• Betsey Grady

Nods From The "Other Side" ~ Animals, Boyfriends, Wild Blackberries and $5 Dollar Bills


ANIMALS ~ in Spirit


There is nothing on this planet that touches the heart and soul like animals. And the grief when losing an animal companion can truly be almost unbearable. That loss is felt deeper, wider and greater than several other kinds of loss. Of course it is all relative and I mean not to diminish any loss of any kind; yet, I am pretty positive that you, since you're reading this, are probably in full agreement with me about your sweet fur babies. Many of you, whether you have had a session with me or not, are surprised to learn that when your beloved animal companions pass away they, like your families and friends, stick around you in spirit. In readings, animals are often the first ones that come through. Even more astonishing, animals from childhood will usually make an appearance as well. As with loved ones in spirit, I encourage you to continue talking, out loud or silently, to your furry companions in non-physical. What's even better is that they will find a way to communicate back.

August 10, 2022, marked three years that my sweet Lila passed away. Her passing was traumatic and one that has tormented me since. Lila was 13 so definitely getting up there, yet I did not think or even consider that she might be ready to 'leave'. She was my first Alabama kitty and had been with me my entire time living there. She was the most loving, gentle and truly happy cat, and did I say gentle? This cat didn't kill anything she was so gentle! She didn't chase butterflies or birds or bugs even. She never ever bit me or anyone, much less scratched. It was simply not in her nature. I have never met a cat, until Lila, who didn't chase something living for pleasure or make sure that you knew she had boundaries. She was all about love and more love. Lila loved laps, pets, brushes and food and companionship.

It was a Friday night and Lila was sitting next to my feet as I stood in the kitchen doling out treats. She followed me everywhere, even more so in her senior years. She simply did not want to be alone. She was like a magnet to my metal and wherever I was, she was. I am not exaggerating. For a few years she had been plagued with a growth deep in her ear canal and we were in and out of the vets office. This Friday evening it seemed particularly bad, as bad as I had ever seen it. She was shaking her head and really just looked so miserable. So I said, "Lila honey, I am going to call the vet tomorrow morning and get you in there. We have got to find a way to get you some relief. Maybe it's time we think about going to Auburn." Lila just looked at me sweet as ever and joyfully ate her treats. Please note, this story has a happy ending....


When it was time for bed that evening, Lila, Easy and Poppy and Juju all wanted to stay out in our backyard. Lila normally preferred to sleep with me; yet, it wasn't unusual for her to want to stay outside with the others either. Early Saturday morning I was awakened to the sound of dogs barking. THIS was NOT normal and it went on and on. On and on to the point that I got up, looked out the windows into the backyard and even went to the door to the backyard and peered out. I saw nothing and went back to bed as the sounds of the dogs barking faded. I am unsure of how much later it was that my husband and I were up having coffee and I was preparing the morning food bowls for the kitties. We called them and nothing, no one came. I was curious, yet not alarmed. Shortly thereafter, Jeremy went out to look for them. When he did two dogs were trotting down our driveway. They greeted him happily and he even took a picture as one licked his leg. We had never seen these dogs before and it was rare to even have any in our neighborhood roaming and unleashed. Needless to say, the cats had scattered when the dogs got into the yard. I was positive that the barking was them chasing our babies and it filled me with dread and regret that I didn't go out when I first got up. As you can probably guess by now, Lila did not survive the chase. The other three did escape, thankfully unscathed, except for Easy, who has had a permanent limp since.


You can imagine the grief and the regret that consumed me. Not only did I regret not going outside when I first heard the dogs, I think she was also letting me know that she was DONE going back to the vet for her ear. I think too she just didn't want me to worry about her anymore. I regretted saying that to her on Friday, thinking if I hadn't said that she may not have orchestrated her passing the next morning. (Animals, like us humans, choose our entries and our exits). This whole experience was horrific and traumatizing. I struggled and wrestled with the way, the when, the how of her passing, knowing full well that she chose this. Despite me knowing this, despite me being able to connect to the non-physical world, this understanding was not comforting at all. Later that evening however, I did experience mild reassurance in my sorrow when I went to bed. As I turned out the lights to go to sleep and pulled the covers up, I felt a depression on the bed where Lila liked to sleep. I felt the pressure against my legs and I knew it was her.


Three years later, of course I still have some regrets and I miss her terribly. This year, on August 10th, I woke up early and told her hello and that I loved her still so very much. I asked her to give me a nod if she could to let me know she heard me. The day went by. I had wonderful sessions. I had forgotten about Lila at this point. I was cooking dinner listening to NPR. As I was chopping up goodies for a salad NPR started to tell a story about wild blackberries growing in this area of Oregon. The story featured two young children, cousins, and one was named Lila. I started laughing and then of course I started happy crying. I KNEW that was her giving me that nod. What's even better is that when I first moved to Alabama and she was first living with me, my cousin also came to live with me. Next to where we lived wild blackberries grew and we often walked over to pick them. Lila and Easy would walk over with us as well. So not only did she give me a nod, she literally reminded me of our time together in the beginning. Such a sweet memory- and even the part about the cousins and my cousin. I was literally blown away from this message. There were so many layers of nods to it.


