Pet death is the worst. In this episode, I give you actionable steps to take NOW to begin feeling supported, seen, connected, comforted, held and heard as you grieve and recover.
Just a year ago, I was absolutely flattened when my soul bird of 24 years, Pearl, suddenly and without warning transitioned to spirit.
This episode comes from that immeasurably hard place. I want to share with you what helped me move through that time and into a space where I was quickly able to welcome in a new animal life companion, Pearl's reincarnation, Miss Petal.
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Hi Shannon here with AnimalLoveLanguages. com, your friendly neighborhood podcast host for Let's Talk to Animals, a podcast that all species can enjoy together. And today for our third episode of 2024, for the tipping point year, I wanted to focus on kind of the undercurrent that we are still dealing with in the aftermath of the last few years with the pandemic and the lockdown and the losses and the transitions that so many of us have had to go through. I have also noticed in my own work as an animal sensitive and intuitive and animal communication teacher and facilitator that there have been tremendous numbers of soul animals crossing over to the spirit side. Those of you who have been a part of the Let's Talk to Animals community for a while now are aware that this month last year, my own soul pet of 24 years, my precious cockatiel Pearl, transitioned. It was very sudden, it was extremely unexpected, it was wrenching, it was just one of those things where I felt like somebody had gone in and just forcibly extracted my heart and several of my limbs. I was walking around feeling like I was only a half of who I am. There really are no words and those of you who have gone through that grief process, that, especially a sudden grief process with anyone you love human, non-human, any species. You know I don't have to try to put it into words you know exactly what I'm talking about and you know how it feels like you're walking around but you only have one of your legs, or you only have one of your hands, you only have a brain and no heart, or you only have a heart and no brain, and everything hurts. And you wake up and you've been sleeping and you wake up and you have to reorient yourself each and every morning and think wait, what's wrong with this picture? I just I don't feel like myself. I'm not myself anymore. I don't know who I am. I don't understand any of this. And that is that grief process, that traumatic experience that affects us on all levels. It affects us physically, it affects us emotionally, it affects us intellectually, it affects us relationally, it affects every aspect of us to the point where we can feel paralyzed and just really stuck or we do something that I have done in the past In fact, this was how Pearl and I met is I had lost my very first cockatiel. I've always loved parrots, I've always craved avian company. I've always needed to have a parrot in my life. Life without feathers for me is no life at all. And so when Jacob, my first cockatiel, passed after only three years of being with me and he had, I found out he had a congenital kidney defect and he was never going to make it and it wasn't caught when he was hatched and it was just. It was just traumatic. I mean, a year and a half of our life together was spent rushing back and forth from the vet, not knowing what was wrong. Of course, avian medicine has come a long way since those days, and yet when I was left alone in the aftermath of Jacob's passing, I decided that I was going to put a wall around my heart and I was not going to let any other animal, anyone, ever in again. It just hurt too much. It hurt too much and if you've ever lost a soul, pet, somebody that you really feel bonded with, somebody that comes into your life at a moment when you feel like you can't breathe and they open up your world again and you think every day I can't ever be without this other being and then suddenly their body is not there, you know exactly what I'm talking about. And so I decided there was absolutely no way that I was ever going to let that happen to me again. I would rather be half a person than ever open myself up to love again. And thankfully I have parents who love me and they lured me to a Pet smart back when pets smart still sold cockatiel babies. And that's when I met Pearl, and I won't go into the whole story now. I've shared it in other episodes and you can also head over to my website, animallovelanguagescom and you can read our story. I wrote a story called Love and Feathers what a palm size parrot has taught me about life, love and healthy self-esteem, and I share the wisdom of my soul bird and you can find your own soul pet relationship expressed most likely through the pages through some of the stories, and you can start to contemplate all the lessons that your animal love has taught you as well. But long story short, to just share that. The grief response, especially in those trauma moments when we're really maybe we're expecting it at some level of our being, what we're not tuned in or not really dialed in to our intuition, to what it's telling us, to how it's trying to give us a heads up, to alert us, to ease the grief onslaught a little bit, and that's, of course, what we've been talking about in the last two episodes is really kind of tuning in, trusting and following our intuition. But this happened at a time when I was oblivious of all of that. I couldn't have been further away from describing myself as an intuitive being, or even really knowing that there was such a thing, and so I got really gridlocked in grief. And when I met Pearl, I hadn't healed from Jacob's grief and I never really did, and I didn't discover this until Pearl passed a year ago this month. He passed in the exact same way that Jacob did and the trauma that I felt in the grief response that I had was exactly the same. And that's