Posts Tagged ‘Death and Grief’

A Dog’s Compassionate Wish

A  dear friend just shared these beautiful thoughts with me.  A while ago,   I had assisted their  family with the transition of their aged kindred spirit who they loved so dearly.  Though this may seem quite anthropomorphic to scientific ethologists, we continually see evidence of  compassion between animals that  sometimes defies our current scientific acknowledgement of what is possible.  Their are a number of youtube video’s of dog’s remaining with their deceased companion as well as other animals or assisting an injured animal friend.  When I read this, my own heart opened to memories of so many suffering animals that I have treated over the years and how many I wish I could have helped more in some way.  There are no words to describe the joy in one’s heart when one sees  the joy in a dog in need that you have just given a loving home to.

In my practice using complementary therapies to try to help animals where conventional medicine is not working anymore, I do end up assisting people with their animal companions death, when even the best of complementary therapies are not sufficient. As I have assisted many clients with the emotional transition of the loss of their kindred spirit, I have seen many ponder the question of if and when they might consider sharing their lives with another animal.  There is no right answer to this question and the perfect time unfolds for each individual.  I do love and agree with the sentiment of the thoughts below, that the love we share with another is the greatest gift that carries on beyond physical death. Sharing that love with another being that is yearning for that love is indeed the greatest memorial we can give to our deceased friend.  So often I see someone who is resistant to adopting another dog or cat for various reasons, yet once one has found them, their hearts re-open with joyous abandon.  This is the essence of our connections with dogs and all beings!  Rejoice in the love we share with others in need, whether they be two-legged, four-legged or winged!

 


Trans-species Mourning and Grief

Elephant Mourning

Elephant Mourning

It seems as though as we connect with different animal species at a more intimate level we are able to communicate with them with such depth that the illusion of separation slowly dissipates.  This article concerning mourning and grief of elephants with a human called “the elephant whisperer” is one stunning example of the depth of such deep communication.

The life of Lawrence Anthony is a testimony to a depth of  trans-species communication, respect and love that goes beyond our minds limited perceptions of what is possible.

The blog post on delightmaker  asks the right questions as stated here “So, how after Anthony’s death, did the reserve’s elephants — grazing miles away in distant parts of the park — know?  “A good man died suddenly,” says Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Ph.D., “and from miles and miles away, two herds of elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved in a solemn, almost ‘funereal’ procession to make a call on the bereaved family at the deceased man’s home.”  The blog, delightmaker also states ““If there ever were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous ‘interconnectedness of all beings,’ it is when we reflect on the elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart’s stops, and hundreds of elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s oh-so-abundantly loving heart offered healing to these elephants, and now, they came to pay loving homage to their friend.””

From my limited, exploratory perspective, this is one further documentation of my “Trans-species Field Theory (c) and my thoughts on the potential of a “love particle” (c) that may be formed from the instant when the energy of love turns into a potential form of matter of love through the thoughts and emotions of that connection.  The research and concepts at Heartmath  may also be appreciated as truly being “trans-species” as is seen in this example of elephants recognizing the death of a beloved human and traveling so far to connect at that moment.  The levels of interspecies communication and their potential implicatons  are only being glimpsed from our limited three dimensional perspective.  We need to witness and experience these connections to become aware of their existence.  The potential of  where that can lead all living beings is unlimited.  If we create a space of inner silence, quiet within our hearts  and allow a spacious emptiness of love and compassion to arise out of that to connect with all beings, perhaps there can be a global shift back to a living garden of eden here and now.

 

 

http://delightmakers.com/news-bleat/wild-elephants-gather-inexplicably-mourn-death-of-elephant-whisperer/

Canine Loyalty

This heart wrenching video  of Canine Loyalty of one dog standing by his dead companion who was hit by a car is another illustration of emotions and caring in dogs that goes so beyond what one had previously thought possible in their hearts and minds.  One can only wonder what this dog, grace, is thinking and feeling at this moment.

As I continue being a bit “time-challenged” seeing my beloved patients, I just wish to share this with you and continue building our video study documenting the heart and mind of our kindred spirits.

What are your thoughts and feelings when you watch this video on Canine Loyalty?

