Happiness and the loss of the family dog

How about that title ?  Spoiler alert , we won’t be trying to promote the idea that the loss of the Family dog is in any way a Happy event !  However, I would like to take the opportunity to demonstrate how we found happy moments and bonding through the loss of our beloved “Charlie Brown” . Dogs are the only animals I know of that are more focused on their masters happiness than they are their own so it follows that we should try to honor that in the event of loss..  I got “Charlie Brown” from some friends about 18 years ago , he is the YOUNGER brother to our oldest dog so while a dog passing away at 18 is not unheard of we really didn’t expect him to go first !

“Charlie Brown” was the epitome of the term “good boy” as it relates to dogs, he had a good life, he brought a lot of joy and I’m sure nobody will be surprised “happiness”

 

“Charlie Brown” passed away peacefully sleeping in the front yard , that was the first piece of comfort, he literally went outside tail raised, happy as can be..  Dare I say in retrospect this lent some peace and happiness to the situation ?

The day “Charlie Brown” passed away I spent hours building a coffin of pine and ash , complete with a lid and a velvet lining. In all honesty it was an outlet for some pretty heavy duty grief but I found it amazingly therapeutic and it made me “happy” to honor him in such a beautiful way !

Sergio and I spent the remainder of our day and evening telling “Charlie Brown” goodbye , alternating between sobbing and laughing at some of the things he used to do, it was a beautiful thing with deep mixed sorrow and happiness. It is amazing to me that even in the saddest moments that if we look deep enough we can find happy moments.

The next day we started the task of attempting to clean what can only be described as a dog cemetery, the last pet to pass away had been 18 years prior and while the cemetery had not been forgotten it had been neglected severely , just getting the gates open was a monumental task ! Fueled by emotion we quickly made great progress and got the cemetery cleaned out of fallen trees and vines literally the size of my arms … I knew we were in poison ivy pretty much the whole time, I paid for that later but it all seemed so worth it … All the while we shared stories of “Charlie Brown” took breaks to see notes of condolence on Facebook. Peace and Happiness presented themselves in what was otherwise a horrible day !

The cemetery had really suffered in those 18 years , Hurricane Harvey flood waters elevated the ground about a foot with sand and when the cleaning was done the look was unsettling to me

Missing and damaged fencing and while it was clean the sand look just wasn’t doing it for me, I was happy that we got so much accomplished but I was also sad that “Charlie Brown” would spend his first night outside in such an unfriendly, sterile looking environment !  We got him properly buried , more tears , more laughter, happiness kept finding it’s way in !

We made our way to Home Depot , we were determined to make the space more friendly. Grief will make you do some strange things, and looking back on it I really don’t know how we did so much in just one day but at the end of the day we felt comfort and happiness that we had transformed the space into something that felt very happy and inviting, those aren’t words normally associated with a cemetery  !

Not a lot of time has gone by , we still wake up every morning and lament the fact that we miss “Charlie Brown” ! The conversation always comes back around to a fun story and we know he will always be in our hearts , dare I say a great happiness has followed ?

The cemetery seems a lot more alive now, that’s not just a play on words we sincerely enjoy coming and talking to “Charlie Brown”  it has become a source of peace , happiness and joy

This isn’t a story we had necessarily planned on sharing on a blog about happiness but it is proof that there is happiness to be found in almost in even the most unhappy of moments and days ! We found and shared our happiness and that is exactly what this blog is about !

 

RIP  “Charlie Brown”  , we love you

 

Find your happiness , share your happiness

 

Greg

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