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Shadows and Leaves

Posted by
john4jack (Corvallis, Oregon, United States) on 1 December 2010 in Miscellaneous and Portfolio.

BEAU - This is the most painful loss that I have experienced in all of my 75 yrs., nothing else comes close. He was with me like glue through my darkest hours. He has brought me comfort and unconditional love and joy like I never expect to know again. Beau was my deepest soul mate. Like all of my side of the family, he died prematurely. I pray that I might connect with him again in a vision or a dream.

It all happened way too fast. I took him to the vet at 11 am. He kept him for xrays and blood work. He called us in at 1:30 pm to see the xrays. There were massive tumors. The tumors against his heart made it difficult for him to breathe. The vet said that he had constant anxiety because of his difficulty breathing. (His going downhill was extremely fast too.) There was nothing that could be done. We had the rest of the afternoon with Beau at home laying up in the bed. At 6 pm the vet came to our house and we lay on the floor with Beau as the shots were given. That's the way that I wish that I could go. One of the worst parts about Beau's condition being so bad was that he needed to be put down before we had some quality time to hang out together, to fart around a bit, to sit up in the recliner and read or watch TV, to take a few very brief walks in the woods. We had no time to create some memories.

There is wave after wave of grief. Since Beau came into our lives, I have never felt alone. I love solitude; with Beau there, I was never alone. For the most part, I refused to go on trips where we could not take Beau. I always preferred to stay home with Beau to going anywhere, no matter how wonderful, without Beau. Any trip without Beau was a second rate trip.

One thing I believe with absolute certainty; we did what was best for Beau. I am struggling with where I go from here with my life. I'm not suicidal, but I am having a terrible time doing anything. And with Beau being such a constant companion, I can get no picture of a life with the quality I want as I move into the future. Moreover, with Beau, I never, ever experienced (when I first typed this, I put it in the present tense) one moment of judgment, just love and loyalty. He never once tried to shape me up, no matter how much I needed shaping up. That kind of love did more than anything else to make me a better person. My heart and soul are overwhelmed with gratitude for Beau.

NIKON D700 1/80 second F/6.3 ISO 800 62 mm (35mm equiv.)

Monique from Koh Samui, Thailand

Oh Jack I feel so sorry for you. It's devastating to loosing a loyal companion like your Beau and I know it will take long before the pain will go, but you'll always miss him although the time will give some comfort. I've got tears in my eyes while typing this, lost another of my lovely dogs a couple of months ago and I still see her around. Wish you all the best and find hope you find comfort in the beautiful memories.

1 Dec 2010 5:25am

@Monique: Thank you for your thoughtfulness and kindness.

jim from sebastopol, United States

a wonderful photograph and lovely memorial to Beau.
I wish you well, my friend.

1 Dec 2010 5:33am

@jim: Thank you.

PhotOpus from Aix-en-Provence, France

A stunning effect! A mixture of colors ... Sheets gives an effect of pointillism.

1 Dec 2010 6:03am

Laur from Clermont-Ferrand, France

Magnifique !

1 Dec 2010 6:26am

kiwisa from North Shore, New Zealand

Jack my deepest sympathies to you and I know exactly how you feel. Our pets become such an important part of our lives, and when we lose them, we lose a part of ourselves. It will be a while before the aching pain softens, but it will in time and you will have wonderful memories of your special relationship with Beau. XXX

1 Dec 2010 6:47am

@kiwisa: Thank you.

DULCIE from Danville, CA, United States

I think Beau must be grinning from ear to ear, to know how you loved him and to know that he served such a grand purpose in your life. If he helped make you a better person and, clearly, opened your heart to love, then he lived a magnificent life and gave you depths of joy that will one day awaken in you again. Time to grieve is now...time to love again unfolds when it is meant to. So many of us understand and grieve with you. Thank you for generously sharing your feelings ! It touches my heart.

1 Dec 2010 7:06am

@DULCIE: What is so difficult for me to get out of my head is those terrible xrays and knowing how hard it must have been for him and the anxiety he must have felt. In October, the vet checked his heart and his lungs and everything seemed just fine, but it couldn't have been. We now know why he didn't want to go on walks those last couple of weeks. Beau was very good at masking any discomfort. When he would come to us and sit there, we thought that he needed to go outside or wanted a treat. We now think that he was saying, "Help me." The vet says that he was not in pain, but he also said that he had to be feeling a lot of anxiety. When he increasingly had a low moan in rhythm with his breath, I would place my hand on him and the moaning would stop; his breathing just seemed a little faster than normal. He also continued to zip around; just not as frequently. One thing is for certain, he got lots of love and attention. And he no longer is working hard to breathe.

