Monday, 7 December 2015

My Best Friend Grace

*Originally posted on the FMK blog on the 16th of August, 2014.

Last night, on the 15th of August 2014 my beloved dog Grace passed away as she had intense pain due to lymphoma. She was a labrador cross kelpie at the age of 13, and my best friend. This was my first time experiencing the emotional impact of the death of someone close to me. My parents brought Grace home as a puppy in 2001. At the time I was 4 years old and I had always wanted a dog. I was so excited that I ran and told the cat.

Over the years Grace has been the best and loyalist friend to me. She was always there for me when I would get home from being bullied at primary school day after day. And she was always there when I would get home from a mentally and sometimes emotionally strenuous day at high school. When ever I was sad Grace was there to give me a cuddle. Grace was a extremely friendly dog and her ears were the softest and silkiest things I had ever touched. Grace would always sleep at the end of my bed. Now my bed feels rather empty. I know I have spoken and theorised about death in a previous blog, but experiencing it is different. It's real. I think it provides one with a better understanding of life.

 The saddest event I have ever experienced was being in the same room when the vet gave Grace an anaesthesia overdose to end her pain. My brother and I couldn't watch. We Just hugged each other. After a few seconds, Grace's pain was gone and she was quiet. At that moment I gained a deeper understanding of the fragility and value of life. Life is the most precious gift to have been given, and thus it should be nurtured. By this I mean that people should live happy and healthy lives. People should care about what is significant. Feeling anxious about exams feels pointless to me now.

I began to question why, if life should be nurtured, have I trained in techniques that cause harm for the past 5 years. Why have I trained my fist to be strong? Why have I been learning where peoples week points are and how to strike them in combat to inflict damage?. There is only 1 justifiable reason that I can think of for learning how to destroy. I have known it for a long time but now I feel as if I have only just realised it. The martial techniques are of course for self preservation. For the protection of one's life if/when need be. For some reason some people don't appreciate life, like those competition fighters who promote the misuse of combative techniques. People who don't appreciate life may want to end yours. And so the Martial Arts is to restore balance. Practicing martial techniques can also be a good way to exercise. But they can only be for those who are responsible. For those who's mind and heart are in the right place. I have always understood this intellectually, but now I feel I have a very deep emotional understanding of this.

The first thing I said when I first laid eyes on Grace all those years ago was "Fanks!". The last thing I said, one minute before she died was "Fanks Grace, fanks for being my friend." I gave her a kiss on the head and one minute later, my most loyal and caring friend was relieved of her pain forever. I am 17 years of age and since Grace came into my life when I was 4, I haven't known a life without her. I suppose this is another lesson the universe has to teach. I feel sad that Grace is no longer with me in physical form. However I believe I should celebrate the fact that she lived a long life for a dog of her size and cherish my memories of her. I will always love her for as long as I live.

Thank You Gracie for being the best friend I could ask for.

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