“The Day Lulu Died”
by Christopher Nyerges
“I was startled awake by the loud crackling of thunder at 2:30 a.m. I could see the bright flashes of light outside. The storm was overhead. I went outside into the darkness, and the sky would light up with the bright flash, and the thunder shook the house. It began to rain. Mid-August and it’s raining. To me, Lulu was saying goodbye, leaving us as she moved along in the spirit world.
Lulu died at 5 p.m., August 14. I saw her about five minutes after she died in Dolores’ arms. Lulu, a purebred pitbull, was Dolores’ dog who lived with us for all of her ten years. Lulu was a gift from Dolores’ daughter, Barbara, and Dolores LOVED Lulu!
The day she arrived, the little feisty dog took charge of the other two pitbulls, even though she was tiny enough to fit in one hand. Her tail had this zig-zag coloration like a lightning bolt, a good indication of her character. Dogs are just like children. Their characters are silly, playful, jealous. No two are alike. Lulu loved attention and loved to be with us. When she came into our home, Cassius and Ramona were with us, and all three would sleep together, and stare out the window in unison, all lined up in the same posture. It was quite a sight.
Something unusual began to occur with Lulu in the early part of 2005. Though Lulu had a large bucket of water outside which was readily available for her to drink, she would wait until Dolores let her inside and then she would drink and drink and drink from the bowl of water kept inside for Baby. Dolores thought that Lulu was trying to tell her something. If Lulu was so thirsty, why not drink her available outside water? There was nothing wrong with that water. If Lulu was trying to communicate something to Dolores, what could that be?
At this time, when we were all out for a run with the dogs, Dolores noticed that Lulu seemed tired, unable to run as swiftly as usual. Something was wrong. At the animal doctor, Dolores learned that Lulu had both diabetes and cancer. Thus began a new era with Lulu, which lasted about five months, where she was given special foods and some pills designed to strengthen her. She grew thinner and thinner, yet she loved being with us and going places. She seemed aware that something was wrong with her body, but she attempted to continue as before. Gradually, in the last month, she stumbled when she walked. We had to help her in and out of the house to use her bathroom. In spite of her increasing inability, Lulu seemed happy, not in pain, and always determined to go out side to use the bathroom. What a girl!
We took her to the farmer’s market and she loved being there with Dolores, seeing familiar friends, getting to walk in the open park. One day at the Glendale Farmers Market, someone saw how thin she was and assumed we mistreated her. They called an animal inspector out who interrogated me with great suspicion. When it was clear that we were giving Lulu exceptional care, the animal inspector tactfully suggested that it was not Lulu we were concerned about, but our own desire to be with her. The animal inspector suggested we put Lulu to sleep. In fact, she intimated that she had the authority to remove Lulu from us and “relieve her pain” if she felt we were not handling thing properly. Ugh! Both Dolores and I were shocked and angered that this is the quality of person (and thinking) that our tax dollars support. We had no desire to kill off Lulu. We could feel that Lulu wanted to be with us, that she felt great joy and comfort. So we took her home in a hurry.
Lulu’s walk became more difficult, and she lost most of her sight in the last two weeks. We could feel the cancerous growths on her stomach and underside. We could feel that Lulu was often sad, but she would sleep all day now, though she would eat and drink and go to the bathroom once or twice. She wagged her tail when I came in.
When I last saw her alive Saturday night, I hugged her and touched her, and told her as I always told her, that she needed to get some meat on her body. I always encouraged her to get better, hoping, dreaming for a miracle that she would.
On Sunday, I called Dolores on my cell phone when I was out shopping. Dolores had me talk to Lulu over the phone, and say hello to her. Dolores said that Lulu made an effort to wag her tail when she heard my voice. When I came back, I could see the sadness in Dolores’ face. Yes, you can go see Lulu, she told me. Lulu was covered in a towel. Dolores explained how Lulu really perked up in the morning when Dolores sat with Lulu and began mentally reviewing pictures of their good times together. Dolores said that she did it again after we talked on the phone, and Lulu died in her lap. “Suddenly, the life was gone from her. It was a dramatic change,” said Dolores
We sat there on Sunday with Lulu, still talking to her, feeling the emptiness of a good friend now gone. It was like the end of the world. We wished Lulu would be with us longer, another day, another week. We petted her, hugged her, the poor little girl who was now skin and bones.
There is an emptiness now where there once was Lulu. It cannot be drowned away with drink or drugs or distractions. It can only be acknowledged. The solution to the sadness and the emptiness was to honor her life, and then to love the living even more, and to smile.”
A friend lost her long time companion yesterday, which inspired sharing this.
A friend lost her long time companion yesterday, which inspired sharing this.
I hope these articles may help you in your time of need, as they've helped me...
"Until We Meet Again"
"I know what you're thinking. You think I'm dead. Because you cannot see me with your human eye, cannot feel me with your hands or hold me in your arms, you think I am gone forever. You recall how I looked when I left this place, and you cannot remotely imagine that I could possibly be alive in another place. You are racked and torn by the pain of our separation and it blinds you to that which is right in front of you... me.
