Dear Witchful Thinking,
My cat, who was my familiar and my feline soulmate passed away last October. My neighbor poisoned him with antifreeze and I rushed him to the hospital, but they couldn’t do anything to stop it, and I had to make the horrible decision after much crying and begging the deities to help, to let him go.
Since then, my life is empty and I feel lost. What can I do to get my life back on track and is he still with me? I don’t feel him. Am I just too overcome with emotions? Please help guide me back to the true path.
I am so sorry about your loss. What a sad case! Antifreeze is so dangerous to animals. I can hardly imagine the pain you are going through. It doesn’t surprise me that you are still grieving over the loss of your friend.
First allow me to say that grief takes as much time as it takes, and where you are and whatever you are feeling is exactly where you are supposed to be and what you should be feeling. That being said, in order to process grief, you must address it. Writing to me is a good step, and sharing your feelings with others is important–you are already on your healing path. Have you allowed yourself to have closure through ritual such as a funeral?
I think this grieving and healing process is complicated by your neighbors actions. It seems so malicious–who would hurt an animal? I am wondering if you are feeling betrayed, violated, or perhaps depressed. It was traumatic and difficult to go through. What support and help have you received from friends and family during that time?
In Paganism, our pets are important relationships and have a significant impact on our lives. Perhaps it is because we don’t have “dominion over the animals” and we see them equally as children of the Goddess and God, or recognize the inherent divinity in animals. Consequently, the loss of a pet can hit one as hard as the loss of a family member. Yet our society tells us to “get over it” and to “just get another pet”–as if you can replace family members!
Yet animals come and go in our lives for many reasons. They come to teach us lessons about trust, unconditional love, dependence, and play. What lessons have you learned from your cat friend? The harder questions is, what lessons can you learn from the death of your cat friend? Forgiveness? Independence? Letting go? Permission to feel pain and anger? Honor those lessons, even the ones that hurt, and you’re friend will be honored and a part of you. Being in constant pain awash with grief does not honor your friend.
When my cats disappeared mysteriously, I placed strips of fabric in a tree with a prayer to each of them, inviting them to come back and to give me a sign that it is them. I wished them well on their journey and told them I loved them–a sort of funeral for them. I knew that if they weren’t with me, they were with another family that needed them, or would be reincarnated where they were needed. Is there a prayer, spell or ritual that you can do to mark the passing of your friend?
As to not being able to feel him, it is because you have not integrated the lesson he was trying to teach you. If you feel that you just HAVE to get in contact with him, perhaps contact a pet psychic to help you find that lesson and help you contact your friend.
The anniversary of this event is approaching, and it is likely to stir up some old feelings–that’s ok. Dying is part of life. Hurting is part of healing. This is the path–not just the light side, but the dark nights, too. You know that if you keep walking, it will get light again.
See this post on grief for more information. My heart goes out to you.