Thursday, September 9, 2010

After Life.

Lots of people have asked me during the course of the last 20 years if it is possible for us to be reborn as animals or is it possible to have some of our pets reincarnate as human beings? I have had e-mails asking me if “animals actually reincarnate?” I’ve noticed through this life time that pretty much everyone is curious and worried, sometimes even anxious about what lies beyond this reality. I think it is safe to say that we all fear death in some shape or form. Recently, especially in the last month I’ve noticed there’s been lots more animal and human deaths than usual. For sure, Autumn and Spring are usually the seasons of choice for dying; but this moon has given us higher numbers than the norm. Why so?

In Shamanism answers always lie in natural and cosmological laws. Like I was telling DAL and WI a few days ago, Shamanism is mostly concerned with the notion of natural balance and rhythm. If there’s more death at this point in time it’s telling us that nature is attempting to equilibrate its own pulse. When my pulse is beating out of control it’s usually because I’m afraid, I’m overly emotional, or I’m in crisis. It’s easy to say that if nature is working over time to rebalance it’s breathing it is probably for similar reasons.

There were moments in our history where humans faced death with somewhat more clarity, more courage and more direction. In lots of societies there were legends and lore that basically explained to people what they could expect after death. The Egyptians for example believed that if you buried the dead with their own material belongings they would better adjust to the next life. The Pharaoh for example were buried not only with their gold and their daily, practical tools; but they were also accompanied by their human servants who were poisoned and buried along with them. Before the Egyptians there existed similar beliefs systems amongst the First People of our World. Mummies were found in Siberia and South America for example showing that people believed in an after life and believed that their Earth walk was instrumental in the transition to the next reality. One of my favorite images is that of a ancient Mayan burial where a man is positioned in a foetus position within a husk like corn.

Once we start looking at the way people buried their dead we start seeing their belief system and the way they understood life and death in general. These days it’s all about cremation. We want death to take as little space as possible in our lives. And we want it to pass quickly. We all agree that mourning is necessary but mourners are asked to do their business in secret, in hiding and away from the living. I find it sad that we don’t allow death to have its time and space considering that it is inevitable for everyone.

When our family decided to journey with LUCK until her last breath we also promised each other to surrender to the whole process. I don’t think any of us knew how difficult it would actually be to make the decision to put the dog asleep. For almost a week before hand, KT and CT were full of questions. I think one unanimous question was: What gives us the right to decide when it’s someone’s final hour? When it comes to animals we have been taught to believe that “it’s not right to let them suffer.” And yet, we have no such compassion for our human loved ones… I saw that each member of our family struggled with social inconsistencies and it hurt to realize that we didn’t really have a strong belief system; but mostly we reacted and responded to strong, societal programs. Unfortunately programs don’t help in erasing doubt when we’re tested with moral and spiritual issues. In the end, faith is what sustains us and brings us peace.

I don’t think we ever cried that much in each other’s company. We must have spent hours just balling our brains out in quest of a sure sign. When LUCK took her last breath I actually felt her touch us as if she was saying goodbye and she was moving through our souls to reach the after life. We all lived a similar experience that night and it helped to be confirmed. Still, the week was long and painful. We all agreed that the house was suddenly so much bigger. We all tried to fill the emptiness in each our way. The kids kept busy outside of the house as to not get haunted by the memories and the sadness. As for me, I went to a few pet stores because I couldn’t get through my days without some dog connection. It was only at the end of the week when we all had dreams of LUCK that it changed.

There’s no doubt that in our family dreaming is an important element of our belief system and our faith. Amazingly all of us had dreams of LUCK and she was happy. It somehow told us that we did good and we did right by her despite our questions and our confusion. Once we connected with her and heard her say “thank you and goodbye” we were able to let go and to move on.

It’s certainly not the first time that I experience such a process and it will not be the last. The idea is to allow the repetitions and our experiences to reveal reality. For example if humans from the beginning of time have believed in an after life than there’s a sure sign it exists. There are clues left in the graves of our ancestors that tell us what is important when journeying to the stars and how can we prepare for it.

Do I believe in reincarnation? Yes without a doubt because I have seen it and lived it countless times in my life. Do I believe that animals reincarnate? Yes! We all travel the circle of life no matter who we are or what we are. I think the question should be: Do we know what reincarnation truly means and how it works? I think this mystery is something worth unravelling….

P.S. The picture was taken this August. It's a fruit that grows on rose bushes. You can actually make rose jelly with it. The reason why it's at the top of this blog entry is because it tells us that "we may see things one way but life shows us a whole other reality to consider." I don't think too many people know that apples don't just grow on apple trees!!!


Wheelkeeper said...

I have lost a few animals in my life and each time, it was an amazing opening of my heart and spirit. I have no doubt that there is an afterlife and reincarnation. I know that the cat I have now is the same spirit that was with me 37 years ago when I was pregnant with my son. I believe that we have journeyed together before and will again.

Luck was lucky to have the love of all of you. He must have been someone very special.


Emily said...

This question is lingering with me - -

What gives us the right to decide when it’s someone’s final hour?

I've been surprised many times, by unexpected passings and even feeling convinced that a person is going to pass but doesnt.. it can appear so, and then something can change.
I guess there are several factors involved.. is the person/animal ready to go? are the people ready to let them go? Is the physical body done?
What happens when a life is ready for death but then changes its mind? OR if something/someone interupts that process?
Lots of ponderings...

Thanks Lisa


Wapeyit Malsom said...


When it comes to Lucky -- what guided us to make the decision for her was her obvious suffering. She no longer ate food; she couldn't walk or go up and down the stairs; she urinated close to twice a day on her bed; and we no longer saw presence of her in her eyes. Lucky loved raspberries and on the last day when I offered her a berry she refused it..... We all knew then that she didn't want to be around anymore.

When it comes to hearing what our pets are saying it certainly demands more presence and more attention because they aren't talking with words. I've always been called a dog whisperer and although it is clear on a daily basis that I can understand the animals around me and talk to them (a regular Dr. Dolittle) when it came to death --- I found myself doubting. Mostly because I didn't want to let her go.

In the end, doing the right thing for Lucky -- was the hardest thing to do but the most loving thing to do as well. It certainly is clear to all of us now.

Still, the questions you mention in your comment relating to death --- are questions that I believe are important to explore if ONE is to be ready for ONE'S own death.