Sunday, June 30, 2013

Book of Grief: The Death of Sergeant Pepe

Sergeant Pepe and his little pal Eli.
Sergeant Pepe was mauled to death by wild dogs from the bush just minutes before I was leaving for the airport. I was so distraught I had to cancel the flight.

It was early in the morning, too early, when getting ready for the airport things got disorganized. When the vet told me he died of his injuries, I dreaded having to tell the children. It reminded me of when their father died 10 years ago. How to tell them the terrible news, for it was just as if we lost a family member. Sergeant Pepe had been around for six years and half my daughter's life. Despite intense precautions of keeping the dogs inside after three prior maulings, one of which killed Tonio's dog, Stranger, the freak accident cut us even deeper with its traumatic edge.

Tonio dug a grave next to Stranger's and we buried him.  I cried my heart out. I let him go into the arms of Yama, god of death, back to nature, back to the depths. This limited time we have with anything on this earth does bring us meaning.

I resisted the urge to clone Pepe, my little trickster duality dog. I instead read up on the Origin of Death in folklore, about pet loss and grief, put together a photo album of him, told a lot of good stories about his life, and prepared to remember him for Day of the Dead when it rolls around in October. A friend of mine had a dream and said he saw two dogs in my bed, playing with each other. So his spirit does live on. And I remembered the cycle of life. All is sorrowful, all is impermanent. OM SHANTI.

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