Cooper, our lovely and loving family dog of 14 years, who was much more than just a dog to us, passed away. We had to put him to sleep.
Being with him at his last moments, holding him, caressing his thick and beautiful hair has been a hard thing to go through. Nonetheless, an experience that brought me a feeling of calmness. When he laid down in peace with me and his daddy next to him, I felt the excitement for him. Thinking every end is also a beginning.
I have thought about death. How big a physical void it creates in our lives. How unbearable at times it gets the amount of yearning we feel not having that living being physically with us anymore. And actually, that’s the hardest part of losing someone we love.
But if we can look past that reality and see death from an alternate perspective, maybe we can experience the grieving process a little differently.
Life is a contract for every living being. We all come here to this planet with a specific purpose and a limited time. During that time frame, we come across countless beings. And the bigger impact we make in others’ lives, the grander the void we leave when we depart.
Though the departure, no matter how early or late it comes, is not an end. It is a passage to another realm and dimension. In light of this approach, I see death much differently now than I used to, a decade ago.
I feel the sadness of losing my loved one, but I also feel blessed that I had a chance to be in that being’s life. I celebrate every encounter I had the privilege of having with them. I appreciate all they gave me and taught me. When I want them with me or need to ask for their opinion, I stop and ask myself what they would say or do if they were here with me at that moment.
I acknowledge, appreciate, and embrace my grief for losing the physicality of my relationship with that being, let it run through me. While I celebrate the reality and joy of having them with me, if not physically, certainly spiritually, every time I think or talk about them.
Just like feeling my mother-in-law right next to me, smiling at me, every time I use her night lamp or put on her earrings. Imagining her, Cooper, and our other dog Cookie, who departed a few years ago playing together, being happy, joyful, and young again. Visualizing her spoiling them with “human” food, just like she used to do every time she visited us.
Knowing that they are together and never alone feels my heart with peace. And make me smile while tears roll down my cheeks.