when I really started to explore this grief response that we have. And, of course, this time Pearl had brought me to animal communication. Through many, many years of hiring animal communicators, I developed the gift myself into a skill and have now been able to share that with you and through this podcast, through my private sessions in classes, through the animal communication courses that I teach, and I've also been able to really spend more time delving into what keeps us stuck in grief, because now it's much more intuitive for me to feel what is deeper than that surface level. It's like if you look at grief like in ocean, and at the bottom, deep down, underneath the waves of the grief response, there's the continued connection, but then up there at the surface, there's this really choppy water and kind of this hurricane really going on at the surface with these tremendous waves and the crashing and the thunder and the lightning and just the craziness of the response when it first happens and how to move through that in the quickest way. And so that's why I've really called this podcast fast grief recovery from pet loss, because I want to help you through that initial period by giving you some tools that have really worked well for me that can help you dive beneath the waves that are inevitable and help you find the resilience and the reconnection that you need to survive and thrive and move forward. I've worked with too many pet parents over the last few years that get stuck in the grief itself, that initial grief response, the howling, the pacing, the desperation, the desire to go where they went, and I've been through that. I've been through that ringer and I've been through it and I've been through it and I've been through it and I've learned some things about how to move through that piece of the grief process rapidly, and I want to share those with you today, especially if you find yourself in that space right now, or if you're still in the early stages of moving through it, or if you're watching a beloved soul pet going through their transition period. Maybe they're in hospice, maybe they're beginning their final transition to the spirit side, maybe you're really in that moment right now or you're shepherding them through it and you just can't see any further than the moment when their body is no more. I hope that this will be helpful for you. It's something that will hold us back if we let it, and most of us don't have enough tools in our toolkit to avoid getting stuck, getting trapped in the grief response, and so that's really my aim here is to unstick you if you've gotten stuck, to give you some tools that have really worked for me, and also to give you kind of a heads up. If this is, you're kind of looking down that tunnel yourself and you're not seeing a light, at the end you're seeing only more darkness. I want you to know that there's a lot more here that we can work with and that there are some things that you can do, starting right now, to help you get unstuck, to help you raise your vibration, to help you enter into a better feeling state and to find the connection that still is available to you, even though your pet's body is no more. So I hope that makes sense to you, and you may need to listen to this podcast episode a couple times. Please do reach out to me if you have questions, but my ultimate goal is to be of service and share some things that have worked for me, in hopes that they might be of value to you as well. And where I really want to start is actually with the word recovery itself. When I say fast grief recovery, what am I talking about? What does that even mean? Because we hear something like that and we think, oh, come on, don't belittle the grief process, or as if you really think I'm ever going to recover from this, let alone quickly. And I want to back up a little bit and talk about what the word recovery really means and what it means to me. When I say recovery, I'm looking at the classical definition. We're going back to the root words of recovery and we're looking at the original meaning, which means to recover or to restore or to get back something that is in danger of being lost. And in the case of the grief response, what is in danger of being lost forever or for a time? What is it that has temporarily or forever gone missing that we desperately wish to have back? The primary valuable thing that we want, that we're looking for, is the connection. My pet's body has died, my pet is no more. I cannot see them, I cannot smell them, I cannot hear them. Maybe you hear a whine or a bark or a chirp at night, but for the most part they are not accessible to you in terms of interacting with them through your outward-facing physical senses. I want to know more about that. Listen to the last podcast episode, the one just prior to this, where I talk a little bit more about the series on intuition. I talk a little bit more about outward-facing versus inward-facing sensory abilities. But what we're looking at with recovery is we're looking at the act of rescuing, of saving from danger, of restoring back to connection, back to sanity. Even I'm so grateful that my mom asked me to move in with her after my dad died and she had a hip replacement and needed help with the house, because she has helped me so much. I felt like I was in danger of losing my sanity when Pearl first passed. It's only because I am so aware of these tools and I have so much support in the inter-species communication community, as well as through my intuitive teachers and coaches and the people in my life through the work that I do, that I have been able to move through it as quickly as I can and establish a reconnection with Pearl. What we're doing is we're really rescuing you from the danger of being stuck in your grief forever. That is the recovery process. Come here, come here, sweetie, come here, baby. She's in her cage with the door open and she's calling for me to get