How does one come to terms with grief?Of losing someone you loved dearly? To realize that you will never see her again? Never feel the warmth of her gaze on you again ? Never hear her happy excited bark when you walked into the house ? Never feel her cold nose pushing against your face in the mornings ever? Never hold her paw which she trustingly put in your hand again ? Never have her slobber over you again?
I am hurting so much today. My heart aches once again.Its a heart ache I have never got used to, although I have gone through it many times before in the past.
I lost my beloved Boxer girl, Jill, early this morning.Jill was rescued and adopted by me five years back. She was a very, very beautiful white Boxer with a star of her forehead. She had three legs and her right hind leg was mangled beyond repair.Perhaps, that is why she had been dumped by her previous owners.
I won’t dwell much on her past. For it angers me and fills my heart with hate.And Jill would not like that. She taught me many things; the biggest was forgiveness.Like she forgave her previous owners or those who had hurt her.She did not close up and loose her faith in relationships. Rather, she was strong enough to battle terrible physical and mental abuse to emerge a winner.A dog who loved wholly and tenderly. And one who always had a big, goofy smile on her face.
In the last five years, Jill led a grand life filled with pizza, cakes, walks, huge meaty bones, balloons,music, laughter, fun and a firm place in my family’s heart. It was lovely to see her fiercely chase the ball with my other dogs.It was also heart warming to see them treat her gently and maker her ‘win’.
Last year, when Jill had gone with me to my parent’s home during the summer vacation, she stayed back with them. She fell in love with the huge garden there and the joy of chasing squirrels was too much of a temptation, I guess. I am glad that I left her there. She saw flowers bloom and also went to the beach in Puri. Apparently, she was gleeful chasing the waves 🙂 And yes, she gave my Ma company, eating all kinds of ‘pakoras’, ‘bhajjis’, ‘chuda -matar fry’, ice -cream ,chocolates, cutlets etc 🙂
When Jill died this morning, her head was in my Ma’s lap. She was surrounded by people who she loved and who loved her back. She left us hearing my Ma chant the ‘Maha-Mritunjay’ mantra for her. In Hinduism, it is one of the most powerful mantras.(‘Maha mrityunjaya’ is a call for enlightenment and is a practice of purifying the karmas of the soul at a deep level).
“ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात्” Translation :We Meditate on the Three-eyed reality Which permeates and nourishes all like a fragrance. May we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality, Even as the cucumber is severed from bondage to the creeper.
I am reminded of Jeanette Winterson’s ““You’ll get over it…” It’s the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don’t get over it because ‘it” is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?”
I will always have a Jill shaped hole in my heart.Every pet-parent who loses a fur baby finds a way to laugh again. The timbre begins to fade. The edge dulls. The hurt lessens. Every love is carved from loss. Mine is. Yours will be , perhaps. But we learn to live in that love.
Jill’s special Look 🙂
Look at the star on her head 🙂
She is wearing my Led Zeppelin hoodie 🙂
With her great friend Bruce.This is on the train from New Delhi to Odisha.Vacation time 🙂
Jill loved listening to Pink Floyd with me 🙂 Wish you were here! Thank you for your gift of un-conditional love…for teaching me that the only disability in life is a bad attitude…for inspiring me with your amazing will power…for healing me with your trust…for rescuing me, actually. Goodbye, my baby.Run free over the Rainbow Bridge ❤