So over the weekend one of my cats died. If you are a cat or dog person you probably can empathize with what my family is going through right now. She had been in my life for 5 years and my husbands' for 8. The house feels stunningly, unbelievably, empty of a presense that was taken far too soon.
The irony of it is that my husband and I are both animal resuce type people. I used to run a colony of cats in west philly, I saved over 50 cats and got them homes over the course of 4 years.
My very spiritual path, ahimsa, is one of nonviolence to all living creatures, what this means is that my house is a weird hodge podge of shabby plants given or found because I cannot bear the thought of throwing them away, as long as they live for as long as I am able, I will support life.
Two hours later we get a call, she has had an embolism. We are giving her CPR, they normally do not come back from this. We said, keep going! We rushed through the snow and heavy traffic of Valentines day, beating the steering wheel, mashing our teeth in the stuck roads, finally I told my husband to run let him out of the car until I could get there.
I'll save you the oscar winning grief ritual, the good bye, the state of our beloved. I can only tell you I did not say goodbye to her, did not tell her I loved her in time. And while I know that that is a silly sentence, that is the mind of the mourner. That morning I just left for work with a tossy, "see you guys later!" looking forward to my valentines day date. As an intuitive, I get to further shame myself, "How could you not KNOW, Jenna?!?" it was too close, she was too close, I missed it by a forever.
During this time of loss for myself I have wondered at the private messages and thoughts sent from people I hardly even know. And others who I deeply love have not bothered to send a note. I do not blame them, I have learned from prior losses that those who come are those who are in a place that can. Death does funny things to people in society, in our society.
Sitting with mourning, really sitting with it, we become hyper aware of the present and our place in the world. The beauty that surrounds us still amidst deep loss and our minds might feel guilt about that, how can there be such beauty? Why does the world not plunge in darkness for mourning? Overwhelmed by it, our mind can only attend to immediate things.
Mourning is painful, it is ugly, it is raw and unreseved. It is also honest and it is also beautiful- why? Because I have loved. Because I still love.
So why am I sharing such a deeply personal thing on my blog here? Because often people come to me, come to tarot because they are looking for answers, for clarity, for comfort. Sometimes I and the Tarot are unable to give an answer that helps or takes away the pain and sometimes we are unable to make sense out of a senseless situation.
During these moments the only thing I can offer in a session is to help the other process the Great Mystery, without an attempt to resolve or redeem. Often these sessions also come with a big, "You are going to be ok. Your heart will heal, your pain is validated."
Sometimes the message is, very simply, that this is a thing we must endure. And in enduring we gain wisdom about suffering, ourselves and those who love us.
We all must endure.
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