Dexter on parade

 

Check out the black squirrel I snapped today. Now take a look at the calendar message  for today, 7-12-18:

I knew I would get a sign today and I sense more are on the way.

Love you always my sweet boy Dexter!  ❤

 

Here’s an old post that reveals more of his back-story.

Within the past few days I have heard of 2 friends losing their beloved animal companions. Then I had a heartfelt conversation with OM about cats and blogging. While this topic is somewhat off theme, it seems fitting to prepare a simple post about my beloved Dexter.

Dexter
Dexter

I adopted Dexter back in 2008, a few months after I lost my first cat Jasmine. I renamed him Dexter after careful thought and consideration. It was not because he reminds me of a serial killer. It just suited him better than his original name Sylvester did.

After 16 years ( she was about 8 weeks when I brought her home) , Jasmine succumbed to kidney disease. Watching her decline and deciding when to let her go was among the most agonizingly painful, gut- wrenching times in my entire life. The sadness and pain were almost too much to bear. Jazz died in April 2008, so the anniversary of her passing is quite fresh. Raising this sweet cat from infancy was the closest I have come to motherhood and as we know, children are supposed to outlive their parents. But this is not always the case.

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I was heartbroken for so long after I lost Jazz. This grief was deadening and isolating. I was practicing outpatient therapy full-time and so many of my clients spoke about their pets. Several had cats and these daily sessions were grueling. Eventually I found them healing in a cathartic manner. We do attract what we need, generally speaking. When I felt ready, I began to visit shelters to seek a new cat, not as a replacement, but as an extension of love. Dexter was much older than the kitten I initially desired, and he had been sent to the shelter more than once. It remains a mystery why this adorable soul was rejected not once, but twice!  I would like to believe that it was so I would eventually find him. Within a few short weeks, he settled in and showed me his true nature. I am amazed by his capacity for affection, verbal activity ( he talks more than I do!) and openness. Dex’s personality is the opposite of reserved Diva Jasmine who was more like Greta Garbo. Dex craves attention and human touch and is so delighted to meet * everyone who crosses his path (* squirrels and birds need not apply!)

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What this boisterous ball of joy has taught me about the healing effects of love is boundless. There are no words that can accurately describe his ability to soothe my spirit with his perpetual demonstration of unconditional love.

I love you Dex.

 

POSTSCRIPT:
cool Dexter facts ~

he is left-pawed, just like me 🙂
he enjoys crossing his paws ( dainty indeed)
rolling over and inviting you to rub his belly IS his default position ( boy does he love belly rubs, don’t believe that old wive’s tale to never rub a cat’s belly!)

 

if you love all things warm and fuzzy ( including Sindy’s non- mammalian fish), you gotta visit this page: odyssians

My Best Friend For Life

litebeing chronicles 2013

UPDATE 2018: It will be three years since Dexter passed on July 12th, 5 days from now. While I occasionally consider adopting again, I always find reasons to decline. My finances are unstable, or my health is unstable, or I want to travel, etc. The real truth is I am not ready yet. Like so many things, I won’t know until I know.

I spent some time around many cats while at a BBQ for the 4th of July. I clearly enjoyed their company and it appeared the feeling was mutual. For now, I will savor the time I have around felines however they find me. I continue to relish the love Dexter brought to me. He was a heart chakra activator extraordinaire.

Enjoy this post from 2015 ( below the 2016 update).

 

UPDATE 2016: July 12th will mark the one year anniversary of Dexter’s passing. Tomorrow will be more poignant for me because he passed on a Sunday. I am beginning to receive signs, some of which are rather bold, that is time to seriously explore adopting a new cat. While I will consider this guidance carefully, a part of me is still not quite ready. Dexter made me better, and I do not know if another soul can bring out the best that is left inside my soul.

Here is an old post written a week after Dex’s passing. It is heartfelt and chock full of excellent resources. Please send me some light tomorrow and show your loved ones how much they mean to you. It is everything.

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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.

