Time is a precarious thing. Something we think we know, we think we have; like a fickle lover whose adoration one moment feeds and sustains your soul then obliterates your heart for amusement.
For the bereaved, for those of us left behind, the grief is unbearable enough without having to grapple with this eternal riddle of time.
I exist in this state where the past continually collides with the present, and I don’t often trust my perception of time. Or reality for that matter. Mostly, because I can’t help but think of the ending of Haruki Murakami’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
I won’t ruin the story or the ending…well, I’ll try my best. However, the question it raised for me was: given a choice between one’s external reality and one’s internal reality, and if everything really only exist in my mind, why wouldn’t I want to live there forever if it makes me happy?
Isn’t being happy the whole point of this human struggle?
Clearly, I’m not the person to ask, being grief stricken and unsure of time and place most days. Although I am unsure of time, Butter’s passing as made me more aware, more conscientious of how I use my time.
There’s the adage: you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. It’s a general truth given that we take so much for granted in our lives; life being the number one thing and, in essence, the time.
Yeah…time – the one thing we never seem to have enough of but waste so much of what we do have.
Butter’s death was unexpected as she was the younger of two dogs we have and had never any major health problems. In truth, we had her for a long time, 11 good years. I took her presence for granted believing that we had all the time in the world.
And what I regret, as with most people who lose loved ones, is that, in retrospect, I wasted the time that I could have spent creating happy memories with her on things that didn’t matter.
So, while I don’t think I’ll ever be able to answer the riddle of time, I can at least spend what time I do have on what matters most to me.
And I’m grateful for that clarity Butter’s life has given me.