So, I left the vet again holding a biodegradable calico bag.
It was the second time in as many months. And a second family pet. Owned by my second child.
The falling of another of our feathered girls was faster than the first. I’m told that’s how it is with animals. They pretend to be well. Pretty much up until they fall flat. There’s an innate knowing within them. Telling them that to let your guard down to the world means sharing that you’re vulnerable. The slower get left behind. The weaker are left to themselves. The harshness of the natural cycle apparent in the backyard hierarchy, means there’s often a lot more to lose than there is to gain.
The self-directed blame of consenting to a lethal needle is hard enough to shake. Let alone holding the animal you consent to die. But the chambray-clad vet with the kind eyes took the decision from me. He returned from the back room holding the calico coffin and told me to take care and drive safe.
In my tears I wished his saturday shift hadn’t started out so sad.
I came home, again. With a calico coffin, again. To the wide eyes of my eldest wise one. The vulnerability in my shaking guilt-ridden voice apparent.
The support crew aren’t supposed to cry.
The head of my soon-to-be 10 year daughter hung low. She had been packing for her school camp on Monday. The same day she would be not soon-to-be but actually be 10. I explained as I had 6 weeks earlier, the taking away of an animals suffering. The decisions we make to take away pain. She processed my story. Then stirred in her feelings. And looked up at me straight with her dry eyes and her confused heart.
“Is it OK to feel sad, but still excited at the same time?”
Think grounding standing poses, reclined backbends and uijayi breath.
We all have feelings. Some are nice, some are not so nice. We all have emotions. Some are nice, some are not so nice. When feelings move into us and get a hold, they become an emotion. What we can easily forget, is that emotion tell us what it’s meant to do in the word itself. E-motion. That is, emotion is meant to move. If we let them get stuck within us and around us, we start to begin the process of constricting. Closing into a smaller aspect of ourself. Shutting down the process of who we are becoming. Holding ourself from the freedom that our life craves for us.
I watched my torn eldest daughter. Her sadness at her loss with her excitement of the coming days. Her struggle with what feelings to let settle under her skin. Her confusion of not being able to chose one over the other.
So I asked her to feel both. To introduce one feeling to the other. And to acknowledge that she is safe enough to explore these different spaces in her whole body. And create an open space of courage in her heart. Where she can be true enough to let herself feel all that there is to feel. Your happiness and your sadness. Your fear and your power. Your strength and your vulnerability.
And as you let them move through you, let them go.