There is a whole cosmos in our eyes.
When we pass, the Universe leaves our body, and we can truly see the physical is just a shell of the being of eternity that we always are. We can witness this transformation distinctly through the eyes of the immediately deceased. As what once displayed to us the vastness of the Universe, of conscious, of the All at the core of us becomes void, an opaque globe that no longer holds attachment to eternity.
As I held Zen in my arms, in his final moments, I experienced this void of the Cosmos as the Universe left his eyes. I spent those moments looking intently into them and seeing the painful confusion of the last moments held inside his physical form. His body was shutting down; he was afeared and yet desperate for the end to come to him.
The beautiful Universe of his big blue eyes was held in a questioning pause. I pet his head, his paws, I held him close and whispered, "Everything is going to be alright. It is all going to be fine my fat cat, my prince. It's okay ... it's okay."
I wasn't certain if he was hearing me, feeling me, or if he was just scared and suffering. In a moment though, I knew he was with me. I stopped petting his paw and he immediately reached out to me with it. He pulled at my hand with his claws and then, like a kitten, he began kneading at it with whatever strength he had left.
I am not a big crier, yet the tears welled up from his acknowledging touch. I was looking down into his eyes still, and a small smile came to me at his touch. A touch that confirmed to me that, even though his gaze seemed so distant, he was there with me and I was a comforting presence.
Zen gasped twice within this exact same moment and then his eye suddenly became an opaque gloss, void of eternity, like the frosted window in a bathroom that protects you from others seeing in while you cannot see out.
He was gone and that well of tears escaped, falling upon his now lifeless form.
"He's dead." I mumbled at Floodplain. "We don't need to go any further. We can head home now."
During the final moments with him I should have just wrapped him up and sat outside holding him in the yard he loved so much. Instead I tried desperately to get to Dove Lewis, I just wanted to give him a shot so he wouldn't be in pain anymore. Yet all he really needed was to not be alone and I am so thankful to whatever forces lined up to allow for me to be there with him in the end. Even if our last moments together where in the passenger seat of a vehicle holding onto the false hope of a helpful destination we would never reach.
It isn't like in the movies, the body begins stiffening immediately and no matter how hard you try, you cannot get the eyes to shut.
Those eyes though ... the body was Zen as I remembered him looking, yet I knew he was no longer there. His eyes were simply empty of the Universe that held his experience of being.
In those eyes his disappearance was obvious, his death was not. Zen was simply no longer held inside the physical, he had simply left the home of body. How to explain the where of his being now, I don't have the right words, I do have the understanding of Universe though, of energy, of physics, of simply knowing that nothing truly ends it simply manifests into a new form; the primordial fire of life.
So it was I would return home and immediately begin preparing a fire pit to hold the memory of my prince, my Zen. He became the center of my hearth, the most important piece of home since antiquity. The most honored and noble of places, to gather, to love, to live, to experience and create ... the fire at the center of our hearts.
It has been four days since Zen passed, the only tears were in the moment described above. There is an emptiness that I don't want to refill. I showed his body to the other pets, so they wouldn't try looking for him. Strangely enough, as we dug the pit, everyone remained gathered around it, watching. I am not certain if they knew, or if they just knew I needed them, maybe both.
I sat into the dark, watching the flames, mostly in silence. Pants laying at my side, Floodplain sitting at the other. The Ladies even sat upon their outside perch and watched the fire, while Artemis lay upon stacked paver blocks observing from upon high. The crow that hangs out with me in my garden even joined in for a few moments.
It was peaceful ... and I miss him.