18 years ago, shortly after July 4th, I adopted Garbanzo. We started an amazing journey together. He was my companion and teacher, and helped lead me to learning about TTouch and Reiki and how to help other animals. Garbanzo and I had a connection unlike any that I have had. We went through so much together and, together with my partner Jeffrey, we had such a beautiful life together.
It was with such great difficulty that we finally came to the decision a few days ago that it was time to say goodbye, but he had been on a roller coaster with hyperthyroidism and pancreatitis, and last weekend took a sharp turn for the worse. He gave us clear signs that he had had enough, that his body was shutting down and that he would have been suffering a great deal if we did not let him go.
It has been a terrible loss, but our beautiful connection lives on, and will forever. Following is a letter I am sending to him with my heart.
It feels strange to write a eulogy for you because I know that, though you are no longer with me on the physical plane, you will be with me in spirit forever. When I close my eyes I can feel you near me, as though I'm holding you close to me, and other times I feel you literally inside my heart. I know you are with me as I work with the animals, guiding me.
I thank you so much for all that you have taught me, and all the love that you have given to me. I am so blessed that we were able to find each other, so honored that you trusted me enough to connect to me.
I know you had a rough start on the streets of Brooklyn and that it was tough to trust any person.
You taught me how quiet I need to be in order to connect with a fearful animal -- how quiet and how truly in the moment, so that we can both find that beautiful moment of pure connection, where everything else in the world disappears.
You taught me how to respect where an animal is, rather than coming to them with a pre-conceived notion of what should or shouldn't happen.
You taught me to open my heart and feel what can happen when you truly let go of expectations - that when you can do that, more is possible than you ever dreamed of.
You taught me to be sensitive of how much time was enough contact, and how precious even those small moments can be.
You taught me to be patient and forgiving with both you and with myself.
You confirmed to me that love and understanding and flexibility of mind, along with use of many tools within this mindset, can help an animal to be able to change even very challenging behavior.
You guided me to my path of working with animals, and taught me so much about how to help them.
You brought me so much laughter, too - you are so intelligent, you always were surprising me with something new you would do, or a sign you would give me that you felt and observed every little change that would happen in our environment.
It was so beautiful to feel how our connection developed during our life together - as you began to trust and know my touch, and then to experience how completely connected we became over time. Though you retained your wild spirit (which I wouldn't have had you give up for the world), you were able to let your guard down with me more and more. As I began training in TTouch and Reiki, we felt an even deeper connection, eventually feeling our energies merge in a connection of such pure love. You knew I was coming home before I got there, and I would often feel when something was happening with you.
I am grateful that we were able to spend so many years together, and that we were able to spend most of your last two days on earth together, sharing Reiki energy, TTouch and love, giving me a real chance to tell you how much love I have for you, and how I treasure our connection.
I love you forever, dear Garbanzo.