Lumi, the Golden Retriever Reincarnation

As Lumi’s birthday of 13 years came. 

Golden retrievers have a life expectancy of 10-12 years. I see Lumi lives her life her best every day, so I decided to write a blog with my gratitude and love for her.

Lumi was born on Jan. 19th, 2010.  

Some people may not believe in reincarnation, but she came back to live with me four times in the last 55 years.

She had a short life previously, so I promised to help her to manifest her lifespan and fulfill her life this time.

I learned about animal reincarnation when I studied Animal communication.

After I learned about animal reincarnation, grieving losing my animal family (either because of their age or sick or accident)got eased. I started communicating with them even after they passed and look forward to seeing them later, and many times I know when they are coming back.

Lumi was one of the dogs that clearly communicated when she was coming back.

I did not have the confidence to understand animal communication in the beginning, so I did not notice that she came back to live with me as a reincarnation first time as Lolo. 

Lolo died when I had a near-death car crash in 2001. 

She came back to me as Dore then, I knew it was Lolo immediately.

Curious Dore looking at something while her mother, Kin and her two sisters Kula and Oro were looking at the camera

Dore was a curious dog and wanted to be a mother, and she got pregnant with the next-door neighbor’s dog in North Fork. She was so happy when she got puppies.

Dore with Kona who became a service dog

We donated one of her puppies to a service dog foundation, graduated from service dog training, and helped Patrick (a 16 years old disabled boy)all his life. We kept Dore’s favorite puppy (we named her “Chibi-Gumu”). Dore was delighted being a mother, but when Chibi-Gumu got poisoned for some reason when she was only five months old. 

It was a very shocking and sad time, and even remembering it brings me so much sadness, so I am not going to write about it this time.

Dore, too, almost died from cleaning Chibi-Gumu’s vomit.

She survived but could not accept Chibi-Gumu’s death and endured so much grieving.

Dore started to escape from her secret place to look for her Chibi-Gumu.

She always came back home, but we checked our yard everywhere but could not find her secret escape location. 

One day, she escaped again. A pick-up truck driver hit her in the alley and ran away near our house. A neighbor saw it and phoned me, so I went to Dore immediately. 

She was waiting for me, but when I touched her, she stretched her legs to the light and said, “I am sorry, Mommy, I did not know the track was going to hit me. I want to come back!”

I told her, ” I understand. I love you so much. You can come anytime. I am here for you!”

I realized Lolo and Dore died after being hit by a car, and I remember my dog, Oliver, who was with me for a short time when I was in junior high school. My mother told me that Oliver died because he ran out of my parent’s house, and a car hit him. 

I was too shocked to hear this sad news when I came home from school. I think I kept the shock/trauma feeling deep, deep inside of me, but after Dore died and connected Lolo’s death brought Oliver’s death, I decided to talk to him.

Wow, unbelievable; Oliver was Lolo and Dore, and they all died cause of a car hit.

Dore said she wanted to come back to live with her family and me, so I decided to support her journey, coming back to us once again by talking to her.

Two years later, after Dore passed, she came back as Lumi.

Lumi was so much smaller than any of the other puppies and not breathing when she was born, but her mother Oro kept licking, licking. 

It was like Oro was on a mission to save the puppy (Lumi). 

I communicated to this little puppy(Lumi), “you gonna make it! Breath! You can do it!!!”

When Oro stopped licking, I helped with CPR, and the puppy (Lumi) started to breathe.

It was a miracle!

Lumi one day old

I knew the puppy was Dore at that moment. 

 

Her journey coming back was not easy, but Oro knew it was Dore, her big sister, who wanted to come back as Lumi. 

We named her “Lumi” as
We named her “Lumi” as luminaire – inspiration/light. She was feisty and not scared of expressing herself.

Smallest in the center is Lumi

Lumi lying down to her mother, Oro

Lumi (left) and her brother Bubu

While preparing the food, if anybody called or came and it got interrupted, she showed the intense paw steps and told me, “Mommy, focus on preparing the food. I am hangry!” 

Even now, if she needs to go out, she does paw steps constantly until we notice her request.

Lumi is curious like Dore, but her vision has more clarity than Dore’s this time. She is more careful and wants to have another puppy and live with her puppy for the rest of her life and fulfill her life.

Even though each dog reincarnated to return as the same spirit dog, they may look different and think differently, but their purpose is the same.

I promised to help her live her life and no more getting hit by a car! 

I also asked her to promise that she make efforts to live a long, healthy life without car accidents. She said, “You bet!”

She communicates loudly with us (her daughter, step-sister, niece, nephew, Eric-my husband, and me). Sometimes she sounds upset, but she expresses as excited since she is living her life again as her purpose is to be with her daughter/family and us. 

Lumi with her puppies

Since she stayed pretty small for Golden Littleriver (about 30~35lbs), many people have always come to greet her and ask if she was a puppy, even though she was over ten years old. She likes being different and having fun when people admire her.

