animal spirits

Kangaroo’s Poignant Message about Guilt We Feel with Our Pets

 
Recently I talked with someone who was struggling with the guilt of having to put their pet to sleep. Then just this morning, I talked with someone whose older pet just had surgery for a ruptured disk in her neck. And the difficulty is that the pet owner needs to go away for a week in the next few days and the guilt has him full of worry.
 
Guilt can be such a tricky thing and can weigh on us like a ton of bricks. I completely understand this having been through it so often myself in various ways with my own pets.
 
After talking with my friend whose pet is coming home today, but then he must leave out of town soon, I’m happy to say I was able to provide him some comfort and be a reflection for him that he has covered all bases in making sure his dog will be in the best care while he is away.
 
After I got off the call I kept thinking about this more and wondering why it is we have such a difficult time with feeling guilty.
 
So I decided to turn to the Power Animal Wisdom Oracle card deck, as I often do, when I ponder my own challenging questions. It’s my hope that by sharing this and what the card that revealed itself had to say that it will help others facing this feeling of guilt that can oftentimes consume us.
 
So I asked this question: What do pet owners need to know about feeling guilty? The card I got was Kangaroo, which is about gratitude and being grateful for all you are blessed with.
 
Reading into this message further, thinking about my friend feeling guilty for having to leave his dog after surgery, Kangaroo confirms that gratitude, not guilt, will help us to ease our worries, which more than often those worries never come true.
 
Kangaroo reminds my friend how blessed he is to have someone he trusts, who his dog has stayed with many times before, and who has taken care of dogs before after surgery, and who will be looking after his dog. How blessed he is to have this person in his life.
 
Regarding having to put a pet to sleep – one of the most difficult, heartbreaking decisions we face when having a pet, is that we will likely have to say goodbye to them for their time here on earth is so much shorter than our own.
 
Kangaroo’s message of gratitude is so fitting for this because she is reminding us how very blessed we were to have had that love and joy in our life from out pets. We can’t have one without the other. This is the reality of loving a pet.
 
I truly believe with every fiber of my being, and the many teachings I’ve received from my own pets, that our animal friends don’t want us to carry this heavy burden of guilt. As I shared with my friend today, and something I’ve come to understand, is that he can still connect with his dog even when he will be away from her.
 
I shared with him that he just needs to talk to her in his mind, and she will feel that connection and love. She already knows he loves her and she does not want him to feel guilty.
 
Guilt causes worry and worry won’t change anything. And we worry because it feels like then we are in control and if we are control we feel like it assures us of a desired outcome. The reality though is that we aren’t in control. But we can be grateful for all that we are blessed with and give thanks for that -that is a choice that we always have.
 
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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, which I wrote about yesterday.

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 in 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 cottage 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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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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