10: I’ve Got Her

10: I’ve Got Her

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven

I’ve Got Her

Death ends a life, not a relationship.

~Jack Lemmon

Angel was missing. Our six-year-old cats, Rusty and Angel, were mostly indoor cats. My husband Dave and I would treat them every day to some sunshine and fresh air in our backyard. We took them out only under our supervision. If they happened to get out on their own, we would both look and find them quickly.

Since Dave’s unexpected death two months ago, I had become the kitties’ only human chaperone. Most days Rusty and Angel were very cooperative, but on this morning Angel bounded out of the yard. When I turned around, she was gone. Usually she went into a neighbor’s yard to eat their grass or catch some sunshine. This time she was nowhere in sight and I was scared — we live close to a busy road. I walked around our neighborhood calling her, but did not get an answer.

Then I remembered to take a breath to center myself. I heard Dave clearly say, “I’ve got her.” In my mind’s eye, I saw him holding Angel in his arms protectively and warmly, her tail swishing. Dave’s energy seemed tall, bright and with a strong presence and vitality. With his words, a sense of calm and peace came over me.

“Where is she?” I asked.

“Turn left,” he said, “then go straight.”

I put Rusty in the house and got the container of Angel’s favorite treats to entice her. I left the gate open in case she came back on her own.

Again I asked, “Where is she?”

Dave’s reply came clearly: “I’ve got her.” Again with the image of him cradling Angel, her tail calmly swishing.

As I approached the area that Dave indicated, I heard Angel’s faint meow. I called to her. “Angel, I can hear you but I can’t see you. Please show yourself to me so we can go home. I know you are safe with Dave, but it is time to go home now.”

Dave told me to look left as I walked toward the meowing. There she was in the neighbor’s yard, a bit excited but not hurt. In the past she had hissed, scratched and bitten when she was that far from home. This day, she casually came to me and rubbed against my legs. I spoke softly to her as I easily picked her up and carried her home, tail swishing. I sent a grateful thank you to Dave for keeping her safe.

I always thought that when someone died, they merged back into Spirit and God and were gone from us. I thought that though the love always remained, something important ended, and with rare exceptions, that was the end of our communication. What I didn’t expect was to have an ongoing relationship with Dave since he passed. Dave has come to my dreams, spoken to me many times, offered guidance for decisions, and given wisdom and comfort in the midst of my deep grief. Our relationship continues, but the dynamic has changed. He is my spiritual guide now, and I treasure his company and love. He helps me in my healing work as a therapist, life coach and energy healer. Sometimes in the midst of my darkest moments of grief and transition, I hear him say, “I’ve got you.”

~Mary P. Collins

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