My friend lay heavily sedated on the table, his breathing shallow. He wasn't in pain, but he'd been losing weight steadily and was barely eating.
It hurt to watch him walk, as he got weaker and more shaky. He was spending more and more time sleeping, between getting up to sip water and consider food. He knew he was sick, and why he was getting the special attention of treats and more attention. But he'd still stop and look you in the eyes, never wavering.
|My friend Max|
He could be quite annoying, as good friends often are. He'd loudly wake me in the mornings sometimes, just talking. If we tried to go on a trip, he was likely to curl up in the open suitcase on the floor. As he got older, he reminded me of myself as he shed more hair, and sometimes couldn't keep his food down.
But you could count on him to be there, to say "Hello," to share affection. His grace and agility matched his genuine loyalty, affection and intelligence.
So I kept my hand on his head, gently talking to him, watching his breathing lessen and then stop.
The house seems empty. I feel empty. Good friends are hard to come by, and losing a friend reminds how much we share precious and interconnected life, and the certainty of mortality.