My beloved dog, Staci passed away gently in the night on Valentine's Day. I lay with her while she transitioned stroking her fur and murmuring how much I love her. I reminisced about all the fond memories we shared in the past 14 years. She was my companion when I did not have anyone else to depend on. Staci was by my side while raising my son. I cannot express the feelings her life and death have invoked in me. Well, I guess I will try to express it as best as I can.
I found out she had a mass cell tumor nine months ago. The vet said she didn't have very long to live. He said we'll do what we can and however long you have with her is a gift from God. I used as many remedies as I could, both conventional and holistic. She flourished under my love and care. The symptoms she had of approaching death diminished and we were given the gift of time.
The feelings I experienced were intensified; both the highs and lows were all the more sweet and bitter. Each walk we took, both long and short, were treasured. I noticed the beauty of nature around me all the more profoundly. I felt the air in my lungs and my heart as it beat. The breeze on my face was as welcome as the sunshine beating on my shoulders. Our moonlit walks gave me the opportunity to commune with the Universe. I shared my secrets, fears, hopes and dreams. Each breath taken by both her and me was revered. Through Staci, I was taught to see the beauty in life.
My emotions have been raw during the past year, both the pain and joy all the more intense. When I realized I had only a certain period of time with my best friend I was saddened at all the times I ignored her. The times I was too preoccupied with other things to enjoy a long walk, a day at the park, or a car ride while listening to some good music. I took the time to stop spreading myself with too many things and just do the simple things I love to do. All the rest simply fell by the wayside.
My intent for a long time had been to stop the chatter in my head, the endless worrying and slow down my fast paced life. Given the opportunity to spend time with my family and pets was the perfect excuse. When I stopped stressing about money, the money came. I have learned to take the time to value my loved ones and let them know how much I care. Things have a way of working out. In the end all you remember is the love you shared.
Staci was strong up until the end. She continued to give us unconditional love and loyalty. I saw she was slowing down. I didn't want to be selfish anymore. I looked deeply into her eyes and told her it was okay for her to go. I was letting go and surrendering control, thus allowing her to decide when she was ready. I reassured her that I was okay. That I could take care of myself, that I had friends and family that loved me. My son, Travis, who she watched grow up, will be graduating from high school shortly. I assured her we would be okay; she didn't need to worry about us anymore.
I told her I wanted her to go home where she would be comfortable. I explained that I wouldn't be scared. I wanted her to have ease and grace in her transition, which she so deserved. The day she went she walked slowly but didn't appear ill. I gave her a pain pill and she went under the bed. I took a pillow and spent the afternoon nestled beside her.
She lay in my arms and all I could think of was the endless pleasure we shared together. My heart filled with love and affection. She went on Valentine's Day, the day of love. Her gift to me was to remind me that only love is real. I realized even though my beloved companion was gone she will always live in my heart.
From this day forward, life will always be sacred to me. I will never again take it for granted. I am in awe of the beauty around me. The beauty in nature, the miracles of the world, but most importantly, the beauty found in loving others. The intense beauty revealed in receiving, giving, and knowing true love. That is the true secret of the Universe, which is imprinted within each and every heart.
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