I’m on my way to the coast today so I can breathe. I will walk on the beach and remember Pasu running, playing frisbee, making paw prints in the sand, daring the surf to come closer, and when it did, charging to me with a big doggie grin and excited, happy eyes.

Since I was 13, I’ve felt strong urges to go away when feelings or life overwhelm. I’ve found creative ways to do so – most of which I stopped judging some time ago. For years I’d get in the car and just drive, no destination. I’d get to wherever “away” was, turn around and come back. With Pasu when the urge struck, there he was — present, eager, ready, always ready for anything. So, off we’d go — but always with a destination and a purpose, someplace beautiful to have an adventure together.

Pasu taught me, among so many things, mindfulness. With him I could breathe; my senses were sharp and alert, my heart was open, and my body was grounded. Without him I’m floating in a void, lost. One moment I’m hypersensitive to the environment and my feelings, receptive to all the love being shown and given me, even capable of giving something myself. The next I am numb and closed. I’m grieving.

So today I will slowly eat and enjoy what I can of this lumberjack-sized breakfast at Camp 18, drive mindfully and safely when I get back in the car, and make my way to the coast to breathe and remember. I’ll avoid the sneaker waves…except those that come up from my heart.

Composed February 25, 2017 – four days after my beloved dog Pasu died at age 14