Monday, September 8, 2008

Sweet Sorrow

I have friends from the dog-walking cemetery who just moved to Vienna, Austria. I have known C and J for only about 8 months, but I totally fell in love with them and their dog Barney during that time. I know that we will keep in touch, and maybe even visit each other at some point over the next year or two, but it will not be the same as seeing them almost every day. I miss them already. I also don't know how my younger dog Amos is going to take their departure, because he and Barney not only look just alike but also are the best of wrestling and running buds. Peas in a pod, those two. I wonder if dogs miss each other in the same way that we do?

The way in which I miss my friends right now involves a combination of two sets of emotions that seem to be occurring equally strongly all at once. I find myself deeply saddened at the prospect of not seeing my friends and Barney on a daily basis -- they brought such a bright, happy light to the cemetery dog-walking community, and their departure leaves a hole in the fabric of that community. But this woe-is-me reaction is accompanied by a feeling of great happiness for my friends. The move to Vienna comes because of a wonderful new job for J, and I have no doubt that both he and C will relish living in one of Europe's most beautiful and culturally rich cities. This is such a great opportunity for them both, and I am so glad that they had the courage and sense of adventure to seize it. Plus, their presence in Vienna -- which is one of my favorite cities -- gives me an added incentive to go there.

I think that Shakespeare got it right, as usual, when he said that parting is such sweet sorrow. The sweetness of new possibilities brought about by a parting is mixed with the sorrow inherent in being separated from someone dear. At the moment I am letting both the sweetness and the sorrow do their thing inside of me, trying to make my peace with both these emotions so that I will be free to move on to the next thing that comes up. And I also am wishing that C's and Barney's first day in Vienna (they should have arrived this morning) will be a splendid one.


Barbara said...

It sounds like your heart is open to new friendships. I hope so, at least!

Do C & J know about your Blog? It would be a good way to stay in touch. And just think of the wonderful opportunity for travel you now have! Your dogs may not get to see Barney for a while, but there's no reason you can't make a trip to that beautiful city on the Danube!

Reya Mellicker said...

It's a rare thing to make a deep heart connection with anyone, so of course you will grieve their departure.

As for the paradox of emotions, well! Emotions are never simple, are they?

Much love to you dear friend, as you adjust to this change in your routine.

Adrianne said...

A "deep heart connection" - what a great description! Thank you, my friend, as always.

Merle Sneed said...

I remember so well my friends moving away. Since I am selfish, it was more bitter than sweet for me! Now that I'm older, it doesn't happen much.