My Best Friend

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It has been incredibly challenging to simply survive this week. One week ago today, my beloved Dexter transitioned to another realm. So far this is a realm I cannot reach. I sincerely thank everyone here for their love and support. My longtime readers know that this year has not been an easy one. Your unwavering loyalty is priceless.

While writing is both my joy and my solace, words have not come easily to me lately. My pain is too great and my motivation too meager. Yet I do have a message to convey and I will attempt to do so to the best of my ability.

The week that Dexter died was a very busy one. While I know the word busy is relative, for me the increase in activity was substantial. Tuesday was the dentist, Wednesday and Thursday Caryn visited me, and Friday I took my car to the shop. Saturday, my last full day with Dexter was a blur, except for posting about master/students late at night. Sunday, of course, was my own private circle of hell. I wish I could remember more of my final day at home with Dexter, but I don’t. Unfortunately the details of last Sunday seem to be on a rotating loop inside my heart.

But I want to go back to earlier in the week to share some resources that have helped me and may help others who “stumble” upon my blog. Caryn and I have not been together in Philly since the 1990s. We did hang out last fall in NY after reconnecting on FB. I plan to blog about what brought me to NY, but that draft is not ready for completion. Caryn and I were so so busy: special Impressionist exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, movie night at an old lovely theater, 2 incredible meals ( one was Indian since we both adore it!) and a mini road trip to Longwood Gardens. Our 2 days were go go go and rather frenetic. The weather was horrible both days and my patience often wore thin. Yet grace did surround us in many ways: a deer crossing on a road where this “never” happens; a “random” encounter with a waiter that was filled with synchronicity, a gratis fruit platter that was a work of art in itself and discounts off our bill; and  the sheer joy of watching Caryn frolicking at Longwood for the very first time. The waterlilies  I am sharing were a highlight of this particular visit for me. They were not in bloom during my last two trips.

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Another source of peace was Matt Kahn. On Wednesday Caryn and I spoke about relationships and the nature of connections. That very evening I come home to notice a brand new video by Matt on soul mates and twin flames. In it he mentions, among many other things, that for some a soul mate may be their pet. This idea prompted me to refer to Dexter as my soul mate on my latest post. Matt refers to a soul mate as a balancing counterpart with little drama or intensity, but great love. While I do not agree with every point made, I find Matt’s take on the different type of soul connections to be fascinating and quite revelatory. This information is especially relevant in regards to next week’s Venus retrograde event.  I offer his video here:

 

Now I want to share some resources that have softened the loss by providing a rare understanding of my bond with my cats ( and most animals and inhabitants of the natural world) and some insight into the grieving process.

They are both courtesy of  Caryn and Karin, “the Carings” in my life. Caryn provided me with this link that really spoke to me. I am very picky about these grief expert offerings, perhaps because I provide these services in my work, or because I am quite discerning. In any case, this article was profoundly insightful. For those who may not understand the connection between human and animal, please take a look and your impressions may shift.

http://www.anaflora.com/grieving/beloved/beloved.html

I especially like both these passages:

The love of an animal permits us to unfold, to open up, drop our defenses and to be naked, not only physically but psychologically and spiritually as well. With an animal we let ourselves be seen instead of hiding behind our personalities, our cultures, our jobs, our clothing or our makeup. They know us as no one else does, in our private joys, angry rages, deepest despair, in sickness and in health. All the while their calm steady presence companions us with an unwavering love like few others on this earth. Our animal companions see through us to the very soul of our soul, encouraging the unfolding of a sacred trust. If there is such a thing as a soul mate, then surely this is it.

Many people have never been blessed with, or felt for themselves, the true love of an animal. They are incapable of understanding that your love for an animal may surpass your love for the humans that are the closest to you. It is a different bond, in a way, more profound; something only the heart understands. What I have learned over the years, as a student of grief and a student of many spiritual traditions, is that no guru, guide, master or friend no matter how enlightened can comfort the heart that believes it has lost what it holds most dear. Whether grieving ourselves, or consoling a grieving friend, often the most useful thing we can do is to simply tell our story. For in the story of our own journey through the gates of grief, or in bearing witness to the grief of another, we can at least legitimize the experience and make it “Sacred.”

Karin turned me on to this excellent video with medium Danielle MacKinnon that was posted just a few days ago. While I do hold some skepticism regarding animal communicators, Danielle is someone who naturally conveys authenticity and warmth. Please check it out if you are called to explore this topic further. What really struck me most was the question posed near the end of the interview.:

 Animals choose to pass at a particular time.  Ask yourself : What was it about this time that has meaning for you?

Here is the link for the video: https://wingingwithwhitehawk.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/pets-in-the-afterlife/

Finally I want to share some closing thoughts. It is so ironic that I have been so successful as a grief counselor. So very many clients over the years suffered unimaginable trauma and loss. I seem to be rather effective at facilitating healing for those in pain and was quite driven to focus on this area of therapy. Personally though, I suck at loss and death. I do not judge how I grieve, so please do not misconstrue my meaning. I just do not like to let go. I do not detach easily, especially if the bond was deep. Losing my first cat brought me to the brink of depression from which I doubted I would ever recover. Yet I did recover and I will recover from this loss. But this journey has just begun…

Let me conclude with a song that helps express the enormity of my love for Dexter. When I call him my best friend and soul mate, I am not exaggerating. It does not mean I do not love or have not loved other human beings deeply.

