The first time I had to make the decision to euthanize a pet was a swirl of self-doubt. I was still pretty early to spirituality and connection to the Divine. I didn’t fully trust my intuition yet. I think cultivating self-trust has been a big part of my peace and how I thrive. It’s a big decision to trust yourself that the pain of continuing to live is right for an aging or ill pet.
If you want to read more about how I made that first decision with my beloved cat Bear, I wrote a piece about his euthanasia at home.
In that process I knew I needed some kind of ritual to release him and to process my pain. I turned to experts in the field, the lesbian cat ladies who lived across the street from my mom at the time. They gave me a sweet ritual I’ve used with each pet since.
April and Gina told me to get candles in each color of the rainbow, to represent the chakras. Light them all at once with the intention of facilitating the spiritual release of the animal companion.
You can get candles from a bodega or a metaphysical shop. Sometimes the dollar store has candles but unlikely to have the whole rainbow. What matters most is intention not that you got all the colors correct. But sometimes doing what you can to follow protocol is part of the grieving process, too, so maybe gathering all the colors is something you endeavor to do to prepare.
The candles need to be someplace they can ideally just keep burning. Typically this is about a week but could be shorter. I think it’s fascinating that the candles burn different durations.
I like turning the rainbow candles into a whole altar space on the kitchen table. It’s very much the heart of my home and it gives me an easy place to glance at when I was missing my beloved.
I realized with this first ritual I liked having a place I could look to that helped me remember my pet. It’s so disorienting being used to a specific physical energy in your space that is suddenly gone. Pets are so intimate.
When Macy passed away (perhaps the most anticipated death of my life because she was my longest companion–13.5 years old when she made her transition) the outpouring of love and gifts were unexpected and cherished.
Friends sent flowers, dropped off food and gifts and art. Having the kitchen table altar heaping with these offerings, her collar center among them, made it all so sacred. While I ached I still felt held in prayer.
It was beautiful and hard. I still have a giant 11 x 14 portrait of her up in my current RV. I like having her in eyesight and sometimes I still hear the tinkling of her shaking her collar in quiet moments.
Grieving an animal companion is a beautiful process. They teach us so much about unconditional love, and their shorter lifespans teach us about letting go. I am wishing you so much peace in this process of releasing.
If you found value in this blog post please consider supporting! I am an artist entirely supported by Patreon members and donations from folks like you!
Cash App: $BevinBoss
Amazon Wishlist: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1SJCL864DDKEH?ref_=wl_share
NEW Tee shirts: https://genuinevalentine.com/collections/fat-kid-dance-party
Instagram: @fatkiddanceparty @bevinsparty
Podcast: Anchor.fm/bevin (Search “Bevin” on Spotify or Apple/Google Podcasts)
Email list: http://eepurl.com/dyX3db
Buy anything on Amazon using this link to go to their website and I make a 3% commission on anything you buy! Costs nothing extra to you and cuts into that “astronaut’s” profits just a lil bit. https://amzn.to/2PQ52A9