The Road to Resilience

Death and grief are frequent visitors in my heart and soul this week. Resilience is the elixir for those in pain. blessings, Linda

litebeing chronicles

This is a guest post I wrote for amberskyeforbes.wordpress.com back in 2013. While reviewing my draft folder I discovered it and concluded the message is timely. Resilience is one of my favorite topics and is front and center in my consciousness today. I hope it resonates for you also.

Thank you Amber for having me as a guest blogger today. I want to share some thoughts I have about human resilience in the face of loss. Life is a series of continuous losses. After you take your first breath, you find your way on the path towards your final one. Our cells constantly regenerate. In fact, it is known that our bodies completely change every seven years. Typically people equate death with loss and sometimes use those terms interchangeably. Yet, loss is pervasive and incredibly universal. Here are some common losses to consider: loss of health, loss of youth, loss…

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East Africa in West Philly ~ Traversing Time and Space

Here is a post I wrote that appears to be inspired by Anthony Bourdain’s influence on me. Someone in the media today called him a culinary rock star. I would totally agree. He was someone whose love of life was so evident, particularly in how the emotional signature of an experience left a strong residue. long after time has passed. I would like to think he would see some of his influence in my writing.

I never reblog several posts in one day, but I need to do this to cope with the shock that I feel and to convey the love I have for this talented and flawed man.

litebeing chronicles

I had a very important meeting today in my old college neighborhood. It is called University City because Drexel University and The University of Pennsylvania are located there. I moved away many years ago, but still have so many fond memories. Sometimes work or a social event will bring me back, but I have not visited in a few years. The last time I was there it was a very sad occasion. I went with a coworker to visit a former client of ours who was receiving hospice care. She died a few days later.  She was not much older than I, but was dying of uterine cancer that was diagnosed way too late. She had schizophrenia and this contributed to her death. Her caretaker did not believe her when she told her she was bleeding. I did all I could to advocate for her, but it was not enough…

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It’s All About the Yummy

Just literally woke up to the news that my idol Anthony Bourdain killed himself and was found dead in France today. Honestly I do not know how much more emotional upheaval I can bear. I will be reblogging some posts that reference him in his honor. I am beyond sad and more than a little angry. I have watched all his TV shows and have dreamed of meeting him and perhaps imbuing some of his energy when I write about food and travel. If you are feeling depressed, please get some help!

 

Call 1-800-273-8255 ( US)

litebeing chronicles

There are many instances in my life where I doubted the point of being here, chained to a body and being at the mercy of unexpected events that challenge its survival. Many thought leaders are now touting the benefits of waking up and staying in human form. So I started to consider some of the perks of 3D material existence. Many metaphysical teachers claim that sensory experiences are unnecessary on the higher planes. Immediately I thought, no need for clothes, jewelry, shoes, food, etc.

So I created a blogging challenge ( a Sense-sational one, you might say), to invite people to really ponder the gifts of living in form. After all, we all know the limitations. Which of the 5 bodily senses are preferred and how do they enhance your life?  This is what I was looking to uncover, in order to create a conversation about incarnation with a certain…

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Petapalooza

7-12-17 UPDATE: Guess what arrives in the mail, last night, the eve of the 2 year anniversary of Dexter’s death? A huge envelope from the SPCA. I open it up to discover a 2018 calendar featuring photos of cats and dogs. I have never received a calendar from them before, in all the years I have been affiliated with them. And look at the timing? hmmmmm…

I love you Dexter ❤

On Thursday or Friday I heard something on the radio about a Petapalooza in my neighborhood. My intuition told me this whisper was a possible summons. I like the name Petapalooza and was curious. I “heard” it was yesterday and noticed nothing was happening in the area. That is because it was scheduled for today!

Friday evening before bed I sensed Dexter asleep in his bed. Almost instantly I realized this could not be. Yet I gave myself permission to allow this idea to express itself. While asleep I dreamed about animals. Both a dog and a cat ran to me like babies missing their momma. When I hugged the cat, I felt the embrace of completeness. The cat felt like Dexter, but the body was ice-cold. I remarked about this coldness to someone in the dream. There was also a patch of purple fabric on the cat’s body. I did not analyze the dream, but figure Dexter was paying me a visit.

I awoke feeling confused and sad. Honestly, I have felt sad, lonely, missing, and angry for several months now. I keep working to find ways to heal what needs healing. I considered that the Petapalooza may offer some answers.

