Present Tense

Walkin’ the walk

ember faceIt’s been a while since I’ve felt like writing.  In my last post, I said goodbye to my dog, Ember.  Her death was traumatic for our family and for the young man who hit and killed her.

One of the things that I preach to others is that we need to practice compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and empathy toward others, even those we don’t like or agree with.  It’s easy to tell others that they must do this in order to heal themselves and begin to heal the world. It was time for me to let the rubber meet the road and practice what is so easy to say, but not so easy to do.  A ‘healer, heal thyself’ moment I suppose.

In case you didn’t see the last post, Ember was killed in our driveway when a Fedex driver didn’t see her as she and our other dog ran toward his van.  The driver had no idea he had hit her.  He said that he saw the other dog and was looking for Ember, but it was too late.   My husband was livid.  He still is.  But, that’s his journey.

Fedex told us we could file a ‘claim’ with them.  I felt as if that was only more painful and would force us to relive the trauma.  I also knew that it was an accident.  There was no malice and although my husband claims he was going ‘too fast’, I can’t even confirm that.  I just don’t know.

I wanted to forgive and move on.  I knew that young man was suffering greatly over this.  He had always loved to see our crazy dogs greet him at the back door when he delivered packages.  He had dogs of his own.

I told my husband that he could file the claim or do whatever he felt was necessary, but I didn’t want to talk about it, or be involved.  I knew what I wanted to do; I wanted to give this young man a hug and tell him it’s okay.

You see, in the past, I would have gone over every scenario that I thought may have prevented this.  I would have beat myself up for ordering a package that had to be delivered on that day at that moment.  I knew from the tracking info that he was probably delivering something that day, so  I should have had them inside, I should have been more attentive, I should have trained her better, blah, blah, blah.

This time, my path and my practice kicked in.  First of all, the minute I heard that truck enter our long driveway, I knew what was coming.  I knew in my gut, that he was going to hit her.  I can’t explain it, I just knew.

I felt grief and shock and pain and devastation, but I didn’t feel anger.  I didn’t try to cast blame on anyone, including myself.

Shit happens. I used to hate seeing that on bumper stickers and t shirts.  It seemed so harsh and profane.  But, now I get it;  it is harsh and profane because life can be that way.  This time, despite losing something so precious to me, I understood it.  Shit just happened and I now I have to walk the walk that I talked.

I knew that I would see that driver again.  I wanted to see him again and I knew that he would dread the day that he had to make his way slowly up our driveway, knowing the pain that his action had caused.  To us and to him.

He showed up about a week later with a package for me from a friend in Denver.  I walked out onto the driveway and gave him a hug.  I asked his name and told him that it was okay.  That it wasn’t his fault and that I loved her and will miss her fiercely, but I wanted him to know that I forgave him.

He was very emotional and explained again that he just didn’t see her and that it had been a horrible week for him. He felt guilt and remorse and had gone over it a 1000 times in his mind.

And I said, “Hey. Shit happens in life.  It’s all in how we react to it and deal with it.  I forgive you and I want you to forgive yourself”.  I gave him another hug and told him to take care.

In that package was a big, beautiful, sacred crystal that is now buried in the center of my medicine wheel garden, directly over Ember.  They both face west toward Ember’s native Colorado and my sacred spaces out west.

Practice empathy. Forgiveness. Grace.  They will lift our burdens and those of others.  It’s hard when you’re hurting, but it will ease our pain.

June 26, 2016 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Jane –

    This story made me cry once again. First, for the loss of your precious Ember. Second, for the beautiful gift you gave the FEDEX driver in the gracious gesture of forgiveness. May your heart heal + may special memories of Ember uplift you during this journey + onward. Thinking of you.

    Comment by Jeri Swanson | June 26, 2016 | Reply

  2. Yep … you get it. I believe our society has become so focused on blaming someone, something, … ANYTHING to explain an event. Most of the time there simply is no blame. It’s just life! Messy, unpredictable, heartbreaking, joyous, challenging, rewarding – the list goes on. Be proud of the way you are handling this Jane. 🙂

    Comment by Jodi Gerber | June 26, 2016 | Reply

  3. wow..that is profound..thanks you

    Comment by Katie Cardenas | June 26, 2016 | Reply

  4. sigh. it sucks she’s gone. you are awesome to soak in love instead of blame and regret. big love coming your way from way out west.

    Comment by Margie Jennings | June 26, 2016 | Reply

  5. I am sorry for your loss, very cute 🙂

    Comment by The Smiling Pilgrim | June 26, 2016 | Reply

  6. ……I’m proud of you, Jane. We need more forgiveness in this world.

    Comment by Denise Loftis | June 29, 2016 | Reply

  7. I’m just now catching up on your blogs Jane. This whole thing has been difficult to hear. I remember when you got Ember here in Colorado. The way you’ve handled this whole situation has been phenomenal. I cried horribly reading this blog. I would have tortured myself with horrible guilt if I was the Fedex driver as I’m sure he did. Your forgiveness and having come out to talk to him and hug him is such a huge testament to your character. I’m glad you were able to help him as well as yourself through such a difficult time. I’ve always respected you the most on the morning show and I can see that respect will keep on going. I miss you on the show so much. Please take care Jane. -Roy

    Comment by Roy | December 15, 2016 | Reply

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