It’s been a tough week for me. If you’ve read my previous two blogs, you know that our Golden Retriever, Comet, was diagnosed with cancer four months ago, and we were told at the time that we probably had about four to six months with him. Well, it’s been just over four months, and last week, we had to say our final good-byes to him. It was a clear decision to make – he was fine until the last day, and then he went downhill very quickly.
I miss him so much, and yet I know that life is impermanent. This morning I read this article in Yoga Journal by Judith Lasater in which she said that she once saw some Tibetan monks making a very intricately designed sand mandala (a geometric design representing the entire universe). The monks spent months working on this project, arranging the sand grain by grain, and then when it was complete, they destroyed it. In fact, they celebrated destroying it, as they were celebrating impermanence in life.
As I sat in Meditation this morning, I thought of Comet, and I realized that I am grateful to be alive, even without him. I miss him so much, yet I can still enjoy my life. He enhanced it with his presence and my enjoyment doesn’t have to stop without him.
During the last four months, when I would spend time with him, I kept wishing that I could bottle that feeling of joy so that I could keep it and have it long after he was gone. Now that he is gone, I realize that I didn’t need to bottle it, because that joy didn’t come from him. That joy was (is) within me – my Self – so I can still tap into it, even without Comet to trigger it. He opened a door to access it, and that door can remain open. I am forever grateful to him for that.
Yoga teaches us that joy doesn’t come from the outside. It is always there inside, waiting to be pulled out. When we attach our joy to another person or circumstance, we limit ourselves, and create a huge potential for suffering. When we recognize that the joy arises from inside, then the outside circumstances lose their power over us.
While I still miss Comet immensely, I know that he went peacefully to a place where he is not suffering in a sick body anymore. I am left here without him to cuddle with, and yet I can still bring forth that joy that he unlocked. Thank you, Comet, for being such a wonderful presence in our lives for the last nine years.