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April 19th. Saying goodbye.

The Owner has cried so much into her computer than the space key hasstoppedworking.


TheOwnerdriesher keyboard.

I have been reading about People, she says, who have not had chance to say Goodbye. We have to Change This. This Cannot Happen. Some things have to be a Priority.

I look at the Owner’s Tomato Nose. I am sure that they Understood why they Could Not, I say.

I am sure they did, says the Owner, but that does not make it any less Terrible that we did not find a way for them to Say Goodbye.

Why is it so Important to say Goodbye? I ask.

It is Part of being Human, says the Owner. It is why we are here. We live for Each Other as well as for ourselves.

It is also part of being Dog, I say. I did not say goodbye to my friends at Day Care before the Shut Down, I say.

And how does that feel? Asks the Owner.

Unfinished, I say, and Incomplete. Like a Phone Call cut off in Mid Conversation, I say, or a Hug suddenly broken and never completed. Like a Memory that has not had chance to Tidy Itself up, or a Story Unfinished. Like Losing Something that can Never be Found Again, and only Realising it is Gone when it is Too Late to Look for it. Like being about to tell your Best Friend that they are your best Friend when you Blink and they are Gone.

I  could not have put it better myself, says the Owner. She starts tocryagain.

Youhadbetterwipeyourkeyboard, I say.

Human beings must say goodbye, says the Owner. It is an Absolute Priority. It is for Love and for Dignity and for all that is Human.

But, I say, if people are Infectious then it would be dangerous to say Goodbye.

Of course it is Dangerous, says the Owner, but Some Dangers are Worthy of Facing. Perhaps that is for those that Love to Decide. Who are we to say?

Perhaps, I say, when the Doctors and Nurses are so busy Saving Lives they have no Capacity to Manage the Saying of the Goodbyes.

That may well be True, says the Owner, but then we must find more Capacity. Doctors and Nurses know that they save Lives just as much in the saying Goodbye as in the Survival. All lives are lost in the end but Doctors have the Privilege of Caring at the Moment of Departing. It is an Honour which comes with a Duty so Immense that it can never be shirked.

Doctors and Nurses cannot choose between Saving lives and Saying Goodbye, I say. They must always Save Lives.

It is all Saving Lives, says the Owner. Lives are saved in many Different ways. The Purpose of Life is not found purely in the Living of it. It is found in who we live it with, how we form those Relationships, how we maintain them, and how we Let them Go. It is our Dignity. It is our Humanity.

They are using iPads, I say.

It is Something but it is not enough, says the Owner. We have to find a way. The Last Part of the Life becomes Even More Important if there is to be no Next Part. There is no Substitute for Knowing your Person is Beside You.

That it is the same for Moral Dogs, I say. I am glad that One Day I will see Caspar again, I say.

So am I, says the Owner.






Categories: dignity dog dog philosophy dying goodbye love

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Hergest the Hound

I am a dog of many thoughts.

1 reply

  1. Is it possible that because of the fear of being separated from loved ones some may not seek treatment? I can think of few things more terrifying than facing that last journey alone, perhaps the only thing worse is the fear of giving the illness to someone you love. And I am sure no one wants to put health workers at risk. These are sad and challenging times.


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