The gifts we receive when an animal comes into our lives are not only precious beyond measure but freely given. The purpose for their time spent with us is vast and often uniquely personal. When one truly loves an animal, it reawakens a part of our soul and enriches our lives.

When an animal’s spirit joins a physical form, their bodies, like ours are a temporary gift made up of the Earth’s elements. Once our companion has fulfilled their purpose with us, the earth calls back what has been borrowed. Many believe that all the emotions we experience in the physical form are a gift. Our pets certainly allow us to feel everything from great love, joy, laughter, the deepest pain, and even anger.

To think of the experience of a pet passing as a gift can seem incomprehensible. When our pet does not greet us with a wagging tail and loving eyes… it can feel like we will never be happy again. The empty hollow feeling when our horse is not there to be brushed, when we cannot run our hands through their silky mane or give us comfort… can be devastating. We desperately long to hear the song of our bird or the purr of our cat. The finned, furred, scaled and shelled, all hold a precious place in our hearts. Their physical presence has become a part of who we are energetically and physically. Losing them can feel as if we have lost a piece of ourselves.

Although their physical presence has departed, their spirit is with us as long as their memory remains.

As an example of how I learned this, here is an excerpt from my book They Sing To Our Souls: The Animals Speak. In the story of Tex, a Shetland Sheep dog, his mom, Jodie and I learned without a doubt that our pets are still connected to us after they pass.

Once we had confirmed that, yes, I was speaking with Tex and he was okay, Jodie said. “One more thing. It’s silly, but I need to ask. I sang ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to Tex every day of his life. Will you sing the song to him for me?”

“Your mom asked me to sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to you.” I said to Tex.

“I feel it when she sings, but you can if you want to.” Tex replied. “Singing to me helps mom get through her day without my gorgeous self.”

As Jodi sang that timeless song by Oliver Hood to her wonderful boy’s spirit, it sent a loving a beautiful energy. It connected the two in a most profound way.

Gratitude is the most powerful of positive emotions. To express gratitude for the gifts an animal brings to us is a way of honoring them. With this in mind, I often suggest a Candle Gratitude Ceremony to aid my clients in their healing process.

Simply take a piece of paper and write all of the things you are grateful to your pet for, below are a few examples:

  • Choosing to spend their time with you.
  • Protection
  • Keeping the kitchen floor free of escaping food
  • The new back yard designs they created with the holes they dug
  • Warm snuggles
  • Walking partner
  • Always being there for you and listening without judgement
  • Giving you someone to groom or ride
  • Someone to learn with or the lessons they taught you
  • Laughter
  • They always knew where to lay and purr or meow when you needed comfort

Creating this list will often trigger memories and give you comfort. And to give you an opportunity to savor the bittersweet tears of healing. Light a candle, read or sing your list out loud. Your pet will feel your gratitude your love. Then burn the paper in a large bowl. This ceremony can be done right after a pet passes, just before spreading their ashes, or at time of burial.

I wish to thank my clients and their pets I have had the opportunity to learn and grow with. Thank you for spending your time reading this. I sincerely hope this simple ceremony can bring you comfort. If so, please feel free to share them with a friend.

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