The Circle of Life – Grief and Joy- side by side

The circle of life has brought me a deeper meaning in the past several months as I went through the process of letting go of my mentor Meesha, our 13 year old golden retriever. Some of my readers will be aware that Meesha and I were very, very connected. And if you go to my website you will see her as part of my team, along with pictures of her in my Joy section. Although Meesha blessed us with another 9 months after her illness began, it was one of the most challenging periods of my life to let go and grieve her departure here on earth.  I have had so many, many lessons and she was such a incredible teacher. I wanted to share this with the world and yet I have realized it was a very personal journey and that anyone who has had a deep connection with their pets will understand this. It was a time for me to retreat, be quiet and be with me and all the feelings that were coming up for me around Meesha’s transition.   I did reach out to a few close friends and professionals, however, I mostly just needed to be.Meesha tribute

In this quiet time I had many more connections with myself as to why I was so deeply affected by her departure.  I was reminded of her unconditional love and what that really meant to me. The knowingness that I could always show up exactly how I was and she would just be, without judgement or making me right or wrong. Where do we get to do this in our lives? In my groups and one on one coaching and counselling, I provide this place for people who I work with. It is amazing the miracles that transpire just by providing this space for people. We don’t realize how often we think we have to do and be just in order to make ourselves okay in the world to show up.

I have written before on the gifts that Meesha shared with me and yes she was one of the biggest joy factor’s in my life, yet the gifts she gave me in her last year were the most amazing of all. The grace she showed in her slowing down and the acceptance that she could no longer run and play like she use to, yet somehow seemed to still enjoy what she could with ease and grace. She honoured herself and slept when she needed…. she slept a lot.  I notice the similarities as I observe my beloved mother of 92 years young. In December she moved into residential care as she could no longer manage independent living .  At first I was mortified at how much she was sleeping and then realized that perhaps this is a time for my mother to be quiet and still as she lived her live at a very, very fast pace. I noticed that I was making it wrong and was wanting the physio and her doctor to get her moving and walking. When I checked in with my mother further I realized that she was quite content and for the first time in her life was truly receiving. She has given her whole life unconditionally. In many ways like my golden retriever she is reverting to a child. I realized that it was me that needed to let go of what was and that what Meesha and my mother were going through was a very natural cycle of life.  When I was able to let go and become detached I was able to feel and see the beauty in this circle of life and realize that it is their bodies that are wearing out and their spirits are still very much alive.  This has given me a feeling of peace and fulfillment vs the heavy sadness I was feeling previously.

Doogle Puppy Grad Day
Doogle graduates from puppy training

As Meesha got closer to leaving us, I could not imagine having another dog yet I could not imagine not having a pet as we have always had pets.  The void was large and empty, yet I needed to have that time to honour Meesha’s departure and not try to replace her.   Two months later we were led ( I believe divinely led by Meesha) to a litter of golden retriever pups. The rest is history. We now have a 4 month old male named Doogle.  Doogle is completely different from Meesha, however, has the standard golden retriever traits. A bundle of love, curiosity and energy.  Yes it is like having a baby and we love it (most days).  Today is his first day at doggy day care. I was like the nervous mother leaving her child at kindergarden.  I was standing waiting for him to notice me leaving and he was already off playing with the other dogs. More letting go.

I still have days where I have waves of tears of missing Meesha’s physical presence, yet I have so many, many amazing memories.  I also have a deep knowingness that Meesha is and will always be with me in my heart. It is a very comforting feeling and reminder that life truly is a circle and their are incredible gifts in each piece if we can be present to be and  receive.

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