Two hearts beating together and passing together

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mysticwisdom/2905883594/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mysticwisdom/2905883594/

One key principle of the Kindred Spirits Project is how we are all connected at so many different levels based on neurophysiology, quantum physics and the new biology.  This touching article in the huffington post about an elderly married couple is hard wired proof of this connection from a bioelectrical basis.  This couple was married for 72 years and  they were then both critically injured in an automobile accident. As they were holding hands together in their hospital beds,  Gordon, the husband passed away before Norma, yet his heart monitor showed that his heart was still beating.  When asked about this, “The nurse told Gordon and Norma’s son, Dennis, that the monitor was beeping “because they’re holding hands, and [Norma's heart beat] is going through them,” Dennis recalled in an interview with Des Moines’ KCCI news station. “Her heart was beating through him.”  He said they always wanted to pass away together and so they did.  Norma died exactly one hour later.  My heart weeped with joy as I read this article.

We actually are all connected in so many different ways.  I have been researching various ways to document the biological impact of people on their animal companions and vice versa.  One way is to connect an animal and a human through a special computer program that can monitor both EKG (electrocardiogram)  and EEG (electroencephalogram)  changes in both of them. At this point this has only been done between two people, but we are developing it between animals and humans.  My feeling is that when one of us calms down, the other will entrain to that slower, calmer state both in our brains and our hearts.  It can be of great benefit in all interactions with our animal companions,  a innovative, new biofeedback mechanism.  Once we program that level of entrainment in our minds, we can connect to that in our animal friends.  This may be of benefit in all equestrian activities, canine interactions as well as others.

I feel these connections go beyond just the electrophysiological connections.  Based on complicated emotions of love  as well as quantum physics, global coherence theory, heartmath and other approaches, it seems that we are connected through nonverbal, telepathic, nonlocal interactions that may indeed transcend time and space as well.  Dr. Gary Schwartz documents some of the more far reaching perspectives about these connections in his paradigm shifting book “The Afterlife Experiments”.  One of the essential components of these interactions seems to be the emotional connection of love.  The actual physiologic basis of these connections is well illustrated in the story of Gordon and Norma.

Once we become totally aware of these all potential interactions and their implications we can give and receive unconditional love, peace and harmony with our kindred spirits in even more new, innovative, yet to be explored ways.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this potential.

National Wolf Awareness Week

Periodically I enjoy introducing kindred spirits to each other.  My dear friends at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY are doing extraordinary work to preserve endangered species of wolves.  In addition, one veterinarian who used to work with me, Dr. Amy Rodriguez and her husband, Neil Abramson,  have worked for the benefit of animals through their entire adult lives.  Dr. Rodriguez is an excellent integrative veterinarian and her husband is one of our nation’s top legal advocates for animals. I had the honor of reviewing Neil’s first novel, “Unsaid” about the deeper connections with animals.  It is definitely a great read about the deeper spiritual connections that we share with our animal friends and will touch many people.  These friends of come together at a booksigning of Neil’s new book in order to benefit the Wolf Conservation Center.

Here is the notice about these great events.  These are truly kindred spirits helping to create a more compassionate society. I am grateful to share their friendship with all of you.

Celebrate National Wolf Awareness Week at the Wolf Conservation Center


Wolf Conservation Center <contact@nywolf.org> Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 3:25 PM
 

Reply-To: contact@nywolf.org
To: amsdvm@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

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Celebrate National Wolf Awareness Week at the WCC

National Wolf Awareness Week begins on October 16th, but we’re celebrating all month long!

Please scroll down to learn about Wolves Of YellowstoneBook Signing to Benefit the WCCUp, Up and Away on Wolf Awareness DayWCC’s Outdoor Movie NightsWCC’s Halloween Howl, and Who’s Scaring Who.

The celebration begins this weekend!


Wolves Of Yellowstone

wolf hunt cropped 2.jpg

October 8th at 11am – Join us for a special talk about the wolves of Yellowstone National Park!  The WCC hosted some fantastic Yellowstone adventures last season and we’re eager to share our insights about wolf reintroduction, the beneficial ecological effect wolves have had on our nation’s first national park, and the debate that surrounds this controversial predator in the West.   Guests will visit Ambassador wolves Atka, Alawa, and Zephyr as well as the WCC’s critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves.Pre-registration is required.  Click here to register now!

