Annie and Me, A Shared Journey Home by Rich Okun

515suuwUD4L__AA160_Firstly I must say that this is an absolutely beautiful book, although it covers a very sad subject, the passing of the authors much loved cat Annie with Cancer, the sadness is somehow transformed, beautifully and sensitively into a celebration of the life of a very special cat, and the bond they shared.

After Annie was diagnosed, the time they spent together created an extraordinary healing time somehow, and Rich recounts this through his poetry.

Running through the book is a strong vein of happy memories, and magical moments which have been captured forever. The day he first set eyes on her, her favourite things, her little foibles, and mannerisms, all the special things which they shared and these will live eternally in this heart, as well as this wonderful book.

I, like many others have lost beloved pets and these poems touched my heart deeply, the tears were flowing freely as I read it. Beautifully written, the tears were for the memories his words brought back, of animals I had watched go over the rainbow bridge, and miss so much.

It is evident that the author’s heart and soul is poured into this collection of poems, however, Rich Okun’s talent do not stop at his writing, as he also illustrated the book. Through his words and art work, he has captured the very essence and soul of Annie throughout her life, from a tiny kitten through to the end…

A beautiful book which I will treasure forever.

About the Author: Rich spent his life in various corporate positions and after many years and different careers; he now devotes his focus to creative passions. Having spent a lifetime studying many different ancient spiritual belief systems he was inspired to action when a new puppy, Maya, came to town. Rich lives in Connecticut with his wife, Maya, and four cats.
short Author’s interview

Rich defines himself by his spiritual interests and values. He has been artistically inclined all his life, and at 6 years old, was one of the youngest members of the Art Student’s league of New York (across from Carnegie Hall). However, he always used his art only for spiritual pursuits. Rich carved stone, painted, wrote poems and stories and many other creative passions – all for the give away, His life changed that hot summer’s day while walking Maya, when he heard the answer to the questions he had always asked.

a little story:
My daughter had asked me to perform her up-coming wedding ceremony that was to take place in September of 2011. I was fortunate to be able to become a Justice of the Peace to do this – Then, in July of 2011, while walking Maya, and while thinking intently about the content of my upcoming wedding speech …

“I am and have been like Tevye (the father in Fiddler on the roof) always talking to God/Spirit – sharing a joke, a prayer, and having a conversation especially while in nature, everyday of my life, and like so many other people, I ask spirit ‘what am I here for? What should I be doing with my life, how can I help?” – I always wanted to hear a great big booming voice come down from above maybe James Earl Jones saying – “Just do this Rich” but I never heard any thing back. This did not deter me from continuing to ask. That day I heard a whisper – it was telling me to further develop this format (quote/poem-story/illustration/) but to use Maya as my muse and do it for children to be able to learn about spiritual matters much earlier in life and to closen the relationships between family members. Make it so parents can use it to discuss these matters with their children – help to awaken children sooner in their lives – I was taken aback as I also had a chill (on a very hot summers day) which usually indicates some connection with spirit.” says Rich.

a year later, after closing the online bead store, I decided to listen…The result is this book, The Sun, the Moon, the Stars and Maya a unique format that wants to help – there will be many more books to come. Rich has also authored and illustrated several more traditional children’s’ stories using Maya as the main character – all with an eye towards making the spiritual more accessible.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
Maya says in reply:
I like it here,
it’s so nice and warm
I feel I could disappear,
turning it into an art form

It’s only when,
we feel the pull
overcome, the now and then,
and stop the bull

The single most important guiding principle that he has and tries to live is the Golden Rule. Rich has a strong desire to make a difference and believes he can help people to feel and deal better during these challenging times of stress and anguish.

His path to get to this book is a 61-year journey of taking every circuitous route. There are so many wonderful things that have influenced his life in such mystical ways and after having experienced so much magic, he felt compelled to help.

About the Book: This is a book about love and healing – it is not morbid although the subject matter can be challenging.

During the writing of this book, my only intent was to be single minded and focused on caring for my dying cat, and observing what was happening – All my life I had been angry and afraid – I didn’t know it but this had stemmed from my issues with death and dying and my issues surrounded my mother dying when I was young. While writing this book, my fears and angers dropped as Annie helped me to form a new relationship with death and dying and life. I hope that this book can help you too as many of us have difficulties with this subject. Whether it is a beloved pet, or human, the experience is the same. In words and pictures, let this story find the hole in your heart, and fill it.

Available from Amazon:

2 comments on “Annie and Me, A Shared Journey Home by Rich Okun

  1. Rich Okun

    Thank you so much Susan for your generous consideration and comments. I hope your new years is filled with love, happiness, growth, abundance and outrageously excellent good health.
    With love

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