Posted by: Zane Maser | January 9, 2010

THE “FIRSTS” SINCE ZOE’S DEATH

Though it is normal and functional at this juncture of grieving (whether for a person or an animal), my mind wants to segment life: life before Zoe’s death and then life after the fact. There are many little “firsts” that have to be confronted in the initial days of shock, paralysis, and disbelief—such as the first time we did . . . since Zoe died. Yet to arrive are the bigger ones, which loom in the coming year after death, such as the benchmarks of a birthday, anniversary, or holiday.

Life goes on, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to go on, at least for me in these first days. We still have no idea what day of the week it is. We look at each other and ask, “is today Saturday?” Someone around a person who is clearly grieving may be quite uncomfortable, emotionally puzzled, and glib: “You need to get on with things! Life does go on, you know.” Some people avoid a grieving person altogether or simply don’t know what to say. Others are so caught up in the whirl of their own lives that to see how the survivor is doing—a few weeks later—is off their radar screen.

We are already at the signpost of two weeks with no sweet-tempered Zoe. No daily combings of her once luxuriant fur coat. No cautious sorting through her stacks of canned food, praying I’ll select a variety she’ll like today. No going out the back door for our bike ride, telling Zoe we’ll be back soon. And on our return, the fleeting moment of anxiety when I look in the back door to see where she is and if she’s okay. No more worry about using the coffee grinder to grind the flax-sesame-seed mixture for lunch’s salad because Zoe might inadvertently “jump out of her skin,” startled awake by the sudden, loud noise.

A major first was the ability to go downstairs today and put the clothes in the dryer while leaving the basement door wide open with no concern about our elderly, arthritic Zoe getting too close to the edge of the top stair, where she could accidentally tumble down the stairs. With the door open and given the chance, Zoe liked to gaze into the dark mysteries of the basement, sniffing the odors drifting upward, seeming to tap into her far memories. Even though they much preferred to be with us, from day one in this house, all the cat kids slept in the basement at night, snuggled together, and as each one died, the basement became emptier and increasingly less attractive for the ones left.

Sketty slept upstairs with us during the months he struggled with cancer, as did Bodhi. Years later, as Zoe’s body declined in vigor, she chose either to sleep with us or out in the stove room by the warm, wood stove. She had little, if any, use for or interest in the basement, once she began sleeping upstairs.

All of these difficult firsts, and so many more, highlight the intricate ways our life revolved around Zoe as part of our interconnected family hologram.

To help me daily keep on keeping on, I’ve had my trusty Essential Oils close at hand. The bottles of “Peace & Calming, Release, Acceptance, and Into the Future” are like empathetic, loyal friends. These “aromatherapy” oils, which are extracts from various plants, are sometimes referred to as “ethereal” oils. They work as healing agents on the subtle levels of the body. Renowned and recommended within the circle of alternative or complementary medicine, these oils—such as lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and rose—have a concentrated aroma that can produce calming, curative effects. I generally open my bottle and simply take a slow, gentle breath, absorbing the odor in a careful but medicinally helpful manner. A few drops on a handkerchief, diluted for massage oil, burned as incense, heated over a candle flame, or diffused into a room via an atomizer are other ways these healing oils can be used with fine results.

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A personal first for me is that I’ve resumed my yoga stretches, feeling now like it matters to do so. It wasn’t easy, though, to “come back” to this form of concentrated body awareness.

Chris had a fantastic first very early this morning while the cloak of night covered our home. Out of a deep sleep he was bolted awake because he distinctly heard a familiar “meoyowl” (translation a howl-meow). Zoe loved to play with those small, wild-hair looking yarn balls. She used to carry one around the house in her mouth and make the most unique, piercing sort of meow-howling sound. When she’d notice us, she’d drop it and make a tiny meow, almost like she was embarrassed she’d been discovered in her carefree, lighthearted moment.

There is “second sight” or “inner sight,” which is seeing inwardly through the veil between the earthly and non-physical world. Chris’ hearing our Zoe spiritually alive and supremely well was a moment of clairaudience. William James, the famous American philosophical psychologist, wrote, “If the grace of God miraculously operates, it probably operates through the subliminal door.” He termed this “pure experience” when we tap into our “mystical faculties.” “Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it,” explains James, “is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the flimiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.”

James was the first psychologist to compare consciousness to a flowing “stream.” In a blessed moment, Chris had tapped into the “real” stream wherein there is no death, no loss of our essence, no separation from the “true” loving and loved presence of Zoe in our life.

Fear of death, fear of transition from mortal to spiritual life,
looms up as man’s greatest bogey; and this apprehension
seems to increase with his development of a more
sensitive nervous system. Yet some of you can tranquilly
say that for you all fear of death has passed.
You can look through the thinning veil into the larger
spiritual existence with complete confidence and indeed
with happy anticipation; and can rejoice instead of grieving
when one of your number has been visited by . . . the Angel
of Death. . . . You think also of the joy with which your
loved one goes forth into a sunlit garden as the door is flung
wide. When you can truly rejoice at this liberation
you have indeed taken a great step forward.

White Eagle, from “Sunrise: A Book of Knowledge
and Comfort for the Bereaved”

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Similar Offerings:

• Families in Spirit

• Returning to Animal Healing

• Sharing Heals the Heart

• Bittersweet

• Remembrance Day

• Homeward Her Journey

• Closure

• Life Survives

• Life Circulates


©

Text and Photos © by Zane Maser, 2010. All rights of Zane Maser and SunnyCat Astrology reserved worldwide.

Protected by Copyscape Web Copyright Protection

My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.


If you are interested in an astrological consultation and/or a specific question answered by a horary chart, please visit SunnyCat© Astrology.



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