Finding Ways to Deal with Loss

About two weeks after Mimi passed, when I recognized my despair enough to know I had to find something to pull myself out of the hole her leaving created in my life, I called Catherine. 

At first I asked some like minded friends if they knew a local medium who might help me contact the spirit realm. Perhaps a message from Jesi would help. It had worked after she passed, when I packed a bag and drove myself to OMEGA to a week long workshop with James Van Praagh. There I was shown that Jesi had not gone, only that she was no longer visible and audible to me. I learnt to recognize that sometimes she sent me messages telling me she was still with me, or more often these days, planted a voice of wisdom in my head when I was puzzled over an issue, or sent me a dream to answer some question I had. Like when I asked her advice about Mimi’s eye operation.


Jesi and Mimi together


But now I wanted to know that Mimi was with her, happy and well again in her new spirit home. I had been so immersed in grief when Mimi’s spirit passed that day in the vet’s office, I had not been able to sense Jesi’s presence… and that was the one thing I had dearly wanted for Mimi; to know she had gone from my arms into the folds of Jesi’s angel wings.


My vision of Mimi with Jesi (acrylic paint on canvas 4/11/18)

In asking around I heard about Catherine, an animal intuitive. And after taking down her phone number and looking at the piece of paper sitting on my desk for days… thinking about whether I dared to call, I picked it up and pressed the numbers into my phone. 

“Do you communicate with animals on the ‘other side’?” I asked. 

“Oh yes,” she replied… 

I told her a few details about Mimi, as few as possible (there was still that skeptical streak in my nature) and arranged for her to visit. I wanted to be sure she really was bringing me messages from Mimi. 

As the time for my appointment with Catherine approached I hoped she was easier to communicate with in person than on the phone when, to me, she seemed hesitant and uncertain. Was I setting myself up for disappointment? 

I was still wondering about her when I greeted her outside my building. But as we walked down the corridor to my apartment and she started chattering about how, ever since my phone call, Mimi had been ‘coming through’ excited about the fact she, Catherine was going to see her me, her mama, I started to feel at ease. I had forgotten that often those with the gift of connecting with Spirit can seem ungrounded and flighty. 

Catherine was perfect, exactly how I realized an intuitive should be.

“She’s in the light you know” Catherine announced, as we were making our way to my door. I remember being surprised by her announcement. Already? I thought.

When Catherine and I entered my apartment I pointed out Mimi’s bed, and showed her a couple of photos I had taken Mimi in my apartment in the days before she passed. I handed her one. She held it tight between her thumb and fingers. She was already absorbed in listening not only to me, but to a message I could not hear. 

“Mimi wants you to know she is feeling much better,” she said. “She had stomach problems didn’t she? Well, she’s feeling much better now!”

I was astounded. Mimi had been ill at the end of her life with a build up of toxins from kidney failure. The vet had told me she would have been very nauseous. That is why she had stopped eating… I had never understood that properly until that last morning in the vet’s office. 

“She had something wrong with her eyes, didn’t she. She’s showing me she can see again now.” 

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Mimi was blind due to cataracts. I hadn’t told Catherine any of this. “She was sick for a while, wasn’t she?”

“Yes,” I replied, thinking back to the summer of 2016 when I first learnt Mimi had congestion in her lungs… though I was never sure what her actual diagnosis was…” 

“And the vet couldn’t really diagnose what was going on…” Catherine mirrored my thoughts.

I nodded, remembering the echocardiogram, the suspicion of a tumor in her heart, how large it looked on the x ray, and how it displaced her trachea. Perhaps this had been causing some of the coughing but the vet queried the possibility of there being something else. … I had never really known, …never really knew… until the last month when I was given a clear diagnosis, when they told me heart failure …

I had begun by then, after years of thinking I would lose Mimi any day, to wonder if she would live forever… 

But the words heart failure were definitive …

“Did you change the medicine at the end?” Catherine’s voice broke into my thoughts. “She didn’t like it. … It stopped working anyway.” It was strange the way Catherine spoke, asking a question and then knowing the response without me speaking. Funny though, my suspicion had been that that medicine had stopped working too.

“She was older than you thought,” Catherine had moved on. 

I was a little confused. How could Mimi have been older than the 18 years that I had come to believe her age had been? 

Perhaps she meant when I first adopted her from the animal rescue…. when I was led to believe she was 9. …only five years and a half years earlier.

But since 2016 when the vet first told me she thought Mimi was much older, probably somewhere around 16 years, I had taken that as her real age. Was Catherine just confirming that was correct. I assumed so. But I didn’t have time to ponder, Catherine had continued to speak…

She was talking in Mimi’s ‘voice’ now…

“The people before you didn’t know how to take care of me properly. They didn’t look after me well,” she was saying.  “That’s why my eyes got so bad. I hated you putting that ointment in my eyes. But afterwards they always felt better.” 

I thought of the three times a day when I would sit down in front of Mimi with the two tubes of ointment and two small treats, one to follow each application, to treat her severely dry eyes. How she squirmed, trying to avoid me and how I had to position myself ‘just right’ to be able to get them in, especially the first one, which when I squeezed the tube sometimes wrapped itself completely around the applicator tip. I hated doing it too, but her eyes didn’t get gluey if I applied it. If I missed doses they got crusty and red. I hated seeing them like that. It must have been so uncomfortable for her. How sweet of Mimi to acknowledge my care of her. 

