This past weekend, after a year-long illness, my nephew-dog Gizmo crossed over. Gizmo was an impossibly cute fourteen-year-old papillon with charming quirks. He always tried to herd everyone in the house into one room, a lovely encouragement of family quality time. In the summer, I’d often seem him nuzzle into patio-furniture cushions like they were his nirvana. When I’d do animal communication with him, he’d tell me his job was to manage the two cats in the house and keep them in line, but they so often exasperated him. My favorite memory is going on walks with him on family vacations at the Jersey shore. His little legs would trot, and he’d put those legendary papillon ears into what I called “aerodynamic position,” back and parallel to his body. It was like when airplane-wing flaps adjust on takeoff. I imagined those ears were great tools that worked brilliantly with the breeze as their fringe floated adorably in the air.
At the end of last week, Gizmo’s health declined significantly, and Friday night it didn’t look so good. On Saturday when my sister-in-law texted me to say she was taking Gizmo to the vet to assist his crossing over, I immediately teared up. Before I had the chance to turn to my boyfriend and give him the news, I heard him say out of the blue, “Is that Coco?” He was a few feet away from me, looking at a picture that’s been on my dresser for ages. In the very moment that I’d learned Gizmo was about to pass, that picture of my family cat I’d grown up with happened to catch Adam’s eye. I had a knowing instantly that it was Coco reaching out, that she was saying she’d be there to help Gizmo and greet him on the other side. It didn’t matter that they never knew each other in this life, she was his soul family, and I’m sure the other animals my brother’s family had prior to Gizmo would be there too.
Every day this week I’ve been thinking about Gizmo and what a wonderful life my sister-in-law, brother, and nieces gave him. He was truly pampered and loved beyond measure. I have so much gratitude for that, and yet it’s so undeniably sad to lose a beloved animal and feel their physical absence.
Last night, Adam ordered a pizza. After he finished, he placed the box with the remaining pieces on the kitchen counter and joined me in the TV room for some Netflix. After a while, we heard a noise. When he went to the kitchen to investigate, Adam found our cat Calla on the counter where the pizza box had been, the box upside down on the floor, and our other cat Faro eating some bits that had fallen out. It immediately reminded me of the legendary event when my brother’s family’s cat Midnight had dropped a mostly-eaten chicken leg from their kitchen sink down to the floor to an awaiting and eagerly receptive Gizmo.
Here they were, Calla, Faro, Coco, Midnight, and Gizmo, showing how we’re all connected, we all work together, and most of all, that it’s ok to laugh and be lighthearted while you miss the one who’s gone.
I sent Gizmo Reiki as he transitioned, and his energy came through truly happy to graduate to the next step—the takeoff—and truly aligned with the timing. The next day, my sister-in-law heard what she calls his “chuff” (a cough/huff he used to do occasionally in the last year of his life) when she was on the basement stairs. Gizmo always knew how to fly, but all animals know how to hover and be with us from the other side, giving us comfort, love, and a reminder that their energy is still there. In addition to papillon ears and chuffs on the stairs, I am so incredibly grateful for that. 💜