On Friday, a friend took me to lunch and out shopping in Berkeley for a belated birthday outing.  It all felt so scrumptious . . . sneaking off during the week to play.  Abandoning our work, our chores and our to-do-lists, we got a chance to talk about the minutiae of our daily lives, our art, our dogs, and solve the problems of the world.  Well, maybe not quite all of that, but it did seem like anything was possible on that glorious day of freedom. 

Our lunch at Bette’s Diner, a crowded little enclave filled with scents of corned beef,  pancakes and good coffee,  was eclipsed by their bakery next door.  I brought home a piece of the best lemon cake my husband and I have ever eaten and a brownie to swoon over.   What a lovely way to celebrate my birthday. 

Some people my age don’t care for birthdays, as they see it a sign of getting older and getting farther away from youth.  Perhaps closer to death?  I enjoy this little ritual, maybe because I love rituals.  And maybe because I love cake!

Much later that evening, I logged on to my e-mail to discover a note from my friend. When she entered her house after taking me home, she found her eight-year-old beloved furry dog, Yogi, nearly comatose.  Later at the vet’s, the diagnosis was grim.  A cancerous tumor pressed on his spleen.  Yogi in shock, was unable to make eye contact with her.   He was completely out of it. 

“I couldn’t even say goodbye,” she said.   “It happened so fast.”

Yes, Yogi passed away that night. 

So we will enjoy the rituals of our life.  And we will honor the passing of one life to the next with loving rituals as well.

Writing Prompts:

1.  Write a tribute to someone you have lost.

2.  Write about how you value a person now in  your life and give it to them.

3.  Create a piece of art work to help your grief over any loss you may have.

4.  Journal your feelings if you have lost someone close to you.  The holidays can be a difficult time and this may help.

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