This post is about one of life’s most painful and stressful decisions that many of us have to face … and how Spirit can lend its support to ease the way.
Falling in love … with the four-legged ones
For several years, my late husband, Ron, refused to entertain the notion of getting a pet. As a kid, I’d grown up with a cat, and as an adult, I’d often felt the tug of my heart to bring one into our home. But I knew it was a non-starter.
His reasoning? “You get a pet, you fall in love with them, and then they die.” Yup, hard to argue that one.
A life-changing gift
But then my 40th birthday rolled around. Not everyone views “milestone birthdays” as something special, but Ron did, and I was the beneficiary.
The evening of my birthday, I arrived home from a particularly arduous work trip, ready to collapse on the sofa, with a glass of wine in hand.
I unpacked my bag and walked into the kitchen where Ron was cooking dinner. (Yes, he was the cook … yes, I know I was lucky … in fact, I am once again! But I digress ….)
When I entered the kitchen, I spied a large envelope sitting on the counter.
As I did so, I distinctly remember Ron’s words … “This is going to change your life forever.”
Well, if that didn’t grab my attention! I tore open the envelope to find inside a photo. Staring up at me was the face of a kitten he’d arranged to adopt. I was speechless … and my heart melted.
Enter Callie and Chigger …
Long story short, one kitten turned into two, and Callie and Chigger arrived into our lives on December 15, 2000.
It was love at first sight. We had no children and these two became our fur-kids, all-consuming and completely spoiled. The love I had for them was like no other I’d experienced. (Yes, yes, Crazy Cat Lady … but I’m guessing some of you can relate.)
Unfortunately, Ron was right …
Of course, you do fall in love with them and then … yes, they do die. Except sometimes, they need our help to ease the way. And as I’m sure many of you are painfully aware … this can be one of life’s hardest decisions to make.
Letting Chigger go was heart-wrenching, but he’d had health issues throughout his life that made it fairly clear when it was time to step in and give him the gift of release.
With Callie three years later, it was a different story.
Though robust and healthy through her life, she had started to take a downward turn. It was gradual and subtle, but it eventually reached a point where it seemed the time had come. My heart was broken, grief began to well ….
And then she rebounded. My heart soared.
And then it happened again ….
We went back and forth like this for months. It was an emotional rollercoaster … I was filled with angst, not knowing what I should do.
Why wait for a “bad” day … ?
I discussed the situation with her vet. I told her about the bad days that were interspersed with good days, and that I was at a loss as to how to respond. I didn’t want her to suffer, but of course, I didn’t want to act prematurely either.
I clearly remember what the vet said next … “Why should she have to wait until the bad days outnumber the good days? Why not let her go on a good day?”
Well, that question had never occurred to me. Although I respect others may feel differently, I always knew I would not simply stand back and let nature take its course, not when I was in a position to ease her suffering.
And the decision was clearly imminent so, indeed … why wait until she was suffering more than not? Yeah, that made sense … I got it.
On the surface.
But deep down … ?
Well, now … that was a different story. Deep down, I was still a mess.
Okay, it’s time. Or is it … ?
Some weeks after our discussion, the day came when I realized the time had truly come to book the “appointment.” Callie hadn’t looked her normal self for a while, and now appeared worse than ever before.
I arranged for the vet to make a home visit to carry it out … but she wasn’t available for three days. So, I waited.
Of course, you know exactly what happened next, don’t you?
Yup, right on cue. During these three days, Callie rebounded ….
Show me a sign … please!
The day of the appointment arrived, and Callie was still doing well. I’d spent the previous three days second-guessing myself … was I jumping the gun? She was part of my family, a loving companion for over 15 years.
And now, the vet was to show up in three hours …. I was in turmoil. Should I cancel?? Should I go ahead??
I slumped to the floor of the open loft that overlooked our townhome, distressed and overcome with doubt and indecision. I needed help, but this time, it wasn’t the vet I turned to.
No, this time, I realized I had to go farther up the chain of command … much farther.
Turning my focus to the Universe, I called out in desperation, “Show me a sign! Am I doing the right thing??”
Now, pay attention here …
The very moment I uttered the last of these words, at that exact instant … in the middle of the day … a bright, sunny, calm day … the power throughout our home shut down.
Everything, everywhere, went quiet.
