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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Wall of Fear

Dear Jack, 
I'm really struggling with not having his physical presence with me. I just miss everything about him! The grief process seems to change for me every day, after the initial three-week blur of intense tears. I've read a lot about animal afterlife and just wish I knew that he was okay. Two weeks after he passed I had an intense and overwhelming feeling that he was scared and that I wasn't there to protect him. I've asked for signs etc; I haven't dreamt of him, I wish I could see him again, even in a dream. 
Sheryl

Dear Sheryl,

He is not scared. He lives in Total Love where fear does not exist. If you feel he is scared, it is only because YOU are scared. Those we love are our mirrors and we see in them what we are. 


It is your Wall of Fear that blocks him from being able to reach you. Once you heal, the wall will come tumbling down and you will see him ...and you will see only LOVE. ♡

Don't worry. You'll get there. Try to stay in your heart and out of your head, because fear only exists in your mind. 

LOVE,
Jack

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Max Has Lymphoma. When Do We Decide to Let Him Cross Over?

Dear Friends at Rainbow Bridge, 

I need help. My Max was diagnosed with leukemia and stage 5 lymphoma. Doctors have given him 4 to 8 weeks. Today has been 3 weeks. He is happy and eating well, although he is on prednisone, which makes him hungry and thirsty. At this point we are feeding him anything his little heart wants(for the most part). He is going on walks and car rides and trips to McDonalds. We are spoiling him every minute of the day and we feel blessed to have these last days with him. 


The thing I am worried about is his weight loss. It is bad. He looks like he is starving, yet like I said every day he is happy and eating well. He is still jumping and playing like Boxers do; he looks like he feels good 95% of the time. The other 5% you can tell he is uncomfortable and not feeling well. We asked the doctor if he is in pain and he said, "No." He said it's similar to when we have the flu or some kind of bug - we just feel "blah"

My question is at what point do we decide to let him cross the rainbow bridge? It's heartbreaking to see him turn into a skeleton but I can't imagine letting him cross over with him still showing us he is happy. 

Signed,
Dazed and Confused

Max and Me

Dear Dazed, 

Hi, I'm Ella. I'm filling in for Jack who has been called out on angel assignment today. He specifically asked me to reply to you because he knows I know more about lymphoma than he does. I know about it because I have had it too. 

Every animal is different, I can only talk you through how it was for us. I am an Airedale Terrier and I lived a wonderful life on earth with my heart partner, Lynette. 

Our life changed the day I was diagnosed. Lynette was reading and studying everything she could about lymphoma. When life gets out of control like it did for us, it's important to gather as much information and awareness as possible so you can go into the situation with knowledge and realistic expectations. Even though she was learning a lot, she still spent a lot of time in tears. She didn't really know what to expect because, like I said, every animal is different. She could not be prepared for the fact that she would have me for only a month after diagnosis. 


What I can tell you is that when you love like this, you will know when it is the right time, and when that time comes and you have made that decision, there is a kind of peace that comes with it. You WILL know when the right time is, Max will tell you.

Below is our story as Lynette tells it. I want her to tell it because I'm still not very good with the medical vocabulary.

This is me when I was a little tyke 

Ella was my beloved Airedale; she had been with us from 12 weeks of age, attended our wedding, honeymoon, nannied our two boys, and just after her 12th birthday, I noticed her lymph nodes were enlarged on her back legs. After a biopsy result confirmed our fears, we decided against chemo, and went down the prednisone route. I asked our vet the same questions, and no she wasn't in any pain, but would have days of being tired and lethargic. The tablets increased her hunger and thirst, but I was told when they stopped working, there would be a rapid decline. Ella was arthritic but still enjoyed her walks, right up until two days before we lost her. She loved her food. In fact my last photo was taken the day before she died, waiting for her tea.

We knew the end was near that Friday morning. She usually ate her breakfast first thing. That morning, she didn't get up for the first couple of hours, she did eat some of her food, went outside to do her toilet and came back to her bed. She didn't move and dozed all afternoon. 


We phoned the vet late in the afternoon and made The Appointment for next day, thinking we had that last night with her. However, at about 10pm, she lost control of her bowels. I spent the night lying on the floor with her, telling her how much she was loved, recalling our adventures. Just before sunrise, we called the vet out, and she slipped peacefully away. We watched the most beautiful painted sunrise, which I believe was her way of telling me it was alright. I felt at peace at that moment. We buried her on the hill behind our house, looking down the loch. 

