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Animal Death - Guilt and Grieving

When our beloved animal friends depart this world, whatever the circumstances, we often feel gut wrenching emotions over the loss. Anger, sadness, depression, guilt, regret, fear, and denial may all hold us in their grip. It is natural to feel devastated when we lose the presence of animal friends who bring us so much joy, love, pleasure, and even enlightenment.

To find relief and eventually peace, we have to face, accept and express all the darker feelings along with the happiness we have shared with our beloved animal companions. Writing a memorial, poem, or story or doing a work of art or a photo collage in their memory and sending it to your friends who have also loved your animal companion, helps you to honor, move through, and release your loss. Having a ceremony, a party with friends, joining a support group, or having grief counseling can be part of honoring your friend and your own feelings, and learning to accept death as part of the cycle of life. Sometimes the guilt and grief can be pervasive and seem impossible to move through.

When an animal dies, we often experience feelings of guilt and remorse that compound our grief yet again. Could I have done more for my beloved companion? Why was I so preoccupied with my work that I failed to notice his illness? Did the treatment plan I chose to follow make him suffer more? These questions and many others may haunt us for weeks, months, or possibly years.

Our rational minds may say that it isn’t logical to grieve so much for a beloved animal friend. However, every bond we share with other beings creates a kind of energetic blending of our auras or energy fields. When a friend leaves, there is a tearing of this bond, which can hurt just as if our bodies were ripped open. We have to heal that energetic wound before it becomes easy to connect with our friends solely as spirits.

We don't know everything there is to know about the cycles of life and death. It seems to be part of human nature, or at least our cultural conditioning, to blame ourselves or feel guilty about our animal companions' deaths. This assumes that we are in control or should be in control of all the details of another's life and death or be able to stop death.

Travis and Carmen had the disastrous experience of having their home burn to the ground with the loss of some of the members of their animal family. The most painful loss for them was the death of their young Siamese cat, Faith. In his attempt to save the horses and chickens while the fire raged, Travis had pushed over a heavy outdoor bench. When Travis and Carmen returned after the fire was over to see if they could find more of the animals, Travis found Faith dead under the bench. He felt he had killed her and couldn't forgive himself. Weeks later, he consulted me about it.

Contacting Faith was an incredible experience. As a shining and huge spirit, she positioned herself over the charred property and created a large, energy field to help the trees and other plants grow. Carmen commented that she and the neighbors, whose properties were also scorched, were amazed that the trees and plants on Carmen's property were already sprouting new shoots, while neighbors' trees had no sign of life.
2 large trees with widespreading branches Faith said that when her job was done with helping to restore the land, and her people had rebuilt their house, she would return again to them as a Siamese cat. She told me that her death was not directly caused by Travis. She was in shock and suffering from the smoke and fire and hid under the bench. The blow from the bench had helped her to leave the body suddenly instead of slowly. She held no bad feelings from the incident.

We can see here how finding out how the animals feel after death can greatly assist the whole process of coming to terms with our feelings and being at peace after our animals’ deaths.

Kate was extremely upset when she communicated to me about a friend's husky wolf mix, Roy, who while under her care in her home, killed her own cat, Sheila. Kate had played with Roy, and then went inside to clean the house. When Kate went out to check on Roy, she found him trying to get her cat, Sheila, who was clawing at him on top of a pile of boards. Kate couldn't get Roy to leave so she grabbed her cat by the scruff of the neck. Roy grabbed Sheila by the belly and pulled her out of Kate's hands, shaking the cat until she was lifeless. Kate threw things at Roy to try and stop him but only succeeded in getting the cat away when she kicked at Roy. Then it was too late. She felt the dog intended to eat the cat's body.

Kate felt so miserable and asked me to tell Sheila she was sorry. She wanted me to tell Roy that what he did was wrong and now she could not have him back at her house with her other cats.

Remember that your animal friends can receive your communications without having to have someone else repeat what you want to get across. You may feel so distraught that you are unable to communicate or receive well. Therefore, it can be helpful to have a neutral party help you.

