2020 has been a year of many surprises. One of them was to join Cathy Heller's MTDT program which has been such a blessing in such a drastic time in my life. I have always wanted to do a business mixing art, my love for animals, mental health, and touching people's lives; connecting and bonding with others. This journey opened up opportunities for me to face my pain and grief I've been holding up for 2 decades. Twenty years! This is crazy.
Besides the fact that this timeframe is making me feel like my life is passing as fast as a blink of an eye, it really didn't feel like I've been holding onto so much for so long. Until the passing of my sweet hamster Penelope last Fall. I didn't realize how much pain I've been holding on to. When she passed, all the pain from the losses of many pets growing up, and the passing of the one cat I ever had as an adult came back. I was a wreck. Holding in my hands this tiny critter as she was passing away, instead of saying goodbye in a still, spiritual way making sure she felt calm and at peace, I'm pretty sure I scared the crap out of her while she was crossing the rainbow bridge with my frantic screams in agony and drenched in a sea of tears. I really couldn't contain all those emotions, and they all came out in a sorrowful explosion.
This opened up my eyes to realize I still had all this pain from the trauma of losing not only all the belongings a 13 year old can have, but losing the bond this child had with an amazing cat. She was my first pet. My first bond with an animal. She must've been seven years old at that time. She was the first out of four cats we had in total. She was a grump, didn't like the other cats very much, or my other family members for that matter, but me. She would grab my index finger with her mouth and guide me to her secret hide out. She would purr while she would find herself a sweet spot to sleep between my bedsheets and my arms. She would find a way to sneak into one of my drawers in my closet, and stay there until I came back from school. I taught her to come to my whistling. When I wouldn't see her I'd whistle and she would come to my calling. I found security in her. I found unconditional love and I know she felt the same love from me.
After her passing I'd have these nightmares of her meowing, but I couldn't find her. I'd find myself whistling but she never came back. I blamed myself for her loss, because I wasn't there to protect her. I blamed myself because I didn't act on the prompting to go back home as I would be spending the night at my sister's house. I ignored that feeling. The next morning I saw one of my cats jumping on the bed, smelling funny. I was surprised by this, but was suspecting something wasn't right. I cried for hours after the news of my apartment burning down, and finding out the lives it took, as my pet mouse also was taken from me the night of December 26th of the year 2000.
The heart of a child is so tender and fragile, it needs direction to know how to process all that loss. I didn't have any direction, and I don't blame my parents as it was such a traumatic event that I don't know how they were dealing with everything else themselves. My pain, my tears, my loss wasn't discussed, comforted, or guided. Those pure and raw feelings were only muted and dimmed as I grew up and kept going on with life. "Gotta move on" right?
Wrong. The pain from grief isn't healed by time, as I discovered by experience. The pain from grief is healed by being able to open up the heart and discus what is sorrowful. By embracing that grief and letting go of it; letting go of the pain. Let yourself feel the feels, and process them. Releasing those emotions I've been holding inside my tender heart, was truly therapeutic.
With the help of Hannah Peil Life Coach specialized in Grief; and Crystal Young and her Pet Channeling session, I learned that it is ok to feel what you feel. That the shame, guilt and pressure we put on ourselves after the loss of someone or in this case a pet, doesn't serve you and needs to be let go. That it is NOT YOUR FAULT, these lives were taken. That it is ok to let go, because by doing so it doesn't mean we're forgetting our loved animal ones, but on the contrary, we can honor them in sacred ways.
Processing all these emotions wasn't pleasant, it was painful to be honest, but the minute these thoughts of shame & guilt were let go, the moment I allowed myself to feel and release those raw and intense feelings, I was free. It doesn't serve me to blame myself for one reason or another. My pets would rather be the ones to die than me (as the fire started in my bedroom, and if I had been there, I might have been the one who's life would've been lost). They love me. They love me in present tense because I know they are still around, and that one day I will be able to whistle again, and Kitty will come to my call. That day will be joyful and will tell her how wonderful my earthly life was. That I missed her but she was in my heart, always.
As I continue to release those emotions from every single loss I've had, I found myself longing for a space to share my experiences, and help other people share theirs as well. To help others find their own healing paths, and to find support and connection in these painful times. This is how Lilac Iris Studio came to be, and this is why I created the LIStribe Facebook group. It is my sincere wish that we can connect and bond through this healing journey. I am thankful for being able to be vulnerable with you, for you reading me and supporting me in this journey, which is not an easy road to take.