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Monique

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15 Oct 2015
I was scanning through the documents on my desk top and ran across a writing from George Anderson, Walking in the Garden of Souls. What perfect timing to find this. I apparently ran across this somewhere Sept. 15. I can't even remember...

Here is some info from Amazon about this book, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039914790...d=A3W7UPGV208J4. From the most helpful review, "...in coming to understand death, we come to understand the divine plan and better understand, appreciate, and enjoy life."

From George Anderson's Walking in the Garden of Souls, Chapter 4,"Life in the Garden -- The Souls Want to Tell You":

Through so many sessions I have had with families, where the very fiber of their resolve has been tested by difficult circumstances both they and their loved ones endured on the earth, the souls have continued to state emphatically that there are no accidental circumstances on the earth. ... There is a specific reason why we have to suffer, or have to watch helplessly while aloved one suffers. No matter how much we think we could have changed the circumstance of the passing of a loved one, the souls tell us that we do not have that kind of control over the Infinite Light. ... We cannot, and we do not have that power, nor would we want it if we really thought things through. If we could understand from the perspective of the souls in the hereafter, then we would know that nothing that happens on the earth is meaningless to the story of our journey here, and everything has a purpose, even if it can't be immediately seen by us. There are no victims on the earth -- only students, who by their circumstance are fulfilling an important part of their life lesson by enduring whatever this lifetime has thrown in their path.... It is only the people who have suffered on the earth, through loss or circumstance, that truly understand what the souls are trying to say. Earth is a complex series of experiences designed to test our faith, our endurance, and our capacity to give and receive love. Some are joyful experiences, but many are tough, and it is up to us to decide whether we will use the time we have to our best advantage orfritter away the experiences, having learned nothing of value from them. No matter when the time comes in our lives, at the time it is necessary for us to graduate out of our existence here, our circumstance of passing is chosen to have the greatest impact on both our own spiritual lessons and the lessons of those around us. No matter what the circumstance, whether through illness or "accident" or at the hands of another -- the circumstance of our passing is only the vehicle that transports us from this dimension to the next one.

I have always found it curious that the souls never seem to spend too much time detailing the manner of their passing during a session, and seem to only relay the pertinent facts as a way of proving to their loved ones that they were aware of the circumstance. We tend to regard the moment of death as a monumental tragedy, but the souls regard it as merely the transition to their new life in the hereafter. I didn't realize until I was told by the souls that the circumstance of passing was really not an important step in the story of the soul's transition -- it is just the manner into which they were transported to a new life. Ask any married couple about their wedding, and while they can tell you in minute detail about that wonderful day, very few will even remember the ride to the church. If the souls spend any time at all communicating the details of their passing, it is usually because they want to give us the respect of reenacting a major moment in our life -- their passing to the hereafter. Otherwise, like their physical bodies, the last moments of their time on earth are no longer of any consequence to the souls -- what they have now is all they need. One very resourceful young soul in the hereafter helped both myself and her sister understand the concept through her ana logy: She asked us to "imagine being slapped and pulled physically from a ratty apartment, then shoved hard into a beautiful palace. Once you see that you got a beautiful palace out of the deal, who cares what it took to get you there?"

People who have had the hard experience of watching a loved one suffer have a very difficult time finding any value in what the souls insist is one of this lifetime's greatest learning experiences. Most cannot find any benefit whatever in having to stand by idly, unable to help, knowing that there is nothing they can do, and feel that suffering is the final insult their loved one will have to face before dying. In fact, many people I have spoken to throughout the years have found the experience of their loved one's suffering (and their own, witnessing it) to be among the cruelest, incomprehensible events of life. But the souls have often said that not only was the "momentary" (in the soul's eyes) suffering a quick, final, worthwhile experience that brought them great spiritual reward in the hereafter, the experience of having watched helplessly as they suffered will prove to be a great spiritual lesson for us on the earth. The souls tell us that the very act of caring and waiting and watching -- and not completely abandoning our hope -- is one of the most spiritual of the lessons we will ever learn. They also, without fail, will tell their families that great progress in each member's own spiritual journey has been made, because they have survived -- they have lived through the torment and agony, and yet still continue to live as best they can after falling so hard. ... And they tell us that not only is it incumbent upon us to accept that there was a reason (and a very good one) for all the suffering we and they endured, but experiencing the difficult times and living on here provides perhaps the greatest lesson of our lifetime -- to rebuild hope after it has been shattered.
5 Sep 2015
He Was Grieving Over The Death Of His Best Friend, Until An Old Man Told Him THIS. Mind Blown.

http://www.tickld.com/x/old-man-explains-d...eving-young-man

Bobby Popovic
Content Writer

From the depths of old internet comments comes another incredible gem of a story. One user wrote the following heartfelt plea online:

"My friend just died. I don't know what to do."

