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On Easter Sunday, I posted a diary straight from my heart: You are not alone.

In it, I wrote about the heartbreaking email I had received from the sister of Sgt. Philip Anderson, a soldier I had profiled on IGTNT, about  Sylvia Wise, an elderly woman who had been forced to give up her beloved dog when her home had been foreclosed, about fayeforcure, whose son had been paralyzed from the nose down after a freak childhood soccer accident, about our own Zwoof, whose beautiful daughter, Alicia, had been murdered by her boyfriend. I gave thanks for the support and action and comfort provided by this community. I said:

This, to me, is the greatest part of Daily Kos: We are not alone; none of us is alone.

There is so much to be broken-hearted about.  And I would be in despair about all of it were it not for this wonderful community, which, every day, reminds me that I am not alone.

On that Easter Sunday -- such a short time ago -- I had no idea how much the words I wrote would resonate with me just a few weeks later.

Last Thursday, when she was just a month short of her 14th birthday, my sweet dog Madison died in my arms.  

About a month ago, knowing that her days were growing short, I had sketched out some of the words I wanted to use when she died.  That night, they seemed inadequate.  They still do.  But Madison had so many friends in this community, and I wanted all of them to know that she had gone swiftly and peacefully and that my old dog was finally home.

Madison the German shepherd (1994-2008)



I was, that night, beyond overwhelmed by the kindness of this community: the hundreds of supportive comments I received were a potent reminder that I, too, am not alone.  Those beautiful and tender comments, many including reminiscences of other absent friends, made me weep -- but they also uplifted my heart.  I was also overwhelmed and am so grateful for the numerous contributions made to Best Friends Animal Society and various German shepherd rescue groups in Madison's honor by this wonderful community.  Thank you so much. All of them will be matched.

Tomorrow, we will be planting a memorial tree (a dogwood) in Madison's honor, in Madison's yard.  Later this spring, when I scatter her ashes there, I will scatter as well a burned print-out of the diary and the heartfelt comments that accompanied it.  

The life of a dog is a small thing; the death of one perhaps even smaller.  Except to those for whom that dog's life mattered, as Madison's life mattered to me.

This is, I think, why this community is so very important.  We are here for each other in the great things and the small.  We work hard, together, to make sure that the great things happen; we are with each other when the smaller things (in the world sense) occur -- to mourn and comfort family deaths and heartache, to celebrate milestones and happinesses.

Together, we can do everything.  WE are not alone.

That we will, as a community, get this world's work done I am sure.  And, as we do, I know, as well, that we will get the small things done and act in this world with tender mercy. I know that we will all be here for each other, no matter what.  And for both these things, and for this community, I am so very grateful.

Thank you all, so very much.

Originally posted to noweasels on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 09:55 PM PDT.

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