Posts Tagged ‘death’


Thursday, July 24th, 2014

I had errands to do and I wanted to get them out of the way early because the weather is in the 90s and I like to be inside where there is ac. I headed home and as soon as I pulled up the driveway and parked a flood of sadness washed over me, making my way to the front door I did not want to open it due to the absence of my little friend who was always right there waiting for me. I missed seeing her little face staring out the window as I drove up and I didn’t want to feel the heavy weight of emptiness once I opened the door. I thought, “why can’t this just not be real”. Feeling all woe be gone and sorry for myself I opened the door and entered and saw a box of flowers. I thought, oh my gosh, who sent flowers,I opened the box and was so surprised to find they were from an online friend, Diane, better known as Enchy, short, for Enchylatta. I am so touched by this act of kindness, how could I possibly remain pouting after that, and every time I look at those gorgeous sun flowers I am going to snap myself back into that good place of acceptance, during this first most difficult week of loss.


The act of kindness made me think of this poem:

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

by Naomi Shihab Nye


Phantom coughs

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Thought I heard my puggie coughing this morning, but of course it was phantom coughs. The house is stuffed full of empty and today I go about picking up the dog pillows from every room in the house. Sassy had to be with me always, so whatever room I was in, her pillow was there, or plastic garbage bag with blankets inside, she was very fond of cozying up to bags or, purses. Its a peculiar feeling to put away her blankets and pillows and crates, its so very final. Her demise was truly unexpected, at 13 years old we figured we had a couple more years with her, she was a feisty spirited little girl! A sassy one indeed! So, I was completely blindsided when I took her to the vet and they had to put her on oxygen. The vet said that if I took her home we run the risk of her suffocating to death overnight. She was functioning on a 1/4 in windpipe, her heart was enlarged and leaking fluid into the lungs. Since she was breathing so hard, gulping air the stomach was also enlarged. I just thought she has some king of kennel cough or allergies. With every pet I learn something new. The pain of her death won’t stop me from having another dog or two, the unconditional love of a dog is so beautiful and inspiring. Dogs are teachers and for sure, Sassy had me wrapped around her little paw!
Through this tragedy I had company, my girlies and sweet little “Lily” were with us Sat., Sun and Mon. Monday was when I took Sassy to the vet while Malika and Laura went to take care of some business in L.A. to return later that evening. Its Laura’s birthday week so I was preparing for a nice dinner celebration. It was a challenging, emotional tug of war that pulsed through me all day. Grieving for my dog and preparing for a joyous birthday party. I could not let a black cloud linger over the evening and ruin a beautiful memory making moment, nor did I want to. I tried to purge the tears, and I reminded myself, that, her death is also a celebration of her life and it would be okay to be happy and in the moment. I did my best, but as soon as her name is mentioned, well, you know. At any rate, what I am trying to say is that I was so grateful to busy myself with meal preparation and then for the tender love of my darling girl Laura Damian and the deep caring from my “bestie”, Malika Parker, their company helped so much. I feel confident that the evening was not tainted with misery, that we commiserated as needed and treasured our time together. We toasted and cheered and laughed and argued till we had our fill. That is’ precious LIFE! We love, we lose, we draw close to our hearts those kindred spirits who help us get through it, what a beautiful, sacred evening.

About a Pug

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Before I met my husband I was working in the Bay area as an apartment complex manager. When tenants moved out I was required to inspect the apartment for damage and cleanness. One time, while I was inspecting an apartment the lady had a friend helping her with the last minute details and the friend had a friend with her. It was a baby pug. I could not believe my eyes, I had never seen a baby pug, they kind of look like aliens with their big heads and pop eyes!

I just about died from the cuteness and vowed that if I ever got out of my apartment living I would get a pug. Fast forward five years, I met my Jerry and we got married and got a house and within a month we had the pugster, my Balthazar. At that time my husband was working very long hours and often over seas and out of town and all I had was Balthazar so of course, I doted on him like a child. Dressing him up and taking him with me every where. After a few months we decided that he really needed a play mate since he had so much energy and that was when we decided to get Sassafras, long for Sassy since she was such a spirited little girl when we picked her up in the parking lot at the local Safeway. I literally squealed when I saw her she was soooo tiny sitting on the pavement in that parking lot that I almost didn’t see her at all! Oh she was such a cutie pie and we took her home to Balthazar and he cried he was so excited! he did not know what to make of her, she was so tiny next to him. What a fun moment that was. They have been together ever since.

Two of my fur children
I remember when he was a tiny pup I would carry him in a little purse like carrier with his head popped out at one end. I took him like this when we went to the SFMOMA, he was asleep and I guess they thought he was a stuffed animal because they let me through with him and I got up to the third level before one of the guards realized I had an animal with me. HA!balto

Shortly after acquiring him I quit the job I was working at as an after school program director because they would not let me bring him to work. I had been told prior that I would be able to have him so I was angry they reneged, and I am just not the type of dog owner who can leave a dog home by itself for 8 or 9 hours.

