Anniversaries from the loss of a loved one, whether pet or human, can stir up all kinds of memories, both sad and sweet. Pet loss can be as a deep process as it is for loosing a human. Living strong is not what we think of after we loose a friend and family member.
So, what can we do to help not get lost in the well of grief but rather find our strengths and deepen in our hearts for anniversaries after pet loss?
Finding ways to cultivate the love we shared with our animals through tributes, memorials and self-expression helps us live more strongly, openly, deeply, fully. We can use the love we shared with our animals to help our hearts continue to grow and live strong.
I’ve had quite a few cats, dogs and horses as an adult over the last 30 years. While I have experienced deep richness from their sweet selves and the sharing of our lives together, it has also meant many deaths along the way. Adding creativity into the grieving process has helped tremendously.
My queen cat Scarlet was around 19 years when she gently passed just over a year ago. One of the many things she showed me was how peaceful and gentle this passage of leaving the physical body and going into spirit can be. This left me with sadness that she was no longer in her physical form, but also a rich peace about her death.
The day after Scarlet passed last year, my 13 yr. old beloved pooch Liza, took a dive downhill. Nine days later she also passed. Yeesh, what a spring season it was! My focus went from Scarlet’s passing to Miss Lizaloo’s care.
I had thought about planting some flowers around Scarlet’s grave, but never got to it between Liza’s care, death and then my back injury. All followed by an incredibly hot and dry summer. Trying to dig up dry, baked Virginia clay with a back injury doesn’t work so well. The flower garden would just have to wait! Instead of the physical garden, I made video tributes to honor the garden of their lives….
Coming up on the 1st anniversary of their deaths this spring I planted seeds and flowers as a living memorial to my sweet ones.
I picked out seeds especially for Scarlet and Liza as I recalled different times with them throughout our lives together. I’ve proclaimed this as my new spring ritual to help me navigate more gracefully through the anniversary of their deaths in the springtime, my favorite time of year.
So now, instead of looking back in time and feeling and focusing only on the loss, I have flowers to brighten the pathways around the house to resonate in my heart. The colors, scents and growth of so many flowers bring soft, sweet joy through my heart as I remember Liza and Scarlet every time I walk through this area. The flowers soften my heart, lift my spirits and keep transforming remnants of sadness that inevitably arise.
As I write this, I can still feel Scarlet resting her luxuriously long, jet black, delicate paw on my hand. She was not a snuggler. But she’d reach out her paw to touch me on the rare occasions she’d bless me with her presence in bed – it was so tender, sweet and comforting. And I feel Liza in my heart while seeing her in my mind’s eye clowning around and prompting me to laugh out loud. I am glad to feel her continuing to oversee my life from this new form. She sure does have a new vantage point!
I believe our sadness is a reflection of the depth of the love we have in our hearts for our loved ones. And, whatever tools we can use to keep transforming the sadness, letting the energy of the emotions move through our hearts instead of sticking, lodging, and swamping our hearts is a positive, life affirming step towards honoring the love we have for our beloveds who have passed on. They do not like us staying bogged down in our grief and sadness. I believe they always want us to feel joy and pleasure in our hearts and to remember them with openness and warmth.
My prayer is that this writing will serve as a source of inspiration for you, just as it has for myself. May this create a spark in you to continue cultivating the garden of your own heart and letting your love flow through to soothe and comfort any losses you may have had. Live Strong in Your Heart.
Sandy Rakowitz, founder of One Heart Healing Center for people and animals is a Brennan Healing Science Practitioner and former Brennan Healing faculty with over 20 years experience in the fields of Holistic Wellness and Energy Consciousness.
Sandy has a unique combination of professional training with people and, also with small and large animals using Energy Healing Medicine, Tellington TTouch, Animal Communication and Essential Oils. People and animals find comfort, relief, greater ease, peace and increased vitality.
You are invited to explore One Heart Healing Center for People and Animal’s educational offerings. When you go to my site there is much information awaiting you to read along with free access to listen to previous classes.
Buy a copy of the Sandy’s booklet – Pet Loss: 10 Soothing Heartbreak and Grief Tips.
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