her. Of course, this is Ms Petal. For those of you who are new to let's Talk to Animals and you haven't met her, she is the reincarnation of my full bird, pearl. That's a whole other story that we talked about last season for let's Talk to Animals. You can look that up in the past episodes. Here again, for recovery we're talking about to return you back to an operational state, to recover what is in danger of being lost temporarily or forever, to give you the tools that you need to go on with your life and to weather the storm that must come, that is here for some of you, and still find your way through and maybe even surprise yourself. Hopefully surprise yourself with some of the new experiences that come your way that only the grief process makes accessible to you. For me personally and I'm just looking back at the times that I've gone through extreme grief in a loss, either because an animal of mine went missing and I was never able to recover them and I was never able to get any closure and find out what happened, or because an animal of mine, their physical body, gave out and they transitioned to spirit. And here I am now with no animal to interact with on a physical level and a sensory level, and I'm feeling that catastrophic grief. The very first tool that I encourage you to make full use of is acceptance. This is what I call the oh shit response Excuse me, for I'm pretty adult language friendly in terms of like yeah, I know all those words and I say them sometimes more than other times, but this is the oh shit response. I'm just going to be playing with you. You see the storm it's like here in Houston we have hurricanes and they can be big ones and my parents house flooded in a hurricane Harvey, which happened in 2017, we know the hurricane full good and well. We look out and we see it. You see it. So if you live in an area that has cataclysmic disaster, natural disaster time to time earthquakes or typhoons or Nor'easters or whatever they are then you know what it is like to look out and see it coming, even if you don't particularly see it coming through. A pet in hospice and your pet has transitioned. Suddenly there it is All of a sudden. It has rolled in overnight and it is here and you're looking at it and you're like there is no way I'm going to survive this, and you're also aware there's no way out the through. And there's a part of you this is the part I want you to really get in touch with there's a part of you that's saying I don't want to feel that, I do not want that, I did not order that, I am not doing that, and that is the part that you have to make friends with and you have to say I hear you, I don't want this either. You almost kind of have to do some inner child work and you have to go. I get it. This sucks. This is the oh, this sucks. I'm going to have to feel things I don't want to feel. I'm going to have to go through the dark night of the soul. I'm going to have to go into that dark tunnel and I cannot see any light at the end. I don't want to do it, and that is what you have to accept. This is happening, like it or not. And then this is when you can feel your inner spirit fire up a little bit and go okay, then this is going to suck and this is when you get to make a decision. Are you going to be hard on yourself? Are you going to treat yourself like public enemy number one? Are you going to fight the fact that you have to go through this all the way through? It's like a dream that one of my mentors, my meditation mentors, had, and she said in the dream she was in the ocean with a whole bunch of beings Some were human, some were non-human and a big storm came up and she was on the surface and the waves were crashing and everyone was struggling to get back into shore and all of a sudden, her intuition told her to just sink down underneath the waves and as she did this, she just took a deep breath, sunk down underneath the waves and allowed the current to carry her into shore, and when she got there, she saw all of her compatriots, everyone else who had been in the water with her. They had all made it, and yet some were relatively unscathed, they were okay, like her, and some were just broken and battered because they had tried to ride the waves and the waves had broken them. And so what I'm encouraging you to do is to see the waves and to go one way or another. I need to get back to shore and allow yourself to find the most easeful. The safest path and the safest path is to be kind to yourself, to be very, very kind. That means putting on hold anything that's optional. You can tell, you'll know which ones are optional the things that you think. Oh, I really can't reschedule that. Chances are really good that you can. Just being kind, just deciding this is going to suck more than anything's ever sucked in my life, and I don't want to do this. Well, okay, then. It's kind of like a decision I made many years ago when I was still trying to recover from anorexia and bulimia. That's a 20 year battle. That's a whole other story and a whole other line of work that I used to be in, but at one point I decided that if I was going to have to spend 24 seven with myself for the rest of my life, I wanted to be fun to hang out with. I wanted to be friend myself, and I started working on that. It wasn't easy. I didn't like myself very much, or really at all, when I started doing that work, but I want to encourage you to befriend yourself in this process, and that starts with acceptance. That starts with partnering with yourself. That starts with talking to yourself like your best friend is right there with you 24 seven and saying, okay, yeah, this really does suck. I really don't want to feel, I don't want to cry right now. I'm tired of crying, crying again, really well, okay then, if that's what I really need to do, really talking yourself through it. I don't want to this sex, oh shit. Whatever you need to say, say all the adult words, whatever you need to do, and go through