And Then There Were Four

I love change.

I talk about it. Write about it. Preach it. And practice it.

I encourage it in our clients. Expect it of ourselves. And have learned that when change itself is not an obstacle, there are no limits to which the mind can go.

It took me longer than it should to realize that not everyone sees things this way. And that for many, the status quo is a safe and known place.

Today, I know that one of the reasons we get hired regularly is because we have learned to articulate our vision for a client’s future while remaining sensitive to and pragmatic of their present. We make change safe.

Intellectually, I have come to understand the difficulty so many people have with change. But while I could sympathize, I realized this week I couldn’t empathize.

Because I had never experienced the pain that change can bring.

Until now.

Those of you that read this blog know that our eldest dog, Harry, died on Thursday

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I know that for some the death of a dog, while sad, is not a tragedy in the context of the world’s suffering. Particularly not a dog who lived a full and active life, and died peacefully in the arms of two people that loved him.

But I can only measure my pain by what I feel. And this is change that I would give anything to rewind.

I long for the stasis of a few days ago, when we didn’t know he was dying - so he wasn’t dying.

When we could look at every picture and smile.

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I hate change and the pain it has brought. I hate change and how it has made me feel about the present. I hate change and how it has scared me about the future.

I hate change.

But even in the darkness and through the sorrow, there are glimmers of things that are better for Harry’s departure.

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His sister Maya, who for twelve years has taken a back seat, now has our attention in full force. We seek her out when she wanders off. We take her with us on errands. We show her off in public. We love her in a way we haven’t before.

We have time back. The time of helping him onto his bed and off his bed. Of helping him stand and helping him sit. Of supporting him up the stairs, and supporting him down. Of medicating him, and feeding him by hand, and staying in a room to keep him company when everyone else was outside.

We have freedom to leave our four dogs for more than an hour. To go to meetings with new clients. Or for a drive. Or out to dinner.

Small things. But things that are better. And that we can make even better.

I wish Harry were still alive. With all my heart and soul.

But there is a release that has come - for him and for us - that is undeniably good.

This is a new kind of change for me. Unwanted and painful.

And I understand, now, why change is so hard for so many.

But there are possibilities that exist today that did not before. And that is something to embrace.

I love Harry.

And I love change.

And one does not deny the other.

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