When I checked in with Sheila, she had this message for Kate:

Dearest friend,

Know that I am at peace. I am in a beautiful space of oneness. In this realm, the birds sing cheerfully, the sky is blue, the sun is warm, the air is fresh and full of good smells, and everything is so, so peaceful. There are other cat spirits here, and dogs, other large and small animals, and plenty of humans. We are all transparent to each other. That is, we can see through and be with each other in any way we wish. There is no danger, pain, frustration, or misunderstanding. It is indeed a heaven and what Earth would be like at its best in pure harmony with all being.

There is nothing you could have done to prevent this transition of my spirit from physical form to the spirit realm. Roy and I locked into each other when I first saw him. We were magnetically attracted to each other and there was something we were meant to accomplish together. At first it was scary when you tried to rescue me and he grabbed my body, but instantly I catapulted out of my body and felt a sense of joy and freedom I had never known. I watched the scene from afar, like watching a movie from the sky, only with eagle-eye vision. I knew that I had been given a great gift. I would not die a slow death with my body decaying. I was swiftly moved to the place where I belong as a spirit in perfect peace.

I am sorry that you suffered and blamed yourself for my death. It was not meant to be this way. I was meant to leave. I don't wish you to misunderstand the motives and actions of Roy and me. It was our pact, our doing. Don’t think of him as a bad dog. He was doing what came naturally for him and in relationship to me. I also aroused his hunting instinct by my actions. It was all perfectly orchestrated for a swift transfer. Please understand. It was exciting for him. I made it so by my nature as a cat and my actions. I was meant to be part of him and he part of me. Now we are totally one. We understand and feel that on the deepest spirit level.

I wish you acceptance that brings peace, instead of misunderstanding that brings suffering. I love you and appreciate the great life in the sun we had together on Earth. It all seems so perfect to me now. I see exactly how and why I lived and the perfection of returning to the place of spirit home. All is well. Let it be so with you. I wish you the peace that I am feeling now.

I also checked with Roy about the incident. He felt Kate's hurt and anger toward him and was sad that she was upset. He felt deep inside that his nature was to live with people according to their pack rules. He also experienced his instincts to hunt as was natural to his breeding. He normally did not express any urge to hunt and kill other animals because his life was generally structured by humans so that this was not aroused. He felt excited and focused with Sheila on the hunting game. There was such a strong energy propelling him to grab and kill the cat and to become one with her by ingesting her body. He also felt on a deep level that he was meant to play this part with her. He was sorry that Kate was so hurt. He accepted that Kate did not want him around her cats and felt how his action was very wrong for her. He wasn’t sure if anything like that would happen again with other cats. He said that it all happened very rapidly and could not be undone.

I experienced Roy as a very loving, sweet, lively, intelligent dog. He was not malicious in his intent but just as he and Sheila said that he was following the united action and intentions of Sheila and himself.

This example shows us that no matter how we want everything to be “perfect” for our animal friends; they can also plan their lives and deaths in surprising ways that may be contrary to our desires for them. Some things are beyond our control.

It might seem impossible to us when wrapped in the throes of grief and loss after an animal departs, but we can find joy again. So much depends on communicating and really feeling the eternal connection with our animal friends.

A client named Roanna had experienced much pain and guilt from the loss of her rabbit, Thumper, a few years prior to consulting with me about it. After I contacted Thumper, Roanna wrote to me, "To my delight, Thumper was taking care of lots of bunnies, in a beautiful place with rolling hills, green grass, sweet-smelling air, sunshine and flowers. The reason Thumper gave for having ‘checked out’ was something that only she and I would know, spoken from her viewpoint. Thumper stated, ‘It was really quiet for a long time, and I wanted to be around lots of bunnies. Even if I had babies I wouldn't let you get rid of them.’ Interestingly, my boyfriend and I had discussed allowing Bogie and Thumper to have one litter before Bogie was neutered, and decided not to because I would not have been able to let anyone have the babies without lifelong visitation rights. It was at this point that my attitude towards death changed completely."

Through consultations and rediscovering her own telepathic abilities, Roanna kept in touch with Larissa, another rabbit friend, while she was dying of cancer. She then wrote, "Participating in Larissa's death has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. In death there is joy."

This is an excerpt from
Animals in Spirit. Add this classic book to your inspiration resources.

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