it step by step, being as kind as you can possibly be to yourself. And this is how we shorten the necessary. We don't get out of it. This is part of what keeps us stuck, and I am no exception. I don't want to do it, so I'm just not. Well, guess what? That doesn't get me out of going through the grief process. What it does do is it keeps me stuck in it for longer. So, partner with yourself, be kind to yourself, cancel whatever is humanly possible to cancel. The next tip as you start that process is to move. This is not just one of the four fundamental pillars of success in animal communication that I teach to every single student that I work with. It's something that I teach to every single pet parent who comes to me for a private session for pets and transition or pets in spirit, where they're really going through the grief process and they just need someone to hold space. They need someone to help them reconnect. They need someone to talk with about it, hopefully someone that can equip them with some positive tools to get through what you don't think you can get the unget throughable, I guess, is the. That's not really a word, but that's what it feels like. So one of the fundamentals is to move. Why? Because your lymphatic system that is responsible for moving toxins out of your body stuck energy in your body, excess cortisol, the hormone our body secretes in response to extreme stress. That lymphatic system doesn't have a pump. The only pump that it has is us moving our body. And so if you feel worse and you don't want to feel even worse, you will give yourself the gift of getting up and moving, even if it's just to go to the bathroom and back and then to crawl back into bed. Go walk around your house, go make a cup of tea, stay hydrated. If the only reason you move is to keep hydrating and then go pee it out, then keep hydrating and go pee it out, but just keep. You've got to move. Go for a walk. I went to a local beautiful nature spot near my house and I would just put my dark glasses on and I would walk and I would talk to Pearl and I would cry behind my dark glasses, not saying you can't just cry right out in the open. Of course you can, but my grief felt very private to me. I knew I needed to move, but I wasn't ready to talk to anybody about it Except Pearl. So I would go on these long nature walks and I would sit. There was a pond with some baby turtles in it and some little ducklings and I would sit there and I would walk around the pond and I would talk to Pearl and I would talk to nature and I would say how do you do this? You see death every day, you see loss every day, you see trauma every day. How do you do it? How do you stay alive? How do you keep supporting me and everyone else that's here on your land, on your water, and I would ask for help and I would move my body and I'd move the cortisol out of my body. So you really need to move. It's not going to necessarily make you feel great, but it'll make you feel not as bad because you'll be getting some of that excess cortisol out of your body and getting your body moving again. And now the next tool is going to sound counterintuitive, given what I just said, but you need to rest. Oh, you need to rest. The amount of energy it takes to grieve, to grieve productively, to grieve actively, to be in those moments when the waters are the choppiest, the amount of energy it takes out of you is so tremendous. You could work out all day long and you wouldn't burn as much energy as you do just having a good cry. It just it, because it takes all of you. It's kinetic, it's sensory, it's emotional, it's also intellectual. Every system is engaged in active, productive grief. In order to recover every day, you need to rest, and you may not be able to rest on your normal schedule. It's important not to put an expectation on okay, I'm going to sleep from 10 pm to 8 am, which is my normal schedule. That may not be possible when you're grieving. You may not be able to get to sleep so easily. You may not be able to stay asleep. So you need to rest when you can rest. If that means a nap at 3 pm in the afternoon, because that is when you can sleep, then that is when you should sleep. And if you cannot sleep, then I want to encourage you to rest productively. You can even cocoon yourself kind of like an adult swaddle If you're familiar with the practice of swaddling babies to kind of give them comfort, you can swaddle yourself. I do this by crawling in my bed. I have two body pillows. I put one on my front, one on my back. I pull the covers over my head and I put a pillow over my head and it's like a pillow hug. It makes me feel safe and in the grief process there isn't very much in this world that can make us feel truly safe, especially when we feel like we've lost the one being in our life who truly gets us, who truly loves us no matter what, and whom we truly love no matter what. There is almost nothing on earth that can make us feel truly safe, so we need to just do our best, we need to approximate feeling safe until we can recover that which is in danger, which feels like it's in danger of being lost, and so this rest that means I've got this big comfy chair. If you're watching the video version, you can see it just past Petal's enormous cage and I curl up in that it's a lazy boy so it kicks out into a full-on lounge and I get one of my big cushy pillows and very I love soft things and so cuddly things, and so I get in there and just cuddle up and I feel held and I feel as safe as it is possible to safe when grief is active, so that I really encourage you to do that when as often as you can, and just be so gentle and kind to your every system in your body your physical system, your emotional system, your intellectual system, your relational system. They're all in crisis and 10 to them, 10 to them, 10 to them, 10 to them, 10 to them. They need you. The fourth tip I want to share with you to get through the grief process as fast as