, for that matter. It was like he saw inside me. Our connection was deeper than I have had with any other being. And he loved me better, too, than any other being ever has.
I miss my boy tonight. I'd better not watch this video again for a while. It about does me in.
And today Faiza asked me, for the first time, the big question. Her husband, Bill, is on palliative care, but Faiza has had a hard time wrapping her mind around this reality. I have been worried that she doesnt realize how close to the end we are.
Their dog Lara has stopped eating. Faiza said to me, "Does Lara know something we dont know? Do you think it will be soon?"
I looked at her and said, honestly, but gently, "Yes, I think it will." Poor Faiza. I expect very debilitating grief and collapse once Bill dies. She has pushed herself beyond exhaustion, in her efforts to care for him and see him through. But once he is not there, it is going to be very tough for her. And for Lara. I expect I will be her main support, then, as she doesnt really have anyone else.
And Bill? He made me cackle like a witch this morning. He asked the care aide to adjust the oxygen tube attached to his nostrils.
The care aide asked, "In your nose?"
"No..." said Bill, sarcastically, "blow it up my ass!" and I just cracked up. He gave me a faint little smile, to show the old fighting spirit was still in there. When I told Faiza she laughed so hard.
People - laughter - tears - lions - dogs - love - hearts - connection - all pretty wondrous.
Here's the clip. Warning: be prepared to cry!