Maggie the magnificent magpie died very suddenly Sunday. I've been doing the Oprah/Choprah meditation on total wellness program, and have been puzzling over their declaration that illness and aging are not a necessary part of life. It has come to me that, with two exceptions (Al, the crazed Dalmatian, and Murphy the Terrier who came to me with kidney disease) all of my home companion animals have lived until they died. Even Murph, who was given up for lost by my vet several times, died while digging wildly for a gopher. It's not about outfoxing death, I realize; it's about living until it's time to move on.This is one of the best things I have read...ever...about living our lives. Think about it. We all know that life is not perfect for animals or humans. Pain, sadness, rain and the occasional empty food dish can make a day long. But those things do not need to be replayed in the mind. The difference between the dog or cat and we humans is that animals do not bother about the past for one second. They don't count on the future and live for what might be. They forgive and forget. It is as though they are genetically wired to be happy and good from the moment they are born. No one need teach them about love or happiness because they just are.
As Sally so wisely pointed out, we can never outfox death or aging or illness. In fact we will live until we don't and how we live is ours to decide. So take a lesson from Sally's beloved Murph who suffered from kidney disease but just kept digging for gophers, wagging his tail until he drew his last breath. He knew somehow his life wasn't about "outfoxing" pain. Life was about digging until he couldn't dig anymore...living until it's time to move on.