Dexter

It’s just different.


For a tribute to Dexter circa 2013ish, please visit OM’s site here.

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31 thoughts on “My Best Friend

  1. Pingback: The Sunday Wrap: August 2, 2015 | The Seeker's Dungeon

  2. I came over from The Sunday Wrap and read about your beloved Dexter. I am so sorry for your loss and I totally understand the connection that our pets have with us. You have shared some wonderful words and resources and I am sure they will be a great help to so many.

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  3. Pingback: The Sunday Wrap: July 26, 2015 | The Seeker's Dungeon

    1. 18 years is a long long time. I had Jasmine for 16 and hoped Dexter would be with me longer that the 7 years I was given. Perhaps Don and your cat were reunited. Thank you for your support Theanne. ❤

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  4. Hi Karin,
    I was pulled towards posting so that my readers would know how I am doing. I have a long road ahead but these resources are wonderful and can help many who wind up on this blog. I read one of his books, forget the title. Will have to take a look.

    hugs, Linda

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have been afraid to spread my negativity to anyone else. I reached out on a law of attraction fb group and it turned out differently than I thought it would. I wish we could talk. Do you think I could call you if you have some spare time?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so behind on reading (lots of missed sleep again) and I’m so sorry I’ve missed the story of the loss of Dexter. I had a cat, Max, whom I always referred to as my soulmate cat so I get that sense of close connection. I still miss him and sometimes forget and call the current cat Max — which he really doesn’t like! Even though Max’s demise was slow and I knew it was coming, it took a while to get past missing him and his sweet presence in my arms, so I know what a hard transition time this is. Sending Reiki.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Leigh. Those who adore their pets get what this loss is about. Sorry about Max. I think the Reiki may have helped because once I drifted into sleep, a sense of peace came over me and stayed through the morning. I am so grateful when I feel that calmness inside.

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  6. Hi Linda, I’ve taken an extended break from blogging but wanted to read this post and reach out to let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers, as is Dexter. I know it’s been a rough year and I send you lots of peace, love, and support. Blessings to you Both, xo Aleya ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    Hey Linda,
    Thanks for letting us know how you are. The first week is so unbelievably intense, yet just the start. I know what you mean about being a grief counselor, yet feeling like you suck at grief yourself. I am the same. I feel like I grieve longer and harder than most people I know, but I have come to accept that. When my Rosie dog died (my most recent loss), all I could do is roll around on the ground and cry for 2 weeks. Fortunately, I had the time to honor that. Then gradually, I began to function again over a long time. I think the advantage to having lost so many people and pets and being a grief counselor, I know what is coming. I know it will feel unbearable and I will barely make it through. But since I have the experience of making it through, I cognitively know I will, though it doesn’t feel like it.
    I really don’t think there is any way to suck at grief. I know you know this…cognitively. You know that the only way out is through. You know that everyone grieves how they grieve. There are no rules, no shoulds, no “right” way to do it.
    I too believe in sacred contracts that we make with our loved ones. I know Rosie, Abina, Trinabinabunny and all my late people and I planned everything ahead of time.
    I know you are grateful for the loving relationship. I also know that loop that goes around our heads when the eventual death doesn’t go as we had hoped, or in the timing we expected. I hope that shifts for you soon and you can just be with the deep love and sadness.
    That loud emptiness of the absence is deafening, the longing ferocious, the pain excruciating.
    I am glad you found some resources that help you. I know I don’t know you that well, Linda, but I just want you to know that I am sending healing love and hoping that Grace enfolds you and comforts your broken heart. How blessed you both are to have had such a deep relationship, which of course makes the aching that much harder.
    Be gentle with you…
    Mary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Julie,
      I know you get it as your animal babies are your heart. It never occurred to me that cats do reincarnate, but that would be amazing.

      Reincarnation leaves me ambivalent and confused lately. But my lack of understanding of the concept in action does not negate the possibility. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My kitty Apollo who passed away a year ago was the reincarnation of my kitty, Ra, before him. I knew it right away and even dreamed he came back before I got Apollo. Dex will be with you one way or another. 🙂

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      2. Wow, so sorry about Apollo ;(
        I do know that I am feeling Jasmine’s presence more since Dex passed on. Although her picture remains close by on this table, I feel like she is closer and trying to reach me?

        ❤ to you Julie

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  8. I’m glad to hear that you managed to get through the first week after the loss. Thanks for sharing the resources that helped you. Good to hear that the video resonated with you. Even though I haven’t watched it myself, it seemed to tell me “Send me to Linda!”

    There is another resource I remember. The book Your Soul’s Gift by Robert Schwartz has a chapter on pets and about pre-incarnation planning of the pets who share our journey. It is with a case study and with psychic mediums who can access the pre-birth planning dialogues. Highly fascinating.
    Hugs,
    Karin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just ordered the book plus another you raved about ( plus another on parallel universes). Books are my addiction and I am feeding it today without remorse. Cannot substitute for my loss but books feed my soul 🙂

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