The Shape Of My Heart
There really are no words to express the feelings of loss I feel. On Friday, March 20, I held Jackie in my arms for the last time. This is the last photo of us together, a final farewell after the injection that took her from this world. She was the quiet one, the one that people didn’t always notice at first. But once you knew her, you knew how special she was. Her presence in my life transformed me, changed me, awakened me. She breathed life into this dying vessel and taught me how to feel again. Her time here was too short, too quick, cut down by a tick born infection that ultimately ended in cancer. She was and still is my emotional compass, always guiding me back to myself, the captain of my heart on this journey of discovery into the unknown. She was my guide and my partner, and now I must travel this road on my own with hopes that the lessons I learned from our time together will remain. As was her nature, she slipped into my heart quietly, unnoticed at first, and then busted the door open from the inside. I can only hope that door will stay open as I move forward without her.
Everywhere I look I am reminded of her, as I walk around and see all her favorite spots. The void she has left is huge, and I feel it all around me. I still hear her footsteps on the kitchen floor, her breathing in the other room. I still imagine her flying through the air to catch a frisbee, even though the last time she was able to do that was 9 months ago. Her shadow looms large and I see her ghost everywhere I turn. I know that at some point the hurting will stop, but for now I embrace it as her final gift to me, because hurting is feeling, and feeling is living. And ultimately that is what Jackie gave me. She gave me my life back. Goodbye sweet Jackie, you will always be in my heart and by my side, and I look forward to when we meet again.