Oh My Sweet Mandela

For the first time in 14 years, I am going to sleep tonight without the comfort of Mandela’s existence on the planet.

I have much more to write on this topic, and I will, but tonight I am exhausted and need soon to sleep. But I am also somewhat overwhelmed with emotion and feel the need to put a few things down. A start to this extended conversation.

Writing in a public forum is complicated. I am cognizant about sounding overly dramatic about an event that is relatively common. But because this also serves as a personal journal, I feel a need to be truthful about my feelings. So there is some conflict about how much to write; or how deeply to share. The loss of Mandela is extremely raw for me right now. I am feeling guilt and doubt about whether I made the decision too early. And of course the pain of loss. Just the fact that the little dog is not somewhere being loved on or sleeping peacefully leaves me feeling a deep loneliness.

When I was traveling, I always missed the little dog. But I also always knew that she was with someone who cared for her. Mom and Dad or Terri, or Larry or September or Carla or Kelly. This is a dog who had no shortage of people willing to watch over her if I was on walkabout. But now there is no more Mandela in form. Her memory is strong. There are still hairs of hers on my comforter. I can imagine her weight on the bed and her smell and her soft snore as she lie next to me. But the stronger visual is of the doctor, as we all sat on the floor, injecting the poisons, one needle at a time, into the catheter attached to Mandela’s leg. The very kind and gentle doctor was careful to be methodical and announce each step. Leaving time for me to change my mind right up to the end. I heard her, but I was so overcome with emotion that I was not able to communicate at all. I was a child again. Completely overcome with grief and uncontrollable crying.

Just taking Mandela into that room with the knowledge of what was about to happen, feels like such a betrayal of trust.

There are so many stories about this little dog. This amazing being and great and loyal companion. I will get to them in time. And try to capture the essence of each experience with the clarity deserved.

Until then…….farewell my friend.

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