The weather is lovely so I did not mind the long walk from my car to the festivities. I told myself my body requires more exercise. At first I only saw dogs around, but eventually I noticed some cat rescue organizations. I checked out some cats, with the intention of browsing. I am not ready to adopt. Even though it will be 2 years next week since I lost Dexter. My grief has changed since then, but I am not fully over losing him. Part of me has not fully accepted his departure. I am not really surprised at this discovery. Not really.

While I am glad I got out of the house for a while, I was only more saddened by the sight of the homeless animals. I thought of my former cats Dex and Jasmine who I adopted from the SPCA.  Someone at the cat rescue booth suggested people take pictures of the kittens to post to social media. Once it occurred to me that I could help out, I had already begun to walk to my car. I simply lacked the energy to seize the moment. I feel like those shelter animals: abandoned, lost, empty, and sad.

I am not a stranger to depression. In this instance it is mostly situational. Practically everything in my life has disintegrated before my eyes. What I tell suicidal clients is that we are here for a reason and it is not our choice to end our lives. I am here to see how it all plays out. But at this moment it does not look good.

Purple Forever

Here is my tribute to Prince, re published on the 1 year anniversary of his passing. As I write this, I witness another otter ( muskrat, groundhog, ??) sighting. He or she was too fast for me to capture photographically. Still cool to receive some awesome creature magick.

I want to use this opportunity to briefly editorialize on the evolution of my blogging, which is very apropos for a Mercury retro cycle. Initially I thought I would write a few posts about my spiritual journey, as an English student would for a teacher. My grades would be in the form of readers and comments. At least that is how it appears looking back. 2013 was an exciting and mysterious time for me and many others. My writing flourished here, and I grew as a result, both creatively and personally.

As my health began to deteriorate and my finances followed suit, my writing grew both more dark and more intimate. I let you in and shared more of my deepest fears and complicated musings. The polished writer facade became more flawed and exposed.

Please be open to every aspect of my writing and try not to draw any sweeping conclusions. Existence is about context and my blog reflects that context over the dimensions of space and time. Creative types are often both tortured and brilliant simultaneously. Please enjoy my Prince post as you contemplate that paradox.

much love, Linda litebeing

litebeing chronicles

Prince_logo.svg

I was preparing to buy groceries when the news came in. Prince is gone at age 57. Think tender and brash, shy and overtly sexual. Think 1999, Purple Rain, Diamonds and Pearls, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, Raspberry Beret, Little Red Corvette, Money Don’t Matter Tonight etc.  Just Tuesday afternoon while I was driving to a medical appointment, Purple Rain came on the radio. I have not heard it in quite some time. I became very emotional and was surprised by my reaction. Could I have been sent a message foreshadowing this event? Quite likely.

I learned today that he also had an emergency visit to the hospital on 4-14-16 and was also released on 4-15-16.

But I am here and he is not.

wikipedia.org pub domain

I do not have the energy to write a complete post. He had a Gemini Sun, Pisces Moon, and Scorpio Rising. His chart aligns…

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Crossing Over the Psychic Highway

Around the 1st or 2nd of March, I am listening to the radio during my morning commute. Business as usual. I am only partially tuning in to the announcer’s comments. He is discussing the next clue for a contest. That gets my attention as I became a bit curious. He said ” Answer all five correctly for your chance to win free tickets to see John Edward in Philadelphia. ” John Edward, the medium? Now I was more than curious!

I did not expect to win any tickets, but wondered when John Edward was coming to town. March 11, it turns out, was the magic day. That is a little over a week away. I check out the website and tickets are still available. Wow, I may actually do this.  I have been interested in John Edward for many years, having watched  his Crossing Over TV shows and interviews. I would scan the TV audience and imagine being there, receiving a random reading. He is not bad to look at, and really down to earth. Not only that, he credits himself on the ethics of the metaphysical profession.

I was amazed that I was led to this point. It is now Friday, March 3rd and I am sending out feelers to family and friends. No one is able to go with me. I keep trying to figure out if I am supposed to go. The tickets are not cheap and I do not know if I want to go alone. I settle myself down and ask for specific guidance. If I get a sign I will order a ticket.