P J W Miller from Chase Terrace, United Kingdom

Jack, I will talk about the photo first, it's a great shot, well composed and a lovely sprinkling of autumn colours.

Secondly but more important I am sorry to hear you have lost your friend and soul mate, it is very heart rending to lose anyone so close be it human or animal and you have my deepest sympathy. You have another passion in life and that is photography and I believe this will help you through as will hopefully your family and friends. You will hear it many times but look back at all the good times you had and remember with fondness, do not try to dwell on the present situation. Peace

1 Dec 2010 7:20am

@P J W Miller: Thank you.

oncho from granada, Spain

Fantastic composition and colors

1 Dec 2010 7:31am

ValterD from Rennes, France

Deeply sad dear jack. Your picture is touching, I've red your words and I send you my best thinking. Thank you for sharing a small part of your sadness.

1 Dec 2010 7:50am

@ValterD: Merci.

hilde morin from United States

Jack, I am so sorry!
Beau is probably looking at you and wanting to comfort you. Do it for him, he is happy without pain and wants the same for you! I am saying this with tears in my eyes as I know how hard it is to lose our loyal friends. I am thinking of you as you grieve for Beau.
The photo you posted in his memory is a beautiful tribute and I am sure he approves.

1 Dec 2010 8:03am

@hilde morin: When I was going through a series of cancer scares in 1999, Beau stuck to me like glue. He was source of immense comfort. He always knew when I was having a hard time and gave me extra attention. We both depended upon each other. Beau's energy was an energy filled with joy and peace.

Tede from Aubenas 07, France

A very nice picture, light and superb colors. Great job. Good day.

1 Dec 2010 8:10am

Florence from Paris, France

I feel sorry and sad for you Jack. I' ve lost my dog too on the 25/10.
It's such a pain. Words don't come easily in that moment. And it's a real suffering.

1 Dec 2010 8:11am

@Florence: Florence, I am so sorry for your loss. And yes, it is real suffering.

Larry Elkins from Bisbee, United States

It's going to sound trite right now, but be grateful for the time God gave you with him. Also, time will heal, though never completely. My thoughts are with you.

1 Dec 2010 8:12am

@Larry Elkins: Thank you.

CElliottUK from Reading, United Kingdom

I feel your blackness. I am so sorry.

1 Dec 2010 8:28am

Marie LC from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

Just beautiful Jack !

1 Dec 2010 8:55am

Frida from Sweden

I'm so sorry for your loss.

1 Dec 2010 9:30am

@Frida: Thank you.

Siepi from Perk, Belgium

Colourful Autumn. Nice the reflection of the tree, gives a special effect to the theme.
Great photo.

1 Dec 2010 9:50am

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

I have no words to say...
Anyway, I like this photo very much. Beautiful leaves on water.

1 Dec 2010 10:53am

@Hiro: Thank you.

lili from *, Iran

Wooow! Fantastic colors! im gonna give 10* to this shot!

1 Dec 2010 11:35am

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

A beautiful capture to honour Beau's passing! Our prayers are with you Jack in this time of grief. ;-)

1 Dec 2010 12:55pm

@Eric Cousineau: Thank you. Prayers are deeply appreciated.

B.Held from Santa Fe, United States

a great composition :)

1 Dec 2010 2:21pm

Spirit from Pretoria, South Africa

How amazing that you can express yourself in such a loving and sincere way. As an animal lover - we have 5 dogs and 5 horses - and probably will always have dogs - if I could I'll have a 100. It is so interesting and emorional to see how animals accept us for what we are - how they adapt to our feelings and moods without demanding more than we are able to give back. I feel dearly for you and I know the pain of your loss as last year we lost two of out beloved "family members" -as we do not see them as animals. Be sure that Beau will always be with you - you will see him and feel him around you forever - I am sure at the most unexpected times! I am thinking of you and of everyone who has to go through such a terrible loss. Your life is richer because of Beau and soon you will experience his everlasting presence, because you had such a great love for him.

