Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


(But) this love will carry. This love will carry me.
I know this love will carry me.
~ Dougie McLean

This chorus has been the ticker tape thread running through my heart this last week. It buoyed me through the days of tripping into unknown routines that Bella had been a part of. It held me every time we started games we’d play with her, waiting for her to say her line… cue the crickets and silence. Then the remembering that she was gone. Is gone.
In my grief, I say a prayer for every parent, and every ancestor of mine, who has ever lived to see the death of a child. I cannot imagine that pain and I intend no comparison. But I feel like I have a small window of insight into that kind of loss. I have no human children, but ten years ago we brought home a sick, dying kitten...
You take a living being in. You raise them. You care for them. You watch them explore the world and you hold your breath when they take their first steps. Their first wounds. Their first joys. And you become a family. Then, one day… they are gone? What words can describe such loss?
I am the kind of woman who sees life as life. A part of my family is missing. Again. But the difference is tangible this time. Both of the young cats died before their elder, who spends most every minute sleeping on a soft cushion. Now, the house is still. Disquieted. There used to be a foundational layer of energy in this home, made up of small feet padding around and about, patrolling and getting into mischief.
That is what death took from our house, literally pulling the energy-rug out from under us. Well-worn pathways feel abandoned. Haunted. Gone are the backdrop noises that made me wonder things like, where did she just jump down from? Already, I can see the need for new life in this house, but it will wait.
I spent most of the week in a weird fog. I was numb. The days seemed unchanged to me and I was aware enough to note that the thought was odd, since our world has changed. I would stumble into the list of things-that-will-never-happen-again and would cry for a moment. And then move on. I was thinking that I was doing much better than when Luna died, which unnerved me. Because deep down inside my heart, I could feel the small child holding back tears with her hands across her ears singing, “la la la la!”
I’ve been in denial. It’s normal. I just didn’t think it would be so easy to do when the physical evidence of her death surrounds me.
This morning, the Veterinary Hospital called us to let us know that Bella’s ashes were there for us to pick up. I suddenly felt deadened, like weights had just been piled on top of me. And I started to feel the grief climbing up through my belly and my throat for my mouth. We were bringing Bella home. We were bringing what remained of Bella home. It was very real. It is very real.

There’s no timetable for grieving. It’s different for everyone. As routines change and time passes, the daily pangs ebb and healing occurs. We move forward because it’s in our nature. I let myself trust that it will come. Bella’s ashes are home now, awaiting transformation for when my heart is softened and not so raw.

Listen to Dougie McLean sing This Love Will Carry from 2010.

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