Mahina was not quite 3 years old. Healthy, vital, full of life… and a bundle of love. She came into our lives when she was 6 weeks old and into our hearts at the same time. She died last Thursday morning, for no obvious reason… but it was probably something like an aneurysm. We will never know, as the thought of taking her anywhere but out to the desert to put her to rest, or cutting up her perfect body wasn’t an option.
My husband, her “human” woke up to her cold little body on Thursday. I was not there… and I didn’t feel, see or know it was coming. In fact, when Rob asked me to scan her the night before, I saw nothing… Talk about feeling like a total failure as a “psychic”… my first reaction was how lame am I that I couldn’t at least warn my lover that his girl would pass away. When asked, the Universe simply said to me, “All is well.”
A few days have passed and after those first hours of disbelief, then complete rage at “god”, a deliberate and numb drive across a few states to be with my husband and our other animals where I hated every mile between us… Then utter and all consuming sadness and the waves I still feel, my question has become what is on the other side of this pain… this sorrow… this profound loss.
When someone thinks that losing a “pet” is not as big a deal as losing a person, think again. We just can’t quantify how or who we love, or what they mean to us.
For Rob, Mahina was like his own child… just like that. He spoiled her, coddled her, loved her perfectly just as she was and she returned that in equal measure. He has been with me since my youngest son was only 4 and certainly loved my children but was never “parent” to them… he respected that they had a father, but he was always there for them. Mahina was his conscious choice to love a being without measure, conditions or limits and my natural way was to do the same. The sorrow and loss are not one iota less than if we had lost a person.
Now, some days later we both look as though we’ve aged years. Our eyes are simply wrecked from the tears that come intermittently and frequently and I am left feeling quite empty. More like a shell, than a woman. Today is my birthday, but celebration is far from my mind.
Gratitude isn’t. I’m full of that… That I was given the honor to know such a perfect little girl, so full of love and life… apparently healthy… and she was all that, other than some deep, embedded flaw in her basic construction. Something insidious and cruel, lurking inside her that finally blew her heart apart.
One thing that I’m painfully aware of and have been for many years, is that I typically don’t understand deep sorrow and it’s effect on us. Maybe because early in my life, one thing after another occurred that shattered my young sense of things and I built up a barrier to pain, or just living a life where betrayal & loss was so common created a fissure in my consciousness. … or, possibly, I’m just an alien! Honestly, the reason why this has been the case isn’t really important, but I’ve noticed how I can have compassion for others in pain, but not really understand – viscerally – what it means. The gift of this experience is that my ability to have more awareness of human suffering has been activated. Going forward, I know that my work with others will be infused with even more compassion and a deep regard for the journey of grief. This is so good… & I will be a much better healer and person because of it.
As I look out into the bigger world, the news I am receiving around my little cave, indicates that we are not alone. Many people close to me (and not so close) have had to navigate deep, overwhelming loss too. We are in good company and I know that our tribe is made up of profoundly kind and loving beings. This, my human tribe. Everyone. We are all so fortunate to be related to each other and I’m more aware of that connection than ever before.
Often, I’ve asked people in the midst of difficulty “what would love do?” and that has been my mantra this week. Love has let me open up to sorrow, it has offered me clarity about how much I valued Mahina while she was alive and I have absolutely no regret. Love has allowed me to let my children, my friends and people I don’t even know soothe me. Love lets me be more human, which makes me that much more aware of how connected we are to one and other. I can’t effectively do my life alone and actually benefit tremendously from the people, plants, animals, sunlight, wind, rain, lightening… everything that makes up my human world.
Mahina has anchored me deeper into the Truth of my being… What a gift that is! Even though I miss her perfect little body and that amazing smile she gave me every time she greeted me, or how she would pause while licking my ankles in the morning, just lightly pressing her red tongue on the skin of my calf, or how she messed with Kitty and growled with glee at all manner of bugs and small crawly things… the small things that made up the larger part of being in her life, I feel the profound and powerful impact she has made on me.
… I am smiling through my tears.
Mahina, dear girl… thank you.