She has been an excellent mother to her daughter, Happy. She is very patient with her and never barks her back. They are sleeping together even now.

Lumi and her daughter Happy sleeping together

Lumi (left) with her daughter Happy

Now Lumi is 13. 

She has right knee arthritis, so she limps. 

She takes homeopathic medicine and Bach Flower Remedy to cope.

She still wants to go hiking once every two months and she walks in the neighborhood at her pace every day wit me.

Lumi hiking

 

When people see her limping, but she walks at her steady pace, they come to her to give their respects, and she likes that a lot.

She sleeps a lot and snores loudly but loves eating Healthy Happy Pooch food and treats. She also enjoys animal reiki, massage, brushing, moxibustion, and a belly rub!

Lumi and her sister Portia had their birthday walk together to celebrate their 13th birthday in the park!

Portia, Happy and Lumi (left to right) with Jennifer Portia’s mom and me

Enjoy life with dogs!

Love, Sanae ❤️

Animal Communication: Red Berry Bird

Nature is showing me kindness with strong-mindedness.
Connecting with nature is always vital for me to understand my life.

I have been going to North Fork, California (60 miles south of Yosemite National park) for over 15 years.
When I visited North Fork for the first time, I felt that this was where I wanted to cleanse my soul. 

Springwater fills out my thirst for healing.
Sky with free spirits cloud dancing.
The scent of earth and forest lift my mind.
Hundreds of years old oak and ponderosa pine trees, creeks, and lakes give me strength.
And constant learning, instincts from wild plants and animals.
I feel that I am a part of nature, and I can support them once in a while.

Eight years ago(in 2013), my maple tree by the gate got hit by a car and broke the main trunk completely.
Everyone said it was not going to survive.
But I really wanted to help so I made special glue with soft-cooked brown rice and barley.
It did not just survive; it became the most beautiful tree to show autumn colors since then.
I am sure all of the people in North Fork and people going to Sierra Vista Scenic Byway enjoy the colors when they drive by.

I wrote this on my blog: Miracle of Maple Tree Recover!

The Maple tree this year.

 

 

We usually stay in North Fork one day or two days, but we stayed four days this time.
We went to Vipassana meditation teacher’s house to meditate together. Visited Sierra Mono Museum and Culture Center.
Had fun at Willow Creek with our dogs’ family.

The morning we were leaving, I was getting ready to pack.
I wanted to get some pine needles to bring back to Santa Monica so I went outside.
I usually use the back door to go outside, but somehow I went out from the front door and found a little bird lying on the front deck.

If I had not gone out from the front door, I might not have seen this bird. I saw a small red berry near her which I believed this bird had with her mouth. (I had no idea if this bird was a girl or boy, but I felt the bird was a girl).
I first thought this bird was dead, but her feather was moving slightly when I looked carefully.
My heart was full of the rescue mission.
I started to hold her gently and apply Animal Reiki right away without thinking.
I called my husband, Eric, to ask him to bring Bach Flower Remedy “Rescue Remedy”. I put the rescue remedy 4 drops around the bird’s feet, put another 4 drops on my palm, and held her again.

 

Then, next, my instinct brought the bird to sunlight filtering through the trees.

 

As I hold her gently, I chant softly, “Arigaotu, arigatou, arigatou (Thank you in Japanese).”


She opened her eyes calmly but closed eyes again; she was weak. 


I continued Animal Reiki for a while, then she sat with her feet and came close to me.
I whispered to the bird, “I love you. You get well.”
The bird closed its eyes like relief.


I felt that the bird needed more time to heal, and I still had to pack to leave for Santa Monica, so I created an area with soft dried leaves and moved her to rest while I was packing.
I let her know, “I am sorry. I need to go inside the house for a little bit.
I will come back shortly.
I hope you are ok.”
She was content.
I went inside the house to pack.

While I was packing, I was praying for the bird to get better every minute.
When I came back to the bird, I hold her carefully.
She opened her eyes.


I gave Animal Reiki again and the bird closed eyes to rest more.

About 4 hours passed since I found the bird.

The bird could sit for a while now, but she was still very weak and not moving at all. I could tell the bird felt better when I touched her.


I was afraid that some other wild animals would attack or eat the bird.
I started to think about bringing the bird to Santa Monica to recuperate and bring her back to release in North Fork later.
But the bird was wild; it might not be appropriate.
I did not know what to do.
I decided to ask the bird through animal communication and she could tell me what was best for her.
I talked to her, ” I am glad to see you are getting better, but I am not sure if you need my help more for you to heal completely or not. Can you show me some sign if you are all right?”
The bird opened its eyes a little bit momentarily, looked at me for a while, and suddenly jumped.


I thought the bird was going to fly but just hopped.
I was surprised, but I have seen many surprised after I learned animal communications.
I understand what just happened.
I followed her slowly.


The bird found the hidden healing place by the side of a hill with dry bushes. It will protect her from wind and rain.
What a wise bird.

