It’s now been a month since my beloved Marta, my poodle dog and best friend who was in our family for her lifetime, transitioned. It was natural and age-related. She was 16 years old, a very honorable age for a dog. However, it was still very profound as she had been by my side for the last eight years and constantly before that; I traveled so much with my family that she often stayed with our friends. She was so delightful and loving, very unconditional and giving. I had been feeling for a while that she might get ready to leave us. However, death is something you can never prepare for.
I have a pretty relaxed feeling about death, and I am not afraid of it. My first real experience of it was when my former mother-in-law passed away in 2000. You can read this in my book True Starlight; I was then pregnant with my first child. And as often is happening, death and birth are often related. My former mother-in-law was getting ready to transit, as she was in her bed in the hospital with terminal cancer. Sitting by her bedside, I could feel how she was going in and out of her body, and at times I could feel how she was more close to me than ever before. She was struggling between wanting to live and experience her new grandchild and going; She was so strong and as hard it was to see her suffer.; It was also so very beautiful to feel how she surrendered to the fact that she was transitioning. I felt her inside of me, and she was so close.
Martas transitioning was similar in the sense that she also struggled. Her body was getting weaker and weaker, she didn’t want to eat at the end, and she wanted to escape to go out in nature to merge herself with the universal source. The last thing she wanted was to see me or her family members suffer. Luckily, in one way, the kids were not in the house when she decided to leave.
It was only me, and I had company, by my dear friend Scott, who supported me by my side. Marta decided to escape one day when the cleaners were in the house, and they had left the side door to the house slightly opened. She was impatient and waited for me to come, but since I was busy working, she just left; and when I discovered she was gone, I had to run after her to catch up with her as she was walking in the middle of the road in my neighborhood. I didn’t need to have her on a leash. She was tired, hadn’t slept well for days, and could only drink water out of the toilet as she was so weak and couldn’t reach down properly into her water bowl. I tried to feed her food and liquid by hand, but she knew her time was up.
For 3-4 days, she was struggling. I didn’t sleep well either and was worried about her. I didn’t know how I could help her. I didn’t want to give her the shot to make her sleep; I wanted her to have a beautiful death. So I tried to hold her and cuddle her to sleep. On her last evening, I held her in my arms, and she fell asleep, and I thought she was going, but then suddenly she rose and growled at me harshly, wanting to jump out from my arms onto the floor. She looked at me with desperation in her eyes and almost begged me to let her go or let me know she couldn’t do more, and now I had to take care of myself. Whatever her message was, it was strong and profound.
It was 1 am, and she wanted to be outside again. I opened the doors to the screened-in porch and let her outside. My house has a pool, which is fenced in, so I felt good about letting her out. At about 2.30, I checked on her, and she was lying down next to the gate to the driveway. She wanted to leave, but she couldn’t. I didn’t want her to wander around the neighborhood and maybe get run over or lost in the woods close by, so it felt like the next best thing. I put water out and her bed if she wanted to sleep inside the screened-in porch.
However, I saw that she was asleep and still breathing; I was so exhausted and decided to go to bed. It was a Saturday night. I cried. I was so sad that she was suffering and leaving us. But then I woke up really early the next day at 7.30 am. I rushed out to see how she was doing, but then I saw her inside the pool. She had drowned. It was a shock at first, but we pulled her up, and rigor mortis had already set in, and her body was stiff. We carried her to her bed and dried her fur, and covered her body with her blanket. There was one rose left on the rose bush, so I cut it off and put it on her bed. I started questioning if it was best to leave her outside and if she had fallen in by mistake and maybe struggled to get out of the pool while I was asleep.
I felt guilty for a while, but then I remembered how she had insisted on getting into the neighborhood pond for the last couple of days, and she had really enjoyed being in the water. I thought maybe it was the most comfortable way for her to go, to be reunited with source and die peacefully. Drowning is supposed to be a wonderful way to die; I’ve understood from reading about people who came back after being drowned and died.
