Saying Goodbye to Miss
Saying goodbye to my sweetest girl ever. Ah, what a life! I will love you forever, Little Miss. Forever. May 29th, 2017

Life is not for the faint of heart. And neither is love. Especially when a love is so great, it calls you to let your loved one go.

As many of you know, this is exactly what I had to do on Monday, May 29th, 2017… Memorial Day. I had to give, Little Miss, my most precious, life-long companion of 35 years, back to the Heavenly pasture from whence she came.

If we ever wonder how powerful love can be, or the vast capacity of it’s enormity, we get to find out first hand when that moment comes and you recognize your love transcends any selfish thoughts or feelings, and instead rises from the anguishing disbelief and sadness to stand up with a strength you didn’t know was possible in order to do the “right” thing – to say goodbye, one final time — to the one who lived their whole life showing you what that love is. I’m not sure there are words to adequately describe that feeling. All I know is it is big and it was the most difficult – and the most loving – decision of my entire life.

As someone recently told me, “nothing like a death to make us clearer in ourselves and our life.” It is often through the pain of loss that we wake up to parts of ourselves we aren’t otherwise aware of and we grow. Painfully so. We can’t experience growth and comfort at the same time.

So here I sit on Little Miss’s hill in her pasture, overlooking the Santa Ynez Valley. It’s her favorite spot. Naturally it feels unusually and uncomfortably quiet. The breeze seems to emphasize this time of profound change. I’m here with Josh. We are both adjusting to life without the physical presence of Miss. It still doesn’t feel real. I wonder if I’m a little numb because honestly, in this moment, I have a peace within me that feels a bit odd. I mean, what happened to the gasping sobs from the gaping hole in my heart from just a few days ago? After all, it’s only been two weeks since we had to release her back to her “soul herd” – a phrase Sue Hopple, the animal communicator, shared with me in a session a few days ago.

“I see her on a hill with Sultan (her soulmate companion she lost three years ago), along with a dark bay (probably Dexter – her best buddy from when we first moved to California who passed on in the ‘90s) along with other horses, as well. This is her herd and she is their leader,” she said.

I find myself smiling, not surprised. Of course, Miss would be their leader. As above, so below. Miss has always been a leader, in the most loving, kind way that ensures everyone and all feel important and loved. That was and continues to be her way, not to mention, her sole/soul legacy in this life.

Little Miss was and IS love. In fact, Mom and I have decided we will not refer to her in the past tense because she’s isn’t in the past. She is still “here.” She has only changed forms, which is true for all souls – human or animal – who have crossed over the thin veil between the physical and spiritual.

As Einstein said, “Energy can not be created nor destroyed. It only can be changed from one form to another. “

So yes, Miss has only changed form, indeed, and I have “felt her” a few times since that day, but let’s face it… the intellectual concept can, in no way, fill the inconsolable space in my heart missing her physical presence. I can only describe it as losing a child after 35 years. You grow and continue on with life – even living a wonderful life – but you are forever changed simply because a part of you is no longer sharing space in this physical world. And that world of mine has not only shifted on its axis, it has profoundly changed it and me forever. Imagine two trees growing together over their lifespan. That  was/is me and my Miss. Is it even possible to separate souls forever intertwined? Not according to Miss, but that’s another story for another day…

Making That Decision…

So what happened? What made me come to that almost unbearable decision on Sunday night, May 28th, when I knew in that moment that it was time? Lord knows it was not a decision made on a whim, rather more of a long process of acceptance and “coming to terms” with the reality that my sweet girl was really leaving her life here. The process of wrapping my head around that took some time, to say the least, because in my mind, we still had things to do. I mean, her first book is coming out this year. She needed to be here for that, right? After all, I distinctly felt her nudging me at the beginning of the year to get moving on that… and I was.

Yet, the beginning of the “end” came around the last week of March when Little Miss showed me her first horrible case of diarrhea — something she had never experienced in 36 years of life, or at least the 35 years that she was in our care. At first we naturally assumed it was from all of the rich green grass – a product from our record-breaking winter rains in California. We, along with Ben, her vet, concluded it must simply be too rich for her.

