Loving To the End, and Beyond

This spring brought me the gifts of leading a Pet Loss Healing Circle in the Dana Room, as well as  a delightful Blessing of the Animals service at First Parish Church Unitarian Universalist in Bridgewater. In addition, several individuals turned to me in the midst of their loss of a dear companion, or to help their discernment about the end of a pet’s life.  I’m so thankful for these opportunities, and if it sounds weird to call them gifts, read on!

“Gift” can be defined as an “unmissable opportunity,” and most of us would argue that we’d be very happy to skip death, thank you very much. Not an option, says the Universe, Higher Power, or whatever you choose to call that which determines the joys and the parameters of our lives. For me, “not optional” means I’m called to be present to death, as it’s part of creation, an unmissable part of what it means to be alive.

Being with those who mourn their loved ones is a gift for me. Contrary to what I once felt, I’ve found walking with those who grieve reminds us of what love can be: inspiring, joyful, ecstatic (in the “beyond the body” sense of the word) and hard. Really, really hard. Please don’t take my word for it – check out this new book, “Will’s Red Coat,” by Tom Ryan, whose mountaineering adventures with the Buddha-like Atticus went viral a few years ago. His dogs – Atticus and then Will- saved his life, and their stories might transform yours. I’ve read and heard many stories about the end of life, and this one transformed my conviction that love indeed can conquer death.

So if you need a booster shot of hope and a love story to beat them all, here’s the link: https://strikingattheroots.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/book-review-wills-red-coat-by-tom-ryan/

And speaking of love and delight, I’ll be leading our annual Blessing of the Animals service in Lyon Chapel here in Brookline at 10 a.m. on Sunday, August 27th. Hope you and your animal bestie(s) can join us!

With a listening love,
Rev. Eliza

 

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