I didn’t realize it until afterwards. But there was this heaviness on my chest of what was impending.
A few months ago as we closed in on our vacation plans to visit South Carolina, knowing it would take us through Tennessee, it came to me an idea that felt right in my heart to do.
As many of you know, we said goodbye to our sweet 12-year old yellow English Lab Kylie, the day after Thanksgiving.
As often happens, I think, it seemed so unexpected and fast. And while I grappled with some personal feelings around her passing, I’ve come to a peaceful place within. And with this newest realization of where it felt right to scatter some of her ashes, I experienced another layer of peace.
My husband John and I brought Kylie home from Tennessee over twelve years ago. I still remember what a round ball of fluffy fur, with the deepest soulful eyes, she was. It was a ten hour drive back home to Wisconsin after we picked her up from the breeder. And as we’d come to witness over the years about who she was, a dog who went with the flow and never caused trouble, she slept all the way home.
As our plans came into being regarding our trip, and the idea to scatter part of her ashes in Tennessee presented itself in my mind, my heart surged with a whoosh of love. This quiet, but impactful ceremony would bring Kylie full circle.
As we drove through the mountains, we saw an exit for a national park with the Great Smoky Mountains as the backdrop. Little did we know at the time, but it was the last stop before we crossed the border into North Carolina. But Spirit had guided us to knowing this was the right place.
I must say that when we got out of our van at the lookout point with the mountains so beautifully beaming in the distance, my heart grew heavy when I looked down to see so much litter along the ridge. It was so incredibly sad.
I just couldn’t lay Kylie’s ashes to rest there among the trash. I wondered for a moment if this was the right thing to do. But then John and I walked down a ways to a small wooded area. It’s then that I saw this big rock and I knew it was all going to be okay.
We always said that Kylie was our rock. Because of her easy-going spirit, she was so grounding for us. My heart smiled as I opened the pouch that contained a portion of her ashes we carefully transported all this way, riding up front with us in the van as a way in which we could lovingly protect her until we released her back to the earth.
So I began with scattering some of her ashes around that rock. John then took some and scattered them among the dried leaves. The last of her ashes, I gently tossed into the wind as a way of setting her free.
After scattering her ashes, walking back to the van, did I realize that the heavy weight I’d been feeling on my chest was now gone. Kylie was now home and I could breathe knowing it was the right thing to do.
As soon as it warms up the remainder of her ashes will be scattered around the large maple tree in our front yard where she often hung out to the left of it as the neighborhood watchdog. And the rest I’ll scatter outside my writing cottage because I’d often delight in seeing her sweet yellow self saunter by the windows which always brought a smile to my face.