In which I say goodbye to a beloved friend, and try to understand how to move on

Kira_1000

I’ve had to step away from my creative work for a little while because Kira, my great dane, was very ill, and finally passed away about a month ago. Now, some people will understand what a heartbreaking event this has been, but to anyone who finds themselves saying, “so what, it’s just a dog”, well I have to say that you are “just an idiot”.

Studio_Feb 2016

I spent some time at my easel about a week and a half before Kira died, so these are the last paintings I worked on while she was still alive.

Since then, I’ve walked into my studio a few times, but looking at my work and materials brings back too many memories so end up walking out again without working, not ready to move on. I began painting seriously back in the fall of 2009, at the same time as I adopted her as a gigantic, nutty 4-month old puppy. She’s been nearby as I worked on every single piece of art I’ve made, and it feels strange to pick up a paintbrush without her by my side. Her absence leaves me unmoored, ungrounded, and unwilling to accept that an era has ended abruptly. I loved her as though she were my child, so the loss is cruel, beyond my understanding.

So how to move on? Any suggestions?

I guess you just do. You pick up the brushes and squeeze paint out of the tubes and fling it at the canvas, despite grief, anguish or bitter anger. You find new projects to get involved with, and the day passes, and then a week, and then four.

So godspeed to you my Kira girl, may you run free in whatever Rainbow Bridge dog heaven there may be. It was a privilege to have been able to participate in your too-brief life, and I’ll never forget you, as long as I live.

“Every atom of me and every atom of you will live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams.” (Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials)

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