So, for the next few days, we took her off the pasture and kept her in the corral… to her strong dismay, I might add. Just like nobody puts Baby in the corner from the movie, Dirty Dancing, nobody locks Miss in the corral… especially when she has roamed free her whole life! She has never liked to be confined or “in a box,” so to speak. Yes, she’s kinda like me – two peas in a pod. We need to feel free! Don’t fence us in! But, this was an exception and she had to endure a few days off the grass to see if that was the culprit.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Nothing had changed, which prompted Ben to take blood and stool samples to see what else might be the cause. Nothing. Everything turned up negative, which you would’ve thought was good news, except then Ben presumed the harsh reality that this was most likely a result of her age — that the inner lining of her small intestines had worn out, and if this truly was the case, there was nothing that could be done and this would eventually lead to the inevitable.

Needless to say, neither my mom, myself or anyone else was willing to accept this as truth, not for the magical Miss! But it wasn’t a secret that her normally solid and muscular body – a body that was nearly timeless in regard to her age — started to show signs of losing weight. It was concerning, to say the least, and that is when the “mission” began.

Weeks went by and we tried various things… Keopectate, Bio-Sponge – an intestinal absorbent, Ulcerguard (thinking she might have ulcers), psyllium, bran, and activated charcoal. We also had Gabriella Valsecchi come and do her holistic energy sessions on her. (Gabriella was hugely responsible for helping Miss recover from last summer’s close call). We were researching others online who had experienced similar things with their horses, yet unfortunately, nothing seemed to work as the weight loss continued. Little Miss grew weaker with each week. Oh, it was painful. It felt like we were seeing my magical unicorn not so slowly fade away right before our eyes.

My heart wrenched. Especially at the fact that she was no longer laying down – something that was SO much a part of her life! She loved her naps and loved to lounge! But as the weeks went on, she continued to stand with an almost otherworldly strength and determined spirit, knowing that, if she were to succumb, she would be too weak to get back up. It pained me to no end. I firmly believe that this was the same strength that got her through her first year of abuse and neglect, allowing her to hang in there for the day when a huge-hearted, caring woman named Jeanne Massoletti, rescued her from the farm that left her to die, allowing Little Miss to find our family in 1982.

Yet, if you looked at Miss’s face and into her eyes, she would give you no indication – other than how her body looked at this point (thin) – that she had anything going wrong. Her demeanor was always the same… happy, peaceful and eating! She had a wonderful appetite, all of which we took as signs that she was still wanting to be here, especially her continuing to stand despite being so tired. How was that even possible? I know how I feel after a long day on my feet! And then to be sick too, yet? Oh, and about 109 years old in human years? I ask again, how? But that is my Miss. Even if her body wasn’t strong, her spirit was like steel. Unbreakable.

Needless to say, I wavered between accepting that my sweet girl was really leaving this beautiful life (I could hardly bear it; her magicalness and otherworldly presence made you believe she could transcend anything) to thinking that her unwillingness to lay down — while continuing with a healthy appetite — was her way of saying she wasn’t giving up. Ugh!

I struggled with: “what is the truth?” Though it was easy for many to think the answer was clear based on how she looked, I thought about our beloved and elderly humans. Do we simply end their life because they are older and frail, especially when their spirits are good and they continue to eat? Do we? I don’t think so. No. So is it different for animals? And if so, how? And why? It can feel so confusing. And let’s admit that making THAT decision is not a light one because once it’s done, it’s done. There is no going back and I didn’t want to play God. That’s why I told Miss several times in those last few weeks that I was okay if she wanted to go. I didn’t want her staying for me, and truthfully, I quietly wished she would just lay down and go to sleep. Wouldn’t that be perfect and peaceful? Not to mention, it would let me off the hook. I did not want to make that decision… I mean, I can’t tell you how much I didn’t want to make that decision! I wanted her to be okay to go and I wanted it to be her decision.

“Oh, if only it were that simple,” I now hear Miss saying. Nope. She wasn’t going to let it be that easy. She wasn’t going to absolve me from that. Not because she wanted to torture me. No way. But because there was something else – something deeper – going on.

Here’s what it was/is: We did this whole life together and this part of our journey – this incredibly profound part of releasing her into the spirit world, her Heavenly birth –was NO exception. It needed to be together too. It needed to be a mutual decision. Both in agreement. 100 percent. Both equally clear that we, together, were making the choice to move on to the next phase of our inseparable soul connection, with no hesitation or wondering. With no loose ends.

