For Eddy, A Life Without Breeze? It’s Not a Life

mamma&baby3 A few weeks back, I announced our cat Breeze had transitioned into her energy body. It was somber, solemn time for our family. But no one has been affected as much as Eddy. She was Breeze’s daughter and they never spent a day without the other. Ever.

The photo here is one I took the first day they settled into our shop. Eddy was just 6 weeks old and still nursing. To say she loved her mom is an understatement. Everyday of her fifteen years, she was either sleeping with her, grooming her or being groomed by Breeze. So the sad truth that Breeze is no longer in our home has been tough on Eddy. She sleeps a lot and has little interest in interacting with us. For many days, she didn’t eat very much. To watch her is heartbreaking because as hard as we try, it’s just not the same for her, without her soul mate.

She’s grieving.

I’ve known that animals grieve, but I think there’s a difference between grieving for a member of the pack, and soul mate grieving. Animals live in the moment. And I know she can hear her mama. I know she can see her when she comes to visit. But since she lives in the moment, unlike most humans, I thought she might have a short grieving period and then she’d return to life as she knows it. And I couldn’t have been more wrong. Her pain is visible and there’s simply nothing we can do for her. I’ve tried to greet each day with a cheerful attitude and lots of attention for Eddy. But she’s not interested and acts as if she’s simply waiting for the next part of her day.

At first, she barely partook in her favorite activity: eating. Everyday at 4:00 the girls would roust me from what I was doing in order to have their dinner. We’d had a strict feeding time of 6:00, when they’d be given their treat for the evening. But cats have a way of working you back to when THEY want to eat. (I’m sure I’m not the only one who has experienced this) Eddy would cheerfully meow the longest even though she knew I was preparing their food. She’d also tell me she was simply starving! Unusual for a cat that weighs nearly 16 pounds. And to look at her, you can see she’s well fed. One time in our shop, a customer flat out called her fat. To which she replied “I’m not fat, I’m Eddy!” Animals do understand everything that’s said to them. We need to remember and be careful about that.

Now I sometimes have to drag her out of her quilt nest as late as 9:00 to make sure she has her dinner. She’s slowly starting to request food again, but it’s not in the same exuberant way. You can see the pain in her eyes. I’ve never seen anyone, human or animal struggling as much as she is right now.

I’ve had clients who’ve lost one animal due to age. And if there is another animal who was close to the one who has gone to spirit, it’s not uncommon for the second animal to follow right behind them into the heavens. And I’ve always thought that if Eddy or Breeze walked through the veil, the other would soon follow. It’s more common than we know. Human couples that have been married for many decades have been known to do this too. What is this strange pact we make with one another?

Shortly after Breeze crossed, she popped in one day while I was swimming. She told me I must get another young kitty for Eddy. She said she needed a kitty companion in order to pick up her spirits. So, (this being the last thing I thought I would ever do) we adopted a kitten. Eddy dislikes him intensely. He’s young, he’s a bit on the wild side, and most importantly: he’s not Breeze. There is a slight possibility that the new kitty will make a deal with Breeze and she’ll return and take this body. She would never be a clone of Breeze, but he’d be more familiar to Eddy and she might enjoy her life again. At first, I thought this was exactly what would happen. But now I have pretty severe doubts. After a couple of weeks, Eddy is tolerating him, but he’s not her mom. Not her friend. Not her soul mate. She doesn’t treat him at all like he ever will be. So, as I write this, Eddy is in one room and New Guy is sitting with me.

However, there is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that animals grieve. And it’s heart wrenching to watch. The only time Eddy is happy (or her new form of it) is at night when she’s under the covers with me, snuggled in, and talking about Breeze. I found that this brings her the most joy. Telling stories, just the two of us, about her mom. Her best friend. Her other half. We’ve been doing this every night lately. Will Eddy come out of her grief? I don’t know the answer to this. I hope so. But she’s also elderly and you can see the life starting to slip from her eyes. I don’t feel great about the outcome of this at all.

I’ve always known, deep down, that when one of my girls went the other would too. There’s nothing I can do about the outcome either. They may have made a deal before they ever arrived on my doorstep. Before they ever found their bodies. But I gotta say, this sucks. My girls have been such a huge part of my life. Losing one was hard enough. Losing the other is unthinkable.

