Tribute to the first dude to teach me about selfless love. Happiest Rainbow Bridge Birthday, Scoob.

The black waves creep up the sides, keeping me at the edge of my seat as I silently watch the bridge go by… such a long line of cars chasing each other down the highway. The passengers seemingly blind to the beauty before them. Wondering who they are and what they might be doing, I divert my attention, but it is not out of apathy. It is more like curious empathy. I start thinking about their stories — their own individual tragedies and hardships, but I quickly feel overwhelmed with it all.

Some questions will never be answered; but that doesn’t mean we won’t discover something more meaningful by contemplating them.

Searching for something calmer, I look above at the clear night sky dotted with countless little glowing orbs, as the force of an unseen wave takes my breath away. The further the boat takes us, the smaller the whole world becomes. That never-ending track of tiny toy cars must contain so many people – real people whose lives I’ll never know. The stars above look down over billions, in fact. Billions of hurried, foreign lives go by, chasing each other to some intangible finish line where they hope to find significance.

Suddenly and acutely aware of this large, vast world home to billions of strangers, I’m afflicted. A taxing sense of astute insignificance is instantaneously met with a brief moment of peace and a glimmer of clarity.

Despite that whole vast world, all I can really feel – feel beyond this analytical inquisitiveness – is an empty presence of one tiny, precious and beloved life taken too early.

The pain of loss sometimes hits as unexpectedly and powerfully as these relentless waves hidden under a cloak of darkness, courtesy of the elusive, nearly New Moon watching from somewhere above.

Other times, it’s more of a quiet lull like the calm of the still bay water by the dock (you only hear it if you’re listening). This sound is less abrasive than those nauseating waves smashing into the boat. It echoes like cherished old memories often do. Yes, this sound exudes a bittersweet nostalgia as opposed to gut-wrenching sea-sickness the more you listen for it.

But most of the time, I’m so busy chasing billions of what appear to be insignificant strangers down some winding road – one that I’m not even certain actually leads anywhere –  that I can’t hear it. Instead, the vibrations become part of me and everything I do.

Those unwelcoming loud reminders of pain evolve into a gentler vibration I carry with me always, allowing me to move with a softer grace and renewed perspective.

That grace helps me see that the pure joy and happiness I was privileged to sustain so completely for exactly one year and 14 days cannot possibly exist in the dichotomy of love without the tragic pain of loss.

This awareness allows me to feel connected to billions of “insignificant” strangers. For this human condition is a paradox we all have in common. It is what binds us together as human beings contributing to a greater community of humankind, as opposed to mere strangers competing against one another for material insignificance.

For the first time in my selfish life, I let another get close enough to genuinely transform my soul. While living, this once homeless “stranger” gave my home a significance I never even knew was missing. In death, he has awakened me to the enduring significance of every small and precious life.

The vibrations of every living thing, no matter how small, are significant and cannot be extinguished in death. They are merely carried and passed on by those whom they moved the most.

You weren’t just a dog, you were my first glimpse of selfless love, Scoobster. I’ll carry you with me always.


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