 

I found the same red berries that she had when I saw her lying by my feet where I was standing.
I put the two red berries next to her.
She thanked me and said, “You can keep the one I had.”
I said, “I am happy to see you are better and you showed me a sign that you are going to be all right here even after I leave. I will see you again. Thank you for your precious red berry. I treasure it for a long time.”
My tears came down with my warm feeling.
I was not sad.
I was relieved to see the bird was better, and she was able to move to a safe area for her to rest more.

I was thinking of her on the way to Santa Monica.
I felt that the bird was getting all well.

After returning to Santa Monica, I looked up to see what kind of bird I helped. I could not find an exact bird name.
I decided to call the bird Red Berry Bird (RBB).
While writing this blog, I felt that RBB was communicating with me.
I looked up at the sky from my window and closed my eyes.
I saw RRB flying away with red berries that I gave her, saying “Thank you!” to me.
I put the red berry that she gave to me in my palm, my eyes got full of tears.

I wish I could express more detail with my writing to share how I felt when I saw her flying away, but I am overwhelmed even now with so much gratitude.
I close this blog with my respectful gratitude and abundance of love for nature and this red berry bird (RRB) to let me practice my instinct from my heart.

Love, Sanae❤️

Animal Communication: Bubu’s Last Words

One week ago today (May 25th, 2021), one of our beloved dog kids, Bubu left to heaven.
He was 11 and a half years old.
He never got sick all his life (except minor his toothache) and he was doing well till one week before. We are shocked and so sad here.

I hope writing this blog helps me grieve smoothly and tribute to Bubu’s life.

First, about ten days ago, what I noticed was Bubu got picky eating his food. We always make homemade food for our animal family. He enjoyed his food every day so I thought that he was going through changes because of his age. Sometimes as our dogs or cats get older, they want to eat different foods. But he puked when he ate some food.
I checked his body and gave him Reiki.
I felt something over his tummy, which he did not have last month when I checked him while cutting his nails. I usually check all my animal family’s bodies once a month when I cut their nails.
When I gave him a massage, Reiki and also moxibustion, he felt better.

Photo: Bubu with his dog family and me on my birthday in April at North Fork. Bubu is third one from left.

I made phone calls to make an appointment for him to get a check-up, but we are still in the Pandemic so none of the veterinarian’s offices had availability for 2~3 weeks. Our holistic veterinarian doctor Lane was able to come to see him a week later so we asked her to come.

Meantime, Bubu was still enjoying his walk and eating most of his food.
I wanted to make him comfortable so I communicated with him:
Bubu said, “I am not sure what is going on with me, but I can’t eat all the food I used to enjoy.” He also said, “I feel lonely since nobody comes to visit for a while.” so I explained him about Pandemic, and told him that I feel lonely too. He told me that he understood and he was happy that Eric and I were with him and his dogs and cats family were with him too.
But I contacted his favorite friends.
Two friends were able to come to see him right away.
He was delighted and enjoyed seeing them so much.

Bubu was born in our house, Santa Monica, California.

Photo: Bubu is the second from right – light blue yarn puppy and next to left to him is his sister Lumi.

Photo: Bubu right and Lumi left.

 

Photo: Bubu front left with Lumi front right/ Their mother Oro all the way right. Back on the left is Bubu’s step father Leo, Eric and Kula, Bubu’s aunt.


His mother was Oro, my first Golden Retriever Kin’s daughter and his father was a champion dog; Preston from Shadalane Golden Retriever. He never gave us trouble growing up with potty training or manner or anything, but he was sensitive, so he was scared and shy when he was a puppy.
I encouraged him to go to agility class with Eric when he was young. Agility class helped him to build his confidence. I think having agility training grounded his personality also.
He was a very caring and kind dog.

He was quiet and did not express his feelings much usually, but when Eric came home from his work every day and his favorite friends visited us, he showed so much happiness by picking up his favorite toy and with his voice…woooo, woooo, woooo!!!!

Photo: Bubu’s favorite toy and Eric.

 


He was our original shower and ofuro (bath) boy.
When we took a shower or ofuro (bath), he came to the bathroom and stayed there and sometimes felt asleep against the bathtub. He showed Kai and Lani to be shower and ofuro (bath) boys.

Photo: Bubu with his shower and Ofuro (bath) new assistants, Kai and Lani

Bubu did not like other dogs much so he enjoyed his family here at home a lot. Later in his life, our dog trainer friend, Cecilia, showed him how to trust other dogs and he went mountain hiking every week with ten other dogs until she had to move to Colorado because of the Pandemic last year.


He loved diving from the rock at Manzanita lake, which he learned from his aunt, Kula.

I wanted to make his daily routine a little more enjoyable so I asked him what else he wants to do, he said, “Park!” so I decided to take him to a park early evening to walk without a leash. He really loved it and walked all around the baseball ground at Clover Park until three days before he passed.