you can, as fast as is possible, is to connect, or should I say reconnect. One of the things that our fight-flight-freeze-tender-be-friend system does for us it's supposed it's trying to help us. It's supposed to its intention is to help us is it shuts us off, it connects, it closes all the storm doors, it goes down into the basement or the cellar or it holes up in the bathroom. If you live here in the south, in hurricane season we don't have basements, so we're told to go into the bathroom and shut the doors and climb into the shower or the tub because that's the most secure spot, and so that's what our fight-flight-freeze-tender-be-friend system does on our behalf when we have an extreme trauma response. It shuts the storm doors on all sides above and below and on all sides and cuts us off. Everything suddenly feels threatening, everything suddenly feels unsafe, everything suddenly feels extremely painful and traumatizing, and so it spattens down all the hatchets and sequesters us and we're isolated and we're safe. In theory. We don't feel safe, but we're also disconnected and that's not a sustainable place to be. And so there are two levels of reconnection, of connection well, three really, and we've been talking about level one, which is reconnection with self, reconnection with you, partnering with yourself, befriending yourself, really just showing up for yourself and being really, really brutally honest. Yes, this sucks. No, I don't want to go through this, okay, and then just step by step by step, accepting, showing up, feeling the feelings and going through the thing that we didn't think we could survive. And I'm trust me again when I share that. I've been there many times and I was there a year ago, this month, and I flew through not to be too cheesy of an analogy, but I flew through the grief process. And that doesn't mean I don't still have days where I cry about Pearl. He's buried in the backyard and every day when I go outside and I see where his little spot is and I say I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you. And there are days when Petal, his reincarnation, is just acting up and being her crazy baby bird self. And I go out there and I say to Pearl, who was 24 and was very sedate, would just sit on my shoulder and just support me all day long. And he was there. I mean, he'd be just sitting here on my shoulder for all of my podcasts and everything I did, all the times that I would teach my sessions. I would say I miss you so much, so I'm not saying that you're not still going to feel those feelings when they come up. There is no such thing as recovery from grief in the sense of I'm going back to a place where I was before or I'm everything's going to be normal again. Our life, our heart has been profoundly changed. That's part of the price we pay for being in these 3D physical bodies. When there's a transition and someone we love is now disembodied is on the spirit side. That is profoundly changing for everything that we know, all of who we are. It changes everything in our life, including how worried we are about dying. There is a part of me that cannot wait to get back home, what I consider my home, my vacation home. A lot of animals tell me it's like their vacation home. It's a very familiar spot. It's a spot that they go back to rest and recharge in between incarnations. It's a place that they know well and they do not fear going to. They look forward to it. On some level, it changes our relationship with everything about ourselves, about life, about what we perceive that life is or it isn't, about what's possible in terms of staying connected. We have to recognize that. You have to recognize there is no going back. There is no I'm going to bounce back from this. No, you're not. We're not going backwards here, we're going forwards. Forwards is always going to look different, it's going to feel different, learning. That is part of that first process. I'm talking about where we rest and we move and we befriend ourselves and we say, okay, what's next? Life is happening for me, to evolve me, to grow me, to grow my resilience, to grow my empathy, to grow my humility, to grow my capacity to love and be loved, to grow my courage, to grow my compassion, my ability to be of service. There are so many lessons packed into the grief experience, none of which we ordered, we think, none of which we wanted, we think. And yet these sole contracts exist and they've always existed, and that's why we love our pets so much and they love us so much is because we have a sole contract that we agreed to before we came here and that would include this ripple effect and the gifts that we didn't think we wanted, and there's a part of our 3D self that will never want it. I never, ever, ever want Pearl to be gone, even though I have him back in the form of Petal and it's wonderful. But it's also really different. I talk a lot more about pet reincarnation last season at the end of last season. So if you want to learn more about that and what it's really like and what pet reincarnation looks like and what it means and how it feels, you can head back over to those episodes. But for now, I want you to understand that there is still a necessity of reconnecting. Now, depending on kind of just your personality type and the relationships that you have and how you're, you know what feels good for you and your world reconnection may not look like talking about your pet's passing. I know a lot of the pet parents I work with. Maybe I've worked with you and you may not have people in your life that are comfortable talking about pet death, that may not regard it as equal to human animal death, that may not understand why you are so upset and why you are so sad and why your heart hurts and all of that, all of that that comes with the territory. And so don't talk to those people. You know who they are. Don't tell them, don't say anything. If they ask, just say thank you for asking, I'm thank