I see the world, constantly in motion, as concentric and overlapping circles. The cycles of life, construction and decay, winters and summers, birth and death. By definition, a circle must be closed.
Anyone that has read a number of posts on Armchair Zen will know that my constant companion on my path to peace is my ever-present and loyal friend Chuy the Wonderdog.
It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you of Chuy’s passing. After 15 years, 6 months and 21.25 days, my dear furry friend has laid down his burden. Nothing can hurt him now.
Summers and winters, through sun and rain and snow, we shared our path. Countless silent hours immersed in one another’s company. Bonds and promises unspoken. No need to speak.
Many people mourning the loss of a dear animal friend will extol their virtues and claim they were the “best dog ever”. In Chuy’s case, it’s simply the truth. I have learned so much during our time together, and he influenced my thinking, my spirit, my soul.
I have had the privilege of canine companionship my entire life, and can attest to the fact that this was a very meaningful, very special friendship, the likes of which I have never known, nor am I likely to ever know again. It will be two weeks tomorrow since his death, and this is the first day I’ve made it through without tears for my sweet puppy. I had to wait to try to compose a blog post, as I knew my head would be clouded with emotions, fond memories, mourning and missing him.
It is he and our relationship that shaped the way I would navigate this, the final step in our journey. While my heart grieves for itself, my own selfish senses of loss and loneliness, my spirit has taken flight, and soars among the clouds, among the heavens, with my little angel puppy.
Thoughts, feelings and words came streaming through my mind since the day he died. All of the lessons he has taught me, the gifts he has bestowed upon me. Our silent covenant that we would never think of this day, but live each day together cleaving to every moment. It is he that got me through my worst week in ten years.
Love is a miraculous thing, that fills a space that did not exist before it came. The space remains, filled with joy, even after our loved one leaves us. There are bonds that transcend space and time, and even life itself. My spirit will ever be shaped by him.
We cannot shield and protect our loved ones from The Big World.
We must teach them well.
On balance, life is a wondrous thing, liberty is priceless.
Love and joy, in the end, win out over pain and sorrow.
I leave you now with a lesson he has taught me. A quote from the book we wrote together. It’s titled:
“Woof” (Translation: Chow Zen)
All of my life I was told “Thunder can’t hurt you.”
That never stopped me from being terrified by it.
Spare people such senseless jabber.
Hold them, and tell them
“I’m right here.”.
It is truly the only solace you can provide.
– Chuy The Wonderdog
Be at peace, all you fragile hearts.
Love really does conquer all.