How Grieving Opens The Door On Both Ends: A Tribute to Kiara

How Grieving Opens The Door On Both Ends: A Tribute to Kiara

I was talking with a client the other day about this blog post. It wasn't archived so I decided to repost it. Seems appropriate since this was her 5 year anniversary.

     Do you know someone who has lost a pet recently?

     If so, you have some idea of what I am going through. When someone walks out on us before we are ready to let them go, whether it be friend or feline, we experience loss. Being a counselor, half way to 100 and trusting in a Higher Source do not exempt me from feeling loss, but rather qualify the necessity of grieving when I do.

      Grieving is the bridge that takes us from loss to love. It is a trek—traveled in our own time, driven by our own desire and navigated by our own understanding.

     A beloved member of our family, our tiger-kitty Kiara, disappeared last month. My husband has been scouring the area, talking to neighbors and posting flyers, but after five weeks of no clues he’s coming to peace by accepting the possibility that something 'got her,' and maybe it did.

     I may have stopped searching the neighborhood, but I haven’t shut the door. I am genuinely grateful for my husband’s efforts, but I have my own way of coming to peace. I’ve been scouring my psyche to remove any need I may have for her to come home. That’s what grieving is for me: following my feelings into the depths of my being—not unlike my husband’s scouring of the wooded area abutting our backyard—to find out where I am hooked so we can both be free to continue on with our destinies.

     I am of the belief that when we don’t need something anymore—when we are no longer hooked—is when it is most likely to happen. Once I have exhausted the emotions associated with why life did not go my way, I am free to explore how it just may have, because I know that my life was not designed to hurt me. And sometimes my understanding comes years later in hindsight, but it always comes because I desire it—I desire that level of intimacy with God (my term of endearment for All That Is).

    Kiara was never my possession—she is her own being with her own destiny and so am I. Our destinies brought us together for nearly eight gloriously love-filled years, then as mysteriously as we were joined we seem to have been separated.

     I have shed the tears, sifted through the “why me’s,” and kicked myself with regrets. Isn’t that the human thing we do? Then, once past the shock, the blaming, and the despair, we realize that there is unexpressed love. I didn’t get a chance to hold Kiara’s little whiskered face knowing that it would be for the last time. I didn’t get to look into her deep green eyes and tell her all she has meant to me, all the joy she has brought me and that I wasn’t ready to let her go, but that I’ll do what it takes to be ready because that’s what I believe love calls for.

     I met Kiara in meditation where I was able to hold her, acknowledge my love, visit memories from our time together, and express my gratitude for nearly eight precious years with her. I let her know that the door is now open on both ends—that we would love to have her back if it is in her best interest too, but if she is headed toward new adventures that we wish her Godspeed and will trust that we must be ready for our next adventure as well.

     I’m at peace in knowing that Kiara is free to fulfill her destiny and so am I. She will always live on in my heart as one who prepared me for more deep and meaningful love. When I expect to see her and she’s not there, I still feel a tug in my heart. But I am comforted by my trust that the same Loving Force that drew us to the animal shelter on that November afternoon in 2003 is guiding us now. 

with love,


Kiara and her brother Kovu always join us to watch the sunset. This cloud formation appeared moments after I admitted how deeply I missed Kiara to my husband. It had begun to break up by the time I took the photo but the kitty watching with us from the other side of the horizon is still pretty clear.


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