Photo: Bubu at Clover Park

 

 

When doctor Lane came, she confirmed that Bubu had something over his tummy.  

Photo: Bubu was relaxed with Doctor Lane’s examination.

She recommended taking him for an ultrasound examination. Still, there was no veterinarian place available to offer the ultrasound examination for Bubu except for bringing him to an emergency because of Pandemic. Bubu received his acupuncture treatment and relaxed so doctor Lane and we thought taking him to an emergency will stress him out. Doctor Lane decided to contacted her associate doctor Hadar (who I know from Kula – Bubu’s aunt, who was sick in 2016) for the next day appointment.
When we took Bubu to doctor Hadar’s office, he did not want to go inside with an animal technician. He looked at me and said, “Please go inside with me, mommy.”
I had to tell him that “Bubu, I am sorry, but it is Pandemic and we can’t go inside with you, but Daddy and I are here outside waiting for you so please go and take a test. You will be fine. The test results show us what we can help you.”
He looked sad, but he said, “Ok, I understand.” and he went inside.
I was so proud of him and told him that too.
It took about two and a half hours when he came back he was a little weak. I took this photo with him.

Photo: Bubu after doctor Hadar’s ultrasound examination

Doctor Hadar told us by phone that Bubu has cancers and less than one month to live. We were shocked and very sad, but I told him I am ready to help taking care of him as I took care of his aunt, Kula for two months, his mom Oro for three months, and his stepfather Leo for 16 months after they got sick. I was ready to take care of Bubu no matter what.
I even made a point to him that you got the same diagnosis like I got, which is less than one month to live.
He said quietly, “I do not want to be your burden and jeopardize your health.” I replied, “You are not a burden to me, and I am not going to jeopardize my health taking care of you.” He smiled and did not say anything.

That night, Eric was talking to Bubu after dinner.
He was massaging and talking to Bubu about how much they had a good time doing agility together. Eric was asking me to gather photos of their agility training so I had to look for these photos. I could hear Eric was crying and saw Bubu had tears in his eyes.

Photo: Bubu with Eric at agility training

Photo: Bubu learned to wait at agility training

 

Photo: Bubu was learning to jump by his instructor Annica

 

I felt that Bubu was not staying with us for too long that night. Bubu was a gentleman, so even he was getting weak he walked his own and went outside and did his toilet matter and went to his bed next to my side.

The following day, he was sleeping with Lumi, his sister. I also noticed he was lying down on Lani’s bed that he never used. I think he just wanted to try it before he left and saying goodbye to everyone already.

Photo: Bubu tired Lani’s bed

 

I did not have a good feeling so I stayed with him all morning and gave him Reiki, moxibustion and loquat warm water gentle body scrub.
He enjoyed everything, but he did not want to eat much so I gave him liquid food. He ate, but when I gave him apples and broccoli organic baby food that Eric bought, he threw up everything. I felt terrible that I gave him something that I did not make and I think apple was too acidic for his condition so I made Kuzu ume cream which he ate.

I could tell he was tired so I let him sleep and took other dogs for a walk. He was sleeping, but I think he wanted to get up and go outside so he did, but he could not get up anymore. He weight about 40 lbs, but I somehow got strength to pick him up and put him on a dog bed on the deck.
I had to call Eric to come home.
Eric came home and felt the same feeling I had that Bubu would not stay long with us.
Doctor Hadar called around 6:45 pm and gave us the blood test results and said that his liver is failing according to the blood test, so he might just have a few days to live. I told her that I think it will not be a few days. It might be tonight.

Around 7 pm, Eric and I felt that Bubu was starting to get ready to leave. We had no time to take him or any veterinarian doctor to come to euthanize him.
I kept talking to him that “Bubu, it is time to go; I am here to help you no matter what. You don’t have to worry about anything. As I told you always, I will see you here or there wherever you want to see me again. I love you so much. I thank you for everything you did and the time we had. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I kept talking to him.

Eric and I could see Bubu was trying hard to transition to heaven, but he was still resisting.
I told Eric, “Please tell Bubu that you are going to see him again!”
Eric looked at me quickly and told him right away with his tears, “Bubu, I will to see you again….” Eric did not finish his whole sentence…Bubu said, “yes, thank you, daddy and mommy I will see you again!!!!” and he let go and left in a half-second. These were his last words as he was departed.
His eyes were shining, his face was smiling and his arms were reaching toward heaven.
The beautiful light surrounded him and he left peacefully.
It was an incredible experience!

Photo: Bubu’s dog family – Left to right, Happy, Kai, Nalu, Lani and Lumi.

 

Photo: Cats family – Tin Tin and Mai Mai came to say good bye!