Book Signing to Benefit the WCC

October 11th at 7PM – Calling all animal lovers and WCC supporters!  Neil Abramson, WCC neighbor and volunteer, and one of our nation’s top legal advocates for animals, will be at the City Center in White Plains for a reading, discussion and signing of “Unsaid” — a heartfelt and compassionate novel that explores the intuitive bonds between people and animals that transcend explanation.unsaid.jpgNeil is donating all profits from books sold at the event to the WCC!

Tuesday, October 11, 7:00 PM
Barnes & Noble Book Store
City Center
230 Main Street
White Plains, NY

 


Up, Up, and Away on Wolf Awareness Day

compressed crooped.jpgOctober 16th at 11AM and 2PM – The WCC is celebrating the first day of National Wolf Awareness Week with an exciting bird of prey experience presented by Master Falconer, Lorrie Schumacher, of TALONS!  Guests will meet, catch, fly and be wowed some beautiful feathered ambassadors during the educational and interactive bird of Prey experience.  Don’t forget a camera!  After flying some of Talon’s “wolves of the sky,” guests will visit Ambassador wolves Atka, Alawa, and Zephyr as well as the WCC’s critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves too.  Each guest will receive an official 2011 Wolf Awareness poster! Pre Pre-registration is required. Click here to register today!

 

Outdoor Movie Nights at the WCC

Join us for a unique opportunity to enjoy some compelling wolf films under the stars alongside Ambassador wolves Zephyr and Alawa! Bleacher seating will be available but we recommend guests to bring beach/camping chairs of their own for more a comfortable experience. Snacks will be provided for our guests and wolves! Each guest will also receive an official 2011 Wolf Awareness poster. Pre- registration is required.

rise of black wolf.jpgOctober 21st at 6:30PM – Our first Movie Night will feature: The Rise of Black Wolf by Emmy award-winning wildlife cinematographer and friend of the WCC -  Bob Landis! Landis has produced many films for programs such as National Geographic and Nature and it will be a thrill to enjoy the film alongside the WCC’s resident black wolf, Zephyr!  Click here to register today!
lords of nature.jpgOctober 28th at 6:30PM – Our second Movie Night will feature: Green Fire Productions’Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators. The compelling 60 minute documentary captures the importance of predators in the West and the challenges they face in our modern landscape. Click here to register today!

 

halloween atka.jpg 

WCC’s Halloween Howl

October 29th at 5PM – Trick or treat! Our Ambassador wolves don’t do tricks but shari
ng a sunset howl is always a treat!  Holiday appropriate goodies will be offered to our guests and wolves. Guests will also visit the WCC’s critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves. Costumes are encouraged! Pre Pre-registration is required. Clickhere to register today!

Who’s Scaring Who?
Scarecrow Fun at the WCC


October 30th at 11AM – Learn about the mythology, biology and ecology of wolf families and discover why the fall is such a magical time for packs in North America and people too. Guests will work together to customize a scarecrow for Atka to enjoy or destroy!   Guests will also visit the WCC’s critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves. Pre Pre-registration is required.  Click here to register today!
Click here to view our October program schedule.
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Love Transcends Death and Species

