With tear-filled eyes and heavy hearts, we said goodbye to our sweet dog Chester on April 11th. He was my best friend for 10 years – licking my tears when I was sad, cuddling me on rainy (and sunny) days, barking at animals on television to annoy me (that is why he did that, right?) and filling my heart with joy and love. He was a little furball of love, light and happiness, even on my darkest days.
Chester was everything a dog should be: loyal, loving, sweet, funny. He got my jokes (I swear he laughed!) and he was around for all my big milestones in the past 10 years.
After we felt the life leave Chester’s body, the veterinarian said, “It’s hard, but this is the way it is supposed to be, we are meant to say goodbye to our pets, not the other way around.” It’s never easy to say goodbye to a loved one, whether that be an animal or human. It is the memories and the lessons you learned from them that help you get through it.
2 days after his passing, Sarah (Chester’s other mom) got a message from the Universe in her inbox:
Honor them, love them, help them, heal them, but above all else, Sarah, free them.
That email got me thinking – what other lessons have I learned from Chester through the experiences we lived together?
- There is no such thing as too much love. Give it all you’ve got. Love with no bounds. Love for the sake of loving and don’t think about it.
- If you show love, you’ll get love. Same thing goes if you ask for love, you’ll get love.
- No matter what you are doing, give it your all. When Chester was chewing a bone, we’d often say it looked like there was nothing going on behind those big brown eyes. But now I realize: Chester was a master of mindfulness! Whatever he was doing had his complete attention and focus.
- Treats are the best! Having a bad day? Feeling nervous about your loved ones leaving (Maybe that’s just dogs). Treats will help you get through it and cheer you up.
- Make it your mission to make someone smile. Do what you can to make someone laugh or smile. The sillier, the better.
- Take time out of your day to just soak up the sun. Chester always made time to sunbathe and enjoy the warm rays on his face. He taught me to take time out of my day and take the world in with no other agenda.
- Rest is important. Sleep. Lots. It rejuvenates the body and soul.
- Cuddles cure everything. No explanation needed.
- When someone cries, lick their tears. Okay, maybe we shouldn’t do this one.
Chester was my first “baby” – I loved him like a son. A very hairy son. He will live forever in our hearts and minds. And while the ache and hole his physical loss has brought into my life is very raw and real, I wouldn’t trade our time together for anything. My life will never be the same without Chester, but it is so much better for having loved him.
Want to read more about my life & lessons from Chester? Here are a few articles I’ve written over the years:
PS – A huge and heartfelt thank you to Patti Foy from Lightspirited Being for reaching out to Chester just days after he crossed over. Patti offers animal communication sessions and helped bring us peace of mind and comfort in our grief, for anyone who is interested. Contact her!
What have your pets taught you? Have you ever lost a pet? What lessons have you learned from that experience? Share your thoughts with us!