Sadly, we do not have Bubu with us physically anymore.
I know he taught us so much even as he was leaving here.
I thought he got sick, so I will take care of him for a while, but he decided to leave so soon.
Eric and I were not ready to send him off; we are grieving hard.
I took a photo of him with his dog family, but I did not even think to put a candle until a few days after he left. I was not able to accept his departure. As I put a candle and burned the incense, I felt my sadness and miss Bubu deeply, but at the same time, I am all right because I feel Bubu’s love continuously and I am here to take care of his family to respect his wish.


I was writing ‘How to Make Umeboshi Plums’ recipe on my blog, but I could not finish writing. Bubu said to me, “Mommy, you can finish writing Umeboshi plums blog first, then please write about me.” so I finished writing Umeboshi plums blog with my tears last Friday, May 28th.
I am glad that I did it because Bubu was watching me making Umeboshi plums this year too and the last thing he was able to eat was ume kuzu.

Over this weekend, we went to North Fork where Bubu loved running, swimming, and diving into lakes—celebrating Bubu’s life.


The last few times when we went to Manzanita lake in North Fork, there was not enough water for him to jump from his favorite rock so he did not do it. But there was snow and he had a good time. Also, he had fun at creek.

Photo: Bubu on the left, and Happy and Lumi had fun with snow in March

 

Photo: Having fun in a creek in April.

Photo: Three Golden family with me.

 

 

There was not much water again this time, but we took his photo with his sibling Lumi and Happy.

Photo: At Manzanita lake with Bubu’s sister Lumi and his daughter Happy

We also went to Bass lake, where he was swimming. Some people were fishing there so we just took photos with his dog family and his picture.

Photo: By Bass lake


We found a new location by the Bass lake dam and everyone was enjoying running, swimming, chasing a duck and catch the sticks.
I could feel that Bubu’s existence and his daughter Happy were checking his picture as she also felt Bubu was there.

Photo: By the Bass lake dam.

Today, I woke up and said to Bubu I am ready to write about you, what do you think?
He said, “That’s a good idea, mommy. You will help many people who love their animal family to share how to communicate with their animal family and heal when they are going through grieving. I love you so much and thank you for all my life. Till next time I see you, mommy!”

I love you, Bubu, for your birth to your departure to heaven.
Yes, till I see you again!

Tribute to Bubu Oro Suzuki
Beloved Our Original Shower Boy
01-19-2010 ~ 05-25-2021

Love,
Sanae 💖

P.S. If any of you are interest in learning animal communication, here is info from my website:
 https://sanaesuzuki.com/animal-communication/

 

My New Path…

Writing makes me feel most connected with my soul.
But I was not able to write for over one year.

When I was going through challenging times, I usually write my journals.

After I was diagnosed with only weeks live with Stage IV Lymphoma Non-Hodgkin of the liver in the spring of 2017.
(I wrote about it on https://www.sanaesuzuki.com/2017/06/08/only-weeks-to-live/)

Holistic medicine and macrobiotic healing foods were not helping to shrink cancer as before because the cancer was spreading too fast. Hence, I decided to take chemotherapy to save my life. The pain of the liver got worst, and I was not able to bear. All I could do was closing my eyes, breathing, and lying down every day. The nights I could not sleep, I just laid and wrote often and posted my blogs and sent newsletters to link in with my friends and people who were supporting me. The writing was also a way to protect me from my loneliness and fear.

After completed six cycles of chemotherapy, I was getting better physically slowly, and  I started to do a few things that I could not do while I was in chemo. Then, I did more and more physical work, and I lost the time to write.

I have been posting Instagram and Facebook with short descriptions, but I love writing with detail.
I realized that taking the time to write how I feel and what I do and share my photos carefully is my style, so writing a blog and send newsletter was something I enjoy.
There are many reasons I lost touch with writing my blog and sending newsletters.
Whatever the reason I have had, I just wanted to get it back on again and looking for my new path. I wish I could pick up where I left without any reservation, but in my case, I needed motivation.

I have been taking art classes from Santa Monica College Emeritus off and on for a while.  It took time after all the chemotherapy treatments, but when I got the strength back, I went back to retake Calligraphy class. I just did what I could,  so mostly nothing serious, and just for fun.

At the end of the last year, I found out that I may be able to enter my artwork for the Student Art Exhibition.  The exhibition was for spring 2020, and the due date was February 2020, so I wanted to try it even my artwork was chosen or not.

But I was going through another challenging time of PTSD (PTSD from my childhood and also near-death car crash, etc. ) at the beginning of the year, so I did not think I could put together my artwork. I am a turtle, so I am not a fast pace person to do anything. I need a decent time and focus for me to finish my artwork.

When I get PTSD, I have nightmares, and I am not able to do much nor go out nor talk to people. I also cry and get moody a lot and not able to focus.

