I said goodbye to Carlisle my cat this year.
Sometimes a pet becomes a part of you. Maybe it’s your leg, your right arm, definitely a part of your heart. When they pass, it’s hard. There’s a biochemical reaction of them transforming themselves into spirit inside your body.
“Time to Let Go”
The night before our elderly cat fell asleep for good, she came to me as I lay in bed. She lay on my chest and we had a literal heart to heart.
“I’m so tired Mommy,” was mostly what she said.
Swear to God, I heard this from her: “I need to go now,” she added. “But I want you to feel how much I love you. I want you to feel it as I lay on your chest here and thank you for all you’ve done for me.”
Loud and clear. And long. She wanted to be sure I heard the meaning and got the love.
I called the vet that morning and made an appointment for 4:15 that afternoon.
We brought her there and she didn’t get out of her basket. She was too tired. Down to 3 lbs 9 ounces. I was the last one to come to the realization that she had to go. I had to wait for her to tell me.
I put my hand on her head to say goodbye before she slept. She was the one who was ready and prepared not me.
What happens at death? Where does spirit go? There were many ideas floating around: Would she be in her astral body, would she be a free spirit floating all over, or would she come back later in another body?
One thing for sure. I had to find a way to allow the love I had for this cat to transform and live on beyond the grief.
What Happens after Death?
After putting her to sleep we took a drive to the river. I could feel my chest aching as I walked alone among the trees and river and watched the sun go down. The pain that had pierced me so heavily at the vet was miraculously lifting. I felt it disperse into the ethers—maybe the river, maybe the trees, or maybe a spirit guide helped me.
As I walked alone back to the car, I was different.
I feel my cat’s presence in this house now. She’s here floating around up on the kitchen counter tops, up in my bed. I speak to her and say hi when I come in the door—and not just out of habit. I feel her here. But she has freedom to roam, no pain, no fatigue. She knows how much I love her, and miss her. She doesn’t want me to hurt.
How Grief Can Serve
I feel my grief transformed walking along that riverbed. I feel it did some transfiguration of sorts from my heart into the cosmos. Maybe I have more to give all others now–both furry and human.
Here’s my prayer that grew out of the grief: I hope you never are afraid. I’m with you always so you never feel alone. Carry my love. Let it light your way and feed you. Much love to you Carlisle, to all those in fur bodies and to all those who have lost a loved one.
And remember to pass it on, so it can keep its momentum and grow.