And THIS is precisely why I tell everyone to trust in these connections. They do not end when the life here does. They grow and evolve with you. Some of them come back as other animals and continue to walk with you on your journeys. Some of them, like Lila so far, stay in spirit around you.


It is such a remarkable connection and I so hope for all of you lovers of animals, that long for and miss the ones passed, that you find ways to communicate and connect. I so wish for you to find delight and comfort in your connection with them. These connections, as my story of Lila, validates, are purely magical and so worth believing in. I will let you know if/when she comes back.

The picture below is one of Lila sitting next to a little portable heater. I bought this little heater when I lived in California. I had a really cool flat with amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Palace of Fine Arts and the Beautiful San Francisco Bay in an old building in the city that only had radiator heat. I love radiator heat, yet sometimes it just didn't get the chill out quick enough. Lila fell in LOVE with this heater. Sometimes I would run it, even if I didn't need the extra heat, just so that she could enjoy it. I have no idea how old that heater was and wildly, after Lila passed, it never worked again. I guess she wanted it with her in heaven....


 

LOVED ONES ~ In Spirit (this story comes from a session I had recently in Birmingham, AL)


I have met with Sarah several times over the years and one of the things she likes to do is check in with her boyfriend, Jeff, who departed this life three years ago. He is always quite happy and delighted to be there with her. Like me with Lila, three years still feels like yesterday that he left and she still misses his sweet soul terribly. He was the first person she met after her divorce, from the father of her two daughters, whom she thought she would spend the rest of her life with. He was her person and she was his.


This session, like others we have had, we connected with Jeff and he showed some of his usual things- the cat he had adopted right before he passed, red licorice and a tee shirt with some kind of graphic/name on it I couldn't quite place. This all made sense to her and she smiled. Then he showed me a $5 dollar bill. I asked her if she had found a $5 dollar bill lately because he was telling me that he is giving her $5, leaving it for her. She said no, then thought about it and said, "Wait. This morning my older daughter asked for money for school and I knew I had one $5 dollar bill in my wallet. When I opened it to give it to her there were TWO $5 dollar bills!" We both laughed and thought how fabulous. She gave that daughter both of the fives and told her other daughter that she could have the ones from the console of her car.


Later that afternoon, when I had finished my sessions for the day, I received a text from Sarah. She said at the end of her work day, when she got into her car to go home, she looked in the console to make sure her younger daughter had taken the ones. To her surprise and amazement, what did she find- another $5 dollar bill, no ones, just that sweet $5 kiss (nod) from Jeff.


Isn't that just wonderfully uplifting?

 

I fully love what I get to do this lifetime and I love everything that has led up to it. I love being a part of your wonderful journeys and inspiring stories; and, I delight in being able to share them. We all go through so much on this human journey and often feel alone and misunderstood. You may look at your life, someone else's or shoot, the state of the world at times, and feel saddened, powerless and hopeless. Loss is all around you, every day, all day - from simply losing the hour that passed to losing your keys to losing your mind. I say this smiling, acknowledging the crazy times we are living in.


Life is a practice of letting go and allowing yourself to trust in the flow, the process. When you know and truly believe that nothing ever really dies, it simply changes form, then it is easier to let go. It is easier to believe in divine orchestration, divine timing and easier to embrace a new relationship with this new form. This gives you the ability to live more in the present moment, with more trust and less anxiety or regret or worry. This gives you the opportunity to live knowing that you are not alone. You may not see who is around you, yet you can rest assured that they are there.


I have had sessions where a parent gone 45 years has come through, a great grand-parent that wasn't even alive when the person was born has come through. You have absolutely NO IDEA who is and can be around you. I will tell you this though, if you are thinking about them- celebrity, historical figure, family member, animal companion- they are there. You do not have to have known them at all. And the energy that you associate with them is flowing to you freely; you all have a Muse of some kind. "Muse: a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration..." I know this might be a wildly new perspective to hold, so play with this idea before you dismiss it. Give yourself permission to believe, permission to step outside of your comfort zone and permission to step into this zone of divine connection.


Thank you for being curious!

May your day be filled with Joy and Cheer~

May you be open to receive all the goodness that is flowing your way~

 

If this post has stirred up questions, write them down! Write everything down that you are curious about or want to understand more. And if you feel so inspired, please, consider a session with me. I would be delighted and honored to share in your journey, your story and answer whatever questions you have that those in spirit around you want you to know. Remember, we live in an unlimited universe that is always expanding and no question is ever crazy, silly or ever off-limits.




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