Dealing with death is always emotionally draining. It seems like a vacuum had appeared in our life, sucking away all happiness. A hole that had been torn open in our daily routine. A sense of loss and a feeling that something is missing.
Dog owners who love their pets dearly will understand. For the time that our dog is with us, we are greeted by our faithful companion whenever you reached home.
When you watch TV or read a book, your dog is there. When you are happy or sad, it is there. When you are in bed or lounging in a sofa, it is there. No matter what situation in life or what mood you are in, it is always there for you.
Then one day, it is no longer there.
The sense of loss and sadness is great. This is understandable.
This sadness and sense of loss is Suffering.
Once we identify that our sadness is causing us to suffer, we can begin to heal.
It is very important to understand that there is nothing wrong to desire happiness. You are not being heartless or unfaithful to your dog for moving on.
An old lady said, “I had 3 dogs and they had all passed away. I did not cry at all when they passed away because it can’t be helped.” Words of wisdom from a complete stranger.
Wisdom is the ability to recognize and understand the situation in life without delusion.
That old lady, loved her dogs dearly and she recounted how she pampered them. However, she understood that death is just another process in life. “It can’t be helped”
When she said “I did not cry at all”, it was said with conviction. A conviction of not allowing sadness to overcome her.
One important thing we must understand is that; wallowing in pain and sorrow does not make us a better person. Moving on in life and becoming more loving to those who are still present makes us a better person.
So do not “entertain” yourselves by indulging in sorrow. We have to pull ourselves out of it.
Here are some suggestions.
Yes you heard it right and I am not a sicko. You had provided care, love, shelter, food to a helpless animal throughout its life. That is good karma! Acknowledge that you had done well in the Buddhist scoreboard. Just remember not to have attachment.
The sense of loss should be acknowledged. The sadness should be acknowledged. However, if we look closely, it is all about our needs! We are lamenting impermanence. We are sad because something that brought us joy and comfort is not there. We are reminded of impermanence. (Something that we do not think about). Accept impermanence as an opportunity for something new to arise. (That is rebirth.) More importantly, understand that this endless cycle of rebirth is tiring. To stop this suffering once and for all, we need to be enlightened. The 1st step? Acknowledge and let go.
It is another opportunity for us to engage in our spiritual practice even harder than before. Do something constructive. We can engage in chanting or meditation. Then we can dedicate the merit from our spiritual practice to our beloved pet. May it be reborn in a better state. May it be reborn in Buddha land.
Letting go is also a spiritual practice. The more we suceed in letting go, the better our spiritual merit. Then we dedicate that merit to our deceased pet. They will gain better rebirth.
Just as a wilted flower return to the earth and support another bloom. Likewise, life is recycled when there is impermanence. May the next bloom appear in Buddha land.
In loving memory of all my past paw friends… May they go to Buddha land.