Even in the midst of great joy, shadows loom around the edges. We know that loss is inevitable, but we’re too busy living to think about it. I was reminded of that just this month when our beloved older dog was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer and we had to put him to sleep. He’d been ailing for a while with symptoms of old age, or so we thought, but we were busy making his senior years happy and comfortable. We knew in the abstract his life would end sooner rather than later, but when it came, we were unprepared.
It’s the nature of loss, this feeling of being unprepared. A friend recently lost her job. Despite some warning signals, she was unprepared. A family member acted out. Despite decades of experience with her bad behavior, I was unprepared.
Here’s the thing: every loss reminds us of its flip side and that flip side is joy.
Darkness comes. It will always come, just as the sun sets over this beautiful rose.
And yet, nature reminds us that this is the way of our world and that spring always comes again in a never-ending cycle of life.
We miss our sweet, old dog. Riley has been moping around with a sad sack face for more than a week, but Little He’s death cast a dark shadow over me, too. I miss him more than I could even have imagined.
In the midst of this darkness, two young men spent their spring break with us, reminding me that life is also full of joy and love. Life is for the living–and for the enjoyment.
It’s a good reminder.