One of the many birds I feed each day at my home in Southern Oregon, a Western Scrub Jay, approached me from the ground and looked up at me in a way that let me know she was in distress. I knelt down on the ground about two feet from her, looked into her eyes and sent an inquiry via shared energy. She hopped twice toward me and transmitted back, “I’m experiencing trauma.”
I was on my way to an appointment. I decided to create a temporary protective shelter with shade, food and water and check her when I returned. She hopped to the water dish, dipped her beak for a drink, but leaned sideways, off-balance, on legs that looked quite weak. I hurried to my appointment and rushed back to check on her.
When I returned she had gone. She ceased to resist the changing of form and permitted her soul the freedom to cross over to the ‘nother places, to continue her infinite journey as a peaceful, gentle LIGHT that once knew flight on Planet Earth.
For all animals that cross my path while in a state of crossing over, or in the after-state of the soul leaving the Earthly body, I conduct a farewell ceremony of respect, honor and dignity that I believe all sentient beings are worthy of. I prepare the body with elements I gather from nature, including herbs and aroma producing plants. I carefully choose a resting spot, a private place, surrounded by nature, usually in the shade of a long-living tree, or shrub. I prepare a place in the ground and line it with plant material, I place the cushioned body into the ground, add a hand-written note. I say a prayer requesting an ongoing future journey free from suffering and attach a blessing.
I cover the site with brush, fresh cut tree branches and plants I hand pick from the area. In addition to the flowers that are left atop the burial site, I also place a memorial marker; a rock, stone or trinket. This time, I prepared an angelic piece of garden art.
Literally moments after placing the memorial and expressing my Farewell of Dignity, a feather fell from the sky and landed at my feet. I experience an enormous amount of emotional joy in this moment. It was most assuredly a sign, from the Spirit places, acknowledging and honoring my choice, to validate life and the crossing of the soul in respect and reverence of a life and LIGHT that mattered every bit as much as my own.
A DIGNIFIED FAREWELL
Your nameless, lifeless body,
ignored by the masses of “humanity,”
so often invalidated
by those who hold
their own lives so dear.
funeral, ceremony, nor memorial considered
was so recently
I pause to make significant note,
in honor of your meaningful existence,
upon your soul,
now ceased to resist the changing of form,
passing on to the ‘nother places.
And in reverent, heartfelt whisper
send you intentional confirmation that
… to me.”
~Gerean Pflug for The Animal Spirits
All rights reserved by Gerean Pflug, author, August 2020. Reposts permitted and welcome when accompanied with a link back to this post.
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