The rest of the post has been deleted, only the title remains. However, the helpful responses live on, and one of them was absolutely incredible. The reply by this self-titled "old guy" might just change the way you approach life and death.

I'm old. What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not.

I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here's my two cents...

I wish I could say you get used to people dying. But I never did. I don't want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don't want it to "not matter". I don't want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it.

Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see.

As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come. And you'll survive them too.

If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.
11 Sep 2014
Bob Sullivan, TODAY
Sep. 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM ET

Bob Sullivan / NBC News / http://www.today.com/pets/when-my-dog-luck...ared-too-994165


Among the cruelest truths of biology is this: A dog's life is considerably shorter than a human's life. The math is unforgiving; if you love a dog, you will lose a dog, and you will suffer the pain and biting lessons that death brings — probably several times over.

A million things are wrong when your dog dies. Here's just one: You become invisible.

My Lucky passed away a year ago this spring and my loss was profound; those of you who've been through this understand; those of you who haven't, I'm not nearly a good enough writer to describe it to you. My grief was complicated because, as my reporting sidekick for many years, Lucky was a mini-celebrity. He had completed several cross-country trips with me as we chronicled American life. We even had a theme song ("It's Bob and Lucky's/Hidden Fee Tour of America!"). He was a fantastic journalist. And he died suddenly, just as we were going to leave on a new trip, so I had the task of disappointing readers and sources from coast to coast, telling them that Lucky wouldn't be sticking his head out my Jeep window this time.

But my sadness grew even deeper as I realized that my entire life, right down to how I interact with the world, had changed. Pet owners know the “You’re Fido’s owner!” phenomenon well. Plenty of neighborhood folks knew me only by my dog. They knew his name, not mine. When he passed away suddenly, I felt like I'd disappeared.

I wrote a column about turning to social media for comfort in my time of grief. It was among the most popular pieces I'd ever written, even though it had nothing to do with my day job. No question, the Internet helped.

But Facebook friends and retweets are a meager replacement for the dozens smiles and laughs from strangers that spoiled me daily, thanks to Lucky. They were gone now.
Walking my old Lucky around the block was like going to a never-ending cocktail party. Everyone would stop for a pet, and a chat, and 30 minutes later I had 10 new friends. Now, I would arrive home from work, dreading the thought of walking into an empty apartment, and set out to walk around the block. I got in the habit of taking the slowest stroll I could, as if I'd become the aging geriatric dog that Lucky never got to be. It wasn't just my heart that hurt; it felt like every muscle of my body suffered a dull ache, as if my blood didn't really have the heart to push its way through my veins any more. But that wasn't the worst of it.

The worst was the blank stares. If I did, occasionally, work up the strength to smile at a sidewalk passer-by, I'd get an odd look, if I got any response at all. There certainly was no stopping for idle chat. Sure, some neighbors I knew better did pause and ask me how I was doing, but it wasn't nearly the same. The party was over.

In the 1960s, psychiatrist Eric Berne introduced a new model of psychology that he ultimately called Transactional &%^ysis. It has many components, but the simplest is this: Our days and nights are filled with small and large "transactions" between people. A quick hello from a friend is a small, positive transaction, while a dirty look from another driver is a negative one. A deep conversation with a lover is a large transaction — it might be positive or negative, depending on the outcome. Berne believed that people's happiness was a function of how these transactions went, and how many positive interactions a person piled up during the day. He believed that positive transactions were as important to mental health as water and food are to physical health. Chart a few days of your interactions with people, and I think you'll become convinced that Berne was onto something.
When Lucky died, I lost probably 100 or more happy transactions every day. The ache I felt was primal. Berne would say I was starving. OK, I'll say that.

Enter Rusty.