Sanae with Leo IMG_0916

Photo: with my dog son, Leo

 

I was feeling disappointed at myself, and I was just about giving up on my artwork; I got lots of love support from my animal family, especially from Leo, who was one of my dog sons.
He had health conditions of nasal cancer for more than one year and also vestibular disease condition, which caused him not able to get up his own. Still, when I worked on my artwork, he wanted to be with me in my art room and stayed until I was satisfied to finish my artwork each time. That is how I was able to complete my artwork and submit it on time. I was not sure it was good enough for the Student Art Exhibition, but it did not matter because, in the end, I had fun creating and spend time with Leo. When I sent my artwork with an original frame I have asked to make. Leo smiled at me and he said, “Mommy, good job!”.

thumbnail-1

Photo: with Keith of GRAYHORSE PICTURE FRAMING http://www.grayhorsepictureframing.com

Three weeks later, I found out that they chose my artwork. I was very thrilled and told Leo that because of him, my artwork would be at the Exhibition.

He said that he already knew it and he was delighted.

I got a big idea of making a plan to invite everyone who supported me for my recovery if they could come to the Student Art Exhibition opening reception in April.

I was so excited, but the pandemic happened, and the exhibition got cancel.

My big idea of seeing some of you in person and able to say “Thank you!” directly did not work.
I understand that so many people died and got sick.  Coronavirus pandemic has not solved yet, and still many people are going through so many challenges, and many other issues are coming to must change the last few months.
Many people are standing up valuable to move the country and the world toward a new normal a future better than the old dysfunctional “normal.”
I wish I could do more to help others, but my focus is to do my best to take care of myself to stay healthy and safe right now, and this is my contribution to others, and this is my new normal.

Leo departed on May 24th peacefully in his sleep.
I miss him a lot.
He taught me so much how to fulfill life, and he told me that “Mammy, just be,” which sometimes means being irritable, exciting, tired, sad, and worry.
It is all good because they are all of you, and deep down inside, you are happy and content no matter what.
He is continuously teaching me.

Soon after his departure, I received a letter about Santa Monica College Emeritus Student Art Exhibition will be Online.
Online means not only people who can come to the exhibition but anybody from all over the world can see my artwork and see my new path.

Wow!

I think Leo did it.

Emeritus art exhibition online. 150+ artworks on view by Emeritus students.

A live Zoom Launch Event — hosted by Emeritus Associate Dean Dr. Scott Silverman and Emeritus Gallery Curator Jesse Benson — was recorded when it was held on June 25.

Here are a link and info on how to see my artwork.

View the recorded Zoom event: Launch Event for Emeritus Student Art Exhibition 2020 Online

View Artwork and Artists: Emeritus Student Art Exhibition 2020 Online

 

In case you are not able to see this Online Exhibition, here is a photo of my artwork close up and detail.

My New Path only Lotus

Photo: Watercolor Hanga with lotus root

Title: My New Path

Medium: Watercolor and Sumi Ink

Size: 14″h x 11″w x 3/4″d
The frame is white birch and linen material (you see the bottom photo).

It is a simple watercolor of Hanga print with lotus root and Sumi ink calligraphy with my haiku poem. My aiming was “Zen modest state to find a new path to move forward”

 

My New Path only calligraphy

Photo: my haiku poem with Skim letters

The letter of calligraphy style is Akim.
(Akim is created by German calligrapher, sculptor, and musician, Hans-Joachim Burgert. This lovely, gentle hand that is said to replicate the rhythm of the human heart) I did not know how Akim was created at first when I started to use it for my calligraphy, but I felt so familiar and it is my favorite calligraphy letter. So I have been using it for my website cover and business card, etc.

I wrote this Haiku Poem for me and everyone to thrive and live a new path (new normal).

I hope you enjoy it and find your new path.

I am grateful to Leo, who gave me the motivation to start writing again.

Wait,
as I was just finishing writing this blog, I received an email from Santa Monica College Emeritus Student Art Exhibition organizer, Jesse Benson.

I can’t believe it.
I had to read a few times to understand the detail: he was asking me to speak at the Online Art Exhibition Opening Reception about my artwork on Thursday, June 25th.

There are over 90 artists and 161 artworks (students can submit up to 2 artworks) in the show.
I heard they only asked a few people to speak.

Is it true they choose me to speak about my artwork?
Amazingly, they want to hear what I did.

Leo must help me again.

My New Path by Sanae Suzuki

Photo: Complete my artwork of “My New Path” with the frame

Now I honestly want everyone to see my artwork; art is one of healing therapy that has been helping me to recover.
Please watch the Online Art Exhibition reception.

I want to finish writing my blog that I was able to finally write after over one year with gratitude for “My New Path!”

I am grateful, thank you from my heart!

Love,

Sanae ❤️

Grief

If any of you read my blogs about my beloved dog daughter, Kula—who departed last August—you know I was sad and missing her. I took a time to take care of my inner self and also put together Kula’s ceremony on her 49th day, according to Buddhist tradition. I invited many of Kula’s friends and people who loved her. You can read about it here and see a YouTube video of the ceremony here.

