A Life Cycle Complete, Saying Goodbye
In the domestication of animals and the taking of them into our lives, our homes, and our hearts, we take on the responsibility of meeting their daily needs. When they are in the dying process that responsibility is not a burden but a gift that comes in many forms, when the heart remains open feeling love as well as the pain.
In the domestication of animals and the taking of them into our lives, our homes, and our hearts, we take on the responsibility of meeting their daily needs. When we ask them to be part of our lives, they try their best to understand us and integrate. In this process, animals gave away complete reliance on themselves, and gained restrictions. They no longer roam or forage for food, Some animals spending their lives primarily in a stall, kennel, or cage. What we ask of our companions, often, but not always, is done for our convenience. They are the ones who have to fit into our world, to what we think is necessary. Animal companions who live in loving, caring homes, and whose essence is honored, still give something up. Chris, an Appaloosa mare, became my companion in the fall of 1987. She gained and lost in coming to my home. We found a balance and navigated the road of our relationship. We grew to become each others companion. On the morning of December 18, 2002 I said goodbye to my mare Chris. I awoke to hearing her thrashing. My heart froze. Chris was 28 with Cushing's disease. The time we had spent together was not long enough. I wanted her with me forever. I tried hard to think of her needs. In the few hours we had left I realized I had to set my pain aside, and with an open heart, fill her last moments of breath with nothing but love and honoring the process of death. I could do nothing else but support her. Was it hard to separate that I too was dying in those moments? Yes. Looking into her eyes I knew taking on the role of the predator was the only gift I could give her. Walking the fine line of balance in both of us, giving and receiving was a challenge. In all her pain, she had decided she wanted to stay. Yet again, she was giving so selflessly her love. I had to ask her heart and mine if that served her best. The answer was "No." The veterinarian came and we said goodbye. Her time in this body was over.
The decision we make with our own animals as to when their time on earth is through becomes part of our responsibility. Chris gave up living and dying as her ancestors once did, she could not wander off and die. I chose to become a predator, and release her from her pain, her physical situation would not have improved. Her giving would have come at to high a cost. Her death would have been excruciating. For some that is not the case, and they are able to die on their own.
From one perspective, our animals gained longer life spans. From another perspective, they have begun dying from diseases related to living in our world. There are pros and cons in both directions of their coming to be our companions and living in our world. We created a life removed from nature and its cycles.
In our daily life many of us have become removed from the balance and cycle of life. We work inside buildings, only being outside on weekends. We have access to all types of fruits and vegetables 12 months a year. We fear death, pain, and loss. We are no longer tied to the rhythm of nature and the earth. The cycle of prey/predator is foreign. We are not part of the food chain. Our role in life and death is not something we consciously are aware of. We have come to believe we are superior in the life cycle process and not part of it. As did our animals, so we too gave away and gained in urbanization. We are all a part of the life cycle of the earth, not superior to it, not separate from it, but a part of it.
Our animals view leaving their bodies differently than many humans do. Domesticated animals retain a closer acceptance of death than their human companions do. They accept, living, and dying in the balance of nature, and knowing they are part of the "cycle of life." With understanding as well as release, and acceptance on the part of the care giver, the animal leaves the earth with and from an open heart.
When we know in our hearts it is time to say goodbye to our dearest friend, it is human nature to try and change it, grieve it, and even deny it. I selfishly wanted Chris with me forever. No one wants to say goodbye. No one wants to let go of a best friend, a confidant, a selfless companion. Grieving is part of the emotional process. It is part of the cycle
Releasing what is best for us, and embracing what is best for them, is always a choice. Knowing the answer to what that choice is, is found in the heart. When the time came for me to say goodbye to Chris, I could have prolonged it, but that would have been for me. But each dying process is different. There is no rule to follow, or formula to gauge when to let go, or even how to let go. Each situation brings different choices.
My mare, Chris, let me know she was grateful I assisted her. That the cycle of love could not be broken, it would go on forever. Loving to the depths of our mutual being, to the places we traveled and grew, will forever be a part of our spirits. I experienced the purity of love with Chris. It was worth it all.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen Nowak is a Telepathic Healer/Communicator for animals and their human companions. She is a Master/ Teacher in Seichem, Reiki, and Shamballa Multidimensional Healing. Karen offers private sessions in healing and communication for animals and humans. She also teaches energy clinics for horse and rider. Karen can be reached at 406-326-2192, 406-321-2786, email@example.com, and http://www.freedomreinsllc.com