1 Dec 2010 2:34pm

@Spirit: Thank you. Beau's energy has always been a source of great healing and comfort for me. I am trying hard to connect with him now.

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

Tears are streaming down my face as I read this....I so feel for your loss. I too, have a wonderful dog/soulmate, and there is no love like that complete unconditional, no strings attached, love. My heart is with you, friend.

1 Dec 2010 2:44pm

@Tracy: Thank you.

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

Dear friend, your words felt excited and hurt me a lot today. Are evocative of my feelings and pain in similar circumstances and because we know how are essential in our lives. As if you ripped something of yours in a brutal coup ... I follow your hand with my love and understanding your suffering. My thoughts and love also to Beau ... Your faithful friend who always live in your hear A.

1 Dec 2010 2:47pm

@Adela Fonts: Thank you, dear friend.

JJ from Jersey City, United States

Such a beautiful shot first, but am so touched and feel so for you and the intense pain and suffering you are going through now, but i believe Beau is in a better place now and out of pain, and watching out for you and feeling for you at this time and wanting you to Cherish the wonderful times you had, whether farting around at home or out on walks together

1 Dec 2010 3:00pm

@JJ: I think that what you say is true. Thank you.

Cobraphil8 from Oyonnax, France

It's so beautiful , great composition.

1 Dec 2010 3:38pm

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

A beautiful photo, Jack, like the beautiful life Beau had with you. After our little Fuji left us (the vet came to our home also), someone said "She's just a dog-you can get another one". Anyone who would say that has no idea what a loss it is, and also what they have missed having in their own life. A year later, it was the same with my sweet cat, Kodak. Kodak and Fuji were so much fun together. They had wonderful lives and brought us so much joy. Now over six years later I still miss them, even though we have other pets. I understand what a big hole you have in your heart right now. Take care.

1 Dec 2010 4:39pm

@B. Thomas: Thank you.

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

I remembered seeing photos of Beau on your blog before. I just looked back and found several. This poignant shot was titled Down the Path. It was posted Dec. 10 - almost a year ago. It seems to have a new meaning now, as Beau has gone down a new path. It is such a sweet photo. Happy trails, Beau....

1 Dec 2010 5:02pm

PATRICK from miramas, France

very great capture

1 Dec 2010 6:11pm

Sina Sohi from Tehran, Iran

very nice shot and beautiful colors

1 Dec 2010 6:20pm

Shahryar from Isfahan, Iran

beautiful shot :)

1 Dec 2010 6:34pm

Melocoton from Salamanca, Spain

bonitas sombras

1 Dec 2010 6:35pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

MY eyes are not clear here either, Jack...

It may be hard for you to agree right now, but we, many of us, have known the pain of losing a loved companion - Now yours is stronger than many of us have known becasue of the things you have said. But still, we can understand for sure.

I would only say that Beau - I feel certain - Beau might ask you to please remember what and how HE would want you to be, as time comes and goes...He would want you to love him and honor him as you are doing...But he would also want you to honor him by taking this time of grief - as long as you neeed - but remembering him by proceeding...proceeding in a loving way. This will take you some time - you will need to sort and grieve....but do honor to Beau and his courage by paying tribute to him in life!

1 Dec 2010 6:44pm

Spirit from Pretoria, South Africa

Hi J4J it will come, as i have said at the most unexpected times. Keep him in your heart it will still nourish you - just belief! I am praying for you!

1 Dec 2010 7:13pm

@Spirit: Thank you.

Craig from Vacaville, California, United States

Wonderful repetition Jack!

1 Dec 2010 8:04pm

Judy aka [email protected] from Brooksville, Florida, United States

Dear Jack, I was alerted re: your loss and pain, while sitting with Mike following his hip replacement. We feel so for you, while our Belle is at a kennel, struggling w/her congestive heart failure. It is only a matter of time for her, but for you, you had no warning. Bless you for putting Beau's needs before your own, something we are blessed to be allowed for our pets. Remember the best of times, as best you can. Hugs, Judy

2 Dec 2010 1:00am

@Judy aka [email protected]: Thank you.

Georgie from Sherwood Park, Canada

Love transcends all..... Beau is with you always! A big hug Jack

2 Dec 2010 1:08am

@Georgie: Thank you.

Isidro from Barcelona, Spain

magistral composición, el color y reflejos excelentes!!

