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Bodhi was an incredible being…he was my daily companion…my friend. I did not own him…he was not my pet…he was a free spirit…we were equals. He brought a lot of joy to my life and when he transitioned, I wanted to celebrate his life instead of focusing on his exit. It is amazing how much a small animal can teach you about life…living it to its fullest without fear…capturing every moment…the eternal present moment…loving unconditionally.
Bodhi’s physical life experience was for two years. I struggled with the decision to let him run freely knowing that traffic would be a potential threat. He loved being outside and I knew if I were to keep him in the house…protected and safe…he would become miserable. Past attempts had proven that it would break his spirit. Although I knew the outside world was riddled with risk, I also knew that it was filled with wonder and adventure. Risk was always a possibility that came with freedom…but he was happy chasing after leaves blowing in the wind, playing hide-and-seek with me outdoors, stalking the birds and squirrels, exploring the backyard, climbing trees, running and jumping in the air and flipping over in the tall grass in the back of the neighbor’s yard. I even found him one night at the base of a tree looking up at a opossum that he had chased up a tree.
He knew that he was loved…I told him every day before I left for work and before we went to sleep. He lived the life of a king…he had all that he needed…a warm place to sleep; wet food, dry food, treats, toys; someone who loved and cared for him. Bodhi was always affectionate, always responsive to my energy, my moods, and my vibrational countenance. In the moments that I was not feeling my best, even though he loved to go outside and that would be the first thing he would think of in the morning, he would snuggle with me on the couch or be perched on the back of the couch cushion. Two days before he died, he was extremely affectionate…he would nuzzle his head in the crook between my arm and shoulder, sleep on his side with his paw on my chest…it was like he was telling me good-bye. The night before he died, I remember him curled up next to me in bed. I was petting him like I usually did and I said, “Bodhi, I love you sooo much Buddy” and I laid my head on his little furry body.
Bodhi was special simply because he was, he lived, he thrived. The bond took on special significance for me because I felt as if he chose me…I wasn’t looking for an animal friend, but he kept following me around…a little tiny fur ball, clumsy and awkward, trying to learn how to coordinate his muscles and body movements…wobbly, but full of life. His favorite spot to sleep was curled up in a ball on my shoulder. When he became too big for my shoulder, a full grown cat, I would cradle him like a baby and he would nuzzle his little head under my chin with his paw on my chest. Even when he would be sitting next to me on the couch or floor, he would stick his little paw out and just touch my arm or leg to let me know that he was there.
I don’t regret a single moment with Bodhi and I would do it all again even knowing that the outcome would be the same. Although he left sooner than expected, he showed me how to live with complete abandon and to love the people, animals, experiences in my life deeply…being attentive in every moment.
Bodhi’s life and exit were remarkable. There is more here than meets the eye…what I view as magical confirmation, unconditional love in action, and a god wink…proof that we are much more than these transient physical bodies…that we are a continuation of energy, vibration, pure love…
Read on to see what I mean…
My best friend and housemate, Denise, had been supporting her Aunt Irene who had been going through Chemotherapy Treatments for pancreatic cancer. On Tuesday, February 6th, her aunt was attempting to make lunch when she became unconscious, fell to the floor, and was rushed to the emergency room. When the family arrived at the ER, they were prepared for her imminent death/transition…her blood pressure was bottoming out. Suddenly, her condition improved and she became conscious. She told Denise that she had been praying that god would take her and that she was prepared to go. She stated that although she was ready to go, there was supposed to be another one…but he wasn’t ready. She said that she knew it sounded crazy, but it was the truth. Denise asked her if she was afraid to die and Irene stated, “Why would I be afraid. There is nothing to be afraid of.” Denise asked Irene to send her a sign after she transitioned and Irene said, “I will if I can.” Soon after that conversation, Irene’s condition declined and on Thursday morning, February 8th, she left her body.
