Lulu was alone hunting when she first approached me wanting attention, food and cuddles. She was so sweet that there was no way I was leaving this four week old pup to fend for herself. When a dog chooses, an instant real connection is made.
Lulu was a happy and confident little girl. She loved playing, eating, and climbing on the big dogs. She adored motorbike rides and meeting new people.
She loved giving Francis and I kisses and cuddles. And adorable, like a plush toy, with the most beautiful markings, going with me almost everywhere and filling my life daily with love and joy.
We were together for only a few months, but the bond was powerful and strong. Since she was so young, she needed me in her life more than a full grown dog. And I needed her as much.
What A Dog Taught Me About What Truly Matters
Nobody wants to go through the pain or grief of losing a loved one. Perhaps death is here to strip away the unimportant layers of the ways we are living. And it’s certainly here to deepen us.
Although Lulu’s death has been a dark time, I knew there were lessons here.
1) Pure Presence
Lulu fought fiercely during her final moments, but not how you would think. She was squirming and whining, battling the discomfort more than anything. There was none of what we humans usually get like fear or despair.
Afterwards, while out at a restaurant something would remind me of her. Tears would flow nonstop and I felt shame.
Then I began to play with how present I can be with my own grief and sadness even in public. I told myself it’s ok to feel this, let it out, and don’t worry about what others think.
Lulu’s presence taught me the only way to be in the present is to feel it and not try to make it go away.
2) A New Kind Of Love
When Lulu took her last breath and surrendered, everything went calm. Her body went still.
Looking around, I saw our two dogs framing her on both sides, and Francis in front with a gentle gaze.
During her burial, I cried while the dogs offered play bows to her. It was a bittersweet moment of puppy play while Francis covered Lulu with the rich dirt of the jungle.
There was such love. And it clearly showed how meaningful death is.
Love can be tears and sadness. And love can be play and joy. Whether sorrow or happiness, there is love and care, it’s simply different expressions.
3) How To Deal With Death
It’s a tender time. I have such gratitude to have been with Lulu in her transition from life to death. Previously I didn’t have the strength to hold space for this and would have left the dog alone in their final moments.
Death opens the opportunity to feel the full range of the experience – in body, emotions and mind. It let me feel the heartbreak.
The challenge of death is how we balance our sense of things being different while trusting in the process and not detaching from feeling the pain. Because on the other side is a gift.
4) A Closer Connection With My Partner
Conflict and disconnection has been present in my romantic relationship. Lulu’s passing brought us closer and deeply connected.
He didn’t fix anything, he was simply there for me: A shoulder to cry on and a caring person to talk too. He held space and embraced me in this time of pain and grief. He helped me to not shut down but, instead feel it fully.
Opening The Door For Greater Vision
The time with Lulu opened the door for greater vision in my own life. And taught me that when we connect to the heart of what truly matters, it contributes to a better world for all beings.
These lessons are important because the heart of what I do is cultivating connection to the earth and each other. And it reminds me why I dedicate my life to things like fostering Bali dogs and practicing Acroyoga. They are the most raw, playful and authentic forms of connection I’ve ever experienced.
Sometimes life lessons, blessings and beauty happen at the toughest times. Here is a tribute to the fallen babes and our furry friends. To the celebration of life that death makes so real.
If any of these lessons touched you I hope to hear about it, feel free to share in the comments below.