2 Dec 2010 2:51am

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

wonderful composition! i like the scattered leaves and also the depth created through the reflection and the branches that i can see in there - superb concept and vision - very well done indeed!

2 Dec 2010 3:28am

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

I am so terribly sorry, Jack. It's so hard to lose your very best friend.

2 Dec 2010 3:32am

Richard from Montferland, Netherlands

I feel realy sorry for you Jack! Take care!!

2 Dec 2010 5:54am

digitalCG from Manchester, United Kingdom

Lovely tribute Jack, my deepest sympathy goes to you at this time.

2 Dec 2010 7:59am

Mathilde Collot from Fontainebleau, France

Oh no, Jack! not Beautiful! I remember her operation, I remember your anxiety already! Beau left to join the paradise of dogs, perhaps meet my Mr. I, who died two years ago already! They both spoke of our images! more fortunate than you and me! they speak the same language, they! I wish you every possible comfort! The forgetting is so long! Believe in my best friend Jack.

2 Dec 2010 1:23pm

@Mathilde Collot: It's comforting to know that Beau has a wonderful guy to meet.

Daniel from Kenmare, United States

nice color.

2 Dec 2010 2:04pm

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

Oh Jack, I am so sorry and I feel so sad after reading this. I can understand you with all my hearth.
Please take care of yourself and just for the moment think of more terrible lost what can happen in everyone's life .

Hugs and all the best to you !

2 Dec 2010 2:27pm

@MARIANA: Thank you.

Anna.C from LA ROCHELLE, France

oh ! Jack, I'm so sorry of this bad news, so sad to loose our dear companions ! I understand your sorrow, my deepest thoughts with you !

2 Dec 2010 3:48pm

Barbara from Florida, United States

I visit today with tears reading about your pain and grief. It is a very emotional time, healing is never complete with this kind of loss. I do send my prayers and thoughts for that time when you can see beyond your tears.
Even though you took this image prior to this loss, there is a sense of emptiness and sadness, yet beautiful. Each colorful leaf is like a gift or memory that Beau left in your heart, there are many. Pick each cherished memory (leaf) and hold it close, there will always be one more wonderful thought with it that comes back to you.
The comments here are like a circle of prayers for you. Blessings!

2 Dec 2010 4:02pm

@Barbara: Thank you, dear Barbara.

StarCosmosBleu from Bedford.Qc, Canada

Excellence..a very lovely capture....nicely seen...

2 Dec 2010 4:57pm

ORBIT from Kerman, Iran

B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L : ))

2 Dec 2010 10:25pm

Barbara Kile from Ft. Worth, United States

The essence of fall - love this!

3 Dec 2010 2:28am

Diane from near Hythe Alberta, Canada

Oh Jack, I know those exact feelings of pain you are experiencing. I also know that feeling of not knowing where to go from here. We each must move through that part in our own way. You DID have quality time with him Jack and Beau was so fortunate to have been in your family.

This image Jack is stunning. What you saw when you took this reflects upon your deep introspection. Beau is a part of that and will continue to be. My warmest concern goes out to you.

3 Dec 2010 8:27pm

@Diane: thank you. we had tons of quality time

Bettina from Los Angeles, United States

What a beautifully written commemoration and sharing of your experience. The losses of our pets are as heartbreaking as anything. They are such dependable and dear companions and we rarely if ever experience such unconditional love as theirs. They are much closer to God than most things on this earth for that reason, and that is sorely missed when gone. Having to put down our German Shorthair after 17 years, full of tumors and suffering is something I can still see in my mind and something that still hurts. But gratitude is a good healer. I wish you continued healing and love that you are expressing your grief with your love of photography. That's a great instinct and it helps us all to share our common losses.

4 Dec 2010 7:08am

@Bettina: Thank you, Bettina.

Francesc B. from région parisienne, France

Oh, Jack... what a beautiful tribute for your beloved BEAU...
Tears flow on my cheeks by reading your bad news...
I post little because I have a half-time work (hard work) to survive as educational assistant (middle school - education on a priority zone)
I understand and I share your immense sadness.
Beau is in your heart for all the life and hope than you try to remember the good times.
But I know, the mourning is very difficult...
I remember your kind words when I lost Greta: No words can assuage the grief.
Hughs for you and Ellie

9 Dec 2010 6:35pm

@Francesc B.: Thank you so much.

Magda from Vancouver, Canada


14 Dec 2010 10:43pm