Today I face one my greatest challenges: staying positive and present when I've lost my best friend, my loyal pup, my sweet little Bella. Though I cannot imagine life without her -- and I how I will cope with this overwhelming feeling of grief -- I know life will go on. I know every day will get a little bit easier. But for now, I'll take comfort in the memories I have of Bella (some of which you can see in the video above) and in the words of Ellen Bass, who reminds us that, even in the midst of the darkest grief, we can choose to love life...
“To love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.”
I have much to say on the topic of Bella and losing a loved one, today I have to embrace the silence that comes with the pain of loss. Though it's incredibly difficult to stay present when I am so filled with sadness, I am, in a way, grateful for such a deep and profound pain. The pain is a reminder of the love, of the true and lasting way that little furry pup impacted my life. She is -- and always will be -- one of the great loves of my life, and I will be forever changed for the better because I knew and loved her.