Deep sigh…

The truth is, Miss didn’t want to go out “alone.” And in truth, who would? But especially her. Her whole life was about of love, sharing, connection, community and togetherness. She wanted to be born into the next life as she lived this one… bathed in love, surrounded by others, in celebration of her magnificent soul. It was about joy and magic, despite the incredible heartbreak. As she has let me know, this is life. All of it. You can’t have one without the other. The greater you love, the greater the loss, but it’s all life.

Miss being loved on 5.27.17
Miss being loved on by friends who came to visit on Saturday, May 27th, 2017                                         She was/is all about LOVE.

So, on that Sunday, May 28th, Miss showed me in a way that I would understand. I have always said, “Movement equals life.” Life moves and we need to move with it — literally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and metaphorically. When we stop moving, in essence, we are choosing to “step out,” so to speak. To throw in the towel…

On that last weekend, and in particular, on that Sunday, Miss hardly moved. She stood in the center of her corral — essentially in the same place — the whole day… sleeping, standing up. She was painfully tired. She no longer had the energy, nor the desire, to leave her corral to walk to her tree. I actually witnessed her last sojourn to her tree a week and a half before. I was there. I also had witnessed her last journey up her beloved hill a month before that. I sat with her there the whole day. And of course, I didn’t know that those were her “lasts” at the time, but looking back now, I see it clearly. It was intentional and deliberate, as she always was. She knew. And I am so beyond honored that I was there, with her, to see both. Together.

Miss & Josh under the tree. It was her last time. 5.16.17
Miss & Josh under the tree. It was her last time. 5.16.17
Miss under her tree for the last time. 5.16.17
Miss under her tree for the last time. 5.16.17
Miss and Josh on her hill for the last time. 4.25.17
Miss and Josh on her hill for the last time. 4.25.17
Miss on top of her hill 4.25.17  It was her last time.
Miss on top of her hill 4.25.17 It was her last time.

That Sunday, I called Gabriella out to just get her assessment. As usual, Gabriella did her energy work and listened to Miss. When she was done, I asked, “So… ?” Gabriella looked at me with a look I had never seen before. It was of quiet acceptance and certainty. “She’s ready,” she said, gently, knowing the impact of her words.

“She is?” I asked… needing to make sure I was clearly understanding what she was implying.

Gabriella nodded, “Yes… but there is stuff for you two to work through.”

“Work through? What do you mean?” I was puzzled.

“Well… she can go either way. She can wait longer if you’d like her to; she’s patient. Or she can go. But she’s waiting for you.”

OMG. Gulp. Wait. What? Waiting for me? I thought I told her she could go, I thought to myself.

It was in that very moment that Miss labored (yet always with that sweet face and those soft loving eyes) to move from her grain bin to her hay, maybe 10 feet away. It was slow and she calculated every step to alleviate any pain from her arthritis.

“That took a lot of effort to get from there to there,” Gabriella carefully pointed out. Ugh. My heart sank. Yes. It did. Miss showed me in the way I needed to see.

Miss in her corral.

Miss in her corral.

Movement equals life. When we choose to no longer move, or we can’t move, it’s time. At least it was for her. Well, in essence, for all of us. The tears immediately blurred my eyes as I knew right there and then with every ounce of my soul that it was time and there are NO words that can describe that feeling. None. But I knew for sure that I did not want my girl going one more day, enduring what she was enduring, simply for me. My heart would not have it. I felt her huge love of staying, but now it was time for me to give that huge love back to her and let her go. As I know for sure now, as the heart breaks, it has the capacity to love even more. Isn’t that the irony of life?

Gabriella hugged me and said she was sorry, but to focus on the wonderful life I gave that sweet girl because of my profound love for her. And now, it was the time for the greatest act of love I could muster to let her run free once again. But what simply blows me away is that when we make a decision that is so right and in alignment with what the  moment is calling for – a decision made with the heart and soul – even things that feel beyond heartbreaking and sad can, at the same time, be beyond beautiful and magical. And that’s what followed almost instantly…

Stay tuned for the next part of this beautiful, heart-filled story as I share about Little Miss’ most magically orchestrated transition where every little detail came together in a way that only Miss could create. We wouldn’t expect any less from the unicorn. Truly.

I love you sweet girl. We all miss you terribly, but we know it was time for you to run free once again! I promise to share all of your magic as you would want it to be shared.

-Your beloved pal in this lifetime and the next, Lisa

P.S. If any of you are interested in listening to the animal communication session with Sue Hopple and Miss, here it is: 

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