But if this means that Eddy follows Breeze on her path across the rainbow bridge, I will honor their agreement to always be together.

I simply want Eddy to be happy.

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Losing One of My Own

lisa0730001223 This morning, my sixteen year old kitty Breeze, left her body in my arms as her spirit crossed into the heavens. Throughout her life, she had many health issues. But this final battle was short. She had a disease called “FIP“. She was diagnosed last Wednesday and lived just five more days. We were told the disease was fatal, but had no idea she would leave us so quickly.

Breeze and her kitten were dumped 15 years ago, on the highway that runs the length of our town. We could tell by her belly that she had had a litter of four kittens. She later told me that she was dumped with all four along the highway, but was only able to save one. She had the kitten with her and we named the kitten “Eddy” before finding out she was a girl. But since she already knew her new name, we left her with a life of gender identity confusion. Besides the passions my husband and I each have, we also own and operate a kite shop. The girls lived an interesting life in our store for ten years, while their brother Bart lived here in our house. When Bart went to spirit in ’07, we brought the girls home to a life of quilts, pillows, and above all: warmth. Breeze and Eddy were six months apart, according the vet. They also remained close to each other although they are very different. Breeze is loving and protective. Eddy is shy and only likes a few humans.

As the Head Kitty in our store, Breeze proved to be a challenge for us. She hated dogs with a passion. Should one decide to try and enter our store, Breeze would attack the dog without warning. This wasn’t great for business, but we kept dog cookies on hand to give to an unsuspecting dog. I told her that this was a dangerous game and that she was going to get hurt if she didn’t stop. Thankfully she mellowed. We posted signs about our Attack Cat, a tiny long-haired Tabby who never weighed into double digits. All employees had to put up with her in their laps – on their first day of work. Breeze showed everyone who has worked for us who was the boss. Although I signed their paychecks, Breeze kept them in line.
She was sweet, kind, and one of the most loving cats I’ve ever known. She always greeted friends at our door and welcomed them into our home. She was small, but her greeting was loud. She stunned people with her vocal cords vs. her size, and once they acknowledged her, she would become a sweet little kitty who enjoyed attention. She also enjoyed meeting customers in our store.

Breeze would climb up on my chest and scratch my forehead until I woke to her sweet face.

When a customer would spread out a large kite on the floor for us to inspect, Breeze would trot out into the middle of the giant, often expensive kite. She did this where we couldn’t reach her, but she never once put her claws into the fabric. She never put her claws in any kites in our store. Somehow she (and Eddy too) knew that although it was tempting, they were never to get out those sharp fingernails around kites. One time a kite rep opened his large bag of kites and was scared beyond words when he saw Breeze digging through it. She needed to know what was in there! However she only used her paws, never her claws.
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Some friends may remember when Breeze discovered a way to wake me in the mornings. As the girls got older, they grew more impatient for their breakfast. Breeze would climb up on my chest and scratch my forehead until I woke to her sweet face. I tried a cloth covering my face, a bandana, but eventually had to keep the door closed at night so I wouldn’t resemble a human scratching post. It was shortly after accepting the closed door, that she took up residence on our kitchen table. Not being able to hear, she’d sit on the table and see when I was coming into the kitchen. She would rev up her loud voice, and insist on being fed first thing. It was not the most pleasant way to be greeted, but my face soon healed and her loud cries for food eventually made me giggle.

She had a good and long life. And although I know I will hear from her soon, the sadness has crept in and I feel her absence. I’m honored she let me hold her as she took her final breath. This is something I’ll never forget. For at the moment she left her body, her eyes grew wide and she lifted her weak arms towards the sky, while looking over my right shoulder. I know it was *Bart who was there. I had asked him to come and get her. Although I didn’t see him, I know she did, and at that moment, knew she was going home. Animals don’t view death like humans do. They remember where they’re going. They remember the comfort of “home” and they know they can come back to visit us as energy – or they can get another body and return to the earth plane. She had no fear or sadness. We’ll all miss her. Especially Eddy. For they were as close as two souls can be. The humans in this house will try and pick up the slack, but there’s no way we can provide the comfort that Breeze did for Eddy.

I’m so grateful there was no suffering and that she understood me when I told her to go. Go home. Be with spirit and be free from her ailing body.

