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    (Crossing the stone, Tros y Garreg, Catrin Finch/Carl Jenkins)

I’d received convincing contacts from her, so knew she still existed. I hadn’t felt just love, I had felt her love, and her character.

But the days went by with silence again, and no more contact. Every day I sent her my love, sent it out there to her like a radio signal. But I heard no reply. I wondered if she might have been close at one stage, maybe for a few weeks after her “death”, and then moved on “into the light”…. a finer, deeper level...or wherever they are supposed to go….. I really did not know.

Over two months had gone by since she left.

On Saturday the 11th August I woke too early. It was a grey morning with no promise in it. I got up, had coffee, read a little, then at 8am, although not sleepy, I decided to lie down for a rest. The grey morning broke, and sunlight filtered through my curtains. I closed my eyes and relaxed.

Suddenly a buzzing sound began somewhere within me, and a humming, twanging, like tiny elastic bands snapping. I knew what this was; it had happened before, though not for many years. I was about to have an out of body experience. At this point, I had a choice -to go out, or to come back. Even though the strange sounds were disconcerting, I decided to go with it. My legs gently floated upwards, leaving the physical body behind. Then my arms. I tried to see,  could see nothing, but could feel myself slowly rise up.

Hold on to your conscious awareness…don’t lose this now….you need consciousness, clarity….do a reality check…

What’s my name?…..Sylvia. What day is it?…Saturday. Eleventh of August. It’s morning, around eight, maybe eight thirty. I lay down for a rest…..

Try to find Misty….

I hesitated. She won’t be there, she’ll have gone -moved on. How will I feel when she’s not there?

Just try it. You have to.

I whisper “Misty…?”   Nothing. I knew she wouldn’t be there. I know I don’t have long. At any moment I could lose consciousness, then it would be over.

Call that an effort? Try again. Right. Here goes….

I call her, but in a different way, in a bright and happy way like I always used to when I had a treat, or we were going in the car.

“Mii-iist!” and I whistle for her.

There is a small noise, a bumping, stumbling sound. Then another little bump as she jumps up against my bed. My hands, out of body, reach out and touch her head, her neck, her ears!

I wish I could see!

But my hands are enough. I feel the texture of the inside of her ears, feel them bent back by my fingers, feel her warmth -alive and warm! Feel  the short fur on her head, the thicker fur of her neck…..

…My girl!….my good beautiful girl….you still live! Warm, alive, happy, still yourself!

This is it -I’m leaving, I can’t hold on any more. I’m sinking back gently.

“Shake….when I’m gone…shake so you’ll straighten your ears out….”

There never were, and there may never be again -three minutes as precious as those. Those three minutes I shall carry with me until I die. They wiped out all sorrow and sadness from many years. They wiped out all things which had ever come to me without love. They dried my tears.

They gave me my hard evidence.

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She liked Satie…this reminds me of her (Erik Satie Gnossienne No.5)

She seemed to completely disappear after that. I wasn’t taken aback, I’d received a blessing. She had shown me she still lived. But more than that -she had shown me in an energetic sense, that there was now nothing wrong with her. I had sensed, in the brief contact, the essence of her character, and that there was no weakness, no sadness, no suffering, no weariness. She had been vibrant.

I expected nothing more. But a week later, as I was driving, it happened again. Beside me in the passenger seat, Misty’s character appeared…not as a vision, but simply as a wave of affection and energy. I laughed again, the contact filled me with joy.

She disappeared again…totally.

And re-appeared on the 29th July in the midst of a thunderstorm….

She’d never been afraid of storms. She took them in her stride, just like herds of Bullocks, torrential rain, big bad dogs (she charmed them), insurmountable obstacles, German Shepherds five times her size…. The only things she showed any apprehension about were little kindling sticks which dared to crackle as they were burning…. and swearing.

Misty…where do you go? You visit -full of love, you hang around a while, then you dash away….where to? When you’re gone, you seem so totally gone! There isn’t a touch of you, not a whisper, nothing. But each time you return, dashing back to me with affection, you seem so strong and well.

I had to admit -these visits were definitely her. In our everyday life, I knew Misty well enough to be able to sense her presence, even in a darkened room, even when she was still and I couldn’t see her -I always knew by a sixth sense, whether she was in that room or not. These communications were clear and distinct, and the oddest thing…they went against my ordinary thinking.

I was skeptical. Not to a crippling degree, but had always been unsure about the existence of life after death -yes, even though I had experienced some unusual events in my past. There could possibly have been an alternative explanation.  I’d hoped there might be some existence beyond this life, as total annihilation didn’t seem to make much sense  (Einstein “Energy is neither created nor destroyed”) But as yet I’d had no hard evidence of it.

But this …..this was different. I could not find any alternative explanation. Not for that clear contact which was Misty -out of the blue and unbidden.

My old view had been shattered. But there was even more to come.

lovely girlie 2

 She liked this too. We used to play ‘hunt the squeaker and ball’ on a rainy day to this music...(Ennio Morricone -On Earth as it is in Heaven -from “The Mission”)

You passed away at the full moon.