How many times since I left your immediate sight have you been told that I'm dead and you should "get over it?" How many times have you cried yourself to sleep because you feel like an outcast, believing you're supposed to get over me because that's what people say is normal but somehow you can't and no one seems to understand?
How many times have you put yourself through such excruciating pain because you aren't willing to consider that I am not, by any means, dead? I want you to do me a favor and go back in time with me. Remember the glorious day you brought me home - was I not the most intriguing creature you'd ever met? Did I not make you laugh and giggle? Did I not look at you with such adoration that you wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of your life with me? I wanted this too.
Remember the days when I was in my prime and we did many things together. You were so proud of me! I was a good friend and I took care of you when you cried, were angry or felt down and unhappy. When you didn't have a lot of time for me because of your obligations, I waited patiently for you. I was always there when you needed me. Did I not look at you with such acceptance and patience that at times you felt perhaps a bit unworthy? You were never unworthy in my eyes.
Remember when age crept up on me, my bones became stiff and my movements slower. Still I met you at the door when you came home and followed you around the house. We'd been together for so long, I was your very best friend regardless of what you were doing, saying, thinking. Did I not look at you with such kindness and understanding that you felt overwhelmed? I couldn't get enough of you.
Remember the last time we saw each other with earthly eyes. You tried to be brave but I knew you were crying... I know you so well. Better than anyone else in the whole world. Did I not look at you with such pure trust and love that you yearned only to hold me close and keep me with you always? Did you not promise that you would love me forever? I believed you.
If this is so then why have you let me go by thinking I no longer exist? Remember the depth in my eyes all those times I looked at you with adoration, acceptance, patience, trust and love. Who created this depth and love? Would the Creator diminish the song of our laughter which was created in the name of love? I am no longer an earthly figure, this is true. My body was only part of who I really am. My body would have been but a mere shell on earth if it were not filled to overflowing with my soul, my spirit, my loving light. When we met you thought I was cute, sweet, pretty and adorable. But what kind of relationship would we have had if this were all that I'd been? How could you have loved me if I'd had no spiritual substance?
We are all made up of energy that resides far deep down inside of us, it is our core, our soul, spirit and loving light. It is the energy that is all of life... it has no beginning, it has no end. It simply is and always will be and without it there is no life. You can't see it with the naked eye nor can you hold it in your hand, it is simply a certain knowing that this energy does exist. It's a knowing just as you know that our love existed on earth - you couldn't see our love in a solid sense, you couldn't gather it all up and confine it to one place. But you knew it existed. There was no doubt in your mind.
They demand you get over me, insisting that I'm dead and you'll never see me again because animals don't go to heaven. Oh really? I'm here to tell you different. You were worthy of my love and undying devotion on earth as I of yours. Do you really believe this love would be snatched from us forever by a loving Creator simply because I wasn't human? Was I not a living, breathing creation with personality? How could I have been so if I didn't possess the energy of soul, spirit and loving light? And if this energy is and always will be, then how can it be that I am dead? If my core is not of the energy that is all of life then I was never alive to begin with. But you know better.
You cry because you miss me, this I understand. I miss you too - miss the belly rubs, hugs and kisses that we shared. But life does go on beyond these wonderful, fulfilling physical connections. I came to this place to live a whole new life, not because I didn't love you anymore or because I wanted something better. I came here because it was time for me to go to the next phase of my existence, something all living creatures must do eventually. It is the normal progression of life. I was not taken away from you because you cannot take away that which was never owned. My presence in your life was and is a gift to be cherished and honored just as I cherish and honor you.
Life is not simply about being born into a body, living a certain number of years and then dying. Energy cannot die. We are blessed with time in a body so that we can learn, share and grow. It prepares us for the next phase of our eternal life. The body holds within it the true life force of our existence... our soul, spirit and loving light. Without these our bodies would be empty, blank, void of feeling and expression. Without our energy we would indeed be dead and could never have experienced our love for each other.
You say that all you have left are memories. Not so. You see, when I took leave of my earthly body I left a little something behind for you. You can't touch it, hold it or examine it for what I left behind is far too uninhibited for confinement. I left behind a piece of my soul. I placed it right next to your own which is quite fitting as we were always side by side in our earthly life together. I love you too much to have left you with nothing but memories that tend to fade and grow cloudy as the years go by.
I love you too much to have vanished without a trace. How selfish it would be of me to remove love and light from your life. I understand your tears, each one you shed is testament to your love for me and I am honored and humbled. But don't forget the good things we shared - remember and smile. This is an honor for me as well. And when you need me I will be here. Close your eyes, relax, take slow, deep breaths and picture me in your mind. Shut off the world and your notions of what death is and give me a chance. Look for the subtle signs I send you. Don't stop being proud of me, I am a friend to be proud of, I am still your friend and soul mate.
Don't memorialize the death of my body but instead honor and celebrate my never-ending life for it is eternal and forever as is my love for you. Until we meet again..."
"The Rainbow Bridge"
"Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together..."
- Based on a Norse Legend