As pet owners know, you can't just replace your lost loved one. Pets aren't like cars or refrigerators. The timing is different for everyone, but you must wait until the time is right, lest you cheat yourself out of that critical soul-searching "in-between time," and you cheat your new dog by expecting the pup to be too much like your old dog.

So I waited a year....past the point when every day was a sad anniversary...and mentioned to a friend that after a long summer vacation, I thought I'd be ready to love again. During my trip, she found Rusty at a shelter, facing an uncertain end. When I got home, he was, essentially, waiting at my door for me.

There are a million reasons not to get a dog, and anyone who's ever thought about it can cite them all chapter and verse. You travel too much; your apartment is too small; you don't want your stuff destroyed, peed on, or chewed up, you don't want to miss after-work happy hours; you don't want to disturb the neighbors. All those can be good reasons, as taking on a pet is a serious, life-long commitment to be made with both head and heart. The problem is that while the reasons not to get a dog are specific, and easy to cite, the benefits of having a dog are far more subtle, and hard to count.

Let me clumsily offer one: You become visible. Dogs make you somebody in the eyes of the universe.

Maybe the isolation I felt after Lucky died says something about alienation in modern life, and the fact that people would rather text than smile while walking; or about the cruelness of urbanity, the heavy social armor city-dwellers must wear to protect themselves. Or maybe it just says people in some places aren’t friendly enough. Whatever — dogs are the world’s best icebreakers, and that can’t be argued.

I don't know a lot about Rusty's past, but I do know he hadn't been on a leash very much before meeting me, and I'm pretty sure no one had ever told him to lie down. As a roughly 8-month-old golden retriever, Rusty is at the age that often gets dogs in trouble. Dogs’ bodies grow much faster than their brains. Rusty is almost full-grown, but he's still very much a puppy. That means he has puppy fits, when he wants to jump on everything and everyone, he wants to steal food, socks, remote controls, and anything else that I don't want him to steal. If he's not getting what he wants, he literally bats people — in the face, even! — with his paw. He can't resist trying to wrestle with every dog we encounter. In short, he's doing things that would be adorable if he were 15 pounds, but are dreadful now that he's 50 pounds. This is the age at which many dogs end up in shelters.

But Rusty is also a beautiful, auburn-red golden retriever who melts hearts as easy as he chases tennis balls. Passers-by can't resist patting the fur on his soft, soft head. The second someone shows the slightest bit of interest ("What a cute dog! He's so red! What is he?), he hurls himself onto his back, on his "victim's" shoes, and demands a belly rub. One block=30 minutes. At least. And at least 100 or more smiles, hellos, handshakes, how-do-you-dos, etc. An NBC colleague often reminds me that golden retrievers are the bartenders of the dog world. True, but I know Rusty isn't just being friendly for the tips.

Transactional therapy has few real advocates now. It's viewed as old-fashioned and incomplete. But you'll find fewer more thought-provoking books than Berne’s "Games People Play," which describes the stunts people pull (rackets, Berne calls them) to fill their emotional needs when they aren't being filled through normal daily life. Since learning about it years ago, I've often thought about the troubles of suburban life in America. It's possible to walk from your house into your garage, drive to work, pull into the office garage, and take the elevator to the cubicle without ever interacting with another human being. That life might not be sad, but it's certainly not happy. Berne would say it's like trying to get through the day without eating.

I'll just say that, according to the American Humane Society, 61 percent of U.S. Households are dogless, and that number is creeping up slightly because of the recession, as some people give up their pets for financial reasons. Those folks might not know what they're missing.

It's been about a month now, and Rusty has changed everything. I’m unmistakably visible — particularly to friendly folks my dog pees on when he gets so excited as they are petting him that he literally can’t contain himself. Last Sunday, walking down the block, a small puppy and his companion walked towards Rusty and me. Our dogs played, while we chatted. Then, a man walking two other dogs arrived. More playing, more talking. A petless woman we'd met the day before, who missed her childhood dog, strolled up and joined the fun. Then, an older woman and a pug nicknamed "Piggy" snorted their way towards our dogpile. I mean, our spontaneous cocktail party. I loved every minute of it; my heart was filling up.

I'm sure Lucky paused from chasing a tennis ball in heaven to smile down at the scene.

To those who walked this walk with me, who contributed to my So Lucky dog memorial page, thank you. To anyone who feels invisible, or even sad — the ASPCA estimates that 3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized every year in the United States.

