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Crying, Compassion, and Divinity

I've spent the past two or three months working in bereavement support groups observing and learning as part of a Hospice practicum and even after completing the "Loss and Healing" certificate from St. Thomas University, I am still profoundly moved during each session. When I first began confronting death and dying issues in class, whether it was through films or guest speakers (like representatives of Compassionate Friends, a grief support group for parents who have lost children), I couldn't contain my tears and would ask my professors, who are grief counselors and therapists, "Will I ever stop crying?" and they assured me that eventually I would. Well, it's been about five years, and I am still asking that question. My own father, now facing life threatening illness, laughs at me, "I think you should find a different line of work," but a couple of the tearfully grieving octagenarian widowers in my support group say otherwise. "It's good if you cry because we see your compassion." Of course, I haven't been able to watch a Disney movie to completion ever since I was eight and barely survived the emotional assault of Dumbo.

And so it is with the animals. When I read for an ailing animal or one that has passed, the instant I make contact, my eyes involuntariy water and I apologize to the human client who usually cries along with me. The intensity with which information comes to me in a reading is not so much awe inspiring as it is awakening, not in the sense of suddenly knowing we are escorted through hardship by spiritual energies but as a very poignant and experiential recognition that defies the earthly construct of words. It's as if the Universe rings a doorbell you didn't know you wore smack in the center of your chest. When the button is pressed, instead of hearing ascending chimes, you are shaken at soul level by a truly overwhelming love that is at once Divine and intimate, ethereal and physical, ancient and fresh.

This past week at the Irish Water Spaniel National Specialty a friend asked me to read for her ten and a half year old dog who had mysteriously died in her sleep. The vet didn't perform an autopsy, and my friend and her breeder needed to hear the dog's explanation. As soon as I felt Tuli's energy in spirit, my tears began; the dog very calmly explained that she had either a hole or a tear in her heart, which gave out, and that all was as it should be. She was calm in the Light and would be sending a replacement very shortly. All three of us needed Kleenex. A day later I was sharing loss stories with a woman from New York and told her that ten days after my schnauzer died, I went to the mailbox and found not only a sympathy card from her vet but a clay imprint of her paw with her name encircled by a heart on the back. Of course I bawled at this unexpected "piece" of my girl. When I shared this story with Evie, she broke into tears -- not getting marginally misty-eyed but releasing a bonafide rainfall. Why?

Empathy? Trigger? Compassion again. I believe compassion is a Divine well spring and each time we are able to feel so deeply for another being, we are tapping into an infinite source of love: call it Universe, God, Mystery, Divine Consciousness.

Saturday evening another woman recognized me at a banquet when she heard someone call my name. She rushed to my table and introduced herself as a the woman from Seattle whose lost dog I helped locate 8 months earlier. I had been contacted along with four or five other animal communicators to telepathically reach him and steer him home. We were successful. My contribution was to see through her dog's eyes and provide landmarks identifying his whereabouts, which proved accurate. When she sat down next to me she hugged me, saying, "thank you" and burst into tears. She didn't need to say anything else. I understood their origin.

As a child when I began to sound weepy, my mother would wield a threatening (and likely familiar) bat-like mantra, attempting to modify my behavior: "Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about."

Good thing I didn't.


Anonymous said…
A lovely piece Lisa, and a piece of yourself. I am a crier, too. Sometimes it gets really embarrassing! But we are who we are, and I guess that's why we are friends.

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