Behind the Scenes

What’s in front of the stage? Monica Bloom wrote a book! And the world can see it! Yay!

Behind the scenes? In mid-September just as the book was finalizing, my dog Blossom was diagnosed with liver failure at only 6 years old. Four weeks later, she died on Friday October 16th around 1:15 a.m.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 9.35.29 AM

I’m not sharing this story to make you feel sorry for me or my dog. There were lessons and miracles along the journey that are too precious to keep to myself. It is my hope that for anyone else living between two extremes (great joy! heart breaking sadness.) that we begin to honor our raw sadness without feeling guilty for feeling joy in between (or vice versa).

While working on the book’s final touches, staying up way too late, dealing with some pretty big transitions at the day-job and turning 40, we were told Blossom was in end stage liver failure and they were not sure how long she would live. September 18th, one day before my 40th birthday, we cancelled our trip to the mountains and stayed home where I cried and hugged her the entire day and night. When I woke up on my birthday, I saw her eyes — those sweet sparkle eyes. I thanked her for being around today. My heart was full and grateful — she was still here and that was the best birthday gift ever. Lesson 1: Live now. Every day, every moment is a gift.

Ok but, I’m a healer so… I can heal her, right?! Yes! Because life is full of miracles and she was going to be one of them. Trying to manifest the shit out of some serious healing, I tried some ayurvedic herbs, I fed her “magic” sweet potatoes, I wrote in my journal how she would heal, I did energy work on her at night, I begged her to stay strong. She kept declining. She refused to eat. Her poop turned the color of tar. Lesson 2: Surrender. All beings have their path. I cannot fix everything.

I thought it was unfair and “couldn’t be!” because she was only 6. Lesson 3: Not all creatures live to be old.

After another visit to the vet, we had her abdomen drained for the 3rd time (she was about 1/2 full of fluid in body weight while her body was very very skinny from not eating) and I knew it would be the last time. Lesson 4: I gave her permission.

I told her that I would rely on her eyes to tell me everything and when she was ready to go, I would just know. Every morning when she got out of her bed, I locked in on her eyes. I thanked her for being here, “It’s great to see you,” I would say. A day and a half before she died, one of her eyes started to close. Her other eye started to look a bit weak also. Only when I didn’t have her eyes, was I able to fully see how uncomfortable she was in her body. Lesson 5: Be prepared to get what you ask for, but it might be delivered in an unexpected way.

Blossom was trying to sleep standing up because she could not breathe well while lying down. She kept coming to us for pets and sat there with her eyes closed. It was time. We took her to the vet at 12 a.m. on October 16th with our 4-year old (we don’t have family close by). We gave Blossom a big family group hug and we all cried. My husband and daughter waited in the car and I carried Blossom inside. Lesson 6: Little kids can handle tough information if it is delivered delicately in truth and from the heart.

The vet supported our decision. She asked if I wanted to stay with Blossom the whole time and without hesitation I said yes. Lesson 7: The purity of spirit gives strength I didn’t know I had.

We were in a little sanctuary of a room, totally peaceful and in the middle of the night. I held her face to mine and heard her breathing in my ear (so hum so hum so hum). I felt her body relax and it was the most comfortable I had seen her in weeks. I felt her instant gratitude. I felt her last exhale (hummm) on my cheek and felt her last heartbeat. She was grateful for everything and so was I. Lesson 8: One of the things I fear the most (death) became one of the most beautiful and peaceful experiences I’ve ever had.

When we drove away, I saw Blossom in my mind (heart?) running and running, tail wagging like crazy, tongue hanging out, smiling. The message I got was, “I’m happy Mom! I’m having a great time here! Thank you!”

First thing in the morning, my daughter wanted to draw Blossom, so she made this beautiful picture. When I asked her what the yellow was she said, “It’s light, Mama!”

Blossom_light

Another little miracle happened when our other dog, Matty, was lying in his bed. They usually slept right next to each other. And look…two little rainbows.

Rainbows

Between the tears, worry, anxiety, and sadness, there were bursts of excitement about my book, but it all made me realize that this is all about LIFE. Such a precious thing and also so raw. But you know what? In my meditations now, I see Blossom’s smiling face — she is wearing one of those doggie backpacks — I put books in it. And I say, “GO BLOSSOM GO!” I see her RUNNING FAST like the little bullet she was and she takes my books around the world for me (tearing up now as I write).

GoBlossomGo

Good girl, Blossom, good girl. We love you.

4 Responses to Behind the Scenes

  1. Shivani says:

    Monica I am so sorry for your loss. I know everyone’s grief is different but I can somewhat come close to understand how you are feeling and your pain…. especially when you lose someone not to old age but to an illness that you can do nothing about. (case in point: my 3 year old lab)
    The rainbows are very mystic. Sending you and blossom lots of love and prayers.

  2. Deanna says:

    Oh Mon, what a beautiful tribute to Blossom. I’m in tears. I understand the rollercoaster of extreme highs and extreme lows….Vivienne was 6 months old when my Mom passed. What helped me through losing a loved one was watching another life grow.
    Let your success help you in your grief over Blossom…she would want you to be happy and enjoy.
    Love you Monica!
    Deanna

  3. caren says:

    Oh the tears Monica. I’m so sorry that your big book debut was intermingled with Blossom’s departure. Two huge life events at once is never easy.

    My heart breaks for that little girl, but I know she would want you to focus on the good stuff.

    Big hugs!!

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