Based in New York, Spiritualundertones is a blog by Sarah Almengor. Her posts reflect spirituality, relationships, and everyday life through her personal musings, photography and acquired wisdom.

Rivers Of Living Water

Thankfully I've never had to deal with a great loss. To this day I've never had anyone close to me pass away, and for that I'm grateful. The infiltrating fear that I'm going to lose someone dear to me ensnares me on some days, and it's inescapable. In that moment I'm quickly running out of breath, suffocating. The fact that eventually I'm going to have to look grief in the face one day is the infiltrating fear itself. Death is unavoidable, and while I'm a woman of faith and therefore don't dread my own death, I dread the day of death for others.

I love, and I love hard. It's all or nothing when I truly love someone. I once heard someone say, "Never hold on to anything so tight that if God decided to take it away from you, He'd have to pry your fingers off". Quite sobering considering I would never be able to let go of my sister. My mother, my father, my brother. The mere thought of living life without my other half, the other part to my soul, my sister…is darkness. Honestly I'm not even sure why this particular topic came to mind when I pulled up my blog today. Any time I think of this I immediately fall into a depression.

The family dog, Comet, a seven pound Yorkshire terrier, was the greatest joy to ever grace my life. My dad brought him home from work one day and surprised my siblings and I; we all immediately fell in love! My sister was the one who named him, and our family of five became a party of six. As I previously stated, when I love, I love hard…perhaps a little too hard. That dog became my life. Comet was the reason I looked forward to waking up in the morning, because I knew I'd find him at the foot of my bed every morning curled up in a little ball of furry love. He was the reason I anticipated coming home from school because I loved hearing his little paws race across the hallway to greet me with undivided excitement. Who would've thought that a little shit such as Comet would make a human being feel ever so complete and truly at peace?

He was in our lives for six wonderful years until he was in an accident with two other dogs. I'm purposely avoiding getting into the details as I'm in public right now and really don't feel like sobbing for the billionth time retelling this tragedy. What I will say is, what I absolutely cannot handle is unexpected death. That's probably my greatest fear. A fear that tops my trepidation of rodents (yes, I'm deathly afraid of hamsters, mice, rats, squirrels). I wasn't present when Comet died, and to receive the news that he wasn't with us anymore was the straw that broke the camels back. I was in utter shock. I truly believed he couldn't die; he was an immortal motherfucker. I remember it taking me a few minutes to process that Comet had DIED, as in he was DEAD, as in he was going to be buried and I could never play with him again (aaaaaand cue the tears welling up).

His death was the hardest thing I ever had to deal with up until that point. Comet passed away when I was sixteen and going through a bunch of shit with my parent's divorce, moving across the country, being angry at everyone, and so on. It was the absolute last thing I needed, and yet it happened. I remember being bitter towards God and thinking, "how the hell could you let this happen?". I fell off the radar of faith shortly after that. I began heavily drinking at seventeen and once I moved back to New York City from Oregon, that's really when everything started spiraling out of control. Pent up anger, depression, bitterness, confusion, and rage showed up when I drank…and oddly enough I was okay with that. I think at that point I wanted to show the world how much I "didn't give a fuck", all the while not realizing that I was actually showing how weak I really was.

Mind you, I had never took the time to grieve over Comet. I drowned the pain and hurt in  Jameson (and Wild Turkey…YEAH. That's when you know it's bad). It wasn't only over my dog either, it was everything combined. I hated my parents, I hated school, I hated life without Comet, I hated feeling uneasy about the actual way that he died (the story didn't add up to me), I hated never having the chance to say goodbye. Of course I cried when he died, actually I became so enraged that I blacked out and apparently tried to get hit by a car the night I received the news. But to actually grieve over a loss…I avoided that like the plague for a long time.

A few years ago I was organizing some stuff and I ended up finding Comet's collar. That's when I was confronted with not only grief, but liberation too. The tears I cried that day were, oddly, the most freeing. The most sobering. I didn't judge my feelings or try to mask them and pretend they didn't exist. This was years after Comet died, and I was finally able to be content with experiencing the pain of the reality.

I fear losing someone close to me because I look at how I handled Comet's death. It didn't go so well. Heavy drinking became the norm, and so did drugs. You know what, though? If any of us can claim to believe in a higher power, shouldn't we also believe that the ways of the higher power, are higher than our ways? If we entrust our faith, our beliefs, in something greater than us, I'd be foolish to not rest in that same greatness. And while my life would at times feel like I was living in a lifeless body without my sister, or my brother, or my parents…I know that liberation would meet me once again.

A River That Winds On Forever

Keep Me Young & Call My Bluffs