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(Above)Eddy grooming Breeze yesterday afternoon. (Below) Breeze in her chair yesterday afternoon.

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*Bart was my kitty for many years. Now in spirit, he greets all my clients animal friends as they enter the spirit world once again.

Animal ready to go to spirit? Why don’t you ask them?

I recently had a client who had an elderly dog. This is not the dog in the photo, and I won’t be using his real name. I’ll call him Chase. Because in his younger days, this was his favorite game: chase the ball, chase the Frisbee, it didn’t matter. He loved to run and play – a typical dog.

But Chase was at the stage in his life where his body, like so many, had broken down and Chase’s human wasn’t sure what Chase wanted.  This is where an animal communicator (sometimes referred to as pet psychic) can be very helpful.  A human companion can ask the animal his or her wishes. Sometimes the answers are surprising. Other times the animal is ready to go.

Chase told me he had had a good life. He was a runner in his younger days and enjoyed playing with his humans in the park, or anywhere he could run. He loved chasing balls especially. He showed me a young strong dog chasing after whatever was thrown for him. I felt the joy he felt when he was with his humans and how much he loved them.

My client had just the one question. Was Chase ready to go to spirit? At first Chase was hesitant. He told me he loved his human family very much. One in particular (my client) was the one he had the strongest bond with. He showed me that he currently didn’t have good mobility. I could feel that his hips hurt him quite a bit. This in turn was starting to affect his digestive system and eating wasn’t something he enjoyed anymore. It’s like dominoes. One thing is bad, in this case his hips, and it begins to affect other areas of the body. He showed me that sometimes he had trouble walking and had to be aided by his human in order to go outdoors and relieve himself. He said he wasn’t eating much and wasn’t drinking much water either. This was a natural reaction to his body that was starting to break down.

I asked him about traveling to the other side. Older animals (especially cats) will literally leave their bodies and travel to the other side. They don’t cross the Rainbow Bridge into spirit, but they do check out who’s there, and who is waiting for them. There is always someone they know waiting to help them across the bridge and into their new spirit bodies.

There’s a bridge they cross called the Rainbow bridge. There is a famous poem written about it. Although the poem describes a scene that is a bit different from reality, it is pretty close. Most animal communicators see this bridge in different forms. No one is “wrong” it’s simply how we see the bridge. So our animal friends as they age and get to the point of wanting to travel, will sit by the bridge to see who’s there.

When an animal crosses, he is greeted by friends. Sometimes the friends are humans or animals from the animal’s life or sometimes they’re animals the client doesn’t recognize. These are friends from past lifetimes who are there to reunite with their old friend returning home.

It’s a touching scene to see them be greeted by friends and then to all walk across the bridge together. This is as far as I am allowed to go or see. Animal communicators can later talk with an animal in their spirit form, but we’re only allowed to see the animal walk across the bridge with friends.

I have done the walk with animals who are crossing over. I quietly sit and talk with them as they rise out of their bodies and walk to the bridge. It’s touching and it’s an honor to take part in this farewell.

Chase, although he wanted to stay with his humans, felt it might be time to go due to his failing body. He wasn’t quite sure what to do. He said to me ” I want to stay with  my humans as long as I can. But the body will never heal. I can to and return to them in a younger, stronger body.” I agreed that this was indeed true. I explained how the process works. I told him his doctor would give him a shot that would put him in a deep sleep. I’ve seen animals that are so ready to go, that the initial shot is all they need to get out of their body. I told him it would be like a peaceful nap. And then he’d be free to go. He’d join his friends in spirit, and “run and play” again. “That sounds nice” he told me, “I think I’d like to do that.”

That evening after reading the responses to his human’s questions, he showed them that he was ready. He no longer could stand on his own and his human knew that he was ready to leave.

Animals going to spirit is a very sad and hard time. If we’re animal lovers, we repeat this process many times throughout our own short lives. But once an animal’s wishes are heard, they typically feel ready. They know where they’re going and they know who is waiting for them.

Please, Don’t shoot the messenger.

I attended my first animal communication course given by a famous animal communicator. She offered a beginner’s course in Oregon and although it was a long drive, I opted to go. I needed to find out whether or not I was hearing messages from the animals around me.

