When I originally thought about writing the article for this week, I had the title “Obstacle or Opportunity” in mind. An event this week, the passing of our dearly beloved, 15 year-old Maine Coon cat, has caused me to rethink what I wanted to write about.
I’ve used writing as a way to sort out my thoughts and rebalance my emotions for over 50 years of my life. When things have brought me great pain or sorrow, I found writing about them, in some form or fashion, has allowed me to see them from different perspectives than the traumatic emotions would have allowed, if I had merely wallowed in them.
Xena, our cat, was truly a warrior princess, in that she was born an Aries and believed herself to be “the princess” of our household for all these years. There’s a big hole in our hearts and in our homes as we try to readjust ourselves to life without her since her passing last Friday.
I’ve found myself going through the stages of grief – not believing when I found her that she was truly dead and expecting her to wake up and look at me. Then spending the day crying my eyes out at my loss. Tossing and turning that night. asking why and couldn’t they send her soul back in another body so we could still have her, even if it was in different cat body. Then moving my living room furniture for the Summer to work out the anger I felt at not realizing she was ready to die. Now working though sorrow as I look around the house expecting to see her and knowing that’s no longer possible. Slowly accepting, with each passing day, that she truly is gone.
This is only one of the many tragedies that can happen in a person’s life. The truth is, nothing is permanent in this reality – no plant, no animal, no person, not even the things we build and create. It’s all temporary and eventually fades from our lives in some manner. We, eventually, even fade away from this life as well. We are in a constant state of transformation, as is the world around us and the Universe that we travel through.
Loss of a loved one – friend, family member, or fur baby – is emotionally rough and we humans are emotional creatures. We form attachments, getting used to people and animals being part of our lives, only to have them taken from us at some point in time. Does that mean we should stop feeling anything? No, but I do believe part of our lesson here is to make it easier on ourselves and really realize the impermanence of it all.
There’s a line in one of our spiritual rituals that kind of says it all, “And when our time comes, as it must, O thou, the Comforter, the Consoler, the Bringer of Peace and Rest, we will enter thy realms gladly and unafraid, for we know that when rested and refreshed among our dear ones, we will be reborn again by the grace and the grace of the Great Mother. Let it be in the same place and same time as our beloved ones, and may we meet, and know, and remember, and love them again.” So I know I will see her again, if only in that moment when my time here is done.
If you believe that everything is energy, then you have to realize that nothing ever really dies. It just changes form. If you believe we live more than once, then you have hope of meeting, knowing, remembering, and loving those you have felt close to in this lifetime.
I believe there is more to any loss than just it being a loss. Like the proverbial “Butterfly Effect”, losses are caused by and do cause energy shifts which can lead us down pathways we may never have considered without that loss. They take us out of our comfort zone and make us look at our world from a new and different perspective. That can bring changes in the course of our lives that we may never have experienced without that loss occurring.
Animals are much closer to the energies that exist than we humans. Unlike us, I believe they often known when they are about to die. They’re even willing to lay down their lives for us, so that those energies do shift and we are offered an opportunity for transformation that might not have come to us otherwise. We should teach ourselves to be more aware of this and respect their sacrifices.
I’m not sure why Xena chose to pass from us now. Our vet just gave her a clean bill of health in March, saying her heart was good an strong and she was in very good health for her age. So, I don’t believe it was just because she was 15. Perhaps she knew her work here was done and that by leaving, the void that has been created will be filled by something or someone new that we need in our lives as part of our journey.
Do I miss her? Hell, yes! And I will be sad for a while…maybe for a long while, at her passing. I’m also beginning to see that it is true that everything happens for a reason. This transformation is just the beginning of some bigger transformation yet to be discovered. I thank her for that and for the many years I was able to share with her being here.