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Friday, November 19, 2010

Attachment (again)

If you’ve read some of my previous blogs you know that I’ve got a thing for Star Wars. Recently we were watching the third movie, and Yoda was being his brilliant, yogic self. He says to Anakin, “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” I always point that line out to the children, and so my son, he offered to write it down for me to remember. Careful, small letters in red Sharpie on a bright slip of orange paper, with his unique seven-year-old writing (and spelling). It is taped to the cover of my laptop.

I tend to think that I have made at least a sliver of progress in the area of attachment. This week, I realized I am back to square one. Or about thirty feet behind it.

Our dear Sasha, sweet gray princess kitty, died. Or actually, I told the vet to give her medicine to make her die. We call it “putting to sleep” which is a total cop-out.

She had been getting thinner, not eating much. Still purring like a fuzzy freight train, and enjoying spending the nights (cold nights!) out exploring. That day, she was a little more hesitant in her movements; her breathing became very labored, so I took her to the vet. I was not prepared to be told she would go into cardiac arrest at any moment. That this was the end, or near it.

I asked, can I take her home to the children? One last cuddle? No, the vet said it was not wise – cardiac arrest could happen at any moment. For me to choose for the children to see her suffer; to choose to have her suffer that pain and confusion; and how long would it last??? It seemed the wrong thing to do to just wait and let it happen. He asked if I needed to call anyone. I said no. What is there to discuss? You consult the expert, and you make your decision. I knew my husband would tell me to do what I thought was right.

So I hope that I made the correct choice, but I suppose I will always feel the tug of conflict. Wouldn’t we all choose that last chance to walk outside, to look up to the sky, to be with our loved ones when that time of ending comes?

Maybe that is part of what draws us back here to incarnate again, and again, and again.

Later that evening, I complained of a headache. My son offered a kiss to the forehead, which helped a lot. “So,” he said, “Sasha’s gone. I mean, her body is still here on the Earth, but her spirit is not.” Ah, yes, sweet boy. Remind me of this great truth that is so easy to speak and sometimes so hard to understand.

Goodbye, dear Sasha-belle. Great yogi-cat-teacher who showed me how to live a life of work balanced with play; how to find the best, sunny soft spots to lounge; and to relax like you mean it. How to be unflinchingly yourself, and embrace your inner wandering-wild-outdoor-nature-loving-independent-but-living-with-others self. How to find fun in simple things, like tail chasing. Not to complain or whine (well, maybe if breakfast is late), and to love love love love without expectation or restriction.

In her final breaths, as I cried and cried and cried, and wished in my deepest darkest places that this would not happen, she taught me that I am still very much attached. To her, to my family, to my friends, to everything.

Much work left to do.




  1. Dearest Jill,
    I am not sure if detachment can, or is even supposed to keep us from great love of our children and our friends--those with skin, those with fur, 2-legs, 4 legs, et al. It is a huge lesson in letting go each day, and pulling close for a hug, even the last hug. Your heart is large and full of compassion and that is truly auspicious. A big loving hug to you in your farewill to the touch and sensations of knowing Sasha, and to your beautiful younguns who are learning such fine lessons and at least asked to ponder their meanings. xoxoxo dreama kattenbraker

  2. thank you Dreama, this is beautifully stated and more food for my thought process. To find that balance between great love and clinging, it is something I struggle with mightly. Shanti dear one, Jill

  3. what a nice tribute to your sasha. i know she had a wonderful life being your kitty. blessings to you jill, you're a good person.

  4. thank you for the kind note Ron, much love to you.


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