In most cases, I go for weeks and MONTHS without blogging because of those invisible antagonists like laziness, forgetfulness or busyness. Between work, spending the weekends with friends, arting (when you art just for fun), going on trips, and being a wife and friend to my hubby, I find such few moments where I can just sit down and type ALL THIS stuff. But lets face it – you also have to be in the right mood for blogging.
And to be honest, I haven’t been in the mood to blog for months. Not for 6 months. I’ve been afraid of this space for so long and just kept it in the dark – in the tip top dusty shelf of my head space where I didn’t have to think about it or look at it in the eyes. Only 12 hours after I wrote my last blog post, our sweet Curie passed away. It was the darkest and roughest night of our lives, and until this day, it hurts me so much thinking about the moments leading up to our decision to euthanize her. She was too far gone and was in too much pain that we ended up helping her go. Saying good bye but not being able to explain to her what was happening or how much I loved her was the hardest part, and I wish that I could’ve at least removed her fear if not all the pain before her final panicked breath. I read a lot of blogs after that day, just to see how other people coped with euthanasia. No matter the situation, it seemed like all parents experienced some measure of regret. Did we euthanize her too soon? Did we wait too long? Would we have had more time if we gave her more of a fighting chance? Oh god, why did we wait so long? Why did we do that. Why didn’t we just rush her into the vet and alleviate her pain HOURS ago? So many hours. We waited all night long. We waited too long. Stupid, stupid.
Fast forward about 6 months. My husband and I are driving back from our friend’s house after dinner, talking about what he wants for his birthday which is his first tattoo. He tells me he wants the phrase “So it goes” tattooed somewhere on his body and I ask him where that phrase comes from. He says it’s a reoccurring refrain from the book Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut which is an autobiographical science-fiction book of sorts that explores themes like the illusion of free will and inevitability. Spark Notes of course summarizes this phrase nicely:
The phrase “So it goes” follows every mention of death in the novel, equalizing all of them, whether they are natural, accidental, or intentional, and whether they occur on a massive scale or on a very personal one. The phrase reflects a kind of comfort in the Tralfamadorian idea that although a person may be dead in a particular moment, he or she is alive in all the other moments of his or her life, which coexist and can be visited over and over through time travel. At the same time, though, the repetition of the phrase keeps a tally of the cumulative force of death throughout the novel, thus pointing out the tragic inevitability of death.
Ben was explaining to me that there’s a kind of comfort in the phrase “So it goes” because it supplements the fact that many (or all depending on your philosophy) life events are out of our control. Bad things happen and we can not do anything about it. A person, pet, family, village or an entire race of people dies and yet the universe and our world as we know it goes on spinning. We go on. If you don’t, then something else will. The passage of time is unmoved by our pains or shaky grip of reality. Some of this is hard for people to grasp, especially in conjunction with things like religion. I can delve into the riddle of “free will” and write many blog posts about consciousness, brain complexity, and the sort of depressing position of determinism. But if you try to understand it from Vonnegut’s perspective and accept your powerlessness in the unavoidable (like death, taxes, pop up ads, etc.), then you would realize that there is actually a LACK of meaning in these deaths.
Curie’s death happened and “so it goes.” I’m grateful for the AMAZING photos and 5 years of memories we have of her that live on inside our minds. What a pup! What a beard she had :) It helps to accept the calm in the almost legal affirmation of this phrase, and nothing has helped more than simply the passing of time which lessens and heals all wounds.