Our last session of the two day course was held on a farm and we were told as our final test to go out and have a conversation with one of the animals for about five minutes. The woman who taught the class is very good and held in very high esteem in the animal communication community. She walked through the farm as each of us talked with our chosen animal. She could tell if we were truly talking with them, or “projecting” – a term often used when you create what you think the animal is saying, and not what is truly being said.

We all gathered back around a circle and were asked to relay our experiences with the animal we had talked to. I was a bit shy about repeating my conversation but finally spoke up and told the class that I had talked to a horse who enjoyed having a good poop. No words of wisdom, no message from the Universe, just that he liked relieving his gut.

Our teacher was quiet for a moment and then said to me “You are a natural at this. You don’t even have to try.” I was really quite surprised as I came to realize that all conversations held prior to this class, had actually happened. I had come for an answer to my question  and took me on the path I’m on today.

Upon hearing validation from one of the best, I practiced for the next 4 years. I worked with another highly respected animal communicator as my mentor.  I asked friends, and friends of friends to let me practice on their animals. I worked hard but didn’t always come back with the correct answers. My mentor (who doesn’t take students) was hard on me, and taught me great tools so that I could go on to be a professional.

Animals communicate with me in any way they think they can best get their message across. They use words, feelings in my body, and “movies.” The movies are scenes from the animal’s life that race by very fast. All this can happen at once and deciphering the message is tough sometimes, but even if I don’t understand it, the human typically does. And now, many animals later, I have a good idea of what I’m getting, and have had high praise for my messages.

I decided that working with animals in spirit was the thing for me. I love speaking with the animals in this form because their messages can be lovely.  They come and say what they have to say to their human, and if I had to describe it, I would say it’s animal communication in its purest form.

I am very sensitive to the humans who have lost their animal. The last thing I want to do is upset them more by delivering a message that is off or untrue. But if someone is having an animal communicator experience for the first time, they may become confused by the message.

And what to do if it doesn’t ring true? What if the message is misunderstood by the human and they become more upset? That situation makes me feel very badly. The last thing I want to do is to make a hard situation even harder. I think humans should  understand: they are having me talk with a spirit. Their beloved animal companion has taken different form and may deliver a very different message. Some have very “earthly” messages, for example “I miss our walks together.” But other spirits who are more evolved might say “It’s about love and acceptance, and I will return to you soon in another form.”

And do I still “miss”? Of course I do. Not often, but occasionally, since I’m human after all, I miss the message or talk to the wrong animal. But I’ve learned to recognize when I miss and am willing work with the client until we figure out what may have gone wrong.

This isn’t an exact science. I try, through this blog and my website to teach humans what to expect when they have me, or any animal communicator talk with their animal. They may not get the answers they wanted, but they are getting a message that is truly and simply: just for them.

The one thing my mentor always told me was “if the animal said it? Then that’s what the animal said.” And she’s right. Second guessing or trying to ask again from another angle is simply projecting what the human wants to hear. I don’t work that way because it doesn’t work.

So if you think you’ve had a bad experience with a pet psychic or animal communicator, please don’t shoot the messenger. Sit with your answers for a few days, weeks, or even months. I believe that eventually you’ll find that the message you received is just for you.

Angels

Until a story was published about me in a local paper a few years ago, Norma had no idea animal communication was possible. But she and her husband Ed contacted me so that I could talk with their dog Hannah. This is her pictured on the right. She had some health problems, she was blind with cataracts and had bad infections in her ears. Ed and Norma wanted assurance that she wasn’t in pain. This beautiful girl with the sweet smile was not in pain, though the daily medication treatments stung her ears a bit.

They took her to a vet that told them that a surgery was possible, but risky for a dog Hannah’s age. Also it couldn’t be done in our area and Hannah would be in pain after the surgery. It was a very tough decision and a hard call for anyone to make. But Hannah had lived a good long life so Ed and Norma did what was best for Hannah. Rather than put her through the ordeal of a painful surgery to help, but not cure her ear problems, they chose to send Hannah to spirit. It was the best choice for Hannah.

Not only were Ed and Norma heartbroken, but Buddy their other Cocker and Hannah’s soul mate was devastated too. He told me he’d rather be in spirit with Hannah, he was so grief stricken. In their last few years together, Buddy had helped Hannah navigate their world. She had such trouble seeing because of her bad vision, that Buddy had been her, well, seeing eye dog. He missed her very much and wanted to be with her. This is not unusual. I’ve seen healthy animals either have accidents or die suddenly when their mate goes to spirit.

