Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gratitude for a Life


My dear Pasha flew away from here on a cold Monday morning, January 20.

People often call their cats their babies, it never felt right to me. My life was 
enormously enriched in relationship to another being, the wise and profoundly 
present, Pasha. The many months of coming to terms with this coming transition, 
the bone-deep grieving in anticipation, has lessened the pain, but the loss is enormous.
I have had the week to cleanse and clear and sink into the reality of living without 
him here with me. I have had a lot of support. 

I feel deeply grateful for having been chosen by this wild spirit as his human. 
Maybe someday I will tell that story - of how we came together - but not now. This 
loss on top of the loss of my mother last year - well, I am fragile - doing OK, but 
fragile. 

Misha Pasha Willow Bear

I am deeply grateful for the wild and free life you shared with me, 
I feel your spirit flying free. 
Blessed blessed be. 


P.S. It was an intense few weeks... thanks for your comments on the last post, 
I didn't get to replying. 

114 comments:

  1. Love and life shared, cat and woman, dear friend and companion, you are all the richer for having walked along with Pasha. He was all the richer for choosing you. Go gently and easy these next coming days Valerianna. Blessings coming to you from the flame of a pine scented candle lit on my daily blessing altar, lit for you and for Pasha.

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    1. Working on gentleness here, Marti, definitely, and dancing between tears and deep gratitude for having had Pasha in my life for so many wonderful years. Thanks for your words.

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  2. Oh Valerianna my thoughts are with you. We, who share our lives with these wild ones know the gap they leave behind them. To this day our Bjorn wanders past us, just on the edge of our vision. Am sending you very best and hope that time helps blunt the edge of your losses.

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    1. Pasha has been seen there at the edge of my vision, too, these days, and just starting to come into the edges of dreams.

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  3. oh my, this is sad news.....I feel for you and know how you must feel.....it will be tough

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    1. Yes, Saskia, I remember when you lost Tungsten... I knew then that Pasha, too, was nearing the end of his days. Its a rough road to love so deeply, but life is so rich when we do.

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  4. je suis triste pour toi..mon fils aimerai donner ses chats... dommage qu'un océan nous sépare!

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    1. Thanks, Elfi. I enjoy seeing your sweet, animal friends and know you understand.

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear of Pasha's passing. From what you wrote you knew it was coming and sometimes that's the hardest. We had to say goodbye to our dog 5 months ago, and we had known for months that it would be soon. But those last months, however bitter, were also the sweetest because we treasured every moment. And when it was time we were ready. Well, almost ready :-( Pasha had the life with you that urban cats can only dream of. As someone else said, our animal companions add depth and richness to our lives - and often perspective too, I've found. Thinking of you.

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    1. Knowing his time was near was intense, and I did make so much time to be with him in his last months. He also needed a lot of monitoring and care, which was exhausting in the last weeks. I was ready for the intensity to be over, but knowing at what cost was heartbreaking.

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  6. I have so enjoyed your blog for a good while now and I have grown to love your beautiful companion. What a wonderful life he had! You are so perfect together. Two beautiful souls. I have never commented on your blog before but I am moved to tears for your loss. I am so deeply sorrow. If only they could stay longer. What a wonderful world it would be. I will pray for your comfort and think of you. And hopefully one day your sweet Pasha will come to escort you to the new world.
    connie
    saschi

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    1. Thank you, Saschi, and happy to hear from you here.

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  7. Such beautiful words for your beloved furry one ...
    a Great Spirit in this world of companions.
    My heartfelt thoughts are with you, Valerianna.

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    1. Thanks, Christi. Yes, he was one heck of a grand companion!

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  8. I'm so sorry to read that Pasha has passed on, I have been through this with many friends both canine and feline so I know how devastated you must be. I feel sure that his spirit will still be beside you in his old familiar haunts though.

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    1. I feel his spirit deeply in the forest here, Rowan. I wonder how it will be when spring comes and I go to the forest to dream on the mosses.

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  9. The tears are flowing...just looking at Pasha's wise and beautiful face, I can see his wild spirit, which reached out and touched me often through your photographs. I grieve your loss of your dear and constant companion but am comforted by the thought of all the forest adventures and explorations you shared. May you always feel his spirit walking beside you, dear Valerianna.

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    1. Thank you, Carmine. I know his wise and wild soul is soaring in the forest close by.