Then seconds later, without warning or explanation, everything started back up. And all was normal once more.
I immediately understood. This was the sign I had asked for … Spirit was reaffirming my decision. Yes, the time was now.
So, I released my doubt and went forward as planned. And while we waited for the vet to arrive, Callie started to regress once again, as if to further validate the decision.
Of course, it was still absolutely gut-wrenching to go through, but receiving such a clear sign that it was indeed the right decision gave me inner peace. And that made all the difference.
Until a day or two later …
And then, my mind reared its head …
Yes, soon after, my trusty mind kicked into gear … doing what minds do. You know, continuing to second guess, asking for proof, expressing doubt … and I started to worry that maybe it hadn’t been a sign after all.
Maybe it was just our local power utility having a brief outage at “coincidentally” that precise moment. Maybe I’d made a mistake … oh, nooo!
Anxiety started to take hold.
But within a few days, Spirit came to my rescue once more, stepping in with another message … this time in a dream. A message that truly settled it for me, then and forever after.
Messages from Spirit often come in dreams, giving the dream a quality that’s noticeably different from the run-of-the-mill, working-through-the-events-of-the-day kind of dream … one that is vivid, memorable, emotion-filled, and surprisingly logical.
I had one of those.
Oh dear, she’s going to tell us her dream … yawn. Yeah okay, I am, but I promise to be brief. (Besides, it’s a cool dream … the symbolism is amazing.)
In this dream, Callie and I were in a house that bordered the sidewalk of a busy big-city downtown intersection. Callie (always an indoor cat) suddenly darted out the side door and I scrambled after her, in fear for her safety.
As I burst out the door, I saw her about 25-30 feet away, down at the corner. She was hunched tentatively alongside a crowd of people, all waiting for the light to turn green so they could cross.
I raced toward her, but the light turned before I got there. I watched her start across the intersection, her small body crouched low to the ground, looking around fearfully and cautiously as people and cars rushed past her.
I kept running, reaching her when she was half-way across the street, and scooped her up into my arms. I distinctly recall the feeling of relief that washed over me.
I crossed the street the rest of the way with her protectively cradled in my arms. On the opposite side was a building, and I entered, finding a man waiting for us.
In the dream, I somehow knew I wasn’t allowed to take Callie any further … I had to hand her over to this man, so he could carry her “the rest of the way.”
Then I woke up.
The message was clear
Did you get the symbolism, too? It immediately hit me at the time …
Callie had already been half-way to the “Other Side” when I helped her the rest of the way. She was going … with or without me … and I had been able to make the crossing easier for her.
Wow. It couldn’t have been clearer, right?
This put to rest for me whether I’d done the right thing, providing something to reach for whenever doubt tried to worm its way back into my thoughts … which it did of course, for months.
Signs will come
Life is not always easy … duh … and I’ve discovered it’s not necessarily meant to be. But here’s what else …
Discovering that Spirit (God, Mother Nature, angels, guides, Source, Higher Self … ) is always in my corner, ready to send me signs to help me through the rough patches …
Now, THAT’s been a game-changer.
So, if you’re interested in tapping into your own “team of helpers,” whatever you choose to call them, here’s something important I’ve learned …
The more we open to the idea that they send us signs to help guide us … and we acknowledge and trust these signs when we receive them … the more they come. Especially when we truly need them most.
But here’s the kicker …
We … have … to … ask.
The good news is we can do this in whatever way feels comfortable for us. No ceremony, no permission, no outsiders, no special wording required. Nope, it can be as simple as, “Hey, yo! Need some help here!” … because in fact, the words don’t matter.
What?? Yeah, apparently when we communicate with the invisible realm, it’s not actually done through words. Instead, it’s done through emotions … like desire, wanting, need.
Science has shown us that emotions emit a frequency, and as I understand it, frequency is what the Other Side can detect.
And the stronger the emotion, the stronger the frequency we emit … bringing through our request loud and clear.
So, when it comes to words, pick whichever ones stir up the emotion within you, because when you ask for help and truly FEEL it …
(Oh, and do remember to say … er, I mean feel … “thanks,” when it does!)
In next month’s post, I will take a further look at these “four-legged farewells,” but from another perspective … exploring what happens after that final goodbye.
I mean, there’s much research supporting the survival of human consciousness after death … but what about our pets?