Savannah Hanson: When loved ones pass on
January 22, 2018
Our beloved bunny Moonlight died recently. I wrote a eulogy for her on Facebook and have decided I would like to share it here. We are a death-phobic culture. We rarely greet it with presence.
I was honored to be inches from Moonlight's face as she gasped her last breaths. We kept vigil once we knew her time was near, never leaving her alone for over 14 hours. After she had passed we created a lovely memorial and funeral to celebrate the gift she had been to us.
Our culture chooses to keep people alive well past any quality of life. There seems to be guilt on both sides, that loved ones must go to any lengths to keep the person alive, despite ever increasing suffering, and that the person who is ill must use ever more desperate and expensive means to stay alive, perhaps only in fear of death.
A dear friend's husband died one night very unexpectedly at age 31. This propelled me into a new relationship with death that is still unfolding.
Hearing Stephen Jenkinson of the "Griefwalker" documentary speak in Nevada City deepened my inquiry. May we as a culture face and move through our fears, loving so fully that we reach a new understanding of this thing called death.
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Moonlight entered our family Easter 2010 and "appeared" to have left us at 11:11 p.m. Jan. 10, 2018.
I understand why people who have "lost" a loved one wish to immortalize the person or being. Feeling the desire to build a Taj Mahal for Moonlight.
She came to us about six months after I had begun my deepest descent into the underworld of the egoic thought system. The false beliefs surrounding my terror of being unloved unless someone outside loved me were surfaced by my impending divorce.
I came to realize how she was such a presence in my life that it mitigated the terrible sense of forlorn aloneness garnered by living by myself part of each week for the first time in almost three decades.
Living in an isolated rural area while facing my deepest demon of unlove made it more intense yet ultimately proved to be my salvation. Taking care of her was an antidote for my feelings of abandonment and unlove.
Her tenderness, innocence, faithfulness, gentleness soothed me through the most difficult time of my life. I see how divinely I was provided for. I began to care for her more deeply.
Yet, now she is gone I see guilt would like to punish me for not paying more attention, for not realizing she was in serious decline until late in the game.
Perhaps her greatest gift to me was seeing her as totally innocence. I became conscious of that view of her several months ago when she was diagnosed with arthritis. It felt cruel to believe someone so innocent could suffer.
I used my intent to access healing for her for arthritis and it did seem to go away. I was so busy celebrating that, I failed to see how she was declining in other ways. I thus made some unskillful choices like having her go outside when she clearly wanted to come back in. I watched how guilt wanted to drag me down.
What Moonlight taught the family
Yet one of her greatest gifts to me was how through seeing her innocence, I claim my own.
In her name and mine, I refuse to believe the guilt, rather I let it be the old false way of reacting passing away as a ghost image.
Synchronistically, I read in "A Course of Love" last night as I could not sleep about how these mirages will continue to form as they pass finally away from us. I bow to Moonlight and will be eternally grateful to her for assuming that role of helping me claim my innocence.
I am so proud of my daughter for holding vigil with her, inches away for seven hours straight without moving unless necessary, not even for food. I know Moonlight served our family even though her death as many realizations and healing opportunities are piling in.
She made me dedicate myself even more fully to seeing the innocence of all. Someone congratulated me yesterday for my ability to see an important political figure with compassion. It comes with increasing ease, partially thanks to Moonlight.
I dedicate myself to the return of innocence for us as a species and any role I may play in that. I see how hard it is to say good-bye so I am now even more motivated to realize Nouk Sanchez's message that there is no death. I can barely grok what that means but I know this.
"A Course in Miracles," says that until we can witness our baby pass away in her sleep and view it with wonder, we are not done.
I used to find that thought cruel. Only now am I able to glimpse the deeper meaning, the knowing of unity that would have us rest in the assurance we can never be parted from loved ones because we and they are both eternal and forever joined.
May Moonlight's passing continue to propel me to this knowing. May she be blessed, wherever she is now. May our tears be the nutrients to the soil of awakening.
May this current feeling of being separated from her be the fuel motivating me to hurry toward the absolute knowledge of our inherent unity.
For information on private sessions or classes or to schedule a free 20-minute consultation, contact Savannah Hanson, M.A., MFT #40422 at 530-575-5052 or RisingasLove@gmail.com.