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Happy Messy Love

January 29th, 2012 |
  • Happy Messy Love | Pretty Fluffy
  • Pretty Fluffy Blog
Copy: Serena Faber Nelson
Photography: Petal Photography

Three months ago I said goodbye to my Nan for the last time. At almost 95 years old, she had lived an amazing life. She lived through two world wars, the depression, a changing world landscape and a burgeoning family tree. But three months ago that life came to an end.

I wish I could tell you the final moments I spent with my Nan were as heartfelt as a Hollywood movie, but unfortunately they weren’t. We didn’t discuss our deepest, darkest fears or the meaning of life. I actually believe my final words to her were, “Soda says hi. It’s lucky dogs aren’t allowed in hospitals, she would have caused a ruckus, probably knocking over all these monitors and jumping on patient’s beds.” Hardly Oscar nomination worthy. But you know what? The memory of those final words make me smile today. Not just at the thought of Soda bringing destruction to the wards of Wodonga Hospital, but in the fact that both my Nan and I knew in that very moment that that’s what life is about. The small things. The good stuff. The things that make us smile.

The funny thing about grief is you can go for so long forgetting it even exists. But when it comes knocking you begin to see it everywhere. Not long after the loss of my Nan, I came to learn of others losing grandparents, siblings, parents and friends. I learned of other bloggers having to say goodbye to their dogs after years of faithful companionship. With each piece of news the waves of grief hit me again, and I would find myself crying for their loss and the piece of themselves they were saying goodbye to.

But as the weeks progressed another feeling soon began to emerge. It started small – like a shining, little ball of light in the depths of my torso. A light that began to shake off the feeling of helplessness… A light that began to remind me of all the love and happiness that precedes loss. Like I said – the small things, the good stuff.

You see for too many of us we get caught up in the big stuff. Mortgages, careers, travel…We find ourselves saying no to that drink with friends because we have to work late. Or we forget to call our mother because we got caught up in a meeting. Now life is life and we can’t be perfect. We have to earn a living, we have to have somewhere to live, but what I’m saying today is we can’t forget the small things that make our lives special. Because they are the essence of life. They’re what it’s all about. And you don’t want to realise this when it’s too late.

For pet owners, especially those of us caring for dogs in their twilight years, we’re almost too acutely aware of the short, sweet nature of life. It seems the bonds we develop only strengthen dramatically, the closer we come to saying goodbye. But rather than fearing the end, we should use that feeling to love more deeply, more often. Because life is short, and when it comes time to say goodbye, you want to know you’ve given it all you’ve got. One of my most favourite photographers, Kira DeDecker, actually sums this up best for me:

You love them. Embrace it. Life is so much sweeter when you get to share it with the ones you love.

Because there will be a day when you won’t be woken by their slobbery wet kisses and excited paws.

Your house will be quiet and you won’t be greeted by their barks.

You’ll have more money in your back account but fewer dirty paw prints on the floor.

Our lives pass so quickly and moments like this make up the most of it. I want you to remember the gorgeous happy messy love that it is.

So this week I want you to embrace happiness. To embrace love. Stop letting fear, shyness or pride get in the way of things. Smile. Cuddle. Reach out to others. Let people know that you’re here to love and be loved.

Live your life like you had to say goodbye tomorrow. You don’t need those Oscar worthy speeches, you just need that light inside. And when it comes time to say goodbye… you’ll know within your heart that you’ve lived.

{Dedicated to Alynne F Nelson}

Comments (27)

  • Beth January 29, 2012 at 1:15 am
  • Lori - What Remains Now January 29, 2012 at 6:47 am
  • Rachel {little bits of lovely} January 29, 2012 at 10:01 am
    • Serena Faber Nelson January 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm
  • Karyn January 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm
  • Rach // In Spaces Between January 30, 2012 at 10:10 am
  • Lindsay February 1, 2012 at 4:35 am
  • Kira DeDecker February 2, 2012 at 3:13 am
    • Serena Faber Nelson February 2, 2012 at 9:43 am
  • Sarah | Chic Sprinkles February 2, 2012 at 3:31 am
    • Serena Faber Nelson February 2, 2012 at 9:47 am
  • Maggie February 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm
    • Serena Faber Nelson February 7, 2012 at 11:28 am
  • Erica February 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm
    • Serena Faber Nelson February 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm
  • Lucent Imagery February 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm
    • Serena Faber Nelson February 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm

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