On this same day, Denise had called me as I was on my way to work. She stated that she had promised her Aunt Irene that she would take care of her bird Pudgy and was going to pick him up and transport him to a friend who loved birds. While she was there, her Aunt Irene’s son and daughter-in-law were there boxing up her aunt’s personal belongings and asked Denise if she wanted to take something in remembrance. Denise stated that although she did, she just couldn’t think about it in the moment. However, she took a photograph that had been on her Aunt Irene’s refrigerator door for as long as she could remember. She took it without any thought that it would become significant and ultimately that sign that her Aunt Irene had promised.
Denise called me later that evening and stated that Bodhi wanted to go outside and asked if it was okay. It was very unusual for her to ask for permission to let him out; when there had always been an understanding that he could go out anytime that he wanted. I told her that it was fine. I had just been telling a friend at work how affectionate Bodhi had been the last two days and talking about how much he meant to me. I left work early in order to be with Denise in hopes that I could provide some comfort. When I made the right hand turn onto my street, I immediately saw a dark object in the road and the reflective collar told me that it was Bodhi. Even though I had two cars behind me, I didn’t even think…I stopped the truck in front of him, ran out and scooped him up in my arms and laid him across my lap as I drove into the driveway. There was no disfigurement and although his eyes were open, he was not conscious. The only indication that there had been an accident was the slight blood coming from his ears and a little scuff on his nose. When I got out of the truck, I fell to my knees cradling him like a baby, looking into his eyes. He appeared to be gone. I hesitated for a moment. How would Denise react after just losing her Aunt…she loved Bodhi as much as I did. I looked into Bodhi’s eyes once more and thought that I felt him breathe. I laid Bodhi on the tailgate of the truck, ran up to the door and banged hard with my fist. When Denise answered, I yelled, “Bodhi’s been hit.”
We raced to the emergency room, flashers on, horn honking, yelling at people to get out of the way. I pulled right up to the door of the Vet School and Denise ran him quickly into the emergency room. A gentleman came out after about 5 or 10 minutes…it seemed like a lifetime. He stated that they were doing CPR and asked if I wanted them to use any and all methods to save him. I asked how extensive his injuries were and he stated that they didn’t know yet. I told him that I didn’t want him to suffer. I told him to see if they could revive him and if not, let him go in peace. Time again passed…no tears flowed…I was trying to remain hopeful, optimistic…maybe a miracle would occur.
Two young interns came through the doors and told me that he had passed. They asked if I wanted them to take care of his body and I insisted on taking him home. They brought him out in a white cardboard box with a lid…shaped like a small casket. I was in shock…still no tears came…It seemed so unreal.
Denise drove the truck. I sat with the box on my lap and slowly removed the lid. There was Bodhi, curled up as if he were sleeping. I ran my hand over his fur and pet his little head between his ears…he used to love that. His fur was always so soft. Denise turned to me with tears in her eyes and said, “I have something to show you when we get home…you are not going to believe this.” When we arrived home, Denise presented me with an old black and white photograph…it was a picture of her aunt when she was a young woman in what appeared to be her twenties…she wore a sun dress…it was not the full photograph…the image of her aunt had been cut from the photograph long ago…it was an outline like a paper doll cutout…in her arms she held a black cat identical to Bodhi.
Although Bodhi and Aunt Irene had never met in this lifetime, it appeared that Bodhi was the second one that had not been ready to go just two days prior. I don’t know the connection that Bodhi and Irene had, where or when it originated…all I know is that apparently Bodhi was to be Irene’s companion and guide to the other side. Although I felt like I really needed Bodhi in my life, I can’t help but think that for whatever reason, Irene needed him more.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my experience and write about what was then sad and yet magical and is now joyous to recall. I remember the way that I missed him, laughing and crying, revisiting all of the moments that he and I shared. I did not cry for him for I knew that his energy was being cradled and embraced by the pure positive loving energy that creates worlds…I cried for me because I wanted something tangible that represented him in the form that I knew him to be.
Although there are some that would not share my ideas, intuition, and beliefs about the continuation of our souls, energy, essence or the idea that we have lived in many ways, in many forms, in many worlds, in different moments…I can’t help but think that once Bodhi assists Irene on her journey, that he will return in another body known as cat and find his way back to me. Either way, I will see him again whether it is in this lifetime, the moments in between lifetimes, or the next one to come.
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