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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. March's Theme: "Impermanence"
Volume 6 Issue 3 ISSN# 1708-3265

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by Jean Hofve, DVM

How many times have we heard it—the only constant thing about life is change! That seems to be what our whole life experience is about… coping with change. In a way, it's great, because it means that bad situations don't stick around forever. But it also means good situations don't last forever either—much as we might want them to! Doesn't it always seem that, just when you've got everything going exactly the way you want, life changes? After 55 years on this planet, I'm barely getting used to it!

The cycles of change—the impermanence within the impermanence—have been on my mind lately; in particular, the impermanence of the physical body. The first passing was our editor Aleesha's mom, Magi. I didn't know her, but somehow I still feel her loss. Then the animals began a wholesale "bailout" of their own. I had to euthanize my ukulele bandmate's sweet old cat, Cleo right after Christmas. Two other friends lost both their 20-year old cat Odin and their dog Zippy within a 2 day period. Two more kitties of my acquaintance, Chloe and Muffin, have crossed over in the last week—Muffy just this morning.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. Over my years as a veterinarian, I've observed that many, many beings cross over within 2-3 weeks of the winter solstice (and to a lesser extent, the summer solstice and the equinoxes). The human death rate is also highest during the Christmas holidays; scientists postulate several reasons for this, but personally I think it has a lot to do with Christmas being so close to the solstice. Perhaps the veil is thinner then? Or maybe those beings just don't want to go through another season of extremes—winter in the northern hemisphere, or summer in the south.

Now, death is not a bad thing for the ones crossing over. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's a very good thing. Animals seem to change bodies much like we change socks; it's not a big deal to them, and mostly they are very happy, often relieved, to go. Death seems to me to be like summer vacation. Some of us just get to go on vacation a little early.

This year is unusual in that the solstice "transition opportunity" seems to be hanging on much longer. I'm hoping this is all just a bad hangover from 2008 which will end with the advent of a new U.S. administration. At last, my whole country voted for peace, opening the door for the new energy which has been patiently waiting for us humans to get our manifestation "act" together. Critical mass seems to have been reached; we can expect bigger and faster changes from here on.

Maybe our animal friends are finished with their task of escorting us through these last several troubled years, and are now free to go. Pets may cross over right before their special people enter a time of change; the animals say they can be of greater assistance from the other side, where they aren't tied to a physical body. Or maybe the reason is not even that serious—Muffin, who we assisted this morning and whose guardians are out of town, gave me the most definite impression that she wanted to go to Hawaii and hang out with them!

While it may be a blessing for the soul to leave a failing body, it's never easy for those of us left behind. Death is such a final, irrevocable change that it's one of the hardest things we humans have to cope with. I'd like to encourage those who have been through these losses to keep the memories close, but allow the natural impermanence of life to take its course. It's our lot to be in a constant state of change and we may as well learn to handle it gracefully; it will make our journey a lot easier.

Dr. Jean Hofve recently retired from holistic veterinary practice, but still writes and consults on holistic health and nutrition. She is a Medicine Woman of the Mountain Wind Lodge Nemenhah Band and Native American Traditional Organization (Oklevueha Native American Church of Sanpete). She founded SpiritEssence in 1995, which remains the only line of essence formulas for animals created by a veterinarian. For more information on pet health, nutrition, and behaviour, please visit the free article library at www.littlebigcat.com.

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