animal guides

Scattering Frankie’s Ashes – on the 5th Anniversary of her Passing

Scattering Frankie's Ashes - on the 5th Anniversary of her Passing
Altar with Frankie’s ashes

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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Allow Nature to Seep Deep into Your Bones and Fill You with Peace

Allow Nature to Seep Deep into Your Bones and Fill You with Peace
The peaceful pond at LaValley Nature & Equine Sanctuary

Living in Wisconsin where winters can be sooooo long, I come alive in a new way once warmer weather is here. And I do my best to soak in as much as a I can while it lasts.

And why I’m looking forward to facilitating a workshop in nature with my friend and co-facilitator, Rachel Nick next week Saturday. I’m especially excited about this one as it will be happening at the wonderful non-profit Rachel is founder of, LaValley Nature and Equine Sanctuary.

I really appreciate the sanctuary’s mission: to preserve land for plant, wildlife, equine and permaculture use while inspiring others to do the same. We offer a permanent, safe and natural environment for aged horses to retire and live out the rest of their days peacefully.

In May after doing a private yoga session with Rachel at her sanctuary (yes, she also teaches Yoga!) she invited me to walk the 20 plus acres of her property. Rachel and her partner, Jeremy keep paths mowed along the property which take you to a quaint pond, past many beautiful trees, butterflies, birds and whatever else nature just may surprise you with as you walk the peaceful and serene land. Eventually you wind around the fences with the perfect view of the horses that eventually wind back to the front of the picturesque sanctuary.

During this relaxing workshop, you will be invited to play with creativity and make your own unique walking stick with sticks chosen especially for you from Rachel’s property. We will then take you on a guided visualization to begin the process of connecting you with your heart and then gently guide you into your walking meditation in nature.  Our intention is to help you connect heart-to-hand-to walking stick, to mindfully placing your feet upon the earth and connecting with all of natures healing energies to renew your spirit.

Your guides:  Barbara & Rachel with Dancer and Hank in the background

In our world that has us believing that rushing and getting ahead is what matters, Rachel and I are passionate about helping you to slow down, open to the beauty around you and really see and feel the exquisite influence of nature, allowing it to seep deep into your bones, and fill you with a peace that will have your spirit rejoicing.

We hope you can join us!  Click here for more details and to register today. We look forward to seeing you!

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In Disguise

In Disguise

Mr. Squirrel has been quite the entertainment for me this morning from the view out my writing cottage window. 

I first observed him slinking up the deck railing, almost appearing flat. At first I thought something was wrong with him and became concerned. But it could have to do with it being so windy out. I’m not sure.

But then when I opened the door to my cottage he took off running to the tree…and there he froze…blending right into the bark of the tree…well, sort of. Trying to be in disguise, but that wind swirled his tail around giving him away.

I had to chuckle quietly to myself while he stayed in that position for what seemed the longest time.

I know many think squirrels are a nuisance, but I really enjoy watching them.

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