Snuggled in bed this morning with my Min Pin, Lily and my Pug, Lukei, I thought about how much I enjoyed their presence and how much I loved their furry little faces. However, like an artist who paints a beautiful masterpiece only to have an ugly black spot suddenly appear and destroy it, so the recesses of my mind remind me that an ugly black spot has appeared on my beautiful life picture as well. The ugly black spot of death.
Some of you reading this may not have had this pervasive, life impeding, black spot appear yet, but for those of you who have, you know exactly what I mean. The knowledge that all life must die and not all deaths are peaceful, occurring during sleep, at the ripe old age of 100. That event or events which brings on an unsettled, uncomfortable feeling of gloom, depriving you of having a completely happy moment, because somewhere, sometime, the black spot in your life picture, will seep over the entire painting until only darkness remains.
For me the black spot appeared the day I found out my brother had committed suicide. Suicide, such a strange occurrence, the murder on ones self. Like my circumstance, you may also have experienced a sudden and tragic death of a loved one or it may have been long and drawn out, only to leave a black spot in your mind and heart forever. An ache that will remain with you for as long as you live, because you are now faced with the reality that death is not only real, but it affects and happens to you.
Growing up in the beginning of the slasher film era, I escaped to a place where I was faced with death but at the end, knew that no one really died, the actors just got up, walked away, and were paid a heck of a lot of money. In a way, I think it caused me to feel that death was not real. I believe it may be the same with today's video games, your buddy, brother, mother gets killed in a video game, you both just start a new game, there he or she is alive and well. Not true in real life, in this game of life, your buddy, brother, mother dies here and he or she is dead. You are separated and must continue life without them. So, you do, but you do - forever changed. The black spot has imprinted itself on you mind, heart, and soul, reaching it's darkness to stretch out so far as to even affect your body, making you physically ill.
For me, I will be forever haunted by the black spot of death. But, I remain hopeful, trying to live in the moment, because today, this moment, as I now gaze out from my second story bay window to the farm behind our house and see the cattle grazing on the spotty green and hay colored rolling hills, I think, in this moment they are living life, being cows, doing what cows do, enjoying themselves. In this moment they are satisfied. I look about the room, drawn by the comforting sound of Lukei's soft snoring and see that he is curled up in the Queen Anne chair, I know that he has a full tummy and by all accounts is completely happy. I then glance over to the couch, and there is my Princess Lily, all snuggled in her pink and brown, leopard patterned bed that is surrounded by her pink Princess blankie. The blankie, for which she has taken great care to scratch and scrunch, with teeth and paws to make it just the way she wants it. She lays there silently, in total bliss and I am pleased. But, as all hauntings do, when you least expect it, it returns. In my case the black spot reappears, reminding me that a moment in time is here and gone in an instant, and there will come another moment in time when the cows will be slaughtered and the dogs will die, and how I dread those days. The black spot takes away from my brief moment of happiness. So now and forever, I must live with the yin and yang of reality. My own, but not private haunting. The black spot in my beautiful life, death.
Are you haunted too?