So shortly after Hannah left them, Ed and Norma went to the shelter and adopted Bugsy.  He was a Boston Terrier who was in the same place they were. He had lost his human and was awaiting adoption by a new family. Bugsy had some health issues of his own because he too was an “elder dog”.  He had cataracts that really distorted his vision.  Bugsy literally had no future until Ed and Norma found him.

Gradually, everyone worked through their grief and got to know each other. It took some time, but Buddy and Bugsy began to really have a good time together. Buddy told me they were “a couple of old guys kickn’ around” – a line that has always made me laugh. Both “old guys” had arthritis in their hips, so Norma and Ed took them to the beach daily for a walk. And Bugsy was just what this family needed. I suggested a good supplement for the boys and their hips got stronger. Today they are very good friends. Bugsy has a loving home again, Buddy has a friend to knock around with, and Ed and Norma’s family is once again complete.

Buddy has not forgotten Hannah, nor has anyone in this family.  I often wonder if Hannah was the catalysis who “urged” Ed and Norma to go to the shelter that day and find this wonderful guy. Bugsy told me he helped to heal his human that is now in spirit and now he’s helping to heal the hearts of this family. I think he’s done his job and earned his new life.

This is a story that is special to me.  Hannah will always hold a special place in my heart. She was so kind and loving and never even let on to me if she was in pain. In fact I don’t believe she suffered at all. For one, animals don’t feel pain as humans think they do and two, well, Hannah really is one-of-a-kind. But then, so are Ed and Norma.

As for the old guys? They’re still enjoying daily walks on the beach that I know keep them younger and younger. These two are pretty great guys themselves.  And they have their angel Hannah watching over them as they enjoy a second life together. Both of these dogs had decided this was the end of the line for them. But this new found friendship has changed everything. And it’s keeping everybody young.

I titled this post “Angels”  because I believe that everyone, human and canine are all angels.

Anniversaries

BartWe all remember days that are important in our lives. Our birthdays for example are a time of festivity.  The day we get married is another milestone and the day our children are born. All of these are important to everyone and most women anyway I know remember these dates.

We also tend to remember sad anniversaries. The death of our parents, the day our divorces are final and for a lot of us, the day we lost a very important spirit that was close to us – our animal friends. This is that day for me, this the the second anniversary of the day we lost Bart.  Rather than go into the whole detail of his life and passing, I will let you read the short biography on my website, here.

I recently worked with a client who was really hurting from the loss of her dear animal friend. He has been gone much longer than Bart and she doesn’t have the ability I do to have Bart’s wisdom still passed onto me.

So yesterday I got in the pool.  When I am in the water, I am more able to freely hear animals here and in spirit.  I  heard Bart’s words coming through loud and clear. He told me that “heaven is not off in the clouds, but right here next to us.” In other words, our animal friends are not long gone and far away, but literally gathered around us when we need them and helping us to get through the same things they did when they were in body. Also Bart reminded me that there is no time where he is.  He doesn’t observe this day the way I do – anymore. I think at the time he was very grateful to be leaving his body. But now he has a new “life” so to speak in death. He is working with animals that arrive, he is finding animals for me to talk with that stood by the sides of my clients, and he has his own lessons he’s learning.

I will have some sadness today, I won’t lie. But I also want to celebrate a cat that walked into my life and totally changed it for the most part. I’m still the “me” I always was, but I’m also now well aware of a gift that was lurking inside for the majority of my life. When this cat helped to bring that out, that is when life got very fulfilling.

Who could be sad at something like that?

Nature can be so cruel

“I was wondering if cats who are taken by other animals, wolves, coyotes, also choose to leave.

My sister’s cat fed a coyote and a friend’s fed a wolf in the last month. My friend is beside her self over it. My sister is sad but is good at taking things in stride.”

This is Cleo. I found her online along with a frustrated post from her human. Cleo keeps bringing home “gifts”. Or “snacks” Or is being plain mean to other little animals in nature. Yeah. That’s it.

Long before we had language, we all communicated telepathically. Seriously. And man did as well as animals. That’s why there are people like me running around the planet  who still retain this skill. It’s an honor and a thrill to learn from animals.

