It all began last Thursday during a rain storm in Disneyland. My sweet friend who was taking care of our little dog, Buddy, called to let us know she was worried. My heart sank as every scenario went through my mind, maybe he is just missing us, maybe he has slept so much that his little legs are sore and he can barely walk, maybe… I had so many emotions fill me: worry of what might happen, denial that he would leave me before I got home, sadness for my friend that she was even having to worry about the burden & situation she was in, frustration that I could not just blink myself home and be there for my little friend… Within the hour my husband received another call, his face said everything. I was walking off the Pirates of the Caribbean ride when I knew my best friend had died. I began to sob outside. There were people everywhere, but my heart was broken. I looked over at my sweet daughter who never cries & has a hard time showing her emotions, but tears filled her eyes. I grabbed her and we just hugged. We kept hugging as the rush of people passed by in usual Disney fashion.
My sweet friend continued conversing with my husband over the details of where to bury our little dog. My mind raced of what we could do, I just then realized her husband and oldest son had just left for Sturgis & my dear friend was six months pregnant. I felt immense sorrow that she was in this whole situation. That is where my lesson of love came from. To see my dear friend emotional at the whole situation handle everything with such genuine care was a true testament of unconditional love. She stepped right in and did all she could to not have us worry about anything while we were away. She did all she could to take away the sting of our loss. She was the greatest friend anyone could ask for.
Our trip continued on with my entire family, so we were not able to return home for a few days, but my anxiety began to set in as we got closer to home. I would have to face being home, seeing his bed, seeing the spot on the couch that was his, seeing his dog bowls empty, seeing the many places he would be, the doors he would scratch for my attention, the top of the stairs where we would do our yoga stretches together, his sun spots…but most of all I was worried about missing him as we walked through the door. I would miss his excitement that we were finally home, his loves, his kisses. As we pulled in I noticed his face wasn’t in the dog door, my heart began to sink with sadness. I walked through our garage door and before I could begin to cry, I began to see big, colorful hearts taped throughout our house. They were hand cut hearts that had words like JOY, LOVE, You are Loved, Happy…I smiled and felt the love of dear friends. Then I noticed a beautiful flower arrangement left on our table. My heart welled up with gratitude for such kindness. I looked down at Buddies little bed (the spot where he had peacefully died) and I wanted to go find the spot he was buried. We walked to the back of our yard and looked around. We couldn’t miss the spot because there was a handmade, beautifully stenciled name plate made out of a small cut of tree wood. On the top, the word BUDDY with little paw prints circling it. I couldn’t honestly believe the love that was so freely given to our family. I couldn’t believe how genuine kindness could be so lovingly shared. I instantly called my friend to give her my heartfelt thanks through the tears that wouldn’t stop from such a beautiful gift. My friend said, I knew you would miss your little dog when you got home, so we wanted to fill your home with love. It was so sweet and truly touching.
I truly learned such a beautiful lesson through our loss—LOVE is given freely, especially when you need it most.
Thank you Rasband family for lovingly giving so freely in a time of genuine need. You are all a beautiful example of what we all can give, be, do. Love you so. Thanks for being there for us.
Big LOVES to all, especially my sweet Buddy. Peace to you my Soul Buddy. Love you. -H