23 June 2011

My Dear Sumo,

Last week, my alpha dog Sumo asked me to answer some questions in his blog:

Paano ba magpaalam sa mahal mo? Paano ba tinuturuan ang mga mahal mo na matuto na mag-isa at mamuhay na mag-isa? At paano mo tuturuan ang sarili mong mag-isa? Paano kung sa hinaba-haba ng panahon at unti unting nagpapaalam ang mga mahal mo at ikaw na lang ang naiwan? Paano ba mag-isa?
How do you say goodbye to the one you love? How do you prepare your loved ones to learn to stand on their own and be alone? And how do you teach yourself to be alone? What if in the end everybody starts to leave and you are the only one left? How does it feel to be alone?

I know. Some dogs just run, play, do tricks, and look cute. Mine does too. But for those who know me and my dogs, we do lead complicated lives ;-) . . . and now to answer Sumo before he does anything drastic . . .

How indeed does one say goodbye?
This is one of the plants in our house Heaven:

The changing weather from dry, hot and rainy made it look like this during the day . . . I get extremely sad whenever I see this and I stop whatever I am doing to attend to it. I get a pail of water and start watering everything around me. I take whatever it is I am capable of doing to make sure they will survive, thrive and live happily ever after . . .

And by some miraculous twist of fate, the plant glows, regains her strength, flaps her leaves, sing to me as I sing back to her with tears of joy. I do the same for you, Sumo, remember? When you are in pain or in some discomfort I heal you and comfort you with all the love I have in the hope that when I am not around you will be assured and be comforted by that love.

How do you teach yourself to be alone?
I don't. I simply enjoy being with myself. Someday, Luchie and Loyd will leave and I will be alone. Maybe, by that time, you and Sweepy will be gone too, Sumo, and I will be alone. And someday, no matter how much I heal that beautiful firespike plant, it will go too . . . and I will be sad and I will pine for all of you. But there are other spaces in my life that grows wild and exciting and needs those solitary moments to make it whole and fulfilling. Remember how much I demand time to be alone doing the things I love like writing, walking, painting, doing yoga, traveling, or simply sitting lazily on our favorite red rocking chair watching the world go by. With and without the people and animals and other beings that I love, my life will always be complete and meaningful even without my loved ones by my side and beyond death.

You will never be alone and lonely when you live a full life, Sumo. And your Sweepy will never be alone because I will always be by his side when you're gone. . .

And when the time comes for all of us to part our house Heaven there is another Heaven, not on Rainbow Avenue, but across the rainbow bridge where all of us will meet and live happily together again. Have faith and do not drool too much, Sumo. And watch those fangs. . .
lovingly and with great fondness, your Keeper Lui

And for our friends out there, do share your musings and response to Sumo's drooly questions and other questions at ThursdayTwoQuestions.

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