The life you save may be your own.
30 Aug 2014
I keep this near and refer to it often. I've read all the comments. They, too, offer support. You are not alone.

(It is also posted here on this forum under Pet Loss Support Resources and Articles: http://lightning-strike.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=7207)

http://christinekane.com/on-losing-a-belov...p.WxXiIKF1.dpbs.

On Losing a Beloved Pet

Written by Christine Kane, May 22nd, 2009


“Relationships are forever. They are eternal. Not just permanent in this lifetime. Once you establish a relationship, it is an eternal relationship.” – Abraham-Hicks

Years ago I was at a workshop, sitting in a circle of women. One of them was grieving a death in her family, expressing anger and isolation.

She said, “…and you know what? If one more of my idiot girlfriends acts like she knows what I’m going through and shares some dumb-ass story about when her stupid dog or cat died, I’m going to explode.”

Of course, that anger wasn’t the truth of who she is. Anyone who has experienced grief knows that she was probably just trying to mask her intense sadness. Anger pretends it can do that.

For some reason, though, I thought of that woman at 1am this past Tuesday.

Atticus, who had been my special pal for 13 years, finally passed away after a long hard final week of a five-month illness. Silently, I assured that woman – wherever she is now – that my heart was shattered enough to satisfy even her needs.

Even though Mr. Patticus weighed in at only 4 pounds at his passing, I felt the grief of a hundred tons of spirit. After all, the sadness of letting go has so little to do with these earthly issues — like weight and form, or human and pet. It’s a matter of the heart. And thank goodness, our hearts don’t know such limitations.

I’ve been so touched by the number of people who have stopped their busy lives to share their stories when they found out about my beloved kitty. I love how common we all are – even the most stoic or the most mental among us can share with stunning detail an instance when they lost a dog, or a cat, horse or bird.

When a treasured pet dies, you may find yourself going through a kind of mental gymnastics – most of which is just a feeble attempt at distracting you from what you’re desperately trying to avoid: the heavy and unbearable sadness of letting go of something so sweet, so precious, and so connected to you.

Most thoughts can be noticed, accepted, or released – yet when you are in the thick of your grief, sometimes it’s hard to remember to do any of those things.

So, the following items are random. I’m posting them for someday. I’m posting them because you might need a friend-in-writing at some 1am of your own. Print this out and save it for that time.

These are pieces of my experience, and pieces of stories from other people. This is my attempt to remind you of the truth, so that you can get back to doing what you are meant to do when you lose a pet – which is to purely experience the release of this being you treasure. In that alone will you find healing.

Guilt


Guilt will sneak in at unexpected moments, telling you that you did it wrong, that you didn’t do enough, that you caused this to happen, or that it’s all your fault.

Guilt is tricky. It seems like situations cause it to rise up out of nowhere. But really, guilt just hangs around, waiting in the wings – and it waits to find the perfect situation to make an entrance.

In the highly charged situation of a sick pet who doesn’t have a voice, guilt is always available to fill the silent spaces. And it serves no purpose.

You find your pet, you love your pet, and you do the best you can. That’s all you can do.

That’s what you did.

Blame

Blame is guilt going in the opposite direction. You’ll want to blame the vet, or the driver of the car, or your boyfriend for taking you out that night when your dog ran off, which wouldn’t have happened had you been there.

Blame serves one purpose: to distract you. It’s not that you aren’t allowed to have moments of blame and anger – but remember that no matter how much of it you experience, eventually the sadness will be what’s waiting for you at the end of that long line of stuff. And you’ll have nowhere else to turn but in its direction.

Blame might postpone the sadness – but not forever.

Second-Guessing

A friend of mine told me that one of the worst things about putting her cat to sleep was the second-guessing that happened afterward.

Second-guessing is just guilt on Halloween. It puts on a mask called “Rational Thoughts” that offer you all the reasons why you did the exact opposite of what you should’ve done.

Atticus died as I held him on my kitchen floor. During this last hour, I was overtaken by fear. The second-guessing began. Had I made the wrong choices? Should I have had him put to sleep? I didn’t do any of this right, did I?

I was able to catch myself and remind myself that all I needed to do was be fully present to this moment, and we would both get through it. That’s all you need to do, too. Your presence is more powerful and more healing than your untrue thoughts.