So I am watching television, keeping myself open. I am listening to Bill Maher, as I do most Fridays. He is doing his “New Rules” routine, which is where he introduces images to accompany his satire. The topic is finding Liberals who can battle as hard as the Conservatives. He discusses bringing back people who may misbehave but kick Progressive ass. He goes on to suggest a candidate who  was a huge proponent of government – backed healthcare in 2008. The person’s picture appears on-screen: John Edwards! He was a popular Democratic Senator who had some excellent ideas but was morally distasteful. He is clearly not John Edward the medium, but their names are almost identical and Senator Edwards is not someone often mentioned anymore in the media.

I got my sign!

I marveled at my fortune, albeit briefly. My intuition has been amping up recently, and the more I listen, the more data that I receive. Just Friday morning in fact, I got a message from my mother via dreamtime. In the dream I am awakened by a phone call without any ringtone. I hear my mother’s voice a few feet away coming out of the receiver. I pick up the phone and she tells me to be careful driving to work. I see a vision of a dark rainy road. I tell her not to worry because I am calling out today. A few minutes later I wake from the dream and it is time to get ready for work. I review my dream and take it as a warning to stay home. I call out sick and go back to sleep. Thank you mom!

I was beginning to feel very nervous yesterday morning. The fact that the trains were not running did not help. How could I meditate on my dead relatives and pets while obsessing on how to get downtown? I didn’t, that’s how. I became focused on tracking the transportation agency’s twitter account instead. Thankfully service was restored because it was frigid yesterday and I did not want to drive into town on the first day of the Flower Show. It is one of the biggest draws to the downtown area so the city will be totally congested with tourists.

The birds began to take flight in harmony as I drove off to the train station. This was not lost on me at all. I arrived early enough to get a quick lunch. The historic Reading Terminal Market was filled to the brim and I had only a few minutes to gobble something down. Let me tell you this entire process was very harried, from beginning to end.  All of a sudden I get this thought about a gyros sandwich. I find the stand and,  lo and behold, one sole stool is empty! I jumped on the stool and ordered quickly. I was surprised I was able to find a seat with no line in this congested conglomerate of chaos.

So I get to the theater and find my seat, The energy is negative, despite the obvious sage – smudging. I am clearly excited and nervous. Here I am living my dream, yet all alone.  The name Linda came up often. 5 people were chosen to ask questions and one of them was Linda. Early on he mentioned a L name in the reading. He said ” Lou or Louise, but not Linda. ” When he uttered not Linda, I knew I would not be called on.  And I was correct.

And yet, I felt tuned in with John as my name came up repeatedly during the two hours. Nowadays,  Linda is not a popular name. There was also a reference to my favorite uncle, long ago deceased. He specifically said in the midst of another reading ” Uncle Joe”. What was important that he said Uncle Joe, not just Joe. John Edward often referenced how what is said for one person may apply to many, and he weaved in readings all across the audience, from one party to another, It was fascinating to watch him work. At the end of the event, there was time for a few more questions. I did not have a questions so I didn’t raise my hand. But the woman next to me did and they called on her. So John was looking at me while she spoke. I knew it.

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en By User:Alain r (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

I highly recommend seeing him if you are interested in contacting a loved one. He is very wise and emphasized the power of energy work and implored everyone to become more educated about the workings of energy. John was impressive, offering information that was unexpected and quite specific. I enjoyed watching the audience member’s reactions and comments regarding how they grieved and who they loved. It was a very moving and humbling sight to behold.  He also flubbed a bit, showing he is human and fallible in this material world that we call Earth. He said teaching is his main mission now. I admire his dedication to helping others navigate the quantum world.

While I still desire to connect with the departed and get specific information from the other realms, it was not meant to be. I wonder why I was led so carefully to be at this event. I do not know. But what I am sure of is that signs and messages are everywhere and what you visualize you can realize.

PS: My buddy Dewin wants you to know about his new website Gallybloggers. It is a collection of poetry created by homeless people in his part of the world. It is a cool concept and I urge you to follow it and support this worthwhile cause.  thank you!