Would I do things differently? Only in that I would have called the vet out the evening before. The decline was so swift. I can only advise if Max is happy in himself, wagging his tail and still eating, let him enjoy himself. If he stops eating, shows no interest in his surroundings, or has prolonged panting (a sign of pain), then think about letting him go.

I miss my girl every day. It will be 5 months tomorrow. I read Kate's book with tears streaming down my face, but it was very cathartic. I am sitting here again with tears streaming down my face.

I wish you and Max a peaceful time together in the coming days. I know you will tell him how loved he is, and how he always will be. 

Love and hugs from Ella and me to you and Max.

I Love You Mom. You Did Everything Right For Us

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dear Jack: Why Should I Read Your Book?

Ready for a Heart to Heart? I feel compelled to write this. I keep hearing your thoughts and  reading your comments and I say to so many of you: " Just READ my book, for the answers you seek are there!" 

You think Kate is some kind of "expert"? She is not. She may have worked for hospice for much of her career, but she is really just a person who loved a pet, just like you loved yours. She was as Deer-In-Headlights as you are until I figured out how to reach her; how to get her to connect with me. You can learn it too. Once you learn how to pierce the "veil" it's like riding a bicycle. You will never go back to Not Knowing and you can apply it to every two legged and four legged relationship in your life as long as you live.

I see those of you in Kate's Bereavement Group. You ask desperate questions and you get answers that someone tries to fit inside a little Comment box. Why don't you read my book, if you haven't already. Do you have a Kindle? It's two dollars and ninety-nine cents. I am not here to sell the book, my friends, I am here to HELP those of you to get to a higher place. We wrote the book to help, not to get on the Best Seller List. We started our Facebook group for the same reason. We don't get paid for any of it. Our reward is watching people we have come to love rise from the trenches of grief, back into living full and happy lives. We've seen it happen and it makes us very happy.
Available at Amazon.com
Kate was as low as any of you have been and, as her beloved Best Friend, I pressed through, pushed through the veil to reach her through her tears and deepest grief to write "our" book. Our story is your story. Your pet wants you to read it because it is your pet's story too. It shares all the stages that take place after a loss. It helps you know what to expect and it helps you to know how to rise up to your own healing. Don't think it can't help you. You can learn as you read about the frustrations and mistakes we made along the way. 

Unless you are not ready to receive it's message, "Jack McAfghan: Reflections on Life with my Master" will help you. I promise. It comes with a Money Back Guarantee. Buy it on Amazon and if you read it and don't like it, just return it. You'll get your money back, no questions asked.


Monday, September 21, 2015

The One Thing We Can Control at the End of Life



When a human being stops eating due to illness and decline at the end of life, it can often indicate that they are ready to give up the fight. When one is helpless, frail, disabled and infirmed, they must rely on someone else to meet their basic needs. Sometimes the only control one has at this point is to clench the teeth and refuse to eat. 

So many people who are caregivers don't understand this. They force feed or think that the patient is being uncooperative or unreasonable. It is not true in every case, but often the patient is communicating in the only way they know how. Refusing food is the only choice they have. They are saying "Enough Is Enough". 

Us animals often do the same thing. This is one of the clues for you, of knowing when the time is coming to help us on our way. 


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dear Jack: Who Can I Turn To? No One Cares for Me

Dear Jack, 
Since my dear girl left me I've been very sick both emotionally and physically. Life has no more meaning to me because my sweet girl was my life and I feel so lost without her!!  I'm very very depressed and sick please help me. I need to know that someone cares for me.
Betsy

Dear Betsy, 
     You have written me many times and, despite my sensitive recommendations and encouragement, your pain and suffering continue. 
     Maybe you are looking for support in the wrong places. Many humans are very surprised when their old friends and family members don't understand or honor their grief. They need the love and care and it just isn't there. It's not that they don't care; it's that they don't really understand the level of grief and love experienced with a Heart and Soul pet. This is why it is good to seek out a support group like mine and become acquainted with similar and like-minded others who are grieving too. 
     That aside, do you know who cares the most for you? Do you have faith? Do you know that God is taking very good care of your little girl? He is taking good care of you too, but you can't seem to see that now. These times are designed to take us to the very bottom of depression and loneliness so that we become desperate enough to turn to Him. Most of us forget Him most of the rest of the time! Kate learned this and many other people are learning this too.
     What do people do without faith?  Kate has it now. She hit bottom when she lost me and her father the same day. She felt she had no one to turn to and when you have no one, you turn around and there He is. He is waiting for you! God is ALWAYS there.  24/7. He is waiting for you to ask HIM for help and it's my responsibility now to redirect you to Him. This is how much I care about you. The greatest gift you can possess is that of knowing that God is waiting to comfort you in your time of need and that He is waiting for you to ask Him to do that. 