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  10. I understand how the pre-grieving does help some. Rest easy dear Pasha, seek comfort Dear Val.
    I just read this post the other day and now I share it here with you.
    http://clevelandgirlie.blogspot.com/2014/01/bless-beasts-and-children.html

    With deep caring, Nancy

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    1. Thanks, Nancy, off to look at the link.

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  11. I am so sorry for your great loss

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    1. Thanks, Suz, yes, great loss, but feeling the great love, too.

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  12. have loved following beautiful Pasha on this site - my heart goes out to you as Pasha travels on. holding you both in love & light.

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  13. Reading this news reduced me to tears dear Valerianna. I could feel your connection to Pasha (and his to you) so clearly through your words and photos. It is a deep loss when our animal companions leave their bodies and I shed tears for you and for Pasha and for the cats and dog I've loved and lost as well. They are never forgotten.

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  14. We all reach toward you with our hearts and hugs in the spiritual realm. Love, light and peace.

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    1. I do feel deeply held here, thank you.

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  15. Oh Valerianna, I am so very sorry. I don't even have the words to express it. Just know that my heart is with you.

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    1. Thank you, Starr, a week gone now, I am missing him.

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  16. it has always been so lovely seeing your walks with dear Pasha.
    my heart leans towards yours and i send you light and love.

    "The death of a beloved is an event that rings and rings through life:
    bearing it is not a problem to be solved, but a long, slow piece of music to listen to. And mourning, like music, is best listened to with others."    
    Sarah Miles 

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    1. I've always loved that quote, Tammie, thanks for it.

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  17. So sorry to hear of Pasha's passing...what a blessed being of light he was in this world. My heart open's in gratitude that you were lucky enough to find one another and share your life together. What a gift. Blessings.

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    1. It was one of the enormous blessings of my life, to have shared 15 years with Pasha: a long, beautiful journey we have had.

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  18. I'm so sorry to hear of Pasha's passing away...I very much loved reading about your walks in the woods with him, and wish you comfort missing him so...take care...

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    1. Thanks, Suzanna, I am doing my best to nourish my soul and sense and be extremely gentle with myself!

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  19. My heart aches with you for this parting. Pasha will be waiting for you on the other side - but still, it is so terribly hard to see them go ahead. Wishing you love and light and that you may find comfort.

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    1. Thanks, Stregata, I have lots of support, and that is comforting.

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  20. Oh Valerianna, I'm so sorry to hear. Your little soul-mate, rambling buddy, wise soul and trickster cat. Our lives have been enriched too, by his presence in the world (wide) web. All my love to you, take care. xx

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    1. Thanks, Christina, it does seem that his spirit translated well here on the web, I have been bowled over with the concerned emails and heartfelt tears at his loss.

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  21. Such sad news, I know how deeply bonded the two of you were. Virtual hugs seem like such a small thing to offer in situations like this, but sending them anyway... and wings of love for dear Pasha's journey.

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    1. Virtual hugs are good right now, Donna, thank you!

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  22. So, so sorry, Valerianna.
    x.

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  23. This is such a poignant post. You put into words exactly how I feel about my precious dogs, who I never refer to as furbabies or pets. I have always felt that those who have left me are still near, perhaps because I think of them so often and remember what was special about each.

    I think your Pasha, in time, will lead you to another friend.
    xx, Carol

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    1. I imagine he will, Carol, someday I will be ready.

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  24. I'm so very sorry Valerianna. Pasha was your dear companion and you both had such a close connection.
    I understand your grief and feel deeply for you. Take care and be gentle with yourself.. xo

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    1. Thanks, Gwen, yes, I felt truly "met" by him.

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  25. We have so enjoyed and been enriched by Pasha, the wild spirit which you have shared with us. It always struck us that you two were equals, who chose each other to wander with through the wilderness. He is waiting for you somewhere and you will meet again. much love in your sorrow days, Minerva, Mrs Black and Munchkin x

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    1. Thanks, Minerva et all. He was surely an equal!!

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  26. So very sad and sorry for your loss, for this separation of loving hearts. For now, apart but you will be together again some day.
    Pasha was a great one, a beautiful soul -
    Mary

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    1. Thanks, Mary.. he was, and not just to me, there are many here locally who are truly sad at his loss.

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  27. You have been in my thoughts so much. xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Robyn, I do feel held by so many right now.

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  28. Oh, Mr. Pasha. Well done. Good kitty.

