My beloved Lua, today I woke up in pieces. I felt a giant hole in my chest and did not want to get out of bed. I could not describe what I was feeling. Thus the day began; dragging my heart on the ground and looking for you without wanting to… in the garden, on the couch, and in the kitchen. I pretended I couldn’t see you because you were playing “hide-and-seek” behind the bushes and it was only a matter of time before I saw you run towards me. Of course that did not happen…
Conversations, real or imaginary?
I had mock conversations in my head today in which people questioned my way of feeling after your departure (after all, you’re not my daughter, you were “just a dog”), and in my head I responded with long litanies explaining the depth of love to them and how the shape of the body doesn’t matter because when we connect with other beings it’s at the soul level and we are all spirit and… in short, today the internal dialogue and the exploration of my emotions invaded the day.
In the middle of the afternoon it hit me: it’s not just that I miss your smile and your crazy things, it’s not just that I miss your joy everywhere, no … there’s something else: I lost my -partner in crime-. Although we did not commit “crimes” precisely, the expression describes it perfectly. I feel like I lost my accomplice.
For nine years I have devoted almost all my attention to learning from dogs and for them, and with you everything was renewed. You taught me things that I had never seen and you accompanied me in every class I taught and conversation I held. That’s why so many people know you. I hadn’t realized how much I really talked about you, how detailed our interactions were, and how much you allowed me to observe and learn from you.
Our new experiences together and my continuing experiments in communication with you enriched the days. I guess I had made expectations with you, without even wanting to. I just assumed that you would be around for a while, accompanying me in learning and in the teaching process. You always let me test hypotheses that probably didn’t need checking and at the end of the day your eyes told me either, “see? of course you can” or “see? there’s no need…” and I didn’t want that to end.
“I’m going to stop you here.
I didn’t leave, I’ve already told you. Well, my body did, but I’m still here and we’re still accomplices. It’s just that it was time to expand your horizons even more and you need a “partner in crime” for that expansion.”
What do you mean?
“Well, for everything that happens in other worlds, both physical and non-physical. You’re ready for the next step.”
Can you tell me what the next step is?
“Not precisely. Part of it is that you discover that for yourself, little by little and with our conversations.”
Do you think it prudent that we share everything with everyone?
“Not only prudent but necessary. I do not know if, in the future, the medium you’re using is the ideal to keep this channel open, but for now it is. I feel you calmer now.”
Yes, it feels better to know more about what that emptiness was all about.
I felt that your departure was a surprise, I was not mentally prepared to lose you, everything was very fast. If you had been 12 years old, the sensation would have been different. You were just going to turn two and your growth and transformation were spectacular, your ability to communicate with humans and other dogs, your ability to adapt your ways of interacting according to what others expected of you, your skill at getting others to play (you taught Leo to play after 8 years of not knowing how, you taught us all to play), your determination and confidence… I marveled at your personality.
I will never forget your teachings and I will continue to share them in class.
I think it took me four days to understand everything that changed.
“Exactly… -change- is the key word. What else changed in you?”
Well, I was reflecting on the absurdity of material possessions and even where you live when you can’t share it with your loved ones. I reflected on the absurdity of the level of importance and concern we give to what we call -security- and -stability-, two words that completely lose their meaning when such things happen, such as the physical death of a family member.
For a long time I’ve believed that expectations are the culprits of unhappiness. Today I want that to sink into my bones. Today I release all my expectations, I don’t know where I will live tomorrow, I do not know if I will be surrounded by the same people, or if I’m even still alive. I have desires, desires that my heart is in charge of transmitting to the universe, but I do not expect anything. I no longer want to make life plans because life plans limit the possibilities. Who am I to know everything that awaits me in this and other worlds?
The universe is inviting me to let myself live, to enter into the wonderful flow of existence and let myself be surprised.
Just like I was surprised by your death. I think I suffer because I resist it. Resist this new version of reality. If I accept it and let myself be surprised, then I can flow and open myself to receive the new, the different, and to be able to do something beautiful with it. To make the most of every moment as an opportunity to breathe and to admire the beautiful, the strong, and the real and to learn from them.
I wish with all my heart to stop having expectations.
“I love hearing you say that. I remember when you adopted me and you thought you’d love to be able to have me accompany you to schools with young children to teach them canine body language, and I remember your reaction when I growled terribly at the first child I saw. You accepted it and you loved me the same way and you never forced me to do anything I did not want to do. You let me choose and experience life my way. You let me be surprised by the world and surprise the world too.”
Yes, you broke all my molds and today I think one of the last ones that I had left finally broke, that belief of wanting or thinking that somehow, if I just plan enough, save enough, or prevent enough, somehow I will control the future. I understand that permanence and uniformity are alien to this world. Today I join the surprise and I join you again.
It took me four days to turn around and face this emptiness, look it in the eyes and truly accept it. I have it in front of me and I let it go. I let it go to embrace and welcome my – partner in crime – once again… in a new way, in a new space… I am ready to let myself be surprised by life.
Whatever happens, I trust that it will be exactly the best for everyone if I just open my heart and stop labeling events as -good or bad- if I stop judging and really listen, observe and live instead.