Go be quiet with yourself. Get in a space where you can have a conversation with God and just see how it goes. I can pretty much guarantee that it won't get worse! Bless you Betsy. You'll get through this and when you learn all you need to learn here on this earth, God will bring you back together again with everyone you ever loved...and if you haven't read my book yet, you need to. This is why we wrote it -- to help people just like you. 

Love,
Jack



Saturday, September 19, 2015

Can You See Me? Keep the Faith, For I Am Here


When you can’t look into our eyes; when you cannot see us, you think we are not “alive”.  You think that if you cannot see it, that it is not alive....  but that is not true.


One of Kate’s friends has a little nephew 5 years old. He is what they call an “indigo child”. He has an intuition and awareness that most others have abandoned along the way. Our friend was taking a walk with him one day and she made a funny comment to him that he must have eyes in the back of his head. He turned to her seriously and said, “Do you know what? I don’t have eyes in the back of my head, but I have an extra eye here in the middle of my forehead.” He pointed at it. “At night,” he said, “when I no longer need my eyes to see, they close and the one in the middle opens so I can see the nighttime world around me.”

There is more to life THAN MEETS THE EYE(S).  We are here; we are waiting for you to open that eye in the middle of your forehead so that you can see us. You can’t see us if you don’t believe. 


Google “Third Eye” if you want to learn more.




Friday, September 18, 2015

Do Like Dr. Doolittle -- You Must Talk to the Animals

Dear Jack, 
My beloved Barney crossed the Rainbow Bridge a few nights ago. My sister says that I should "tell" my other two cats, but this seems a little weird to me. My sister's always been a little "out there" so I thought I would ask you what I should do.
Thank you Jack.
Belinda

Dear Belinda,
ABSOLUTELY you must tell them. You must share everything that is going on. They live with you, they lived with Barney, they loved him too. They know what life is all about and they remember Where They Came From and Where They Are Going.  Humans may forget this, but this is no surprise to them.  Do not withhold information from them that will help them grow too. 


Have you learned from reading my book how alert and aware the four-leggeds are? Sometimes they are more alert than humans are. Sometimes they even care more than humans do. They want to know. They need to know. They sense clearly that something is going on and they will be very confused if you don't tell them what it is. They feel your emotions and your vibrational energy and they can become quite distressed if you do not help them to understand what's going on.  

Once you do tell them, they will need your care, comfort and compassion, so treat them gently and with understanding because they are grieving too. Their lives move much more quickly than yours do in the scheme of things, so you can go into it knowing that they will probably work through their grief rather quickly. Typically they will be resolving their grief by the time you get into the thick of yours. Then they will be there to help you with yours... because they understand.

This was a great question.  Thank you for asking it so I can share with others because some of them probably have the same question too.  

Love,
Jack

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Am I Too Old for Another Dog? What if it Outlives Me?


Dear Jack, 
I wonder if you can address this issue sometime...I am 64 and don't want to risk getting another dog in case it would outlive me, plus am definitely not ready anyway. Thanks. Any feedback/ thoughts appreciated. 

Melissa


Dear Melissa,  

Please don't let your age hold you back from loving and adopting again. You are still very young in the scheme of things -- for all you know, you could live to 100 and have time for three more dogs! Why deny yourself the love you would experience just because of your fears? 


Here are my recommendations:

(1) Have your plan in place (we all should, no matter what age we are) to have someone ready to care for the one you leave behind if you have to leave first. 

(2) Pick an appropriate breed with a reasonable activity level to match yours.  Get an older dog if it seems a good match.  

(3)  Of course don't get another pet until you feel ready. 


We have an 80 year old friend who recently adopted a 2 year old miniature poodle. They have quickly become best friends and they need each other so much! "Buddy" keeps her young! After losing her previous dog of 11 years, she glows again with life and love. And Buddy? He is beyond happy, after coming from a home that gave him up because they didn't know how to love him. 

Our elderly friend Geri was recovering from the loss of her little dog Domino. She read my book and decided not to wait too long to give a new dog a good life. This is Buddy from VJ Ranch rescue. He is her new dream come true.
Life is simply too short --and sometimes too long-- not to take another chance on love. If you give a pet ONE DAY OF LOVE that it never otherwise would have known, it would be worth it. 