The Huffington Post video in their impact session presented this photo  that has stirred a nation regarding a soldier who died in war and his dog by his casket.  The commentary is interesting. Yet, what struck me was how the hawkeye, the dog, knew that his deceased friend was in the casket and what was going on in his mind as he lay down next to the casket while the entire funeral service was taking place.  It is promising that the nation was touched by that scene.  It continues to support the kindred spirit projects theory, that the human animal bond touches the absolute deepest parts of our heart and emotions. These connections go deeper than we can currently understand or appreciate.  Dr. Penny Lloyd shared some her most profound insights regarding the loss of her equine companion of 29 years.  Clients throughout my decades of veterinary practice would occasionally share how they grieved more for the loss of their animal friends than they did for different family members, commenting that they felt more unconditional love and no “baggage” from their kindred spirits.  From the animals perspective, I would often see animals grieving from the loss of a family member or other animals that they shared their lives with.  One 12 year old schnauzer stopped eating almost completely for a couple of months and had dramatic weight loss after the death of the elderly husband in the family.  The wife took her anorexic schnauzer to numerous veterinarians, specialists etc. to see if there was something physically wrong.  Despite numerous blood tests, radiographs, mri’s etc., no one could find anything wrong.  She brought her dog to me as a last option, hearing that I practiced a more holistic approach which also included grief counseling.  Upon reviewing all the thorough veterinary medical records and conducting my own physical examination, I agreed that there was no evidence of any physical illness at this time.  I prescribed a homeopathic remedy for grief and within 24 hours the dog began eating again and continued to recover.  The client was so amazed that she realized that she was still grieving as well and asked if she could take the remedy.  I explained to her that I am a veterinarian and did not prescribe to people.  However, the choice of remedy was based on what was used for humans.  She decided to take the remedy based on her own choice.  She commented afterwards that she had this “funny” feeling of the release of the depth of the grief.  She still missed her husband tremendously, but felt that the deep pain had somehow disappeared.  I imagine that that his how her dog may have felt as well.

There are numerous examples demonstrating how animals grieve for others.  Truly these moments transcend death and species. The insights that I have gleamed from the  story  of the labrador retriever, hawkeye grieving for his deceased companion are: 1. animals grieve similarly to humans and 2. animals sense the death of others and perhaps even sense their continued presence even after death.  In addition, I believe that the deep connections that we feel when we see animals behave similar to human behaviors has its roots somewhere deep in our psyche.  The Harvard entomologist, Dr. E. O. Wilson termed this belief “biophilia”,  an innate connection to be in nature and with all animals.

What are your thoughts regarding this photo and the nations response?

Love is Better Than Anger: A Touching Farewell Letter From a Great Leader

Jack Layton by Andrew SpearinTrue leaders, who are  sincerely committed to the people and  honestly care for the environment are extremely rare and precious these days.  On Monday, August 22, 2011, Canada and the world have  just lost one of these compassionate, talented, visionary leaders, Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party.  He passed away from cancer this day.   His awareness, diplomacy, compassion and leadership skills transcend political parties.

He left with his family  a letter to share with Canadians upon his passing which you can read in this huffpost article.  At the end of the letter he states  ”My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.  And we’ll change the world”.  What more stunningly appropriate words could Jack Layton, a true statesmen and leader share with Canadians upon passing.  He is truly a kindred spirit.

May all readers of this blog create a moment of silence in honor of Jack Layton, a leader that is sorely missed.  May his life stimulate other leaders to emulate his beliefs and carry on his magnanimous efforts and help them manifest into a new reality for this world.    Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

 

Celebration of Life? Surviving the Day (Part 2)

This is the second in a series of four posts by our amazing, compassionate blog contributor Dr. Penny Lloyd.  Dr. Penny recently lost her lifelong companion mare “Bangwyn”. By sharing experience and insight around life and death of loved ones, it is her intent to help all of us open to the unfathomable beauty and ultimate connection that is healing.

Celebration of Life?  Surviving the day

Forget the “transforming pain to beauty” part!%*! How can you suffer such incredible pain and simply survive? When your heart is ripped out, and the pain is coming thro in waves so strong it takes your breath away – what do you do? Shouldn’t there be a friggin’ manual on that one?!?? Not sure I have the manual, but this helps me:

Don’t try to do it alone. Say a prayer. Ask for help. Allow the support of friends & family. It is natural to want to hide to lick your wounds, but there is nothing like sharing a meaningful experience openly. It releases tension. It opens your heart. An open heart is the only way to truly feel better – to heal – to enjoy.

When the pain comes, breathe. Try going outside. For me, nature offers relief.
Let yourself feel what you feel. If you let yourself feel, it comes in waves and passes through. It may come again, but it doesn’t get stuck.
Observe your thoughts. Watch how adding to certain streams of thought adds to your pain. Notice that you can choose to stop – and just be – a still oasis. Notice how easy it is to whip up guilt, regret, doubt…tons of extras to dump on top to add to your agony. Notice you can stop – even an avalanche – but it is easiest early on, just as a thought trickles in. Some thoughts will come that actually make you feel a little better. Even at a time like this, you can choose.

