Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mattie Stepanek Peacemaker Award

"Peace IS Possible, if we choose to make it something that matters, and if we seek to balance all basic needs of all people in all spaces of our world." -- Mattie J.T. Stepanek (1990-2004) poet, peacemaker, philosopher.

The Mattie Stepanek Peacemaker Award, 2010.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pet Loss, It Is Real Grief

I put my cat, Snickers to sleep a few days ago. It was a very difficult decision, and one I had put off for several weeks, wanting to avoid grief. Although I knew I could not avoid grief, I was only partly avoiding grief because I was suffering already, and at times, the way Snickers looked at me, I knew he was suffering grief also. He knew, too, that our time together was about to end. All the years we’ve been together, nearly 14 years, I have insisted he was psychic, so how could I now deny he knew?

I have been treating him for kidney disease for more than three years, and during that time he might stabilize for awhile but in the last couple of months he had gone further down hill, dropping weight constantly, barely eating in the last week or so, and was also anemic. He was fourteen and I had him since he was 7 months old.

Pet loss is as real as the grief we suffer when any loved one dies. I know all about grief, I’ve lived it—I write about it. I also know that the loss of a pet (or any new loss for that matter) can bring to the surface past grief. And I was not ready to go there, until ... I knew he was ready ... and that forced me to be ready. He went peacefully, not putting up any kind of argument. It was time.

So I am in grief. I really miss him. I’m not greeted at the door, nor do I see him sitting at the window of my study as I back my car out of the drive, nor do I have him asking for milk or snacks when I go into the kitchen. I find myself commenting on a TV program out loud expecting him to react to my comment as he always did. Now when I go to bed he does not curl up with me, or when I sleep late I do not have his paw gently touching my face, his way of telling me to wake up. I miss his physical presence and hope to feel more of his spiritual presence as soon as I can move through a little of the aloneness. Right now, the grief is blocking those subtle spiritual connections. I feel that, I know that, but the letting go is still difficult. Maybe in a few days it will be easier.

It’s been a week and a half and the tears still come. Yesterday I began looking at kitties up for adoption at the local humane society. But right now, I don’t dare go there in person. And it is raining today, a good reason to stay right here at home.

I know it would be best if I give myself a little more time to grieve. But it hurts. I knew it would. But I know he is free and healthy again. And this time he can run through the tall grass, chase the birds and butterflies, climb the trees, and do the little things he could not do while living in my home. That day when we said our goodbyes, I told him it would be like that for him. And those words of mine calmed him as I held him and I believe gave him comfort and peace.

If you go through grief from the loss of your pet, don’t let anyone tell you: “Oh, what’s the matter with you? It’s just a cat.”—“It’s just a dog.” Obviously and sadly, the person who would say that to you does not understand love, let alone, understand unconditional love.

Today, 15 years ago, my husband, Don Pendleton died. I asked him to greet Snickers (whom he did not know in the physical), and I am sure he did, not only for me, but for Snickers. That is what love is all about.

Grief counselor, Marty Tousley, CNS-BC, FT, writes about grief and pet loss. Listen to an audio interview with her speaking on “Pet Loss: A Different Kind of Grief.” You may also find her website and grief forum helpful, along with her grief healing ecourses, if you, too, are going through difficult times.


You may like to read my earlier posts on animal intuition:

The Eyes and Souls of Critters; Animal Intuition

Telepathic Animal Communication

Monday, October 11, 2010

Forgivenss Meditation by Don and Linda Pendleton

A short Forgiveness Meditation by Don and Linda Pendleton, from our book, Whispers From the Soul: The Divine Dance of Consciousness.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Peace For Our World, Mattie Stepanek

Young poet, philosopher and peacemaker, Mattie J.T. Stepanek (1990-2004) wrote this poem following 9-11-2001. Even today his words have such strength, meaning, and inspiration, for living peacefully and with respect for all others. It is reminder for today's attitudes about acceptance, diversity, equality, and events of bullying (cyber and otherwise), hate crimes, as well as terrorists acts.

Mattie was a wise and beautiful soul, so far beyond his years. He published his inspirational poetry and essays and you will find them in his HEARTSONGS series of books, and in JUST PEACE: A Message of Love, cowritten with former President Jimmy Carter. His mother, Jeni Stepanek's book, MESSENGER: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs, (Forword by Dr. Maya Angelou) is now available in paperback, and also Kindle.

For Our World

We need to stop.
Just stop.
Stop for a moment.
Before anybody
Says or does anything
That may hurt anyone else.
We need to be silent.
Just silent.
Silent for a moment.
Before we forever lose
The blessing of songs
That grow in our hearts.
We need to notice.
Just notice.
Notice for a moment.
Before the future slips away
Into ashes and dust of humility.
Stop, be silent, and notice.
In so many ways, we are the same.
Our differences are unique treasures.
We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts
To nurture, to offer, to accept.
We need to be.
Just be.
Be for a moment.
Kind and gentle, innocent and trusting,
Like children and lambs,
Never judging or vengeful
Like the judging and vengeful.
And now, let us pray,
Differently, yet together,
Before there is no earth, no life,
No chance for peace.

September 11, 2001
© Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek
Used with permission from Hope Through Heartsongs, Hyperion, 2002

Read my review of JUST PEACE: A Message of Love.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Mystic Connection

"Much on earth is hidden from us, but to make up for that
we have been given a precious mystic sense of our living bond
with the other world, and with the higher heavenly world."
~ Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, 1880