Losing a Friend, Gaining a Guide

Pardon the absence lately.  I had a bit of a foundational shock and am doing my best to come back around.

Here’s what happened…

Two weeks ago, on Tuesday July 20, I was overwhelmed in the afternoon with a cloying feeling that something was about to go horribly wrong.  The feeling would not leave me alone and no matter what I did I could not get solid details or rid myself of it.   It was if the signal was overwhelming all other intuition, like an overpowered radio signal.  If you’ve ever left the house and had that feeling that “something” was not right or that you’d left something behind, you  know what I mean.  It was exactly the same feeling except taken up several notches in strength.  I had trouble sleeping.  I became paranoid.  I started looking at larger, global things and got focused way too much on the Gulf oil spill and the approaching tropical storm that occurred at the end of the week.

It reached its peak around Wednesday the 21st and then eased in annoyance factor.  By Friday, the feeling lifted a bit but never, really, disappeared.  I should have blogged it here.  (I know that now and have learned my lesson.)  Instead, I opted to not look like an overly paranoid nutter and I internalized it, trying to make sense of it.  My tarot card for that period of the week was the 10 of Swords so I tried, very hard, not to make too much of a deal about things and to stay out of the victim mentality.

However, several of my friends also were having similar experiences, a discussion popped up on a form board I watch and, all in all, I was convinced something large and global was about to take place.  However, every time I tried to track it down it continued to elude me and at other times it felt incredibly personal.  Regardless, I had good reason for thinking it was global because the last time a sensation had bothered me to this degree it had ended with the events of 9/11.    As far as I know, something did occur somewhere but, regardless, the weekend went by without any horrible disasters.  (Though, I noted that a massive series of earthquakes occurred in the Phillipines.  All of which were deeper than 500 kilometers down…)  Small update – I still believe something is going on.  Maybe it’s the cardinal cross alignment or the solar storm or who knows.  I do have a deep sense that “something” is changing and transforming in the world around us.

The weekend played itself out and the sensation was still around but very faint.  I chalked it up to something I might never know.

A dog has the soul of a philosopher.”  Plato

Exactly one week after the feeling came to me my life was turned upside down.  My wife called me upstairs to come check on my 11 year old canine best friend and soulmate.  When I arrived at his side I knew immediately something was very wrong.  He was laying wrong, breathing hard and completely unresponsive except for the way his eyes moved to look at me.

It was heart wrenching.

A long night followed.  At midnight we were driving to the emergency vet where the worst was confirmed.  Something, most likely a small growth which had gone undetected in his previous vet visit a few months prior, had burst and he was internally bleeding.  At his age, the vet was concerned he would not survive stabilization let alone the surgery.  There was little else we could do and it was with a deep shaking sadness that I and my wife sat with him while the vet eased him to the other side.

It was then that something very odd happened.  There was a “pulse” and a feeling of relief washed over me followed by another of sheer exuberance.  The feeling continued and I opened my eyes to see my wife obviously responding to the same thing.  We shared a look and then she smiled.  At that moment the vet looked up at both of us as well and started to cry also.

The evening proceeded and through it I felt that my canine buddy was actually running about the place.  It was almost impossible to ignore and when it came time to leave the room, I patted my leg for him to follow as I had for almost ten years.  The vet caught my movement and then related a story to me about her own encounter with a spirit dog which jumped in her car.   We joked that she would completely understand if I lifted the back gate of my car and motioned for an invisible dog to jump in.  She understood.

Since that evening the physical grief has rolled over me several times bringing me, on more than one occasion, to my knees.   I’ve dealt with death several times in the past two years but nothing I’ve experience prepped me for losing my soulmate brother.  The space in the house is no longer filled with a lounging lazy labrador-mix and there is no longer the padding of feet when I rustle the bag of snacks.  There’s no more gentle old dog smiles when its time to go for a walk.  There’s no sitting on the front step and watching the world go by with him.  It’s these things that bring me to tears.

However, it’s tempered with the simple fact I know that he’s still around.  I can’t explain it nor do I really want to.   I know not because of my own experiences but that of others as well.  I’m able to sense when he is around and several times my wife points directly to where he is without me saying anything.  Even my daughter had an experience where she felt something warm and fury press against her bare feet, something she had never experienced him doing.  What she didn’t and couldn’t know was that when he was younger he would do such a thing all the time.

As the physical grief fades it’s almost like the spiritual connection grows.  Even now, as I write this, I know he’s lying next to my chair simply being who and what he has always been to me; a companion and a helper.  He had, lately, been unable to join me on my outings because of his arthritis.  On a recent walk at the end of last week, I could feel him tagging along with me.  I sat down under a tree with my dowsing rods, calmed myself, grounded myself and asked if he was with me.  I got an affirmative.  I asked where he was and the rods swung to point directly to my side.

He walked with me through the past eleven transformational years of my life.  He and I were a team and I’m deeply honored with the gift of not only being able to walk with him for those eleven years but also because he’s chosen, it would appear, to continue to be with me for a little while longer.

Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” Aristotle

I’ll be getting back to my regular posting soon.  I think you can understand my need for the pause and regroup.

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2 responses to “Losing a Friend, Gaining a Guide

  • Jessica Macbeth

    It happens like this. Samantha the Senior Cat is still around five years after her death, and even though other cats live here now too. They all get along fine. Some loving friendships are forever. The king is dead; long live the king. I rejoice with tears in my eyes for you and Pooka.

  • Nancy Hendrickson

    I’ve had the same experience – there are those animal friends that stay with us as long as we need them to – – sometimes for days, months or even years. Take the time to just be.

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