you, that moves me that you asked. I really really appreciate that. And don't say, don't give them any information about how you're actually feeling. Don't open up to people who are going to shut you down. That's my number one advice. But reconnect with anyone who will support you and if that means having a pet session, I have many pet parents who just we they cry, you know, because you need to. You need to be with somebody who gets it. I needed that. I needed so badly to be with people who could just stand there and be with me as I cried, to be on Zoom with me or on the phone with me. Who could, who would just check in with me on text. That's one of the wonderful things about learning animal communication is you do gain access to a community of people who really do get it. They really can't hold space and they really empathize and they really do not see division in value of a life based on what costume you're wearing, what species you are A bird life and a dog life and a cat life and a human life do not come with different levels of value, different levels of grief, worthiness. The love is all that matters. And so those, those human animals in your life, those individuals who can support you, do allow them to, even if you're not ready to talk about it, just accept their texts, send them a text back if you're not ready to talk, but just thank them and just just let them know, at least because they can hold space for you, they can pray for you, they can support you. The other level of reconnection is deeper, and here we're going to get into a little bit of mechanics. So just listen, and if you're not quite ready to let it in yet, that's okay, you can always go back. Come back to this episode once the initial grief storm has really passed. But I want to share something that is goes a little deeper than what you'll find in most grief recovery kind of programs or even the five stages of grief and things like that, which is that part of the reason why grief is so painful for us human animals is that we really, really think that the connection is severed when the body is no longer viable, can no longer function, it can no longer host that animal's soul, their spirit, their energy. Whether you want to look at it from a scientific or a soul level or spirit level perspective, either way the evidence is there that there's a difference between that physical organism, that body or costume, and the energy, the essence of the being inhabiting it. And I saw this so, so, so, very clearly with my dad when he passed. I was lucky, I was blessed enough to be there when he took his final breath and I had been doing Reiki with him. If you're not familiar, reiki is a is a energy healing modality passed on actively through attunement from master to student. And Reiki was essential for my dad and he was in a coma. He was tolerating the medications they were giving him to keep the comfort, the palliative care, the hospice care, very poorly. He was not really able to metabolize. He was in a coma for 17 days with no fluid, no, really, no nothing, as his body shut down and it was very difficult and I was giving him Reiki every four hours when he took his palliative care medications and it really really helped him Right after his spirit, his soul, his energy, the essence of who he is passed out of his physical body for the final time. I tried once again to give him Reiki. It was profoundly different. There was no energy in the body to interact with. If you've ever been there at that moment when a being you love, of any species, passes out of their physical body for the final time, you can feel it. You can feel it when you hold your hands over there, the physical form, where they used to be, where they used to call home, and you could feel they're not home anymore. There's a profound difference between the body, the physical organism, the container, the costume, the home, the mobile home, if you will, and the being that dwells there. And so what happens is because our education, our workplace training, either even our relationship, socials building, is focused on the left brain, logical, analytical, rational mind. What happens is that's where we go to understand what's happened when our animal dies and it can't access the part of us that's connected to our animal, and so it can't sense that the connection itself is still alive. And that's why it hurts so much, because there's a dichotomy going on inside there's the part of us that's still connected and feels that connection, and then there's our left brain mind saying you've lost them. You're disconnected. So what we feel and what we say to ourselves don't match up. And because most of our education and training and our indoctrination, our culturalization, is all about blaming the mind the left brain, logical, analytical mind and discounting or even actively ignoring and discounting everything else our emotion, our relationships, our soul contracts, by which we mean those people and beings that you meet and you just feel connected and you're like your best friends since yesterday and you don't know why. And that's a soul contract. We have no explanation for that through the left brain, logical, analytical, rational mind, but it exists. Everybody has these experiences. You just meet the pet and you just know that they're the one. You just meet a new friend and you just feel connected and other people you've known them for 20 years and you never really get beyond hello and you never feel really comfortable or enjoy each other's company. All that much. That's soul contracts in action. And so we've got this dichotomy going on inside and it's this fight of who's telling the truth. And because we default to believing our left brain mind, we're in a lot more pain than we need to be. We're stuck in the grief when, in reality, all the rest of us are saying you're still connected, there's just no body anymore, there's no body to interact with. Their bodies are really