    My heart is sad for your loss, Val.

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  29. I don't think there is much that can be said in times such as these. We cannot express how much these beings mean to us, the way they love us unconditionally and become our familiar partners.. I send you hugs ... you are in my thoughts and I celebrate Pashas life as your faithful companion...and wise being... xox

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  30. I'm so very sorry to read about Pasha's death. Words aren't enough. Cats, or pets, may not be babies, but mine are part of my family. They leave a big gap. Love x

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    1. Big gap in a quiet forest and home, he was my family.

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  31. Our Teigar Katt died on Friday too. She'll be missed as will Pascha.

    Cats are their own boss, but they still look after us in their own way.

    Bright blessings. You have so many good memories and images.
    xx

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    1. Oh, so sorry to hear this. Peace to you. And, yes, lots of memories and photos to remind me of our beautiful companionship.

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    1. Thanks, Velma, your virtual hugs have been good ones.

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  33. I can hardly look at his beautiful face without feeling my chest tighten.
    What a profound sense of loss….what a extraordinary creature….what times you had together..Oh Pasha!

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    1. My sentiments exactly, Ramona, including your first words, though at times, looking into his eyes brings me comfort.

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  34. Dear Valerianna,
    I mourn your loss, and send love my love - just so sad to lose such a noble little friend. In deepest sympathy, sus

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    1. Thanks Susan, I like that, he definitely was a noble little friend.

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  35. Misha Pasha Willow Bear ... profoundly loved.. profoundly missed!
    hugs to you friend,
    x

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  36. Blessings to you in this very difficult time, and many, many cyberhugs...

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    1. Thanks, Sharmon... up and down in terms of difficulty... oh the mysterious journey of grief!!

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  37. Oh Valerianna, I'm so sorry to read of the loss of your wonderful friend Pasha. I'm typing this through tears. I feel for you so.

    I've been away from my blog for a year but with hopes and plans to open the door to Cottage Garden and post once again. I just came over to give you a wave and here you are, in pain, and losing your mum last year as well..... I'm so sorry.

    Take care of yourself my dear.

    Jeanne
    xx

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    1. Thank you so much, Jeanne. I'm glad to hear that you will be back over on your blog, I hope I can share hopeful and beautiful garden and art posts more than grieving posts this year!!

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  38. VA - I'm sad for you that P has died - such a bond existed between you. Love and peaceful vibes to you. B

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  39. So sorry for your losses. I, too, am grieving two major losses. Words don't help me very much. It's a "deep in my gut" thing. Sometimes a piece of music or art or a moment in nature with the breeze on my face will speak to the emptiness, but mostly, it's something buried deep inside, like a stone in my belly. My thoughts and prayers are with you through this difficult transition.

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    1. I know that stone in the belly feeling, Sara.

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  40. Ugh! I'm fighting with this commenting format. What I've been trying to say is that I'm so sorry for your loss. I, too, am suffering from two great losses in my life. Sometimes some piece of art or music or poetry can touch that grieving place in my heart, but mostly, it's like a cold stone in my belly that no one can understand (at least I don't believe they can). My thoughts and prayers are with you, as we forge our own distinct, and side-by-side paths of grief.

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    1. I think we all experience loss a bit differently, but I do think that the intensity, the pain and the heartache can surely be known by others if they have experienced deep grief. We can feel so isolated and alone and as If no one else understands. Since mine is the loss of a kitty, have taken to saying, "There's been a death in the family", or "I've just lost my best friend", and folks can relate to that. Wishing you healing as you navigate your loss, too.

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  41. I know the loss of a pet can be a deep and personal loss... I am so sorry and for the passing of your mother as well. namaste.

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  42. I read this post and cried, I know how you feel and I'm sorry,so sorry. The two wonderful cats that deigned to live with me for 20 and 19yrs died last year within 12 weeks of each other and it is heartbreaking. I cannot make you feel better but I am sending my love to you nevertheless and hope it finds you . love Samantha x

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    1. Oh, Samantha, that must have been heartbreaking to lose your two kitties within such a short time.

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  43. the grief, the missing, is the size of the Love, yes?

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    1. Yes, Grace, exactly how I think of it... big love, big grief.

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  44. I am really sorry for your loss. I know how you feel. My cats were 13 and 14 when they died. It was a terrible time for me. I wish you strenght...Greetings from Inge

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    1. Thank you, Inge. Strength is gratefully received right now.

