The Unconditional Love of Four Chocolate Labs

The man said, “I don’t know why,
but Jack’s death is haunting me.”

A friend had just blurted it out
assuming the man had read the
same notice.

In following days, the man pondered:
Perhaps because it was out of the
blue; maybe because, at one time Jack
and I were really close friends and
then just drifted apart, perhaps
because another “one time” intimate
has died.

Then he ruminated back over the years:
A high school girlfriend, a high
school/college girlfriend, a few
high school buddies, some college
friends, colleagues, a wife and four
chocolate labs in a row who just
up and died.

It just all seems too soon, too
short, too fragile, too impermanent,
too…something. I’m sure some of
these deaths were long in coming,
but sudden upon my hearing —
no time to get used to the parting.

And then in honesty in the stillness
of the moment of his thoughts: Maybe
because he didn’t have a chance or
take the opportunity at the time to
say what a wise man once wrote were
the most important sentences: “I’m
sorry. Please forgive me. I forgive
you. I love you,” except, that is,
for the four chocolate labs. He
was given the opportunity to
tell them and he took it.

He thought: Thank God for
the unconditional love of
the four chocolate labs.

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