We think nothing of our food on the table each day. And I’m not just talking animal flesh. I claim to eat meat and have no problem with it since I’ve had long conversations with plants and rocks. Vegetables will call to me in the store. If they still have spirit.

Animals make “deals” with each other. We come to this life knowing we may be food for another. Oh wait, not man. We’re the one with the big brain. But animals do what we humans don’t all to often. They thank their prey and make a deal with them that they can be nourished now in exchange for the others life.

Goes against all ways of thinking I know.  But animals know what we humans have forgotten. They can go back to the spirit world and return in a new body. Sometimes to the very human they so abruptly left.  I’ve seen and heard of it many times.  “My cat wasn’t even hungry and brought home this bunny”. It’s hunting skills the cat may need again. And in the split second the cat captured the bunny a deal was made. That bunny was out of his body and back to the spirit world faster than the cat could leap. No pain. Oh but the bunny was still alive. Maybe his body was still moving. But his spirit was gone.

It keeps moving up the chain. And we think now because our cats are being eaten by coyotes and wolves that they (the coyotes and wolves) should be “thinned”. But it’s man who has tromped into their territory and made it a matter of no choice for the coyotes. Do you think they all got together and decided to go after our cats? Nope. They have no more wild food to keep them going.  So they go after the next thing available. And that same “deal” is made.

The difference is, these predators are giving thanks for their meals. They don’t just hunt and harm for fun. It’s built in. And they’re damn grateful. And some “get away”. In other words, no deal was struck.

It sounds and feels so cruel and kinda like some weird novel. But why should we view this any differently than what we eat ourselves? We have no problem sitting down to a full meal. And that meal had spirit in it at one time. It’s what keeps us going. We are “nourished” by spirit. And that holds true for the wild ones around us too.

I think the best lesson we can learn from watching this and having it happen to us, is to give thanks for the food put in front of us each day. And that is just as true for vegetarians as meat eaters. What the animals have over us is a sense of order and thankfulness. We need to practice this as well, every day.

I know I’ve skimmed the surface here. A great book: “Animal Voices” by Dawn Brunke will really help to illistrate this point of predator and prey.

Below is an excerpt from an article from the Autumn issue ’09 of Species Link, a quarterly journal put out by Penelope Smith. The topic is on whether or not Animal Communicators eat meat. But this quote is from a donkey and I thought perfect to end this article with since this donkey states is better than I:

Animals understand being eaten. Animals understand the predator/prey relationship. Animals live in relationship to those other animals. In that relationship there is respect, honor, appreciation, and love of life that is passed between the animal being eaten and the one eating of its flesh. It is never taken unjustly, lightly or for granted. No life is ever wasted.

However, most humans are not aware of what they are eating. They do not eat with spiritual awareness. If you did, you would be in relationship to all you eat, plant and animal alike. You would be conscious that for you to live, something lends its life to nourish you. You would thank each and every thing that nourishes you. And in that respect, that life would live on through you. When you are out of relationship with what you eat, then you do not honor what is being given to you.

That is equally true for plant life as well as animal life. There is no difference. Life is life. Plants have conscious awareness. It just looks different to you. I am always thankful to the grasses and grains that have given their lives for me. That thankfulness is a part of who I am, as it is for each and every one of the beings who live with me on this farm.

Animals understand that in the end we all are eaten. Our bodies are consumed by another animal, insects, or earth. It is part of the cycle.

Saying Good-bye

I have chosen to work with animals who are readying for spirit, those who have transitioned to spirit, and some who want to return to their humans. I find it very rewarding to work with humans and their animals as they move into this phase. This is a time when an animal communicator can be very helpful. No one wants to see their animal suffer. No one wants their animal to be in pain. And no one wants to make the decision to send their animal to spirit.  Anyone who has been in this position knows what I’m talking about. It’s a sad and often lonely time to make this choice.  But as good human friends to our animals, we find the strength and make this decision everyday. The time directly following these farewells is as sacred to us as if we are sending off a close relative. Sometimes (let’s face it) it’s harder.

Working with an animal communicator before or right after an animal friend has made the transition, can reassure us that we’ve made the right choice.  In fact in most cases the animal is grateful. They miss being in physical form with us, but if they’ve lived a long life and have the aches and pains of an elderly animal – then they are free of that body and free of those pains. If they are young and in an accident of some kind, many times this isn’t an “accident” but an attempt to free themselves from a body that isn’t going to last. But that part of the story is for another day.