I was relieved but still sad. The whole Sunday morning, I just sat with her and arranged a little altar by her bed. I lit candles and put her little stuffed animal toys by her side. I decided to look into how to take care of her body and decided to call my vet, and she suggested I call a company to have her cremated the same day. The Faithful Companion turned out to be a great choice, and We took her body there, and they put her bed in a carbon paper coffin. It was so strange to see and feel her body becoming like a rock. It wasn’t easy to touch it. It felt so weird; just hours earlier, her body was full of life, warmth, lovely smelling fur, and her so uplifting energy, and now all I could resemble it with was stone. Since I work with crystals, it was the most similar I could think of as rocks too carry very strong energy but in a lifeless kind of form. Her soul was gone, and now the body was ready to become reunited with nature.
A few hours later, we went back to pick up her ashes. I cried the whole Sunday on and off. I felt guilty. I felt mainly sad not that I really missed her but that I doubted that I had given her everything. She was so giving to me, and I was so focused on my job lately, on surviving, getting myself back on my feet after the divorce that took place a year before, and moving into a new home: my children’s life and my business. So much had taken place for the last couple of years in my life. Marta had been such a wonderful and healing companion. So loyal and loving.
I asked myself several times if I could have done something different. Should I have given her any other foods, should I have stayed at home and not traveled so much? There was a myriad of questions in my head as I pondered on her death. Did she suffer? Why didn’t she want to die in my arms? Etc. It became clear to me that she lived a great life. She was strong even on the last day; she walked the staircase and around the house, and we took her out twice for long walks as she was extremely restless. Her time had come, and she was 16 years old, for goodness sake. That she was 116 human years old!!
I surrendered that she had had a great life, and I couldn’t have done more. She was happy with the family and me. She protected the family and me. It was ironic that I had just returned from my trip from France, where I had given my deposition in the sexual abuse criminal case against former elite model agent Gerald Marie. I had been part of big things, and my healing process was in full bloom. Marta knew that I was strong, and she had to let me go. The following day I could hardly function; I felt some kind of relief that it was over but cried a lot. Overall, I cried for about three days, but I woke up with a light heart on the fourth day. I could feel like Marta was on my chest; it was beautiful and light energy. She wasn’t inside of me or outside of me. She was kind of everywhere. She was definitely not gone, and I started to feel like she was only on vacation.
I still feel like she is here; I keep her picture up to look at her and to be reminded of her happy presence. I don’t actually miss her. How can I miss something that isn’t really gone? The only difference is that I can’t see and touch her like before, but she is definitely not gone. The memories of her are becoming more and more distant; I am so used to hearing her little claws, paws walking around on the floor, scraping any door she was trying to get into my bedroom. Her, snoring next to me at night. But it’s interesting how her memories are becoming more and more dreamlike. Like she was only visiting me in a dream state.
Grief and sorrow seem so selfish, or should I say self-focused. It is all about me, my feelings, and not feeling like being enough. And isn’t that often the case when we grief? It is not about the being who has died and transitioned, who is in peace; it is just about us who are left behind who are still disconnected from the whole our divine self. But since we are so disconnected from the source and the feeling of being whole, we are reminded of our own loneliness and separateness. That is what true grief is.
I think the lesson that she left me with is to love unconditionally, give freely, have boundaries, be patient, rest and love yourself, don’t eat crap. Marta was a very picky eater. She also ate very little, and I think she will soon come up with proof that by eating less, we will live longer. I think food can actually degenerate our bodies, especially unhealthy food that is not made out of love or full of toxins, pesticides, etc. But that is another article.
Fall is the season where everything dies, and everything in nature is dying and transforming. It seems like nature knows best when it is time for transformation. As we are approaching Halloween and All Hallows Eve, it is the time of year when the veil is thinner between the dimensions, our realities, when it is easier to connect to our past loved ones. I think it is important to take the time to reflect on death. What does it mean to you? Are you afraid of dying? Do you believe in life after death? What do you think happens when we die?
Death is always a new chance for life. And my question for you is, what are the things that need to die in your life so that you can create new life?