Be gentle, true and nice to you. Take the easiest, gentlest path. Chances are you won’t have the energy to control much. Conserve energy. No right way to act. Just show up, moment to moment. Let it unfold. Give yourself room to feel how you feel…whatever surfaces. You may be surprised. And you may want to take this “roomy compassion mother self hug” way of being with you into the future.
Deal with only one moment at a time. Forget past, future, and what ifs. Focus only on the step in front of you. Barebones stripped away, blank slate – just be there to notice. Show up and ride on through, step by step – the way animals live. No preplanning. Take action when necessary. Watch moment to moment. Be open and observe. You can experience more in one hour of presence, than a lifetime of busy. Animals love people who are present.

Let yourself let go. Surrender the last threads of control. Let go of tension by relaxing your grip. A situation like this primes us for surrender. To have no energy to fight, can be the greatest gift. It may be the first time you can receive.
Watch the impulse to “run or hide” to avoid pain. Both are resistance. The resistance is what hurts the most. If you turn and face the pain, let the pain be there, you will come to know the fullness of grief as love. Love is all there is.
Alcohol. When big stuff is going on, I avoid numbing out with alcohol. But I also know alcohol can work as a heart opener. This time, at the close of the day, I experimented consciously. I took a sip and tuned into how I felt. I was surprised when the heavy physical sensation of pain gradually lifted from my heart – and I had a lovely real heart to heart conversation with my sister, before going to sleep.

Celebration of Life? (Part 1)

This is a contribution by Dr. Penny Lloyd:
Dr. Penny recently lost her lifelong companion mare “Bangwyn”. By sharing experience and insight around life and death of loved ones, it is her intent to help all of us open to the unfathomable beauty and ultimate connection that is healing.

Cat's EyeCelebration of Life?

Several years ago a good friend and her 7 year old daughter were killed in a head on car crash. It was the first time I went to a funeral that was called “Celebration of Life”. At the time, I was grief stricken and trying hard to control it. To me the phrase “Celebration of Life” was not something I was up to at a time like that. The last thing I felt like doing was joining in a celebration. I could see how it was a positive way to honor a life well lived, but that was as deep as my understanding went. The phrase seemed like an overly bright smile masking a huge gaping wound. Now, I understand better. When you really go into it and follow it to the root, these are great words to describe a deeper truth.

What I remember most about my first “Celebration of Life” are 3 things:

Permission to be real. It was the first time in my life I experienced a group of people who had room for it all. It was okay to cry or laugh, crack a stupid joke, talk or not. It did not matter. Everyone had room for everything. In a strange way it was a group of people as it should be. Everyone had a larger capacity that day. I didn’t understand the window that death provides. I only knew that it actually felt good. Feeling good at a funeral?!? It was my first glimpse into compassion. It was the potential of the human race in a compassionate state – an evolved state of being – and it was beautiful indeed.

Crying. That was not something I allowed freely at that time in my life. What a powerful release. It is like taking the lid off a pressure cooker to let go of the resistance of trying not to cry. It is the first step to feel better – to stop the fight – to give yourself permission to feel what you feel. To let whatever you feel move through you and not get stuck.
The radiance in her husband/father’s eyes. He had the most captivating eyes that day. I had never noticed his eyes before, but that day you couldn’t help but fall deep into the bottomless blue. Like they weren’t really eyes, but a compelling force. They say the eyes are the window to the soul. At the time I had little understanding. Now I know it was presence shining through a human – stronger than I had ever witnessed before – absolute mesmerizing beauty.

I felt that radiance again the day my mare passed. There was a moment where she was more beautiful than I had ever seen. This was followed quickly by a second of panic where I desperately wanted to run and get my camera, do something, to try to capture…a lifetime. But some wise part of me knew to just let that thought go, be there, sit, breathe, let the panic subside, sink into the moment and enjoy it more. We were just doing something we had done thousands of times. I was biting off pieces of carrot and she was munching away. But the splendor of the moment was profound. There was magnificence in her face – the shape, how her forelock tumbled and rested between those incredible soft, kind eyes – eyes that held so much and understood everything. With zero energy for expectations that day – I witnessed perfection.