Message to you from Kate:
I rescued Jack at the age of 12 weeks and had the privilege of training him and shaping him into the dog he was destined to be. We started with Obedience, moved into Agility, pressed forward as an uncertified therapy dog. We worked for hospice and Jack spread joy everywhere he went. They say a therapy dog brings much healing and love, but we were one dog and one master and we were the ones who were loved; we had the love of thousands. Jack and I worked the world together side by side until one fateful day when the vet discovered a rectal mass that needed removal. Jack did not recover despite my doing everything and anything to keep him alive. Four days later, Jack died on our kitchen floor.
Then the pet loss adventure began. I was grieving so much that I couldn't hear him. I couldn't see him, blinded by the grief over the loss of my four-legged best friend. He continually sent me messages from where he was. A lightning bolt came out of a clear blue sky. Birds and butterflies would land on me or dive bomb me. He sent all kinds of messages and signs when I was grieving; when I was crying. There were no pauses in between my tears and his messages fell on deaf eyes and ears. I could not listen. I could not be quiet. All I could do was grieve and grieve and grieve.
One day a friend helped me to realize that I was still clinging to Jack. In all my grief work with hospice and teaching people to let go, I was still hanging on to it. Exactly six months from the day he crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I was able to scatter his ashes into the air on our favorite wilderness trail. I set him free and set myself free at the same time. I came to realize that I had identified so much as being "Jack's Mom" that when I lost him I began to identify as "Death's Victim". Victim no more, it was time for me to recreate my life without Jack, without being a victim of anything.
One night - just a few days after I'd spread his ashes, I dusted off my journal and Jack's words came out of my pen. They were in the first "person" and they spoke to me about truth and spoke it in a way that commanded me to listen. They commanded me to write. He was always the more outgoing of the two of us. He would always pull me forward to meet new people and to interact in new ways with the community. He pulled me forward this particular night because he started something that would not stop. He helped me to write a book called "Jack McAfghan: REFLECTIONS" and he comforted me through the process of writing it. He wanted me to write it, not only to work through my own grief, but to comfort, inspire and support others working through theirs. This would come to be the first book of many in the Jack McAfghan Pet Loss Series.
In honor of Jack I wish to share our story with others who need to believe that love never ends and that life goes on long beyond one's earthly death. Our story is your story too.
Jack will tell you: "I am not dead. I am awake.... You want me to wake up but in my death I did wake up and I saw you were still sleeping." Love never dies.