I endure the days. You were all I had, but I have to live. My house, at first empty and frightening (no-one visits now) is changing…

It’s strange…I shouldn’t, but I want to go back there, even though your bed has no occupant, the rooms still seem filled with you. When I open the doors, there is love. All around, sunk into every stone, every fibre, everywhere I walk there is love. The house remembers you, and I remember you for love can never die. Although I know you are very far away, my love can never die. It hangs, like a perfume in our home. I still cry, but at the centre of my tears there is an essence of you. Something still living. It’s in my heart and memory, that’s all. But I’ll carry you with me there.

I will remember you every day. I will remember what you brought me.

The moon wanes, is re-born, waxes again. On July 6th in the early evening, for the first time, I’m able to concentrate on something, and am absorbed in a video, a veterinary program about farm animals….when something happens. Something which shifts my whole axis.

I am suddenly and unexpectedly flooded with a wave of affection and greeting. I am lifted, changed, lit up, and overwhelmed.

“It’s you! How can it be you?”

But unmistakably, it is Misty’s energy and life and character! With me in the room, making me laugh, making me stretch out my arms so I can almost touch her, almost smell the honey-scent of her.

For about ten minutes, she stays with me. The feeling is a huge cuddle-up, exactly like the ones we shared, dog’s heart to woman’s heart, a glow of love. This is a real, living thing, not a hallucination, or a wish, or even my own grief or love…it’s her.

Slowly, she fades. I don’t know where to. But she lives. She still lives!

I know this is a blessing. I have been given this to know she is safe, well,  is healed, restored, and still alive, though in another dimension. I hoped she might exist after death -somehow, somewhere. But this…I did not expect.

Misty in the orchard Autumn 2011

(another of Misty’s favourite tunes…Vangelis “Prelude”) 

You have gone. I can neither eat nor walk, but I can sleep.

Above you, where flowers grow, day after day, endless rain comes down, washing the earth.

Dreams come. The first dream is cruel. I wake, hear you slip out of the bed, shake, yawn. I hear your footsteps going downstairs.

“Oh Mist! I had the most awful dream!”  Your squeaky yawn from somewhere downstairs says you heard me, but where’s breakfast?

“I dreamed you had died…..and such a long sad dream!  It’s alright now, it’s gone. I’ll get up now, I’m coming….”

Then I wake up.

The second dream is happy. I wake in the night and go to the top of the stairs. In the little hallway below me you are wagging, your whole body wriggling a greeting as you look up at me.

I know this isn’t normal…this isn’t dreaming…this isn’t physical….but what? My mind doesn’t understand. My legs won’t work as I try to go downstairs. I give up on them and start to glide. I raise my arms like a silly Halloween ghost. Grinning, wriggling, you join in the fun.

“Whoo-ooo! We’re both ghosts now!”

Denial. A stage of grief, so I’m told. The dreams won’t let you go.

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 She liked this music (American Beauty Soundtrack)

For those who read   Misty’s Blog -you will know that on June 5th 2012 she succumbed to Hemangiosarcoma. This fit, happy, almost supernormally-strong dog, who defied all signs of aging (she was nearly 15) -lay down on her bed on the night of the 4th June, and couldn’t get up. I watched her all through that night, waiting -as advised- for her internal bleeding to stop. It might have done. It had stopped before, and recovering her strength, she had got on with life. She had a great will to live. She was an outdoor dog, never happier than when ranging for miles through fields and woods, and as her years advanced, she showed no signs of slowing-down.

I always thought there was something unusual about this. Most 14-year-old dogs do not have the exercise capacity, strength or agility of a four year old. But Misty had. In  March I observed as she approached a three foot high wire fence, saw no way under or through it, and launched herself into the most beautiful, graceful leap, clearing the top of it with ease, and landing gently in the grass, to spin round and ask for the frisbee to be thrown.

Seeing how she lived like that every day, how she had basic good health, with no chronic conditions, and also how she surmounted any odds (two lots of successful breast surgery in the Spring of 2012) I was convinced she had many years still in her, and hoped she would die an “old lady”, in her bed aged perhaps eighteen. It was feasible.

I had never known a dog like her; a good girl, obedient, sociable, loving, loyal and sweet-natured, with an elegance and grace of character of such an exquisite kind I had never met before in a dog.

She was my dog. I have no children, but even so, I never felt that she was my “baby”. She was never treated as a baby, but as a dog. But a strange dog. There was  no species-barrier,  she was sister to me, companion, equal, the one I loved. In life it was just the two of us, as friends and most of my family had died.

Yes I was her protector, but equally, she was mine. Thanks to her companionship she restored me to the place I belonged.

However, on that last night, I was the one in charge. At 6am, with no improvement, instead, a sudden worsening of symptoms, and with a dreadful prognosis for her blood cancer, I made the terrible decision protectors often have to make. To have her euthanized.

She passed away quickly and peacefully. The whole procedure took only five seconds. I heard her last breath being taken as I held her gently, whispering to her to go to sleep, that it was alright now. After that last breath an awful silence started. A silence like no other.

Her body went to the earth, for she had always loved the earth, her feet had always smelled of it. I planted flowers above her, and a little solar light to shine out in the darkness.

And my grieving began. I had never known a devastation like it.