I will always, always remember November 7th, 2016. I remember I felt good waking up that Monday morning, having just taken Lori Wilson’s Artist Intuition course over the weekend. Ideas for a book I’d been working on buzzed in my head throughout the day. A rainbow graced the sky as I drove home from work later that afternoon. It was that night that my mom visited to deliver the news: Dolce, our family dog of nine and a half years, had been diagnosed with cancer.
As an intuitive, I knew in my heart that, for me, this situation had not manifested so that I could heal Dolce; it had manifested as a schooling in the art of letting go. And I will be the first to admit that I was not a willing student. In the three weeks that followed that Monday evening – the final three weeks of Dolce’s life – there wasn’t a day that passed that I didn’t scour the internet relentlessly for possible treatments, have a fellow practitioner work on him or give him a session of my own, play with and spend every spare moment with him, and sob hysterically while I laid in bed and waited for sleep.
Dolce deteriorated quickly, despite our best efforts, and was euthanized on November 30th, 2016. It was the most horrible and beautiful experience I’ve ever had. He understood the day’s significance because I’d been communicating with him all along and keeping him updated. He knew that we had done everything we could and that we just didn’t want him to be in pain anymore. Our entire family gathered and sat around his near-skeletal body on the floor while the needles were administered, petting him and talking to him all the while. I spoke to him, in the language of animals, trying to ensure that he wouldn’t feel alone in any possible way in his final moments. I put my hand over his heart and felt it rhythm weaken until it didn’t beat anymore.
He will always be my Love. I’ll always consider him to be my baby. Many people who have animals as members of their household already understand that they will inevitably one day have to bury a child. Or two, or three, or more. Because, for many of us, our non-human companions are more than just pets – they ARE our children. As their guardians, it’s important for us to accept that when it’s their time to go, they will go, despite whatever healing tools or knowledge or contacts we have in our arsenal. There are lessons that they simply cannot teach us any other way. The animal’s journey always has something to do with our own – there is always some sort of wisdom they’re trying to share, even in their final transition stage. Like, how to prioritize our days. How to listen. How to heal. And, of course, how to move on.
Personally, I’m still working on integrating that last one.
At the very least, I’m moving forward. Continuing to work with clients, and inviting Dolce to help me in the sessions. Going to the Guelph Community Acupuncture clinic and energetically playing with him. Tuning into him, when it feels like he has something to say. I hope with every fibre of my being that he someday returns, reincarnated as… whatever tickles his fancy. A bird. A cat. A hairy, gigantic Old English Sheep Dog. Whether or not he returns, I have promised myself to always have animals as part of my household – even knowing how painful it will one day be to say goodbye to them. I accept that there will occasionally be days of darkness.
I expect that their rainbows will light up the sky.