The sun streaming through the blinds woke me at five this morning. I tried to go back to sleep, but Frankie and the releasing of her ashes began to swirl through my mind.
I lay in bed a bit longer thinking about her. It then occurred to me that in August she would have been seventeen years old. This is significant for me.
The day before I made the decision to help her cross to the other side I had a reading done by my friend and animal communicator, Dawn. I shared with her that I had wished Frankie could live to be seventeen. I don’t really know why I wanted that. But communicating this to Frankie, Dawn shared that Frankie felt seventeen – meaning she lived a full life and was ready to move on. That was very comforting to me.
I can’t help but link the significance of that to today being the five-year anniversary of her passing and my being ready to scatter her ashes.
I didn’t make any sort of plans for today. All I knew was that I would scatter her ashes around my writing cottage. I followed the flow of how my heart was guiding me.
At five-thirty I climbed out of bed and did my normal routine of feeding the dogs, etc. Eventually I made my way out to my writing cottage, twelve steps from my bedroom patio doors across the deck I walked. My heart is some ways felt heavy with knowing what lay before me.
I lit a candle and decided to pull out of my SoulCollage card deck the card I made of Frankie during the winter solstice two years ago. A card of her and the reminder of her gift to me – to always look for the light in dark times and to be the light as an example for others. While I didn’t know if I’d write about my experience today of releasing Frankie’s ashes, I knew in that moment I would.
Frankie taught me so much about the joy of living, but also that death should not be feared and to trust that our spirits live on and we can connect with our loved ones whenever we want.
Following my intuition I decided to also randomly choose two oracle cards. Joy and Dragonfly presented themselves. The universe definitly with me this morning. Joy is my favorite word and what joy Frankie brought not only to my life, but thousands of others in our work together.
Dragonfly had a message too and what Frankie taught me – to be authentically who I am – and Dragonfly card says, “You know who you are.” I do now… thanks to Frankie.
I smiled through my tears.
Continuing to follow what felt right, I did my Yoga practice. It was moving through my poses that I knew I’d sit with the box of Frankie’s ashes afterwards and listen to our song, Landslide, before I took the final step of scattering them.
I took my love, I took it down Climbed a mountain and I turned around And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills ‘Til the landslide brought it down Oh, mirror in the sky What is love? Can the child within my heart rise above? Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’ ‘Cause I’ve built my life around you But time makes you bolder Even children get older And I’m getting older, too
My time with Frankie doing the work we did together was so incredibly rewarding that the words in this song, ‘I’ve been afraid of changin’ çause I built my life around you’ would often move me to tears…it was hard five years ago to imagine my life without her.
But time has made me bolder and I’m so much stronger because of Frankie – and getting older and time passing has certainly brought me to a new place of understanding.
While we never ‘get over’ a loss and what I’d often say is that we have to be gentle with ourselves and allow ourselves to ‘move through’ grief, I’ve now come to understand it now as that we ‘live with’ it – meaning that it just becomes a part of who we are. It changes us because we can never be what we were before – but hopefully we can rest in a deeper place of peace and a knowing that to love so deeply means we will experience great joy – and to bear the pain of loss is worth it to have this experience.
When I took Frankie’s box of ashes off the shelf yesterday I heard a rattling inside. Not sure what it was, I decided to wait to open the box until I was ready this morning.
The sun streaming through the east window of my writing cottage warming my face, I took a deep breath and opened the box. The mystery to the rattle brought a smile to my face – it was a stone I had placed inside with Frankie’s name and the date of her birth and death I’d written on it. I’d forgotten all about that.
Holding Frankie’s ashes in my hands I realized I was holding my breath. I knew it was because I was preparing, in a way, of letting go – of taking this final step. And though I felt some resistance, I reminded myself that this wasn’t really Frankie I was holding, but that her spirit was alive and well today and always – and here for me whenever I choose to connect with her.
As I walked across the deck and down the stairs the stillness and quiet of the morning took my breath away – it just felt so incredibly sacred that the earth seemed to be holding me with such a beautiful gentleness.
As I dipped my hand inside the bag holding Frankie’s ashes my hand shook slightly and my knees felt a bit wobbly. But something guided me as I released her ashes to the ground below…and step-by-step I moved around my writing cottage releasing her back to the earth to be among the stars, the universe, and the creator…
As I made my way to the east side of my writing cottages the honeysuckle plant I planted after Frankie’s passing came into view. You may recall my sharing here and in my book Through Frankie’s Eyes, that Frankie visited me as a hummingbird two weeks after her passing.
Well, I knew in that moment, the remainder of her ashes would become one with that honeysuckle and my heart smiled.
We are expecting rain later tonight which feels comforting to me to know that it will help in moving Frankie’s ashes deeper into the earth.