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  45. My heartfelt sympathy on your loss of Pasha. We lost our Bella on Jan 20 - she was only 7. It's very hard to go on without them, isn't it.

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    1. Oh, Lisa, that is soo young!! I think I remember Bella from your blog. Peace to you.

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  46. I am so very sorry for the loss of your little beloved! We will all miss dear Pasha as we have come to know this adorable friend and creature so well through you. Blessings and prayers for your comfort, to you. Be well.

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    1. Thank you, Karen. It is 3 weeks since Pasha's death now, it is quiet in the house... he left a big hole.

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  47. Just came across your beautiful blog and wept dreadfully for your incredible Pasha, I had to comment and say how very very sad and sorry I am for your heartbreaking loss. I lost my beautiful Fig two and a half years ago aged 21 and the pain was so acute, certainly as deep as the loss of my parents, I think because he had been my constant companion for so long, the gap he left was almost unbearable. I just wanted you to know I am thinking of you, and understand some of what you are feeling.
    Anne.xxxxx

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    1. Thank you, Anne... Pasha was my constant companion for over 15 years. I think we were really ever apart for only 2 weeks at the most. Its a weird time, so empty here and quiet. I grieved so much in the months leading to his death, but still there is sadness and the great hole that can't be filled.

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    2. That length of time and connection is nothing less than a life partner Valerianna, the gap he's left behind can never be filled. The space that Fig inhabited - by my side while I was writing, or more often, on his chair by the table in the kitchen while I was cooking - will always remain.
      However, for me, I had to offer my heart and my home again, and now have two more cats, Bertie and Boo. They can never replace Fig, but they fill the space around me with love and life and for that i'm so grateful.xxxx

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    3. Yes, so true. Someday, I will have cats again....

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  48. Oh dear, I am so so sorry. It really is a tough loss. Pets are among our greatest teachers and most wonderful companions, aren't they? I hope her spirit is at peace. And yours.

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    1. Feeling peace, yes, Dee, as time goes on. But, a quiet emptiness here, too, of course.

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  49. Oh Pasha, I will miss you too, in my far-thread way. What a wonderful being you have been. Love, love to you Valerianna. You are a wonderful being too, as I hope Pasha taught you. xx

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    1. These two years I have lost two people who often reminded me that I am wonderful - my mother and my Pasha - so, its good to be reminded, thank you, Lunar. I hope you and pickle are weathering the storms well.

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  50. oh, valerianna!
    i'm so sorry; this year seems full of grief and loss for me and so many i know already
    peace to you and love
    may pasha revisit you in dreams of comfort
    --erica

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    1. It does so seem that way, Erica. thanks for the well wishes.

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  51. Dear Valerianna,

    when I followed your posts, always the wonderful cat Pasha was following, too. He is such a strong soul and a wonderful friend. I can imagine, that he still is giving you love and natural enrgy from behind the border we only can pass by dreams, love, thoughts and feelins. I sometimes imagine, there is a shining green sunny meadow, where a lot of neverending happy animals live - Paradies is not empty. Once Pasha will follow you again, soft, silent, jumping and waiting, You both are surrounded by an uncredible wonderful landscape with singing trees, laughing waters, silent stones and all you desired in this your life. Love never ends.

    Feeling with you,
    Dori

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    1. Yes, Dori - I sometimes find that place in my imagination, where Pasha might be... beautiful words you write here.

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  52. I am so sorry to hear of Pasha... I know how you feel I lost my little Hattie last winter...She was my companion for 19 years...my animal soul mate... Tho time has eased the pain a little I still miss her terribly...My heart goes out to you....Maybe Pasha & Hattie are running & playing through the forest... (((HUGS)))))

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    1. Hi Linda, finally responding to this comment WEEKS after. Thanks for the hugs, they are still needed here.

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  53. Dear Valerina, I'm so sorry for your loss, eyes clouded with tears and my heart breaks for you for I know exactly how it feels. and I also know that no word could ease this pain... May you find your peace and solace in nature. blessings to you.

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    1. Hi Hussam, I remember a post of yours about losing your furred friend not too long ago. I know you know this deep pain. I think as spring has begun to sprout here, I may start to feel less frozen.

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I love reading your comments and sometimes I'm good at responding right away, sometimes not! Glad you had a wander here, I hope you found the mossy path soft on your feet and heard the call of the Raven.