Love, 
Jack 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dear Jack: I Didn't Get To Say Goodbye


Dear Jack
I still miss my beautiful, loving little girl who I lost a year ago. I came home from work one day and she had passed away in the new dog bed that I just bought for her. That was one of the worst days of my life, she was 14 and a half and had not been sick, but she must have been suffering from something. I horribly regret that I wasn't with her when her time came; that breaks my heart to this day. I feel she's with me all of the time, she is all over my apartment, her pictures, her favorite spots, her bed. This loss has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to accept. I just wish I could see her sweet little face and hold her precious body once again. I feel so terrible that I didn't get to say goodbye. 
Please advise. 
Love, 
Amanda 


Dearest Amanda, 


I would like you to understand that your beloved girl passed in your absence because she did not want you to see her in her final moments. If it had been meant to be another way, it would have unfolded another way. It happened just the way it was supposed to happen. 


We have a friend named Patty who had a beloved cocker spaniel. It was quite old and it was declining rapidly. Patty took the whole week off from her work to be with her Buddy. She rarely left his side the whole week. Then, at about 10:30 one night, she stepped away from him just long enough to go the bathroom. When she came back, she found him. He had passed in the few moments when she had left his side. I believe he was waiting for her to leave so he could leave the way he wanted to. We get very sensitive to our best friends and we know that we don't want those last moments imprinted in your mind. We don't want you to see us until the peace has come to our face... and that peace comes very quickly. 


So often human beings try to maneuver and manipulate everything to control an outcome, but eventually most of them learn that no matter how focused and determined they are, they cannot control much of anything at all. They are not supposed to control things because God is in control. Sometimes God steps into situations like this to prove it to the human.... but the human can be a slow learner and most of them keep trying to control stuff anyway because they think they can.


Kate has worked Hospice long enough to know that people do the same thing. There they are, in their final earthly hours, and their family surrounds them in a 24 hour vigil. The moment the family member leaves the room, the person has the space to breathe their last breath in private peace. Not all of them -- but many do this. 


So rest assured, your girl did things on her own terms to the last second. Please don't worry for another moment! Don't you see she did not want to say goodbye. Why would she? She knows it's not goodbye! 


She is also very grateful that you can see her, feel her, sense her there. Everyone is capable of seeing us, but not everyone is able to do it. Please know that All is Well.


Love,

Jack

For more insights from Jack, click here to order his book on Amazon.



Tuesday, September 8, 2015

You are Never Too Small to Make A Difference in a Life



“Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
       One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
       As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
       He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"
       The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."
       "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.
       To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."
       Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"
       At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, 
       "It made a difference for that one.” 


What we do for our pets and for the animals that we rescue is much like this story about the starfish by Loren Eiseley


The other quote that comes to mind is this one: 

You are not too small at all!  You are larger than life for a pet (or a person) who needs you in theirs.  Remember, to a pet you are their entire world.  You are large, you are great, you are important, you are necessary.  Please don't hesitate to reach out to an animal -- or child -- or person -- who needs you. 

I Am Not Far Away At All



You think that I am far from you? 

I feel your thoughts, I know your heart.

I am not far away at all. I'm closer than you would believe! 

You think if you stop grieving that you will somehow lose me. 

You're afraid that if you love again, 

That you will grow away from me. 

Well you're not going anywhere! 

Your soul has grown right into mine

Spun together; 

A tapestry 

Of our life and love.

You cannot lose what has become

A vital part of you.

Someday you'll see that I was with you all along the way. 

You'll then regret the time you spent

Wasting many thoughtful tears

And grieving for so many years!

But while you cannot see that now,

You'll find out what you think you lost 

You never lost at all.

I am merely gone from view.

I am here; 

I am here beside you.

Waiting for the Chosen Time

When you will see and touch and feel me 

As I run into your arms again. 



~Jack~

Friday, September 4, 2015

Separation Anxiety Reversed

Now you know the way I felt when I couldn't go with you.
You always came right home to me. 
Whey would it be any different now? 
Everything will be okay. I'll see you soon. I promise.

I'm just gone from your sight for a little while. 
I promise, you'll Come Home to me.
Have faith in this. Just wait and see. 
I'll be all excited at the gate
To see you, oh I cannot wait! 
Until then know I love you. 
I love you. I love you. I love you.