I use to call him “King Tut” because he had this big dog in a small body thing, he was quite the alpha male, so full of personality. When I would pick him and put him on my lap, he would promptly turn front sitting up on his hind legs like I was his person doing what I am suppose to be doing, holding and doting on him!

Of course he loved his walks and he loved his baths. Not so much the washing part but the drying part. he would roll around on the towels and stretch making the funniest I feel good noises and then in appreciation he would jump up at me with kisses, with his big oversized tongue that always hung outside his mouth cuz it didn’t fit!

He was a very emotional dog too, if he saw me crying or heard me yelling he would bark and cry out also. It was very touching.

He so adored getting in the pool and jacuzzi with us. If he were inside the house and he heard one of us in the pool swimming he would bark like crazy and stare out the window door pacing back and forth and he would not even be distracted by food or treats. If we were in the jacuzzi he would bark and cry till we took him in with us, and he would race across the thin ledge like a tight rope walker, we marveled at how fast he was and he did not fall down! When people were over they would get such a kick out of Balthazar jumping on my back for a piggy back ride in the shallow end of the pool, oh he was in heaven those days!
Swimmer pug

Every time he went out into the back yard he would stare at the pool. Even after he went blind. He would go right to the ledge and look down, he knew the water was there.


About five years ago he became diabetic and in less than a year he went blind. I will never forget the look on his face when I went to throw him a treat and he could not see it and I realized and he realized that he could not see it. I felt helpless and sick about it. But for about four years he could still see shadows and shapes and get around, he actually did quite well. But about 6 months ago the blindness increased severely and his world went completely dark. His demeanor and disposition changed dramatically. He became very insecure and wanted me around him constantly. If I left the house he would howl relentlessly, it was awful, and heart breaking. He would spend most of the day like a little bumper car, bumping into walls looking for me. It was stressful being needed so intensely and quite painful knowing that his quality of life had diminished even further. It has been a series of problems since as he continued to deteriorate and his liver became enlarged and he could not eat or hold down food or water. Today, we had to let him go, he was suffering and I really could not bear it. His last week at home was one of the worse weeks of my life. I had hoped for a miracle. But there was not a miracle in sight. You may think, he was just a dog, but I couldn’t have felt any worse were he a person. Love is love whether it be person or animal and I loved him so deeply and I miss him so much. It was such a relief to euthanize him because I know his body had turned on him completely. I was glad he would no longer have that ravaged little body and his beautiful spirit could be at blissful peace.

blindI am so grateful for the cherished memories, the 12 years of unconditional love and fun. What a blessing he was, making our every day so much richer and joyful.

RIP my beloved Balthazar


Friday, December 18th, 2009

It was a rather spectacular day yesterday as I made my way through the canyon to The Ten Women Gallery. Doesn’t seem fair when so many parts of the country are knee deep in snow. I put the top down on my convertible car so I could feel the crispy fresh air,and so I could awaken my dulled senses as I am grappling with yet another loss this year of a family member. Her death takes me by surprise occurring so shortly on the heels of the death of her husband, my uncle, less than two months ago. This rather numbing event has put a damper on my energy and enthusiasm at this very busy, very stressful time of year, but I am plodding along trying to deal with obligations and still make sense of life.
I still hope to finish up some new work to list on etsy and take to the gallery before Christmas, like all retail, its an important time of year for us artists.

Best wishes to readers of this blog for stress free days ahead, peace of mind and a bit of joy in between.

This Weekend

Friday, August 31st, 2007

I’ll be going out of town this weekend. In an attempt to avoid some of the labor day traffic I will leave at noon tomorrow and return home Sunday, I have no interest in flying, giving the confusion and congestion that will exist at the airport.  Going to spend some time with girlfriends.

I’ve seen that some artists are now hand making their business cards like miniature works of art. I would like to have plenty of blanks to take with me everywhere and work on them when I find myself having to wait somewhere for some reason, even if its just hand drawing.  I think people would be more inclined to keep a business card on their fridge if its an original work of art, although having business card blanks in addition to needing a purse and a camera and a journal for jotting down ideas and sketches, is probably just one more thing too much.

I’m interested in pursuing the cocooning idea further, some manner of three dimension. I was trying to envision felt for a cocoon, but not sure that I want to dabble into yet another media. Perhaps papier mache wrapped with something fibery like eyelash yarn and then smoothed out with resin to give a shiney veneer. Maybe. Would want to put little figures inside, so the cocoon would have to be openable or else the cocoon would have to be one with the figure. hmm, that may be the way to go, thinking out loud here. I would like to make them in two sizes, some doll size and some ornament size, yes I think I will do both.

A little bit of a tangent; here is Bjork singing cocoon, the guy caressing the head of the other guy has a microphone in his hand which creates subtle sound effects.

I really don’t understand how I got yellow oil paint all over my foot. Luckily it isn’t on the bottom of my foot where I might have tracked it through the house.

I’m very tired but unable to sleep.

My brother’s death is in my pores.


Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Dear Readers

There has been a death in my family and I will be absent for at least a week. Wishing you art and creativity in between.