This morning, at Special K’s pre-school…I caught up with one of preschool teachers on the way out. Small talk about her weekend turned into impromptu coaching as the teache had been caring for her mother in hospice. She shared how her and her 7 siblings were walking on eggshells with each other, everyone on edge waiting for the other shoe to drop. Her mother had begun making her transition, refusing food for some time now, sleeping mostly, in and out of consciousness. Standing outside Kayman’s classroom, I felt the juxtaposition of light and darkness, young and old. The teacher asked me if I thought it was ok for her to take some time out for herself and her partner this weekend. She had been going over to the house during lunch hours, after school, all of her spare time. I provided as much support as I could. I gave examples of how in order to hold the light for others, we must fill out own cups first. In the brief 10 minutes we shared, I ended the conversation on self-care as she ran back into the classroom to lovingly care for our munchkins. The entire time, the story of Daniel was on the tip of my tongue. I wanted to be able to help her step away from the darkness that we usually associate with death. It also made me reminded me how often we can get stuck in our sadness, darkness, as well of those around us.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to share Daniel’s story with her. How he emerged from being gassed with 20 other dogs that fateful week in October, we will never really know. The press focused on different theories on how he was spared from the poisonous fumes. The amazement of the shelter staff when they opened that gas chamber door–he stood wagging his tail. It was interesting to note not many have theorized how it may have been for Daniel to see his 20 of his friends transition a painful death. What was going through his mind at the time? Did he not feel their pain? How did he survive to be the happy go lucky, loving pooch that he is today?
From this photo taken at his new home with Joe Dwyer, Daniel loves to cuddle, play, spend time with his family and friends. Daniel is very present to the NOW of life. He has overcome pain and suffering to be with the Dwyer family. What can we learn from Daniel?
When we are in the midst of our darkness, let us observe and know in our heart that it too shall pass. Don’t get attached to the pain and suffering of others and make it our own. Daniel didn’t stay in his darkness. He moved into the light when the door opened. So as I move into this new week, with whatever challenges that may come in front of me, (mercury afterall, still is in retrograde) I will continue to count my blessings, gratitudes and hold in the light for all of us. Have a great week!