Knowing

When you’re contemplating putting your pet to sleep, and you ask people how you’ll know whether or not to do it, and when it’s time, they will all tell you one thing, “Oh. You’ll know. You’ll just know.”

The truth is that you might know. And that’s great. But you also might not. I kept waiting to hear a “knowing.” But it never came. My homeopathic vet told me that it might never come, and that you just have to do the best you can do.

Life

It’s imperative that you experience life during this time. When Atticus was dying, Spring was in a “Hey it’s been raining for six straight days!” cheerleader-like exuberance, so I made myself go out into the woods with my dog.

I witnessed Pink Ladyslipper in bloom. I smelled the wet ground. I watched some Pileated Woodpeckers going to town on a fallen tree. I met a month-old puppy and reveled in his puppy breath.

It was as if the earth was shouting at me, “It’s all life!”

I didn’t believe it. But it helped me remember that it was all there for me to return to when I’m ready.

Give yourself time for life and remember that, as Eckhart Tolle reminds us, the opposite of death is birth. Not life. Life doesn’t die.

Time

No matter if your dog was only three when she got hit by a car, or if your cat lives to be 29, you’ll want more time. You’ll bargain for it. You’ll pray for just one more year. You’ll swear that you’ll be grateful 365 days straight.

Atticus had a lifetime of me bargaining for more time. Homeopathy pulled him from the jaws of death on several occasions. I was (and am) grateful for all of it.

But it didn’t make it easy to let go when the time came. I still held tight. I even made a few feeble bargaining attempts. But eventually, I had to surrender and focus on gratitude for the years he lived.

Of course, surrender doesn’t make the sadness go away. It’s just that you no longer are clinging quite so tightly.

The truth about time is that it is only ever now. And all those nows that you had with your beloved animal were perfect. But this now is different from those nows.

Protection


My mom had two dogs when she was little, and both of them died unexpectedly. One day her dad announced that he refused to allow any more pets in their home because he couldn’t stand to go through any more broken hearts. He managed to hold fast to his rule, and my mom never had another pet in her life. I never said this to my mom, but I find it interesting that her dad died of a massive heart attack at a young age.

You might want to swear off animals forever. You might tell yourself that you can’t possibly go through this ever again. While it may take some time to allow another pet into your life, the idea that you can protect your heart from pain by sealing it off from love is ludicrous. As one of my Platinum Coaching clients wrote on her coaching form last week:

“I’ve spent so many years, pretty much all of my life, working so hard to avoid feeling pain that I never let myself see beauty either.”

As long as we’re on this planet, we might as well experience it, revel in it, take it all in, live big, cry hard, laugh a lot, and love every being that will have us. What’s to protect yourself from?

It’s an honor to love something so much that your heart breaks when it moves to another plane. It’s an honor to be loved back, too. There’s joy to be found – even in your sadness.

Judgment

Some people will find you ridiculous. You will cancel engagements and get rolled eyes. Your family might whisper about you.

“It’s just a cat.”

“Why all the fuss over a dog?”

Don’t waste your energy being mad. Whether it’s the joy of a pet, or having your own business, or getting fired, or losing a parent – if someone hasn’t experienced it, then they just don’t understand. They will someday. In the meantime, be willing to be judged. You’ve got more important places to put your attention.

Surrender


Lastly, let’s talk about the moments of sheer peace, surrender, and enlightenment. You will have these, too.

You will have minutes, maybe hours or even days where you feel a deep surrender to the process of life. You will marvel at your clarity, at how you are able to release with love this being that you cherish with all your heart. You’ll wonder if Pema Chodron will be phoning soon to ask you how you do it.

Love these moments. They are truth. But don’t berate yourself if you burst into tears the very next hour, and beg your pet not to leave, and bargain with God to make sure you never hurt again in your life. It’s a part of the roundabout cycle of loss.

The peace will descend again too. It’s who you truly are. And it will return. And it will last longer each time. And your heart will slowly take it in and heal itself into the full joy of being once again.

- See more at: http://christinekane.com/on-losing-a-belov...p.WxXiIKF1.dpuf
12 Aug 2014
I keep this near and refer to it often. I've read all the comments. They, too, offer support. You are not alone.

http://christinekane.com/on-losing-a-belov...p.WxXiIKF1.dpbs.

