Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Little P's Epilogue: Finding the Sweet Spot of Love in Death

The Gain of One Kitty Heralds the Loss of Another

Fascinatingly, within a week of Little P's arrival, another reason for her serendipitous joining of our family became apparent.

The day after Little P arrived, my soulmate kitty, J'oui, became ill. I didn't take him to the vet right away as he often gets a little under the weather only to bounce back after a few days.

Little did I know, he was dying right in front of me and I was missing the signs. Sure, I knew something was off, I just hoped it would clear itself. I didn't know how sick he was.

By the time I got him to the vet, they didn't think he would last the night. Devastated can't come close to describing the feelings of loss and grief I experienced.

Unable to sleep that night, I stood out with the horses under a meteor shower and cried. I cried so hard that eventually all I could do was lie down at Seren’s feet in the field, totally exhausted. She stood over me, like a silent sentinel, holding space for me. Frolic and Charm also laid down to rest. I felt one with the herd. And when I opened my eyes again, the sky was brightening with the sunrise.

It didn’t change the fact that I was afraid of losing J’oui.

J'oui was the one who had introduced to me the feeling of overwhelming unconditional love. Lying in my arms, his little arms touching my face, staring into me with his huge blue eyes, I knew a kind of pure love that I had rarely been in touch with in my life.

- All I had to do was look at him peacefully sleeping and love would well up in me.
- Watching him slink across the floor would make me smile.
- Noticing him clumsily almost fall off a banister would make me giggle.
- Hearing his outrageously loud purr would make me beam.
- And simply shouting his name with glee brought me more pleasure than it ever rightly should!

J’OUI!!!!! (pronounced J-weeeeeee)

Short for Joie de vie which is French for Joy of Life- THAT was exactly what this kitty inspired in me with his very presence- day after day.

I took more pictures of that cat than anything else, except for maybe sunsets. Greg joked that we would publish pictures books with names like J'oui and Me, The Tao of J'oui, and Oooo, La La, J'oui J'oui!

Greg would watch me oozing with pure bliss and ask me incredulously, “Is there ANYTHING that cat does that doesn’t make you happy????”

Um, no.

Sorry. I know you wish you were that cute. And you are, almost.

But my love for J’oui was otherworldly. Heck, I didn’t really understand it either. I just knew I planned on enjoying it for the rest of our lives.

I was often struck with deep gratitude for our relationship, knowing that it was such a tremendous gift- this ability to inspire such love and share it freely. I felt blessed to have that opportunity every single day and I realized how special it was.

I guess I thought acknowledging such gratefulness for it, would ensure it lasted forever.

So, the thought of having that love ripped from me unexpectedly. Well, it was more than I could handle.

I hadn’t been given a chance to adapt to the thought of life without him. To say my goodbyes. So I prayed that he would last the night and I could at least take him home to hold him one more day.

Thankfully, he did make it through the night, and strangely, against all odds, he’s holding on. He seems to be better. But I'm not convinced that it’s not his time. And I’ve given him permission to go on now.

But what I am convinced of is that the Universe arranged to deposit one gloriously loveable black kitty into my arms at just the time when I was about to lose the kitty love of my life.

And miraculously, that new kitty is able to inspire in me the very same glowing, unconditional love that J’oui can.

You know, not every cat has that effect on me. So the very fact that this new kitty can is not lost on me. It’s the miracle, the serendipity of the Universe working it’s magic.

And as I enjoy every moment I have left with J’oui, I am sure to thank him for sending in his replacement. Because I know, in my heart, J’oui has my back. And when I look into his eyes now, I can see that he’s got me covered.

I know there are more lessons to be learned here. But one of them is that the pure joy of unconditional love is always available to me, whether it’s in the form of a new kitty, or in the form of our timeless connection that will last even when J’oui leaves this earth.

Greater than that, though, is the challenge that J’oui is offering up- possibly it’s even his parting gift to me: A reminder not to look outside of myself for a source that will create that love in me, but to re-discover that place within me that can create the love all by itself.

Perhaps it’s a bit like a final exam, given from J’oui, the teacher, to me, the student.

It goes like this: "Now that I have reminded you what this great love feels like, can you go forth and share it freely from your own heart? Offering it far and wide to everyone and everything?

"And when you can sustain this kind of loving offering, you will have succeeded in the most important lesson of all, really the only lesson: Love."

I can almost hear him say, “Remember, Love is All That Is- now go forth and spread it. And as you do, you will always be close to me.”

And suddenly, just like that, J'oui's passing becomes the greatest gift one being can offer another: The chance to know yourself as Love.

Thank you J'oui from the bottom of my heart for all of the love that we share. And for this final, most monumental of gifts.

I know I'm not quite ready to pass this exam with flying colors, but I'll do my best to practice this lesson you so lovingly offered, until Living In Love comes as naturally and effortlessly as the love I felt with you.

Readers: Has something important come into your life at the time of a big loss? Please share.


  1. Dr. Jenn --- you wrote this post on 8/18 . . . here it is, 9/12 and I'm only just now reading it. In fact I've just read all of your healing with the herd posts.

    I'm not answering your question here (nothing comes to mind right now). I just want you to know that your deep connection with animals touches something so deep inside me, a part of my own childhood, and it brings to the surface a kind of sadness I haven't felt for a long time. I know that's a good thing, I'll be exploring it, and I thank you.

    Now, I'm a whole lot more excited to be visiting you with my daughter come October 11th and I may never want to leave, LOL!

  2. Jeanne!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to ready all the posts! I'm grateful for your sweet comments!

    I appreciate that you allowed yourself to be moved by what you read. And you are indeed correct, any sadness you feel is offering you the opportunity to feel it, examine it, and let it go as part of the process of cleansing and clearing what no longer serves.

    I look forward to meeting you and your daughter for the Calling Forth Your Inner Goddess Workshop and continuing the process of reclaiming our collective magnificence!

    Onward and upward, in the moment, embracing all that is love,

    Dr. Jenn