So, as many of you saw earlier, my middle cat (I had three) crossed the veil this week (just a few days from this writing). Gizmo has been foremost in my thoughts for the last month. After a trip to the vet to find out what was going on with eating issues, it was noted that Gizmo had a melanoma tumor on the back of her tongue that had worked its way down her throat. It was an aggressive growth, as her health and well-being declined rapidly. I had steeled myself the best I could, knowing that these were going to be her last days in this incarnation. I gave her all the juices from the cat food, so she didn’t have to chew as much. In the end, I pureed her food into liquid form so she could get more sustenance. I sat with her in the middle of the night, petting her and talking softly to her during bad gasping episodes as the tumor started to narrow her ability to get air.
The hope was to get her to Tuesday morning when she would see a specialist down in Dallas to try and shrink the tumor with laser and radiation treatment. Thursday morning, she was in a seriously bad way. She had taken to hiding under the bed or behind the couch – her way of dealing with pain was to hide from everyone. At the vet’s office, I kept whispering to her that it was time to let go. As much as I hated to let her slip beyond the veil, a selfish thought admittedly, I know she is not in pain today and that is what was most important to me. Tonight, I will set a bowl of milk out at the stone circle, and say my final goodbyes. The bowl of milk is nourishment for her travels beyond the veil.
Everyone has their own ideas of what happens beyond. For most folks, there is the beloved tale of the Rainbow Bridge, where pets play and wait on the other side for their humans to cross – ready to provide the warmth and love they have done in this incarnation. My perspective; however, is a little different. I am a firm believer in the concept of reincarnation. Beyond the veil, is what is affectionately referred to as “the Summerlands” – a place where one can rest a short bit before coming back in another form. Don’t ask me what the purpose of continually being reborn is because I really do not know. I can speculate wildly for you, but its only speculation.
I believe that every creature has a part in all of that process. Even my little Gizmo. I love the story of the Rainbow Bridge and am deeply touched by the idea that Gizmo will be waiting for my own crossing at that bridge. But Gizmo has her own journeys to undertake. Our Paths will cross again at some point in eternal time and I look forward to when that happens. Until then, my life is far richer from having her in it just as hers was enriched by my presence as her human.
I know some folks will provide their own perspective of the afterlife based on whatever deeply held principles that they will have from their own experiences and connections that they have with the wider world around them (or not have as the case might be). The truth of the matter is this, none of us knows what comes after. You have to experience that in its totality to understand that mystery. And once it happens, there is no coming back to report the experience for others. To understand it, to experience it, one has to pass that point of never returning to this incarnation.
Is there a Heaven or a Hell? Maybe. A Limbo? A Purgatory? A Summerlands? Possibly. Or something we just do not understand or comprehend? A complete nothingness? I can understand that potentially being there as well. And while I sincerely miss Gizmo and wish she didn’t have to cross and experience all of that – I am not ready to cross over myself. I have lots of other mysteries and experiences to still have. Plus, I truly do believe our Paths will cross again, perhaps even in this lifetime that I am currently in. But I cherish the time she and I have had. The experiences we have developed together. Our little rituals for meal-time. Finding her curled up and firmly against my head at 4am in the bed. Her coming out and greeting me every time I came home. I will miss those little, nearly daily moments.
Good night little girl. I have enjoyed being your human. We will meet again. And that never-ending bond will continue to exist. Whatever form it happens to take.