On Losing a Beloved Pet

Written by Christine Kane, May 22nd, 2009

“Relationships are forever. They are eternal. Not just permanent in this lifetime. Once you establish a relationship, it is an eternal relationship.” – Abraham-Hicks

Years ago I was at a workshop, sitting in a circle of women. One of them was grieving a death in her family, expressing anger and isolation.

She said, “…and you know what? If one more of my idiot girlfriends acts like she knows what I’m going through and shares some dumb-ass story about when her stupid dog or cat died, I’m going to explode.”

Of course, that anger wasn’t the truth of who she is. Anyone who has experienced grief knows that she was probably just trying to mask her intense sadness. Anger pretends it can do that.

For some reason, though, I thought of that woman at 1am this past Tuesday.

Atticus, who had been my special pal for 13 years, finally passed away after a long hard final week of a five-month illness. Silently, I assured that woman – wherever she is now – that my heart was shattered enough to satisfy even her needs.

Even though Mr. Patticus weighed in at only 4 pounds at his passing, I felt the grief of a hundred tons of spirit. After all, the sadness of letting go has so little to do with these earthly issues — like weight and form, or human and pet. It’s a matter of the heart. And thank goodness, our hearts don’t know such limitations.

I’ve been so touched by the number of people who have stopped their busy lives to share their stories when they found out about my beloved kitty. I love how common we all are – even the most stoic or the most mental among us can share with stunning detail an instance when they lost a dog, or a cat, horse or bird.

When a treasured pet dies, you may find yourself going through a kind of mental gymnastics – most of which is just a feeble attempt at distracting you from what you’re desperately trying to avoid: the heavy and unbearable sadness of letting go of something so sweet, so precious, and so connected to you.

Most thoughts can be noticed, accepted, or released – yet when you are in the thick of your grief, sometimes it’s hard to remember to do any of those things.

So, the following items are random. I’m posting them for someday. I’m posting them because you might need a friend-in-writing at some 1am of your own. Print this out and save it for that time.

These are pieces of my experience, and pieces of stories from other people. This is my attempt to remind you of the truth, so that you can get back to doing what you are meant to do when you lose a pet – which is to purely experience the release of this being you treasure. In that alone will you find healing.

Guilt

Guilt will sneak in at unexpected moments, telling you that you did it wrong, that you didn’t do enough, that you caused this to happen, or that it’s all your fault.

Guilt is tricky. It seems like situations cause it to rise up out of nowhere. But really, guilt just hangs around, waiting in the wings – and it waits to find the perfect situation to make an entrance.

In the highly charged situation of a sick pet who doesn’t have a voice, guilt is always available to fill the silent spaces. And it serves no purpose.

You find your pet, you love your pet, and you do the best you can. That’s all you can do.

That’s what you did.

Blame

Blame is guilt going in the opposite direction. You’ll want to blame the vet, or the driver of the car, or your boyfriend for taking you out that night when your dog ran off, which wouldn’t have happened had you been there.

Blame serves one purpose: to distract you. It’s not that you aren’t allowed to have moments of blame and anger – but remember that no matter how much of it you experience, eventually the sadness will be what’s waiting for you at the end of that long line of stuff. And you’ll have nowhere else to turn but in its direction.

Blame might postpone the sadness – but not forever.

Second-Guessing

A friend of mine told me that one of the worst things about putting her cat to sleep was the second-guessing that happened afterward.

Second-guessing is just guilt on Halloween. It puts on a mask called “Rational Thoughts” that offer you all the reasons why you did the exact opposite of what you should’ve done.

Atticus died as I held him on my kitchen floor. During this last hour, I was overtaken by fear. The second-guessing began. Had I made the wrong choices? Should I have had him put to sleep? I didn’t do any of this right, did I?

I was able to catch myself and remind myself that all I needed to do was be fully present to this moment, and we would both get through it. That’s all you need to do, too. Your presence is more powerful and more healing than your untrue thoughts.

Knowing

When you’re contemplating putting your pet to sleep, and you ask people how you’ll know whether or not to do it, and when it’s time, they will all tell you one thing, “Oh. You’ll know. You’ll just know.”

The truth is that you might know. And that’s great. But you also might not. I kept waiting to hear a “knowing.” But it never came. My homeopathic vet told me that it might never come, and that you just have to do the best you can do.