 

I heard that by Buddhist tradition, I must not cry after the 100-day ceremony. I did not think I took the tradition so seriously, but after November 9, Kula’s 100-day ceremony, I not only stopped crying, but I also stopped talking or writing about her. It was not intentional, but Thanksgiving and the holidays were coming, so I must have felt it was not a good time to share my sad feelings with anyone. I kept all the memories of Kula inside of me.

 

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photo: Kula wearing my wood sandals at her favorite place – the beach!

 

I gradually started to feel numb and did not feel “Sanae.” Sanae is usually excited every morning, motivated about the day, and she is curious. But I had no excited feeling and no motivation or curiosity anymore. I thought it was just holiday blues, which I do feel almost every year. So, I kept doing my usual things—teaching, counseling, taking dogs for walks, and practice my yoga.

 

About a week before Christmas, Eric got sick (which was unbelievable, because the last time he got sick and took a day off was in 1992 when he first moved to Los Angeles.) He had to go to Utah for his cooking job the day after Christmas, so I took care of him with my best ability. He had to take only one day off from work; he got better and went to Utah. But I was getting a high fever and stayed home alone with the dogs and cats for seven days. I got a little better, so I wrote my final 2016 newsletter to my friends and family. I was hoping to get better soon after I wrote the newsletter. It took another week or so, but I got better and taught cooking classes, did counseling, etc.

 

In mid-January, we found out we had a flood in our mountain cabin in North Fork, California. It was lots of work for Eric to clean and make trenches, so I cooked and took care of our dogs and cats. Then I got a fever again for one week; it ended but came back again last week. After more than a month, I decided to go get some tests done. My main symptom was a fever of 100–102. I had some sore throat and a little cough, but nothing major—except I was not able to eat my favorite foods, like brown rice, miso soup and twig tea (kukicha). Also, my sleeping pattern had changed. I was able to do most of the housework and things I normally do, except when I had a high fever. But I did not want to socialize much, and I got tired very easily and had no motivation to do music or new or physical things. I just wanted to go see the ocean and be with my dog and cat family. I did not feel like I was depressed (I went through depression before, so I usually notice if I am feeling that way).

 

It took a while, but I realized I was going through “grief.” I was grieving for Kula! I was thinking about her most of the day. I remembered her with everything I did and everywhere I went since she had been my service dog when I was in a wheelchair.

 

I knew I was feeling very sad and missing Kula a lot, but I thought I was doing all right. I have sent many dogs and cats to heaven since I was 8 years old. Of course, I was sad and missed each of them, but I was able to process the sadness every time, so I did not think I was going through “grief” for Kula. Also, I still have five other dogs and two cats, so I felt bad missing Kula so much. I told myself that I can’t miss her so much—an excuse not to feel my sadness. That’s how I completely stopped talking about her.

 

Since finding out that I must be grieving for Kula, I have been reading a book about grief and learning how to process it and find self-support meetings and workshops. The book told me that in order to deal with grief, I need to talk about my sadness and pain and how much I miss Kula—which is a relief because whenever I talk about her, my heart is lifted and open. The book also says, “Sadness and joy are part of your memories.”

 

What I have learned so far from The Grief Recovery Handbook  – John W. James and Russell Friedman

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Myths About Grief

Most of us, over the course of our lifetime, have heard at least one of the following statements after a loss:

  • Time Heals All Wounds. You may still be grieving after losing someone five, 10 or 20 years ago. Does it hurt any less? Do you miss that person any less? Probably not. For some, the pain may get even worse. Time definitely does not heal all our pain. Yes—I thought after Kula had been departed 100 days, I should be okay.
  • Grieve Alone. We have been taught that we are not to burden others with our grief. I felt that way after the suicides of two friends. You don’t want to bother others with your sadness, so you keep it to yourself. In some cases, you reach out to others, but they don’t know what to do to help you. As a result, you feel lost and alone, so you isolate yourself as a way of handling the grief that others can’t. Grieving alone certainly, doesn’t work. Yes—I did not want to bother people, and I just stayed alone.
  • Be Strong. If you are the oldest child in your family, you know this one well. If something happens, you have to be the strong one for your younger siblings. You have to suck it up and not show your emotions. Heaven forbid the younger ones to see you crying. What sort of message does that send? Maybe they will think you are weak instead of just plain sad. Trying to be strong just gives the wrong message that you are trying not to be human. Yes—as long as I stayed strong, I was all right.
  • Don’t Feel Bad. How many of us have been told as a child not to cry when something bad happened? Rather than expressing our emotions, we were told to hold it in. I think many of the generations before us were never allowed to show their feelings. Men joined the military and were told to check their emotions at the door. Some children have never seen their parents cry. No wonder they grow into adults who can’t deal with their own emotions. Yes—it has been a while, so I should not feel sad.
  • Replace the Loss. I am pretty sure most of my generation has heard after a relationship breakup, “Don’t feel bad; there are plenty of fish in the sea.” I’m not sure if that was supposed to make us feel better, but in actuality, it made it worse. It implies that we should not wait and grieve over the loss of the relationship, but instead move on right away and replace the old one with a new one. That can’t be healthy. Maybe that is why so many people have a revolving door in relationships—maybe even two at one time, in case one of them doesn’t work out. No wonder there are so many divorces these days. This one did not fit me.
  • Keep Busy. Speaking from experience, I can say I became a workaholic just so I didn’t have to think after the suicides of my two friends. Keep busy. Keep working. Don’t think about it. It’s much easier than facing your grief. In reality, it’s worse, because you don’t end up facing your grief at all. Yes—I thought as long as I kept busy, I was all right.