Glove Story

I have been spending the past few weeks honing my creative therapy skills by helping my clients dive into their emotional landscapes via music, visual arts, and writing.  This is not particularly new. I have used these modalities many times in my work as a therapist. But as a therapist who is now an active writer, this endeavor has taken some new turns.

The more I delve into my clients’ lives, the more I question my own. The mirroring that I observe is both miraculous and ordinary. If you visit here often, you know that the miraculous and ordinary usually represent the same experience for me. For example, I have a new client who I was told can be difficult to connect with. I have not seen her through that lens. We engaged in some small talk initially, which led to her revelation about art. She repeatedly said that she is not good at art, but she loves viewing it and learning about it. ”  I don’t know why I love art, I just do!” We have connected so easily because of our shared love of art. I quickly noticed that I say the same thing to others: that I am not good at art, but am a huge fan of the craft. I realize that repeating that statement undermines my delight in making art and enjoying my process. Note to Self: Halt the judgement.

I use these creative modalities in order to help others access their emotional worlds and enhance their communication skills. This emphasis on self-expression has led me to analyze further my own unique process. What is driving me? Why do I need to write? Am I incomplete in some way until I release my essence on the written page? Reading Michael’s excellent offering yesterday inspired me further to conjure up a little something for you today. The Universe never fails in complementing my inner musings with outer evidence.

So let me share a small Glove Story with you:

I used to lose my wallet repeatedly or have it stolen. This happened in both dreamtime and while awake. I figured this had to do with a weak identity. When my wallet stopped being stolen or lost, I decided the identity misgivings were resolved. I also have lost many keys in both realms, tying this into mastery and autonomy. This association works for me. Earrings also go missing, leaving me with several solo earrings in my jewelry box. This seems less symbolic and more aerodynamic. Earrings fall off or get caught on things and slip away to earringland.

But then there’s the gloves….

steve-madden-colorblock-boyfriend-touch-gloves

I bought these oh-so-sweet gloves a few months ago. They dazzle with so many of my favorite colors, purple, gray, maroon, etc. They work so well with my plum jacket and black shawl. They are soft and warm and cozy. I have lost one glove at least three times since I first wore them. And every time I was able to retrace my steps and find the stray – until now. Tuesday night I discovered that one of the gloves was not in my jacket pocket. I was at a diner and began to search half of the entire diner, then my car, my office the next day ….  Nada.

Then I begin combing the office parking lot and the cafeteria where I ate on Tuesday. I also scaled the campus between said parking lot and cafeteria by car and foot. I discovered other sole ( soul)  gloves, but not mine. I even went back to the bathroom stall in aforementioned cafeteria. I later returned to the diner on Wednesday, again asking the same questions and receiving the same answers. Today I went back yet again to the lost and found. I even searched online to see if I could buy a new pair. They are all sold out. I called the store where I bought it and contacted the manufacturer. I also prayed for guidance.

I want my glove back. I do not know why I am so obsessed. I have other gloves that are nice. But they are not enough somehow. I told myself in a few weeks it will be much warmer ( heck it’s spring-like now!) and I will not need to wear gloves. I realize this is a frivolous, high-class problem. But something deeper lurks. Something is stirring within that leaves me sad and unsettled.

Maybe it would be different if I had made peace with my father before he died, or if I could have caught Dexter’s heart problem before it took his life, or if I remained in one neighborhood and school for my entire childhood, or if I was taught that I was always enough simply because IAM. But I wasn’t taught and it is not different.

This Glove Story has no ending. In fact, it has only begun to brew, like a fresh teabag covered in tepid water.

My Best Friend For Life

July 12th will mark the one year anniversary of Dexter’s passing. Tomorrow will be more poignant for me because he passed on a Sunday. I am beginning to receive signs, some of which are rather bold, that is time to seriously explore adopting a new cat. While I will consider this guidance carefully, a part of me is still not quite ready. Dexter made me better, and I do not know if another soul can bring out the best that is left inside my soul.

Here is an old post written a week after Dex’s passing. It is heartfelt and chock full of excellent resources. Please send me some light tomorrow and show your loved ones how much they mean to you. It is everything.

Photo896

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.