Favorite Love Song

If you'll allow me to be personal with you for a moment, I'd like to tell you about the most grief I ever felt. One of my childhood dogs, a collie named Gobble, fell ill while I was living abroad. My mom called me up in Beijing and told me through tears that he had fallen so ill that he would have to be put down within just a matter of days. I desperately tried to bargain with fate, looking for some way to help, to save him - or even just to see him one last time. Unfortunately, fate would not allow me to see him again, there was no way for me to make it home in time. It crushed me. I sat down and wrote him what I can only describe as a love letter, that I then read to him over Skype with my crying family on the other end holding the laptop up to him. I had never cried so much in my life. I had never felt such grief. To this day, it is one of the most profound experiences I've had. Gobble had such an enormous impact on my life. I later discovered the song "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol, a moving love song for a dying canine companion. It made so much sense. I was so happy that this song existed. Because after all, there is not much love in the world as meaningful as that for man's best friend. Another song that I bet you haven't heard that will almost certainly break the heart of anyone brave enough to still have one is "Into the night" by the obscure Swedish band The Motorhomes. I dare you to watch the music video and not shed a tear. I am not ashamed to admit that I still tear up every time I watch it. This summer grief struck my family again. My parents lost Märta, one of two pug "siblings" that had been with the family for 9 years. This time I was lucky enough to be there for her final moments, and to help bury her by the rose bushes in the family garden. When an animal companion dies, something inside of you dies along with it. Your home loses some of its color and warmth, and can never regain the same hue and vibrancy again. No one took the loss harder than my loving father. He explained to me the tremendous hole that had been left where Märta used to be. She had always been the first to greet you at the door, a warm presence at your feet in bed, and a safe soft snoring backdrop to fill the dark Scandinavian winter nights. Coming home felt different. Being home felt different. Our family was different. When you lose an animal companion you lose all the loving habits that made your relationship, and that's how you lose a part of yourself. Love is something we do, acts of service and attention we give others, and when the object of our love is lost we also lose the outlet for our loving energy. I never stopped loving Gobble, as I am sure my father will never stop loving Märta, and that love having nowhere to go is going to be a lasting source of grief. -Nils Pihl CEO

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