The morning flowed just as it was meant to be. While I shed a few tears, I feel at peace. Very much at peace.
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I didn’t start out to be with you, sitting alone on the beach starring out onto the ocean. But then out of the corner of my eye, I saw you rolling toward me, your ears blowing in the wind.
I was so happy to see you and scooped you up and gently placed you in my lap. We sat silently letting the water lull us dreamily into another realm as the waves lapped softly onto my feet and my wide-brimmed straw hat shaded your sweet face.
The feel of your silky fur against my arms and your heart beating with mine moved me to tears as they slid slowly down my cheeks.
It’s okay, she said.
Knowing she understood my deepest thoughts and emotions I knew we were connecting in this most magical moment.
Those ashes in the box lovingly resting on the shelf are not me, she said. They are only what is left of what my physical body was.
Who I really am is alive and well in spirit.
You aren’t letting go, but rather releasing me fully back to where it is I came from.
You are helping me to fully integrate back into home.
And that home is with the stars and universe, safely and lovingly residing with our creator.
A place you can join me at anytime in your thoughts or heart until we meet again on the other side.
But you see, I’ve been preparing you for this day.
I’ve watched you grow stronger with each passing year.
And you now understand that I never left you. We have always been connected in heart.
Letting go of what is left of the physical of my ashes will not change that, but only deepen what is true.
In the inmost part of my being I understood everything she was conveying to me. And I was okay.
And I’m ready more than ever for this final sacred step.
To release, fully in trust and faith, and a knowing in my heart that this is the right thing to do.
Let’s walk, she said.
So along the shore I walked with her sweet, wise self rolling beside me.
There were no more words or thoughts to be exchanged. We just simply were.
We had come to an understanding and my heart full circle of healing.
And just as she had come to me, I stood as she rolled once again down the sandy shore on her own and then faded back into the light from which she came.
I stood for a moment in deep gratitude and then turned to walk back down the beach. While once again alone with my thoughts, I now rest more peacefully in a new space of knowing that I am truly never alone.
For all the magical, loving, blessed moments I had with my dear sweet, Frankie, will always be a part of me.
Tomorrow, June 21st marks the 5-year anniversary of my “walk ‘n roll dog,” Frankie’s passing. What I shared above is what came to me in a mediation as I get ready to scatter Frankie’s ashes around my writing cottage tomorrow morning. This idea that came to me earlier this year – but really a knowing I have deep in my soul that this is right and the timing is perfect.
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I think it takes courage to live a life that feels meaningful. To not live the status quo, but to live from that inner space within that yearns to trust that inner voice, while at the same time not knowing what that may really look like as we try to move toward it and what we believe it is that will bring us joy.
I feel like I’ve been down this road hundreds of times – and no doubt it will surface time and again as I grow and evolve. Though I am much stronger in my convictions which feels liberating. But isn’t this what being human is all about?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my almost 54 years is that happiness isn’t outside of us, though it can feel like an uphill battle because it is what is in front of us constantly in TV, ads, etc. if we allow it to be.
So when I hear of a breakthrough from someone who I’ve shared the SoulCollage® process with that I facilitate in my studio and online, my heart overflows with ecstatic happiness. To know another person on this planet is learning to accept who they are – well – it is very rewarding.
Kathryn, who is part of my online SoulCollage® True Essence class is a beautiful example of taking the steps necessary to move toward living a meaningful life. I was so touched by a recent posting she did on our private Facebook group that I asked her if I could share it with you. She graciously agreed. Thank you, Kathryn.
This is a recent SoulCollage® card she created for her altar:
Kathryn wrote, “It (the card) was created intentionally, the image of the woman had a quote by it and the woman said that she loves who she is just the way she is. The locusts represent my fear of bees and wasps. This is the first summer in many years where I no longer feel afraid of getting stung. The card is about being proud of who I am today, stepping into my power and releasing fears that no longer serve me.”
Kathryn’s insight for herself not only no doubt freed her in many ways and brought deep meaning to her life, but in sharing with the group, she made my life (and likely others in the group) feel even more meaningful.
Finding a meaningful life takes work and is truly an inside job. And why I continue to do my own inner work too so that I can support others on their path to a meaningful life. This summer I’ve devoting myself to a 22-week online course to help me grow in who I am and expand my workshops online which began this past Monday.
Because truly, it’s moments like this that Kathryn shared with me that are food for my soul – me as facilitator guiding others toward deeper meaning for their lives, in-turn makes for a meaningful life for me. Win-win not only for me and participant, but a big win for the planet!
If you’d like to learn more about the SoulCollage® True Essence online course details are here.
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My name is Barbara Techel and I gently guide women to tap into their intuition through creativity, nature, animals & ancient wisdom teachings to live a more meaningful life.
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