|Kate & Me|
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 in 2014 when they found a mass that needed to be removed. Four days later, when Jack died on our kitchen floor, the real magic began. I was grieving so much that I couldn't hear him. I couldn't see him. He continually sent me messages from Heaven. A lightning bolt came out of a blue sky. Birds and butterflies would land on me or dive bomb me. He sent these messages when I was grieving; when I was crying. I could not listen. I could not be quiet. All I could do was grieve and grieve.
One day a friend helped me to realize that I was still clinging to Jack. In all my work with hospice and teaching people to let go, I was still hanging on. Exactly six months from the day he died, I scattered his ashes into the air on our favorite wilderness trail. I set him free and set myself free. I had identified so much as being "Jack's Mom" and then 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 when I wrote in my journal, Jack's words came out of my pen. They were in the first "person" and they spoke 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 pulled 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" 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 who go through their own grief.
In honor of Jack I wanted to share his story with others who need to believe that love never ends and that life goes on long beyond one's earthly death. 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.
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