Have you ever seen a dead deer on the side of the road or cat or dog or bird and thought some version of, “aww… that’s soooo sad?” I know I have. I even cried the other day when the car in front of me struck and injured a turkey that was trying to fly across the highway. Sobbed actually. Witnessing its struggle felt that awful for me.
A few years back I had an “aww… that’s soooo sad” thought with its associated sinking feeling after seeing a dead deer on the side of the road. But it was immediately followed by something I had read years before that made sense to me. The article was about how animals often run in front of a car when it’s their time to cross over. With that also in mind my, “aww… that’s soooo sad,” felt a bit selfish. How arrogant of me to feel bad for an animal whose time it is to meet its Maker.
This reckoning changed everything for me. I followed up my, “aww… that’s soooo sad,” with, “I honor your journey little one.” That felt so much better. Who am I to judge if the deer’s experience was good or bad. But I can bless it. And if it does trigger emotion for me—like the turkey—I don’t dismiss it. I just don’t put it on the animal. I receive it as food for my soul’s journey.
As a counselor and coach I abide by the premise: who am I to judge a soul’s journey. I’m not going to even pretend to know what it is and I don't need to know in order to honor it, but this took it to a whole other level.
Death can be a sensitive subject. I honor your journey with it whatever that might be. Some people heal spiritually and then die. Some are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or are they? Death can be viewed as a failure or as the ultimate transformation. It’s a choice and as you can see, I’ve chosen transformation but that doesn’t mean that I never wrestle with the feelings that it stirs or that it doesn’t sometimes take a while to come to a place of peace.
- If you are wrestling with the loss of a pet, chapter 11 in my book, "Why Me? Why Now? Why Not?" may help: “Who’s Tickling My Face: Steps for Grieving the Loss of a Pet.”
- And if you are having trouble digesting some food for your soul’s journey maybe it’s time to schedule that session you’ve been wanting. firstname.lastname@example.org
I honor your journey,