We have a large animal family currently comprised of horses, dogs and chickens. The life span for all of these family members is much shorter than the average human life span. Consequently, I see a lot of death as beloved family members pass over. Some of the animals touch my heart with their passing more than others.
Just before Christmas we adopted two male calves. They were around 3 months old when they got here. One of the boys seemed to have one issue after another. Whilst I was sad, I was not too surprised when he passed just after Christmas. The other calf, Jed, whilst a little lonely, seemed to be doing well – until he wasn’t. His decline and subsequent death was fairly swift. I sat with him until he passed. I’ve noticed that generally speaking, animals seem to pass so much more quickly than us humans. When things go wrong with their body, they don’t often tend to stay around. Just as Jed took his last breath, he looked me in the eye. I was happy that he knew he wasn’t alone when he passed. Whilst Jed hadn’t been in my life for a long time, he had made a big impact. So, I took the rest of the day to be gentle with myself and to grieve. I wrapped myself up in a blanket and with the dogs all around me, I thought of Jed and his short life. As I reflected, I realised that he had gifted me with power and knowledge.
Many of my beloved relatives are getting older. I am very conscious every time I talk to some of them that this might be our last conversation. I had wanted to run away from this journey. To see my loved family members slow down and their lives diminish is difficult. I have young grandchildren and I often contrast how the grandchildren are growing and their world is expanding versus the world contraction for my elderly relatives. Even though my relatives are still here, I am already grieving them. Our relationship has changed. I grieve the relationship we had in the past and the fun and adventures that we used to have.
Until Jed died, I didn’t know if I had it in me to be able to love and support my relatives through this contraction time of their lives. I felt last year that I just wanted to run away from it all and hide. Yet Jed taught me that I am stronger than I thought. I am so grateful to Jed. His time in my life was short, but the gifts and the knowing that he left with me were huge. Thank you Jed. Until we meet again.
If you would like support with grief and grieving of a beloved animal companion, or if your animal is grieving, you might like to attend our workshop on grief. On the 2nd of March, I am co-hosting a workshop on grief at Redcliffe with Jen Gallagher from Essential Oils Goddess. During this workshop we will explore loss and grief scenarios and how they impact our lives. We will have activities aimed at channelling grief into positive energy and personal development.
For more information and to book and pay, go to my website. Only a few spots are left.