I Am With You Always
Tomorrow we assist our beloved Golden Retriever Gus with making his transition from the physical world back to the invisible realm by putting him down. He has struggled with lung cancer the past several weeks and has reached the point where life in this form is very difficult for him.
His presence and illness, as painful as it has been, has been a real gift to me. For the first time in my life, I had to face death directly. People close to me have died, mainly my stepmother and grandparents. But I did not live close to them so they were not part of my daily routine nor was I part of their death process.
So death has presented itself to me in the form of my dog. His illness gave me the opportunity to question what life in this realm is all about. I look at him with a heavy heart knowing that tomorrow his physical presence will no longer be with us and I wonder where he will go? Will he disappear altogether or will he still be here in some form?
In John 14, Jesus comforts his disciples as he spends the final evening with them before he begins his ordeal that led to his ultimate death. During this discourse, Jesus reassures them that he will be with them always. He tells them that his Father’s house has many dwelling places and that he is going to prepare a place for them. He encourages his followers by saying he will be back for them.
I love this chapter. It gives me comfort thinking that there are layers of existence and this physical plane is just one piece of it. There is so much more to the Universe than the eye can see. As I have witnessed Gus on his journey, I have discovered some of those other dimensions. I have felt the brush of angels wings massaging my heart and reassuring me that even though I can no longer see my friend in the physical realm, he is here with me always.
Then Spirit pulls me deeper into myself where I discover that Gus, along with all of us, is simply a manifestation of love. The impulse of love brought him into our lives and will reclaim him as he lays his body down and returns to the invisible realm.
His illness has taught me that as we say yes to all that life brings us, we open our hearts to the essence of love in all of its forms and learn to trust its presence. Even though I am sad, I celebrate this incredible gift that we have had for the past nine years and I give thanks that the channel of love from which Gus came continues to flow freely through me and into the lives of those around me.
This experience with Gus gave me the chance to face many difficult questions. I have not arrived, nor do I claim that I have all of the answers. What I have as a result is a sense of something greater than just us and what we can see. This deeper awareness brings me a great deal of comfort as I watch my younger brother battle brain cancer and my dad deteriorate from Alzheimer’s. Gus has given me the gift of being able to discover Spirit in the midst of the difficult life and death events that we all face whether in ourselves or our loved one.
We will miss you Gus and give thanks for the incredible gift you have been in our lives. Know that you are so loved as we release you to the loving arms of Spirit.