cute and they're wonderful. We love them. We're really, really attached to the body and that's normal. And that's natural and that's part of the temporary storm, that major storm that we have to go through. But what we're recovering, what we're in danger of losing forever, is the connection energy to energy, soul to soul, the bond that was never broken. It can't be broken. It's been there since before we met. Otherwise we would never have known them, we wouldn't have recognized them, we would not have said yes. Without the bond there can be no yes. Soul contracts come in all shapes and sizes, all flavors. Some are very fleeting, kind of like that old cliched saying friends for a reason, season or lifetime. Soul contracts are the same Summer, temporary summer, meant to last forever. Some of my animals may outlive me. They're called legacy pets. That's a sole contract. Let me tell you that's a really special one. I'm in charge of planning out for someone's well-being that may outlive me. That's tremendous, just like when you have a child. In most cases you look at these sole contracts and you say that connection has always been and is now and will always be. And yet the left brain mind is saying, oh no, the body's gone. Therefore that's it. You've got to get over it and you've got to be without this love bond, this narcotic of love. It's like cocaine or opium in the brain. It's just so powerful. So when we think we've lost it, we go crazy and we're in danger. And that's what recovery is we're covering that which was almost lost forever. And when we get stuck in the grief process, it's because we've either convinced ourselves, we've allowed others to convince us, that what is absolutely necessary for our basic well-being, for us to go on in life, we've allowed ourselves to be convinced that it is lost forever and we think we can't go on. And so we're gridlocked. We're like I'm still here, I'm still breathing, I still have to go to the bathroom, but I'm not home, I don't want to go on. And so we've got to get back to this place where we recognize that the essence of our connection is unchanged, if anything, that it's been elevated. We now have access to a higher vibration frequency. We have access to a whole new level of love and connection. We're going to learn a whole heck of a lot about what is possible if we open up to what's truly true, which is the body is no more. It was no longer habitable for some reason, and so it's shut down and it's occupant, who is the one that we love, has moved addresses and is now in a different place. And what can really help here and this is where I want to leave you for this episode what can really really help here is to spend some time. It's going to feel painful. You're going to resist it. Most likely You're not going to want to because your left brain mind is going to say it's not productive. You're just going to be digging into an open wound. You're going to be pressing on an area of bruise that already hurts. But in truth, there's a difference between productive pain, like massaging a scar to soften the tissues and guard against adhesions, versus pushing yourself when you're injured and only making the injury is worse. So here what we're doing is we're massaging that tissue to prevent an adhesion, preventing an emotional adhesion, preventing you getting stuck in a trauma response. And we're saying to prevent the adhesion, what you need to do is spend some time feeling the love that you feel for your animal. As much as you can Feel the love. Watch videos. Sometimes I just watch Pearl's videos. Sometimes I just look at his picture. I have his picture every animal communication session. I do his picture. Even though I have Ms Petal with me and I love her wholeheartedly and I know who she really is, she's still quite different in many ways from Pearl, the Pearl that I lost in his personality, and so I have his picture right behind my laptop. I'm looking at it right now. When I'm connecting intuitively with your pets, I'm first and foremost connecting to the love that he and I share. I'm connecting to that timeless, soulful, endless love, the soul contract bond that we share and that brings me the thing, the drug of choice that I think of. My left brain mind thinks I've lost it brings it back. I have it again. I get another hit. To put it in really blunt left brain language, there's a part of your whole neural system, your electrochemical system, that is reacting like a drug that you're addicted to has suddenly been withdrawn and it is so super painful, not just psychically, not just emotionally, but physically. This is why so often grief actually hurts Like this is another reason why we need to move and move the cortisol and just stretch, even as I talk and some of my own feelings of grief and I go back into those memories and it hurts. It hurts, it's supposed to hurt, because at the neurochemical level, your left brain mind has convinced you that your supplier skipped down and you're not getting any more of your drug and you're going to die without it. This is how we get it back, or recovering what is in danger of being lost forever, which is an endless supply of the only drug any of us really need to live and thrive, which is connection. It's that feeling of unconditional love that our pet gave to us and we give to them and we, first and foremost, we enjoy it together. We both tune into our personal experience of unconditional love and then we enjoy sharing it with each other. And so when you watch videos, when you look at pictures, when you create a special area, don't give away everything all at once, unless that just really feels right to you. Save some special things, and they don't have to be glamorous things. I saved Pearl's old seatball and his rattled, tattered old canisters that I used to keep his food in, things that were just daily life, ritual things for us, and I kept them, and I'm so glad I did. It's been more than a year. Petal is