Two Years Gone

On this, the eve of the two year anniversary of my dear friend’s passing, I’m re-posting the story I wrote about her, about us, the day after she left this mortal coil.

Before you read this, please call or text that one person you’ve been meaning to reach out to. Take that time. Even if it’s been a while and you think it will be awkward, use me as an excuse– tell them Denise, your favorite blogger, told you to call.

Then, come back and read this.

Goodbye, dear friend.

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Goodbye, dear friend.

Omitting names to veil the identities…

I became friends with J. during the summer of 2014.  Timing is everything, right?  A few years prior, when I was in search of an acupuncturist, L. gave me J.’s card… but I never called.  I don’t know why.  Then, in the summer of 2014, I started practicing yoga at the studio which was in the same building as L.’s massage/Reiki space.  There, I befriended D. and J.  Besides adoring them both in a professional capacity, D. a vivacious teacher of yoga and meditation and J. a skilled, attentive acupuncturist, we bonded in a sisterly way—my spiritual sisters.  J. is the one who also introduced me to Young Living, the oils that have at some times saved and at all times enhanced my life; D. and I are Reiki sisters, training under the same master.

Last summer, J. and her husband adopted two wonderful rabbits from the Long Island Rabbit Rescue.  They couldn’t have picked two more different rabbits.  Lilah, now Laila, is a diminutive white rabbit, tiniest ears I’ve ever stroked.  Rupert, now Rufus, is large in size and personality, brown in color.  They were to be bonded, but J. stopped bonding sessions early last fall.  I didn’t know why.  Sessions were going great.  Inconsequential now.  Rufus and Laila happily live side-by-side.  They are healthy.  They are gorgeous.

As fall and winter 2015 chugged along, contact with J. was sporadic.  I sensed she was “going through something” but when I asked, offered an ear, a shoulder, whatever, I was quickly shut down.  So I minded my business outwardly and inwardly created some stories as to what was going on.  Bottom line though, we hadn’t known each other long.  Maybe this was just her way.  I’m used to people floating in and out of my journey.  I’m used to be the connector, the initiator, so this wasn’t all that alarming to me.

When the calendars turned to 2016, the disconnect ramped up.  D. and I would joke: “Is she mad at you? Is she mad at me?  Who pissed J. off and now she’s not calling us back?”  I still had my acupuncture appointments.  We would still talk during the whole treatment.  Sometimes, J. would cry.  But again, she would not let on, not even a morsel, of what was up.  I had no choice but to shake it off.  It wasn’t about me.  And no matter what angle I tried, she wasn’t letting me in.  I respected that and minded my own business.  I did, however, squint when she wouldn’t take pre-payment for treatments anymore.  But, as we often do in our egos, assumed it was something I did—maybe she was hoping I’d stop making appointments?

On June 29th, I got a message that changed the game here.  M., who manages the space where J.’s office is housed reached out to me, asking if I’d heard from J.  She hadn’t been at work for the entire month.  Now I knew for sure the lack of communication wasn’t anything I or D. or anyone said/did/whatever.  Something was up.  I called D.  We hatched a plan.  After D. taught her class that evening, we would show up on J.’s front steps.  And we did.  My heart was pounding so profoundly as D. rang the bell—I imagined it bouncing out of my chest, cartoon-style.  J.’s husband answered the door.  I held my breath.  D. did all the talking—I think.  Moments of silence until we heard J.’s voice from inside the house say, “Let them in.”

Turns out, J. was battling a recurrence of a cancer that she had a few years prior, before I knew her, over this year of slipping away from us.  By the time she let us in, which I firmly believe she had no intention of doing until we ambushed her, the cancer was winning.  She couldn’t walk, sit up or smile.  She was embarrassed, angry, tired.  She shared some of her journey with us that evening, as D. and I sat on her kitchen floor (after I checked on the bunnies, of course.  They are both doing wonderfully.  J.’s husband is a saint, for her and for their animal-family members).  No one knew what was going on.  It wasn’t just D. and I shut out.

I firmly respect that choice.  I saw glimmers, as people started to find out what was going on, of the “You have to try…” or “You should be…” well-intentioned input from others that J. and her husband simply did not want.  And I don’t blame them!  These are two smart, well-researched, capable people.  They knew what they were doing and choosing at this point.  And sure, there are some who think it was “wrong” for J. not to tell even siblings of hers what was going on.  But I think she was right, as long as that’s what she wanted.

As the summer bounced on, I saw J. a few times.  I texted her every other day but rarely got a response.  On Thursday, my text read, “Would you like a visitor today?”  On Friday, J.’s husband responded and we decided I would come visit on Saturday, yesterday.  I spent a nice chunk of my day there.  It was as lovely as it could be.  We laughed.  It wasn’t all laughs though, but I’ll respect my ultra-private friend and keep those details to myself.  While we were on the couch, J.’s husband mentioned that the rabbits needed their nails cut.  My outstanding mentor and rescue director dropped everything she was doing and drove the 45 minutes there to give Rufus and Laila a little spa day, nails, grooming, snuggles.

