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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When Animals lose their Human Companion

Typically I write about an animal who has gone to spirit. It can have a devastating impact on their human, so some seek out an animal communicator for words of comfort from their animal friend who has walked through the veil. It’s followed by a grieving process by humans, since that is what we do. We grieve the loss of those who have crossed into spirit and are no longer in our lives. We temporarily forget about joy. We can’t find our footing and some people stay in grief for a very long time. There is no rule book, no time line, it’s a process that must be played out.

But what if  it’s the other way around? How do animals react when they lose their human?

This little gal just lost her dad. He crossed over at a young age leaving her behind. She had lived with a pack of canine friends and many horses. Her life was in the mountains and she ran much of the time following her dad on his horse, or simply helping him to care for all the animals. She was a ranch dog.

But after her dad died, she moved with his brother here to the coast.  The climate is different, there are no horses, and she has a new pack of three dogs and three humans. All accepted her with love mixed with a bit of sadness. Well the dogs didn’t – they let her know her place right away.  So how has she handled her transition? How has she grieved and moved on?

Animals realize that we are spirits moving about in body form. They understand that when a human or animal goes to spirit, that they can be “recycled” and choose to come back in a new body. That doesn’t mean they don’t grieve a loss, it simply means they have a different understanding of how the Universe works.

At first she was tentative and played furiously with whomever would play with her. She hung close to her new dad and tried to learn the rules of the pack.  She did what all dogs do when faced with a new environment and family – she tried her best to please.

She’s a great dog and won my heart immediately. She also broke my heart one day soon after arriving. We were sitting around with all the dogs and she came and rested her head in my lap. “When is my dad coming to get me?” she asked quietly. I told her the truth – or rather confirmed it. I told her dad was in spirit and that this was her new family and home. She walked away looking a bit sad but she understood. But I have seen her quickly blossom.

She loves the beach. The first trip out, she ran as fast as she could to the far end of the beach, abruptly turned around and ran back toward the trail to my car. I called her to me several times and in a quiet voice, told her how happy we are to have her here with us and how much we love her. I was being honest with her and trying to help her to get her bearings. “This is your new home, we have fun here, you will love it.”

I took care of the entire pack of four dogs (with help from friends) as the human part of the family dealt with the sad task of packing up her human’s life.  Their task was overwhelming and I felt that the best thing for me to do was to simply “love her into the pack.”

She now knows that when I arrive there is a trip to the beach in store. There are so many new smells and things to discover.  She no longer races to the end of the beach but takes her time with all the new and interesting “dog things” on the beach. She engages her new brothers in play and if one won’t take the bait, she chooses another. She’s learning  her place and is beginning to realize there is plenty of love and companionship for her. She’s not quite relaxed, but she’ll get there.  And she loves to run – fast!

I know she misses her dad very much. I know he watches her at play on the beach and it brings him joy from his vantage point. I feel him on our walks with us.

She has moved quickly into her new world with few issues.  However I looked out the window one morning to see my boots on their lawn as a huge hint that a beach walk would be perfect in that moment. All I could do was laugh. After all, she does have a some anxiety and is still learning the ways of the new pack. Boots on the lawn isn’t the way to get what you want, but it didn’t take an animal communicator to figure out her wishes.

It’s overwhelming to lose a human or animal loved one. But we have to grieve. It’s natural and part of the healing process. Not seeing someone we love and know again is a very empty feeling and causes us to question: “What’s next? Why now? Now what?” And I phrased it that way intentionally since that is the place it takes us.

But I also know we can learn from this little dog who is living in the moment. She is finding joy no matter what happens in her day, and adapting well to the new and sudden changes. She feels her dad, but is also willing to live a new life without him in it.

I believe we should live our lives like a dog. Play hard, love unconditionally, and find moments of  joy in every day.


** This is a family I am very close to. I love each of the humans and their dogs as if they were my own family. In fact, I’ve been named a member of the pack.