about to turn one and she was hatched on December 22nd. She was hatched on January 16th and Pearl died on January 8th of last year, and so the timing is just so amazing to me. I look back and all this evidence existed that my life was still in motion. There was no drug withdrawal, that was going on, it was all right there. But there's this whole process that we have to go through and we don't understand it. We have not been trained in it and, if you're like me, here in the West, in the United States, we live in a culture that is very much opposed to discussing it. I actually joined a death cafe for a while, which is a positive discussion group around death. It's not a grief recovery support group, but it is a place to discuss death and not have everyone run away from you or change the subject or look across the room and think they see someone they know and race away. So the recovery is the reconnection. Connect with the love that you feel, reconnect with the love bond with your pet and then start to talk with them time and time again in pets and spirit sessions that I do, the animal will say to me tell my mom, or tell my dad to talk to me, just like they used to tell them to go on the walks that we used to go on and still point out all the things that we used to see together. Tell them to share everything with me, including how much they miss me, how much they miss my body that they used to love to see and to cuddle with and to pad and to attend to. Don't stop talking to me. I'm still here, still. Ask me for guidance, still ask me for help, still ask me what I need, Ask me what it's like where I am now. Ask me write me letters, if that's the way. You can speak it into a voice app. You can write longhand, you could type on your computer. You can share everything with me, just like you used to. Let me back in, let me in, share your life with me and ask me about mine, cause my life goes on too. I have so much to share with you and I'm learning so many things that I wanna share with you. So reconnect at this deeper level, and this is what brings us through. This is where I'm saying fast grief recovery. We're recovering what is in danger of being lost forever, which is the love bond, the unbroken connection. We're in danger of allowing our left brain mind that only can dwell in two places the past and the future. It's never gonna be here in the present, which is where the love is. We're in danger of letting our own left brain mind convince us that we've lost something that we cannot live without, and that is when we get stuck in grief. So reconnect and you will recover the valuable, the end by the pearl of great price, the precious, the one possession that you have that you cannot live without. You'll recover this and this allows you to continue, not be a shell, not be a shadow, not be stuck in PTSD, but to continue forward and plan your next steps. Whether that means you want to have a session and ask your pet if they will come back to you Through pet reincarnation like I did with petal and pearl, I've helped many clients through this process whether it is to discover the animal that you have your next soul contract with. Whether it is to ask your animal and spirit for guidance on what is next for you in your life and to reconnect and to hear how their life is going as well. Whatever feels right for you and that does not in any way, shape or form imply that you need to rush right into having another animal in your life. You just take the time it takes and go through the process. And the most important thing, the big learning, the big valuable present that none of us ordered, think we ordered, none of us think we want, is the discovery that the body has nothing to do with the love. The body has nothing to do with the connection. The body has nothing to do with the relationship. The body is just the body. And that can be tough, especially those of us here in the West who've been really subjected to Western religious doctrine and there's a whole reason for why that is the way that it is but the doctrine that says we only get one chance and the body is us, and that hasn't been my experience. I was raised in that culture and that indoctrinated, just like the rest of us here, but that has not been my experience and it's not what the animals tell me every day and it's not what I've experienced myself with the animals that have passed out of their bodies. They have not passed out of my life and I have not passed out of their life and we still love each other just as much whether there's a body present or not. So give this a try, especially if you are just moving through the first tumultuous hours or days of the grief response. Give this a try to recover what you never have to lose, what you've never lost, what you can never lose, and let me know how it goes for you. Let me know if there's any way I can support you. Let me know if you try on any of this for size and you maybe experiment with it, maybe you play around with it, maybe you alter it in a way that works better for you. I'd love to hear about that and just know that your animal is waiting to reconnect with you, and I send you all of my love with all of my heart. Okay, so do keep in touch. Do let me know how it goes for you. If you're listening to this on behalf of a friend who's going through a grief storm, please do send this episode link to them and if they're open to it, hopefully it will be a source of support, welcome compassion and, in a world that still is all too uncomfortable in many places, talking about death and grief, regardless of which species it is who's crossed over out of their body, and please do let any grief support communities that you're participating in, especially those focused on animals and pets. Let them know that this is a resource that they can make use of as well. So I send you all my love. I'll be back with you in two weeks and we can reconnect. And all my love with all my heart. Alright, bye for now.