Last night I cried my weight in tears over the loss of my friend Dar but today more than feeling sad I just feel grateful. The last four years of our friendship have been extraordinary. All of the grief I feel is countered by a feeling of joy because I had the opportunity to know and to love him. My heart couldn’t have broken yesterday because Dar already melted it years ago when he smiled and somersaulted during our first game of chase. Dar was an incredibly gentle, sweet, kind soul. When I found out I was pregnant a few months ago I felt a bit of trepidation over the weight of the responsibility I was facing. When trying to imagine my life with a little one in my arms I thought about being able to introduce my child to Dar. That thought instantly brought a smile to my face a lifted that weight off my heart. Two weeks ago when I was interacting with Dar I signed WHAT THAT? pointing to my belly that is just starting to pop out. Dar replied BOY. I asked WHO IN THERE? and Dar signed BABY. We are waiting to find out what we are having so I won’t know for a few months if Dar’ s prediction is correct. I am disappointed that I will not be able to introduce Dar to whoever is in my belly, but they will certainly hear stories about my dear friend throughout their entire life.

Dar signing BABY.

Here are a handful of those stories. I hope that they give you some solace during this difficult time.

Dar had a wonderful sense of humor. Last month Amanda and I were in the night enclosure area playing an epic game of chase with Loulis. Dar joined in by head nodding and signing CHASE. He continued to head nod at us but didn’t actually chase us. I sang Dar’s song to him “DAR DAR, he’s a star, freckles on his face. Ears that flop, sits up top, and signs to you play….” and then I paused so that Dar could finish the song for me. Dar signed CHASE! and took off running. I signed FUNNY FUNNY, WHO FUNNY? Dar replied DAR FUNNY. We both head nodded at each other and then continued to play chase.

Dar always greeted me with a kiss in the morning. He loved to play, sometimes with a guitar, and he was never afraid to be silly. He loved the summer but not the winter. He loved all socks, bigsmall, and colorful.  He loved all flavors of tea. He loved his hammock.

Dar loved wearing beads. This week I took a few photos of Dar but had not yet had the opportunity to post them. My favorite photo that I have ever taken of him is among these. 

Above all else, Dar was my friend. He was part of a familyHe was loved. And he will be very missed.

This entry was posted in CHCI Experiences, Dar, Enrichment, Loulis, Sanctuary, Sign Language, Tatu. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Solace

  1. drerin says:

    Thank you Rozsika for sharing this and these precious pictures.

  2. Valerie says:

    Thank you for posting this. It was so sad to read the news of his death. My sympathies to everyone at CHCI, who I know are keenly feeling his loss.

  3. Lynn Jenkinson says:

    Rozsika, thank you for your loving portrait of Dar. I know you and everyone who had the blessing of sharing time with him is in mourning right now. Be comforted that you gave him the best life ever. My sincerest condolences to everyone at CHCI.

  4. Mike Stucker says:

    Wonderful blog, thanks for sharing!

  5. nfmgirl says:

    My heart especially breaks for Tatu, but I’m sorry for the loss to all of you.

  6. Sandra says:

    Beautiful pictures. Thank you so much for sharing. I am so upset by the news of Dar’s passing. I only had the pleasure of meeting him once, but I was deeply touched by my experience with him, and I can’t even imagine what the CHCI staff, Tatu, and Loulis are going through. My deepest sympathies go out to all of you. May Dar rest in peace.

  7. Breelyn says:

    Thanks for the picts – he was such a sweet gentle soul. Loved him dearly.

  8. Megan L says:

    Oh this brought the tears….thank you so much for sharing. Dar was an amazing gift to us all. I loved the stories!

  9. Andrea Smejkalova says:

    That’s a very nice post Rozsika, thank you.

  10. So sudden! My sympathies to all of you. How are the others reacting to the loss?

  11. They are grieving. We all are.

  12. Deb Palmquist says:

    My one great regret in life is that I did not go back and visit Dar since he moved from Reno. I worked with Tatu and Dar there in 1978 and 1979 with the Gardners. I will have to make it there to see Tatu. I always wondered if they would remember their early HCs (human companions). I will try and get my early photos on the computer for you to see his impish little self at 1-2 years old.

  13. Quentin says:

    A beautiful posting. So sad to hear of his death but will continue to rejoice about how many of us he has brought laughs and comfort to. My thoughts are with all you there now. Peace.

  14. ramona mayhem says:

    My condolences Rozsika–wonderful pictures and happy thoughts.

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