Life

It’s imperative that you experience life during this time. When Atticus was dying, Spring was in a “Hey it’s been raining for six straight days!” cheerleader-like exuberance, so I made myself go out into the woods with my dog.

I witnessed Pink Ladyslipper in bloom. I smelled the wet ground. I watched some Pileated Woodpeckers going to town on a fallen tree. I met a month-old puppy and reveled in his puppy breath.

It was as if the earth was shouting at me, “It’s all life!”

I didn’t believe it. But it helped me remember that it was all there for me to return to when I’m ready.

Give yourself time for life and remember that, as Eckhart Tolle reminds us, the opposite of death is birth. Not life. Life doesn’t die.

Time

No matter if your dog was only three when she got hit by a car, or if your cat lives to be 29, you’ll want more time. You’ll bargain for it. You’ll pray for just one more year. You’ll swear that you’ll be grateful 365 days straight.

Atticus had a lifetime of me bargaining for more time. Homeopathy pulled him from the jaws of death on several occasions. I was (and am) grateful for all of it.

But it didn’t make it easy to let go when the time came. I still held tight. I even made a few feeble bargaining attempts. But eventually, I had to surrender and focus on gratitude for the years he lived.

Of course, surrender doesn’t make the sadness go away. It’s just that you no longer are clinging quite so tightly.

The truth about time is that it is only ever now. And all those nows that you had with your beloved animal were perfect. But this now is different from those nows.

Protection

My mom had two dogs when she was little, and both of them died unexpectedly. One day her dad announced that he refused to allow any more pets in their home because he couldn’t stand to go through any more broken hearts. He managed to hold fast to his rule, and my mom never had another pet in her life. I never said this to my mom, but I find it interesting that her dad died of a massive heart attack at a young age.

You might want to swear off animals forever. You might tell yourself that you can’t possibly go through this ever again. While it may take some time to allow another pet into your life, the idea that you can protect your heart from pain by sealing it off from love is ludicrous. As one of my Platinum Coaching clients wrote on her coaching form last week:

“I’ve spent so many years, pretty much all of my life, working so hard to avoid feeling pain that I never let myself see beauty either.”

As long as we’re on this planet, we might as well experience it, revel in it, take it all in, live big, cry hard, laugh a lot, and love every being that will have us. What’s to protect yourself from?

It’s an honor to love something so much that your heart breaks when it moves to another plane. It’s an honor to be loved back, too. There’s joy to be found – even in your sadness.

Judgment

Some people will find you ridiculous. You will cancel engagements and get rolled eyes. Your family might whisper about you.

“It’s just a cat.”

“Why all the fuss over a dog?”

Don’t waste your energy being mad. Whether it’s the joy of a pet, or having your own business, or getting fired, or losing a parent – if someone hasn’t experienced it, then they just don’t understand. They will someday. In the meantime, be willing to be judged. You’ve got more important places to put your attention.

Surrender

Lastly, let’s talk about the moments of sheer peace, surrender, and enlightenment. You will have these, too.

You will have minutes, maybe hours or even days where you feel a deep surrender to the process of life. You will marvel at your clarity, at how you are able to release with love this being that you cherish with all your heart. You’ll wonder if Pema Chodron will be phoning soon to ask you how you do it.

Love these moments. They are truth. But don’t berate yourself if you burst into tears the very next hour, and beg your pet not to leave, and bargain with God to make sure you never hurt again in your life. It’s a part of the roundabout cycle of loss.

The peace will descend again too. It’s who you truly are. And it will return. And it will last longer each time. And your heart will slowly take it in and heal itself into the full joy of being once again.

- See more at: http://christinekane.com/on-losing-a-belov...p.WxXiIKF1.dpuf
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Princessmommy
Hi Monique!
Sorry I just read your comment. I havent been able to log in lately. Im just going through so much lately. But whenever I have the chance I will definitely visit the person you are telling me about. thanks hugs.
14 Sep 2014 - 23:47
Princessmommy
Thank you for your kind words Monique. Hope your doing well.
26 Aug 2014 - 22:05
Princessmommy
Hi Monique!!!
Just dropping by your profile to show my appreciation of all the wonderful words you have been providing me ever since I been here. I never thought that I would have so much support in this site. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart God bless you always take care.
20 Aug 2014 - 21:52

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