Seven days after Kula’s departure.
I am not a mindful Buddhist practitioner, but I want to honor my beloved dog daughter, Kula—who departed just seven days ago—with my heart of spirit. I decided to follow some Buddhist traditions for her.
Shonanona is a Buddhist service held on the seventh day after death. This is when the deceased crosses the River Styx (4000km – 2485.485 miles wide) after she passes 3200km/1988.388mile long steep mountain. Depending on her behavior during life, the stream of the river will change. So, the deceased’s family gather and honor her, sharing good memories and thoughts so that she will receive a gentle stream.
Kula was a perfect dog, so I am sure she’ll have no problem passing the steep mountain and receiving a gentle stream, but I wanted to be certain. So, Eric and I went to the beach—Kula’s favorite place. We swam, and I called her name seven times loudly to reach her and send my wish that her journey to heaven is smooth. As I was finishing swimming, my right hand caught some seaweed, and I thought it was Kula saying, “I love you!” She loved seaweed, so I decided to bring it and put it on the altar for her.
We have received many emails, comments, and Facebook messages about Kula. Eric and I are deeply touched by everyone’s kind thoughts. Appreciate everyone!
I want to share two quotes from messages we received
- From Madir Scalini, Maui, Hawaii
“The reality is that you will grieve forever.
You will not ‘get over’ the loss of loved one; you will learn to live with it.
You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered.
You will be whole again but, you will never be the same.
Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.”
– Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and John Kessler
- From James Peden, Santa Barbara
Some wise person wrote:
It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them.
And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart.
If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dogs,
and I will become as generous and loving as they are.
I love both of them so much. The one from Madir is so true and made me feel grounded to move forward. The one from James made me smile. Eric said “Sanae, components of your heart are already 85% dog!” hahaha
On September 18, I plan to hold a shijūkunichi—an important Buddhist memorial service for the 49th day—for Kula. I will let everyone know more details, and I hope you can join here with us wherever you are.
Oro (Kula’s a half sister) who is grieving and missing so much Kula with us. We took her also to the beach and she met new friends – Noman with Josie and Susan with Morgan.They helped Oro feel so much better.
When I took a photo of Oro with women (her name was Anna), Oro showed me Kula smile and surprise us.
We also found out that Kula’s nephew, Luka was also swimming in the face of Percé Rock, Percé, QC, Canada.
Kula’s spirit is continuing with Oro and us everywhere and everyone.
Thank Kula with all my heart!
I shall continue writing about Kula and her family to spread their healing spirits.