The Journey Home

DW-golden Frodo

Photo by Dancing Wolf

Owl was calling softly the other night as I stepped outside with a dishpan full of dirty water for the thirsty flowers and trees. Listening to the haunting call for a while, I stood there with the now empty dishpan in my hand. I had asked owl to come the night my dog Frodo died. Here she was now a week later on the other side of the bay hooting loudly and persistently. I wondered what she was trying to tell me. Perhaps that he had made it home alright. As soon as I had that thought, owl fell silent. It felt like a confirmation, she had delivered her message.

He left in the night before the Lunar Eclipse full moon. Even though we knew it was his time, it was still not easy to let him go. P1170472I am so grateful he died at home and I was able to be by his side as he made that transition. It felt like he was labouring, birthing himself into another world. Day and night blurred together as I sat with him, holding him. No, it was not easy to see him struggle, part of him perhaps wanting to stay for me, the other ready to leave. Exhausted I feel asleep beside him in the early hours after the moon had risen and woke up with a start. I knew instantly that he had gone.

It will take a while to get used to him not being here. Fifteen years is a long time and I am so very grateful for every moment. There is an emptiness in the house and inside me, that is not easy to describe. But most people know what that emptiness feels like after losing a beloved pet or person in their lives.

P1150416[3]There have been so many beautiful signs from beyond since then, that even though there is sadness and grieving, there is also a knowing that he is well and free wherever he is now.

I want to mention some of these signs, because for me it is one of the most comforting things at this time and also one of the greatest gifts.

These little messages from beyond included the many heart rocks I found while digging his grave, to let me know this is the perfect spot for my friend. We were guided to bury many meaningful objects with him and this made the ceremony we held for him extra special.  Then there were the two eagle wing feathers I found while walking on two different days and paths, both within a week of his passing. One is from a left wing and one from a right wing and both are the same size. These were the first eagle feathers I have found here on Cortes and it felt so perfect to have one from each wing. Another deeply moving experience was a dream I had a few days after Frodo left. In the dream he and I were going for our last walk together, crossing over a large bridge. Frodo ran ahead of me and into traffic. As a young woman was holding him, I watched myself walk towards them knowing he was gone. I felt strangely comforted by this dream and grateful for that last walk together. On another day I spontaneously decided to go for a hike after work. So many memories came up for me during that hike of the many adventures Frodo and I had shared over the years. It felt so strange to be hiking without him, when suddenly this beautiful lit up dead leaf caught my attention. As I took a closer look, I instantly felt his golden presence.

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Today when I sat down to write this, I noticed a little bird sitting on the big heart rock outside my window chirping away while hopping exuberantly. It made me laugh like Frodo used to do, when he did his crazy runs through the forest running in circles and figure eights around the trees as fast as he could for the sheer joy of it. I thanked my little messenger for her sweet and potent encouragement to write again. It may not be a coincidence that the heavy rain that fell while writing this match the tears that are falling on my fingers.

Farewell, my friend!

DW-Elke&Frodo2 B&WP1150001[2]

Photo by Dancing Wolf

Death is not extinguishing the light,
it is only putting out the lamp
because the dawn has come.

     ~Rabindranath Tagore

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12 thoughts on “The Journey Home

  1. Jazz Jaeschke

    This is beautiful – a tribute to Frodo and a testament to all with animal companions. I am touched by your mention of the messages/messengers that have come since Frodo’s departure. Especially the golden leaf. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. tolleyellingson

    Awe Frodo! The friendliest dog ever! I know how much you loved him as did the boys. i still think of him as running on the mountain. As you have experienced, when you are in tune, many insights can come when we face the death of a loved one, come to help us get through it all, and also prepare ourselves for our own time of leaving. The veil between us and others who have gone before is very thin, so don’t be surprised if you hear him barking sometime, somewhere. Love you and wish I could be there to comfort you.

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  3. Marie

    Dear Elke, I am so deeply touched by this piece of writing where you offer your beautiful, grieving heart… I remember last time I saw Frodo in April, he was partly deaf and sleeping a lot, but his love for you was very alive… I remember running my fingers through his shiny, golden fur and thinking that this might be my last encounter with him. Now, I’m looking at your delightful pictures and feeling both sad and happy for you. Sad that he’s gone, but happy that in your life you experienced such love. I’m glad you received some ‘little messages from beyond’ because they are so comforting. The two feathers you found remind me of the ones i found after R. died. It was the morning of my birthday and my heart felt so incredibly heavy. Yet, something called me. In my bare feet, silently, i stepped out into my garden, and there, on the ground, perfectly and symmetrically positioned in front of my flower bed, laid those two small, white feathers, a gift from beyond. They said: “You are not alone. I’m holding your grieving heart.” Much love to you my friend!

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  4. PatNewMex

    I am sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing about your dogs passing. I lost my soul dog the day after valentine’s day this year. Still feel that absence, but I have also had signs of him being happy on the other side. Patty

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    1. drawingbackthecurtain Post author

      Thank you so much for your beautiful comment and sharing about your loss. I love the term “soul dog”. They are so very precious and certainly close to the soul and our soul work. Heard from others that they feel the physical absence or emptiness still years after. That’s why those signs from beyond are so comforting.

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