July 8th, 2019

When social media helps heal a broken heart

Advance warning – a very tear-stained, sad post coming up…

This morning started out like any Monday morning.

Yoko, our Golden Retriever, woke me up at 5.30, exactly as my alarm went off, by heavy-breathing, his face placed lovingly on top of mine.

Tommy & Yoko then proceeded to start mock-fighting, as they always do as soon as they wake up, tumbling down the stairs, happily tussling away, as they headed out for their first pee.

Load up the car, and 15 minutes later we were all off for our regular Monday morning walk in the forest. Usually I try and run a little, but this morning was a new forest, so I decided to walk.

It was hot, but not as hot as Friday, when we last went to the forest.

Checking out the sunrise, as we have done so many times…

It was humid, but we had lots of water breaks.

Yoko and Tommy half-heartedly chased after a couple of peacocks, but I think they know the rules of the game, by now – i.e. the peacocks always win.

In the car on the way home Yoko was panting very heavily, so we gave him more water and poured water on top of him – the wet car be damned.

By the time we were home he was semi comatose and 10 minutes later he died, peacefully, in our bedroom with Nar Bahadur and I stroking him.

In a daze of grief and disbelief, we buried him at Jeevashram, in Rajokri, where many of our other pets are buried.

Darling Yoko had a good send off.

Himmat. Anjulie. Me. The Bahadurs who were all distraught. The driver.

He’d just had a rather smart hair cut at the spa last week, so looked gorgeous and handsome as we buried him.

His silly spa face
Another silly spa face

He was only 6 1/2, so the idea of his dying wasn’t even remotely on the horizon.

Damn, am crying as I write this.

I shared our sad news on social media, and within seconds there began a veritable tidal wave of love and sympathy and messages and calls.

This tsunami of love and affection has continued all day, and Anjulie & I cry at the messages, and smile at the kind words about our darling boy.

Like many of us, I’m sure, I have my moments of despair sometimes at the inanities of social media.

At the mindless forwards.

At the self-centred posturing.

At the endless photos of someone’s food getting cold while the moment is Instagrammed.

Endless selfies, silly challenges, the WhatsApp groups that never, ever stay on topic.

And don’t let’s even start on fake news…

And then there’s a day like today, where I share our heartbreak and so many of you share it with us, and you realise just how amazing social media can be.

I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful all your messages are.

So many of you had kind words to say about our big, daft, clumsy darling boy who left us way too soon.

People who never met him said how much they enjoyed the silly videos I shared of him rolling in the mud, or schlepping my sweaty running socks to the washing machine, or posing endlessly with a piece of toast balanced on his nose…

Today social media has justified the word “social”.

It shows how the power of love and kindness really can transcend everything else.

You have all been wonderfully kind and compassionate.

We are still distraught and in shock, but the outpouring of love has helped.

For today, social media has worked.

Totally.

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