 

All relationships are unique—no comparison and no exceptions.

I am also reading The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss  – John W. James, Russell Friedman and John W. James

Grief book pets

I started to talk about Kula a little bit again, and I am writing about my feelings and letting some friends know what I am going through, which is helping me.

I went to see the new movie A Dog’s Purpose. I cried a lot and thought about Kula and miss her a lot.

Now I started to talk to Kula once again and using animal communications that I have learned. She supports my feelings and told me “Mommy, I love you and miss you too. Please take all your time, you are all right! I am here for you no matter what.”

I am thinking of trying a support group meeting or taking a workshop to learn more.

If any of you are interested here is their website.

 

Bach Flower remedy and a homeopathic remedy are also very good to take during grieving period, as well as using essential oil and a healing crystal power stone. I would like to share about it in my next blog.

 

If you are going through grieving, please share also!

 

With my love,

Sanae

 

Kula, Golden Retriever’s 49th-Day Memorial

Kula came into my life when I was in my wheelchair in 2003 after I had a near-fatal car crash. Her mother, Kin, was my service dog. After Kin departed, I wished for Kula to be my service dog. She was a very shy and quiet puppy, so even during the two years that we took her to training, I was not sure if she could be a service dog. But she worked to build her confidence and passed the test.

 

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Kula’s 49th-Day Gathering register desk with friends wishes for Kula.

 

Kula was the most gentle, smart and kind dog I’ve ever met. She became not only my service dog—opening the door, picking up things I dropped—but also my beloved dog daughter, who was there for me every day to enjoy her life with us. She loved going to the beach, on mountain hikes, swimming, diving into Manzanita Lake, and enjoying the snow. We had a beautiful life together for 13 years.

I felt much sadness after Kula departed on August 1, 2016.

I wanted to honor her life and process my grief and longing through a memorial gathering with my husband Eric and others who’d loved her all her life.

Kula used to go to senior homes, where she made many people happy, as well as to the Santa Monica Farmers Market, where she’d meet children and let them feed her organic apples.

Please read about her going to senior homes and Santa Monica Farmers Market on my blog.

 

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This is the memorial card I made for the friends/guests with her favorite flowers: plumeria and white hibiscus.

 

 

 

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Here is Kula’s photo album “Kula’s Beautiful Life”, which I made with Eric. It contains 84 pages and 214 photos.

 

We had 26 guests, and we got all kinds of great food (everything was vegan, except one dish). I made Kula’s favorite hijiki dish, and Eric made Kula Cake—vanilla flavor with almond cream.

These below photos were taking by our good friend, Claire Johnson.

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Sanae (me) and Eric with Eric’s Kula Cake and all the potluck food!

 

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Vadaka

 

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Jeff and Phung and their daughter, Quyen and son, Khai with Kula’s sister, Oro, Jessica, Florence and Manuela…

 

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Masano and Rin.

 

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Sanae (me) and Allison with Kula’s nephew, Bubu

 

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Michellee and her mom.

 

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Sanae (me) with Kula’s dog family Health Happy Pooches (let to right Bubu, Happy, Oro, Leo and Lumi).

 

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Sal & Mariko with Kula’s grand niece, Happy.

 

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Stephanie, Sally, and Karin.

 

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John, Carole, Manuela and Jessica…

 

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Eric with powerful vegan ladies: Chef AJ, Armaiti, Shayda and Lisa

 

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Michiyo, Dan, Masako and Yoko singing and dancing

 

 

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Singing Kula’s Pacific Blue

 

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Amanda

 

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Michiyo & Dan

 

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Everyone put incent for Kula.

 

Our friends/guests shared their wishes, thoughts, and love for Kula.

I sang “Kula’s Pacific Blue” (I changed the lyrics) with Eric’s ukulele, accompanied by Dan How, our ukulele teacher.

I was nervous and made mistakes—you can see how I sang—but it was from my heart, and I really want to share it with everyone.The video was posted by Kula and our friend Chef AJ on Facebook.

Claire and I were able to retrieve it and post on Youtube so you can watch it and remember we had a fun and good memorial for Kula.

Kula’s Pacific Blue!

As I said in this video, animals have feelings and emotions, just like humans. Honoring their lives and holding memorial services help us to experience healthy grieving and learn how to be good humans.

 

With gratitude and love of light,

 

Sanae 💖