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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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Finding Clarity through Tuning in and Really Listening

I share with you today the book trailer I made for my latest memoir, Wisdom Found in the Pause – Joie’s Gift.

When I decided to write this book, I wanted more than anything for people (especially women) to read it and know that they deserve to take time for themselves – that really, it is imperative in order to live the life they want.

A part of me felt vulnerable at times for sharing my story about grief, letting go, and not knowing what was next, because I’d thought I’d had it all figured out, and then realized we will have many transitional periods in our lives. I also believed in my heart that many others were going through a similar transitional time, or would be in the future.

While I envisioned being in the place I am today, a new direction of helping and encouraging women to take time for creativity, stillness, and looking within to listen to their own soul whispers, I look back now and see that every step I took until this point was necessary – even though at times it felt like I was in murky water and I’d never get out of that questionable place.

Putting together this video today is just another way in which I want to encourage others and let them know that is perfectly okay to be in a space of transition – to see it as a gift – to sift through your thoughts with gentleness.

I hope you will enjoy the video. And if you are a reader of my blog who lives nearby, I’d welcome you to take time just for you during a winter women’s creative sacred soul circle I’m facilitating at my studio, Joyful Pause. It begins January 19th, and you can learn more about it here. I’ve extended the early bird pricing because I truly want to be of help to others.

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Transition: A Doorway to a Deeper Self

Transition: A Doorway to a Deeper Self
Photo credit: freelyphotos.com

Happy Monday to you!  Today I’m excited to share with you an article I wrote for memoir author Kathy Pooler’s blog.  This article on how I came to understand that transition is a doorway to learning more about ourselves.

Transition: A Doorway to a Deeper Self

When it first began, I’d only hear it now and then. But as a pivotal chapter in my life was coming to a close, it became harder for me to ignore an inner whisper trying hard to get my attention. Yet I kept pushing down the feelings I didn’t want to deal with.

I knew a transitional time for me was right around the corner, but it was too painful to think about. It meant I needed to let go of what was, and give thought to what was next.

I had found what many seek and some never define– a purpose. For six years I had a passion to bring positive awareness to disabled pets and help children and adults see their challenges in a positive way. I did this through the example of my dachshund, Frankie, who was in a wheelchair due to paralysis of her hind legs. It was what made me bounce out of bed each morning.

Continue reading…

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