Attachment & Loss by Savitri
Kidd was my child, my friend, my Guru and the light of my life. Kitty’s passing from the physical plane has been so difficult. While it is human nature to worry and grieve, I have to wonder if my own extreme worry and grief is evidence of my attachment, my self-identification with outer appearances rather than right alignment with spiritual source.
I was driven by my attachment to a certain outcome, driven by my fear of loss, fear for my dear loved one to be swallowed up by the great unknown - selfish fear of having to live without him. I was intensely uncomfortable with the feeling of being out of control! My attractions and aversions, my preferences, my strong impulse to control and muscle through every grueling hour drove me to exhaustion. I desperately tried to make things go the way I wanted them to go and not the way I didn’t want them to go. Through this ordeal, I have to confess that I lost my center as I lost my trust in the Divine order.
For a full month, I feverishly tried to heal Kidd’s little body. I woke up nearly every hour of the night to check on him, his eyes invariably wide open, staring into Infinity. I would make sure his little chest was still rising and falling and offer him a dropper full of water, then try unsuccessfully to fall back asleep. I tried absolutely everything I could think of to heal him, I ordered natural supplements online almost every day, just sure that each one would help him turn the corner. I sought out the most brilliant, natural veterinarians who also fell in love with him, I made up complicated schedules and lamented when he didn’t respond the way I hoped he would.
During this time, I tried to keep up with my meditations, to get some sleep. I tried to center myself in equanimity. But as August soldiered on, I got more and more taken out. I looked and felt like I’d fought seven wars in a row, SO weary. Was I fighting a war with God, with the world, unaccepting of the truth - that it was just Kidd’s time, not allowing reality to just be the way that it is?
But I couldn’t seem to help myself. I knew I was totally losing my core of serenity day after day but found it harder and harder to stay peaceful, for even short intervals. It takes a certain kind of wise soul to be a caretaker for someone they love and stay sane, and I am not that wise it seems.
My strong attachment to a certain outcome was the water I swam in day after day. Even though Kidd and I had eighteen glorious years together, my egotistical, perhaps selfish desire was that if I could just perform the right steps, administer the right elixirs, with just the right attitude of love, devotion and patience, that this amazing, purring bliss being would be returned to health so we could have more quality time together. Nothing wrong with trying one’s best, but somehow I secretly believed I could maneuver this desired outcome with pure willpower and forgot that desire and aversion is the root of all suffering.
How worn my spirit became when things didn’t go my way! Instead of contemplating the impermanence of this mortal world, as I was trained to do through my many years as a Buddhist monk, I found myself driven relentlessly by my attachments and desires and ended up suffering intensely.
Was it spiritual ego that kept telling me that I was praying for the best possible outcome, that I was trusting that Eternal Source is always directing everything with Divine intelligence - yet I grew so ragged! How desperate I was to control the relentless tide as it swept in and ravaged the body of my beautiful golden companion who had made life so sweet and beautiful for so many years!
I finally have had to get real and admit that I was just saying the right spiritual things to myself while being totally identified with outer appearances and conditions. I had aligned with the objective world rather than the Divine Presence that is the soul’s foundation, which underlies all appearances and which gives birth to this whole manifest play of opposites.
We do the very best we can for others, of course we do, but equanimity, serenity, grace and freedom dawns when we truly allow everything to be perfect just the way it is: This will be my deep contemplation for years to come.
The intense crying and wailing that resounded through the house after Kidd finally passed from his wasted body eventually whispered softly in my ear, ‘Dear one, to love is so good, so pure. Your pain is the measure of your great love. Honor love in whatever form it takes, but at the same time, recognize that you got badly burned by not trusting in Divine order. Let your intense suffering show you how to stop playing with fire. Come home to the true self.’