My friend Jasmine passed into spirit this last week. I found this lovely drawing  by Susan Donley that resembles Jasmine.  She had a long and good life and took great care of my aunt and uncle. My aunt phoned me as she sat with Jasmine waiting for their final goodbye. Jasmine and I have talked many times and she had a message for my aunt which was simple and comforting. She didn’t want my aunt to feel badly about her choice. She wanted her to know that she loved them, and she would see them again. I felt the excitement I have felt before with animals who are about to make the transition. They worry more about their humans than they do about their upcoming “adventure”.

There is no time line for grieving. When we lose a human who has been close to us in life, the message is that we give ourselves a lot of time to grieve.  Well the same should be true for animals. I say “should” because there are humans who don’t understand what it is to have an animal friend and have a hard time understanding the grieving process we go through for an animal.  But a loss is a loss. The same rules apply.

But there is an aspect of transition we don’t celebrate. And I did use the word celebrate. Consider (and this may not feel true for everyone, but I encourage you to think about it) that when we make the choice to send our animal friend to spirit, we are setting them free from a body that no longer serves them well. It’s not an easy choice to make and I’m not advocating sending off animals who have a limp, a slower gait, or some aches and pains. But when their bodies are done, their dignity gone, then we might think of doing the most loving thing we can for our animals. We can set them free.

The storm will pass

   This week I watched as some new friends made the transition to spirit.  And when I say friends, I mean of course,  animals.  I learned something with each of their crossings.  I am reminded of my own loss too. It’s simply unbearably hard to lose an animal friend. At first. And then the storm will lift. This photo is Chubbs the kitty, I’ll talk about him in a moment.

   I met a really wonderful dog named Gladous.  Her name is like  “joyous” only “Gladous” – as in happy and free. Gladous got into something tough on her digestive system. It wasn’t evil.  She was being a dog. She was having fun with her sisters and even now I can see her glee at her find. Gladous taught me many things this week. She is one I’ll never forget.

  The first few days, her mom, (who is my close friend) and I thought that this would quickly pass. Gladous simply needed some time, a good poop and all would be well. But sadly it didn’t work out that way. The vet did everything she could. Her mom did all she could too. Used every trick in her bottomless bag. But when the body is done, there’s nothing we humans can do. 

  In just a few short days, this sweet sweet soul tried the best she could but couldn’t defeat the storm that raged inside her. What was truly going on we may never know. But the suddeness and the helplessness that I felt from this event, made me want to shout and remind everyone to hug and love their animals every day. For who they are and for what they bring to us: joy.   Sometimes we humans try and make it more complicated than it is. But this message is really quite simple.  

   Gladous showed me a raging storm, shortly before she crossed over. Thunder, lighning. The works. I worked on the “meaning” of this image over and over.  But as it turned out, there literally was a storm raging her body as she flew to her spirit self.  No huge complicated message. She truly had a storm raging inside of her that was winning. And so she did what we all eventually do. She left her body.

   The photo here is of another little friend who went to spirit this week. His name is Chubbs. There’s something about this little guy that really touched my heart. But his little body gave out as well, leaving a temporary hole in the hearts of his mom and dad.  He was at peace as he left to be with the spirit friends awaiting his arrival.

  I know that for some what I’ve written here is hard to believe and understand. Did I make it up? No. I’ve seen many cross to the other side and know what I see and feel from these animals is real.  Their humans have validated this for me. And if there’s anything I can say to the humans who are sad and left behind it would be this: trust what you believe, and have faith that you’re right. Because when we suffer a loss we’re tempted to throw away what we’ve worked so hard to understand in our hearts.  We’re tempted to run, hide under the covers and, wait for the storm to pass.  And it will. It always does.

  This storm will pass and we’ll be left with the wonderful memories and joy that these animals brought to our lives.  If there’s a message it’s that we must not dwell on the ending, but celebrate all the days and years we had these little spirits (in dog and cat forms) in our lives.  Because if we leave our hearts open, we’ll receive another little animal spirit into our lives that will help to fill the void.  It’s not a replacement because they can’t be replaced.  Animals are simply the joy that we all need in our lives.