“Some people looked at me before you got me,” Mimi was telling Catherine. “A family. But I knew you were interested so I acted scared of the children. That made them not want me. I was looked over by others too.” 

I remembered how when I began work as a volunteer at ARL Boston, just after Mimi had been surrendered by her previous owner, that I spent all my time with her. I took her on walks. I took her upstairs where we hung out and played together. She was shy at first, but soon she warmed up. When I had to take her back to her kennel she would whine and bark for me to come back.

“I was stronger than people thought though,” Mimi told Catherine. “I had two litters of puppies. Some didn’t make it …”

I knew Mimi had had a litter of puppies…I didn’t know she had two. I wasn’t surprised about the news that some hadn’t survived though. She was so thin and scrawny and badly nourished when I got her, her hair was all greasy. How could she ever have nourished unborn pups?

I was becoming impatient. Although I was interested in filling in the gaps of knowledge about Mimi, what I really wanted to know was where was she now. I interrupted…


“Is she with anyone now?” I asked. “Is she with Jesi?”

“Jesi?” Catherine repeated.

“My daughter,” I explained.

Catherine paused. I could feel her concentrating. 

“There’s an older woman… Oh. Wait.” Catherine paused for a minute before continuing but she was not talking to me any more. “Jesi, is that you?” Catherine turned her head slightly upward. “May we speak?”

Then Catherine was silent for a couple of minutes.

“She’s very chatty isn’t she. She’s telling me how she took a while to warm up to Mimi.” I remembered that. I was a little taken aback when Jesi wasn’t so enamored with Mimi the day we met her as I was. I never could figure out why.

“Jesi is caring for her now. They have lunch together and are together at night. But Mimi visits you at night also. She comes in the light.”

“Jesi is not a boy?” Catherine was asking a question.

“No, she is my daughter,” I repeated. “She passed away from leukemia when she was 16. Just over three years ago. Jesi would have been turning 20 four days after Mimi passed.”

“Hmm. She feels like ….”

I interrupted. “Jesi loved doing boy stuff though.”

“Oh that’s what I am getting then” Catherine continued. “She was a tom-boy.” 

I remembered how Jesi loved playing wiffle ball with Chris. And how she knew everything about all the local sports teams. Especially the Patriots and the Redsox. Even her Make a Wish trip was focused around sports. We went to Hawaii to see the ProBowl!

“She’s a bit bossy.” Catherine laughed. “She’s telling me off for thinking she was a boy! …She was sick for a long time too?”

“Yes. The leukemia came when she was 12. She went into remission and then it returned when she was 15 and she passed away nine months later after her 16th birthday.”

Catherine chatted on with Jesi for what seemed like ages, seeming to be really enjoying it, but I felt myself getting little restless wanting to hear more about Mimi. 

“Jesi liked pink too,” Catherine was addressing me now. “Didn’t she dye her hair pink or something at one point?” 

“Maybe a pink streak I think?” A glimmer of a memory was returning. 

“Pink was Mimi’s favorite color too,” Catherine added, returning to talk about Mimi. “She liked the music you played her too. Oh, and she wants you to listen to it more.” I always left the classical music station on for Mimi when I was out during the day. I was glad she appreciated it. Sometimes when I was driving around for my job and it was playing in the car I would remember that Mimi and I were listening to the same music! 

Then I told Catherine a little story about Mimi peeing out on my patio and how a bulb had rooted itself were she had made a habit of peeing and the yellow flower that appeared. “Mimi’s magical pee!” Mimi was telling her!  

Suddenly Catherine looked up and completely changed the topic.

“Now I realize it wasn’t Mimi who has been chatting to me since you called last week. …It was Jesi.”

I was silent. Taken by surprise my this piece of information. However once I started thinking about it, it really wasn’t surprising at all. It was so totally Jesi…

Catherine gave me a few more details about Jesi. But when she told me I should eat chocolate because Jesi liked it and she could taste it through my enjoying it I had to tell her I suffered from migraines and as it was a trigger I never touched it. She paused and then responded

“Jesi says she probably caused some of those too!” We both laughed at that.

The time of my meeting was drawing to a close and I still felt I had to share one concern with Catherine. 

“At the end,” I hesitated. “I really wanted to be able to hold Mimi Catherine. I wanted her to know I was with her right up to the moment she passed. But the vet needed her to be on the table. I had been holding her,” I told her. “And I know she was already unconscious with the anesthetic… ” Catherine interrupted. 

“Mimi’s spirit had already passed,” she assured me. “Her spirit had already left her. The vet was very good, she knows that.”


Mimi’s Garden


I’m glad I bought up my concern before Catherine left that day over two months ago. It was on my mind then, and a number of times since, when the image of Mimi has come back to me as I last saw her in the vet’s office that day. I have felt a pang of sadness about the uncertainty of not knowing what Mimi felt in those last moments.

Of course we never do really know…not until our time comes, but I don’t believe it is any different for animal spirits than human ones. Only I don’t know how quite to communicate with the animal ones to tell them and reassure them. And for some reason I cannot fathom, for me and Mimi, it has bee more important than I can remember it ever having been with any of my previous doggies before. Perhaps because of the connection to Jesi … Perhaps because of Jesi …

There’s one thing though…

I’m grateful to have found Catherine who could help me through it.


A collage I made after Mimi passed

This entry was posted in Art as Therapy, Dealing with Loss, Grief, Messages from the Spirit world, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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