I left, saying I love you and I’ll see you soon—all intentions to drop by Sunday or Monday.  An hour or so after I left, I got incredibly tired.  I attributed that to being drained from the day, an energy dump from an emotionally-trying afternoon.  Shortly after that, I got a phone call from M.  J. passed away.  Somewhere over the rainbow…

We shared dinners, lunches, yoga classes, Young Living meetings and knowledge, bunny stuff, acupuncture sessions… and above all this, love.  J. is a true trailblazer, an inspiration.  My lesson, one of my many treasured take-aways from our short, yet deep friendship: Follow your bliss.  If you aren’t happy at your job, in your relationship, in the chair you’re in, whatever, get up and change it.  Don’t wait.  Don’t “but what if…”  Don’t do what anyone else thinks you should do.  Do what makes you feel alive.  Do what makes your heart sing and your soul crave more of that thing.

I just love you J.

Betsy’s Battle

Betsy has a battle ahead of her.  The story of her rescue and subsequent cancer diagnosis will appear in the next issue of “Thump” so you’ll get all the details there.  Betsy is living at our foster home for special needs and sanctuary rabbits, where I volunteer weekly.  A few days after she settled in there, into her “hospice foster home,” I gave Betsy a Reiki treatment.

Betsy stayed inside her hideout box while I did my typical chores, tending to the rabbits of varying needs and speeds.  After chores were done, I cleansed the space with my Thieves spray, anointed my third-eye chakra with a drop of lavender oil and rubbed a few drops of lavender oil between my palms.  I sat in front of Betsy’s enclosure– she lives in a multi-level condo.  Her upstairs neighbor is the legendary Maurice, a big white bunny boy who has more personality than most humans you encounter on the daily.

I began our healing session with the door to her enclosure open, my hands outstretched but still outside, calling upon my guides, Betsy’s guides and welcoming all energies of healing and comfort.  Almost immediately, Betsy bounded from her hideout and started eating pellets from the crock in her enclosure.  She ate for the duration of our session, even when I transitioned to hands-on healing.  She ate with an even pace, not gobbling too fast but not quite taking breaks either.  One pellet at a time, taking in the nutrition as a sign for me that she was also allowing the healing energies to flow.

Betsy shared some gems with me while we worked together.  She described the veterinarian who operated on her, Dr. George, as gentle and said that she knew Dr. George helped her.  Betsy shared that her foster mom is “cool” and they have a sisterly bond.  Betsy likes where she is.  She is receptive to and grateful for all the care she’s receiving.  She reported no current pain beyond the typical pain or discomfort that she feels—she’s used to how she feels now.  Betsy also told me that her neighbor Maurice is funny.  Maurice snorted in acknowledgement (I don’t think I ever heard him snort before!).

Maurice

As we closed the session, I called on Daphne II, a LIRRG-alum who has crossed over, to help heal Betsy.  Daphne II lived in the same foster home for the final months of her time in this dimension.  She and Betsy share a similar aesthetic so I found it fitting to link the two.  As soon as I closed out our session, Betsy retreated to her hideout box.

Betsy might be with us for a few years… but more than likely her time will be less than that.  Speaking of time, this is the perfect moment to remind myself that when I visit her foster home tomorrow to cover my weekly shift of chores that I must take some extra special time with her, with all of the darling rabbits.  Because we have all the time we need, no matter what perceptions we have of time or confines we force upon it.  Sending Betsy an abundance of love and light as she hops her battle.

Run Bun

Invoking my encyclopedic memory to tell you the beginning of this story…

2013:

A normal night at one of our main foster homes.  Owner of said foster home completed her own evening routine and shut the lights to head to bed.  Then the doorbell rang.  With trepidation, she opened the door.  On the porch, a small plastic carrier and a note.  Inside the carrier, two small rabbits, one black and white, one brown and white.  As our addresses are not made public in any capacity, this was no coincidental abandonment.

These two rabbits were aptly named Ring (black and white) and Run (brown and white).  Both small and super lovable.

Later that year, Run was adopted.  Ring found his forever home in 2014.

2016:

We received a heartbreaking email from Run’s mom earlier this weekend.  Being an attentive, loving mom, she noticed that he was having some trouble with one of his paws and his balance.  She immediately brought him to his veterinarian, where he had recently been for a check-up and blood work (all was fine at that previous appointment).  X-rays and tests illuminated the shocking news—Run has developed cancer, including a large mass that is pushing on his spine, causing the mobility and balance issues.

The size and intensity of the mass leave few western medicine alternatives that are safe for dear Run.  And his family is devastated.  Without a second thought, I brought Run Bun, as his mom affectionately calls him, into my distance Reiki meditation.

Distance Reiki and the Distant Healing Symbol is used to send Reiki energy over distance and time to anyone and to anything.  This morning, before sitting down to write, I sat with a picture of Run that Debbie shared with me, put my most powerful mediation oil, Idaho Balsam Fir, on my palms and called on my angels, my guides and all healing energies to encircle Run with love, light and peace.

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I’m sharing Run’s story with you today so you can send him healing vibes too.  Send peace to his family.  Send all the health and hoppiness in the world to dear little Run Bun.