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  • Two weeks ago Sunday, my wife, children, two guinea pigs, and our family dog (Brody), arrived home from the cabin.  As we walked in the door, Brody’s nose began to bleed profusely.  We did everything we could, but when it began to come out of both nostrils, we knew it was more serious than we thought.  After two ice-packs (and some tears during a trip to the vet clinic), we were forced to give him epinephrine to gain control over the bleeding.

    Just so you know, Brody has had Cancer for some time and, we have done everything we could to keep it at bay.  After a slew of natural remedies, we finally decided to combine Chemo with an amazing supplement called silvestrol.  This path seemed to be working as he began to show amazing improvements, especially over the last several weeks.  Still, the nosebleed was a reminder that false hope can be a harsh wake up call.

    This last Tuesday as Jen was getting ready to go to work at the vet clinic, she decided to take Brody so she could look after him.  She was supposed to be there at 9AM.  As I woke up at 9:12, I figured she left without saying goodbye so that I could sleep.  However, when I walked out of the bedroom and into the kitchen, I saw her standing over Brody crying, with a slew of bloody rags lying at her feet.

The nosebleed had returned and she had been trying to get it under control for the better part of an hour.  But this time, even the epinephrine was failing.  We then took him outside to get him into the car after the bleeding seemed to be slowing down. But within minutes, the blood began to flow uncontrollably once again.  It was in that moment we both realized we had to make a choice we had been dreading.

With tears in my eyes I walked back into the house and gathered the children.  I could barely speak as the reality of the moment was setting in.

“You don’t need to go with us, you can stay here if you choose, but Mom and I are leaving to put Brody down.”

The look in their eyes was one I will never forget.  You never want to see that kind of hurt within a child.  As they walked outside to say goodbye to Brody, I knew the next hour would be one of the hardest I’ve had in a long time.

After saying their goodbyes, we loaded Brody in the car and drove to the clinic. The drive there, needless to say, was very difficult.  But when we arrived, the tears flowed even more as we noticed her colleagues had set out a blanket with several dog toys, resting under the large trees in the sun.  It was a beautiful gesture of sympathy I will never forget.

As I laid Brody down onto the blanket, one of the doctors went inside to get the euthanasia syringe as we made him comfortable.  Within a couple of minutes, the doctor, and another one of Jen’s colleagues, came out with some treats, including a big chocolate donut. (I can’t even write this without smiling)  This simple act of kindness overwhelmed me as I watched Brody scarf the whole thing down in about two bites.  

For a split second, we nervously laughed as we became worried he’d choke on it.   (“This wasn’t the plan guys.”, I thought to myself.) Regardless, it was a beautiful thing to see him enjoy something we’ve never given him the privilege to enjoy.

As he lay in Jen’s lap, while I held her with my hand on Brody’s back, I felt his body slowly go limp as he passed in our arms.  It wasva beautiful, but painful moment, as he transitioned in the sunlight.

I wish I could find the words to describe how proud I am of my wife. How much she took care of Brody, how much she takes care of us, yet remains so strong regardless of the questioning of her own resolve.  Instead, I can only end this story by telling you that I do not believe, nor any longer, take part in false hope.  Yes, I believe in science, I believe in a greater power, but most importantly, I believe in the foundation of my life experiences over anything else.

To watch your body suffer from loss, is a profound experience.  But to see it from the perspective of a third person, is profound beyond comprehension.  To know there’s more, but at the same time, not fall prey to the “they’re in a better place” rhetoric that is claimed out of blind-faith, vs true, hands-on experience, is humbling to say the least.

Yes, faith is integral to the questions unanswered if the mind is not prepared to stretch itself beyond the physical.  But to KNOW, both experientially, logically, and spiritually, is, in my mind, the true path to personal, and reflective freedom.

No, we do not cease to exist when we pass.  Yes, this body incarnates back into the etheric and the experience of (your name here) leaves the physical plane.  But to invest in false hope, false assumption, and misguided awareness, is a detriment to our spiritual and physical well being. (again, in my opinion)

It’s not that there isn’t hope, it’s that we need a fresh dose of reality from time to time, in order to awaken to the true power of our reality.  

I know there are many roads in which we will continue to travel within the Tesserean work, but none more important than losing the false sense of self, which continues to blindly make so many of our life choices for us.  None of which, hold any weight towards the betterment of our lives in general.

Yes, Brody was (and is) a huge part of our lives.  He will (and is) sorely missed.  But to know the truth of mortality, where we came from, and where we’re going, is without a doubt, a step into the right direction of not only healing, but also evolving as a spiritual/physical species.  

My promise to you is that I will never claim to know it all and, I have no intention of leading anyone down a road that is built on falesy.  Again, there is much work to do within our community and many new trails to blaze.  But I will never forget, that no matter how profound my perspectives may continue to become, I am still partly an ignorant and humble servant to this temporary incarnation of Adam.  And trust me when I say this.  Adam ain’t perfect.

And to carry on tradition, there will be more beloved pets, people, and beautiful relationships making their way into my future.  For this I have no doubt.  And when they arrive, I will embrace them with open arms, even knowing they will all leave a mark upon me, both beautiful, profound, and tragic.

In the end, just as it is within the beginning, it’s all worth it.

This, is my choice.

Adam

PS I am at the cabin and yes, Steve is alive! (See image below) If you don’t know who Steve is, you can read the story here. http://innereden.com/journal/the-rose/
PPS You may not be able to see his back right foot, but if you can look closely you’ll see him missing some toes. 🙂

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34 Comments
  1. Angela

    Dearest Adam, my heart and tears are with you and Jen and the kids. Sending you big hugs and quietly being beside you in my thoughts. Brody is a beautiful and precious creature! He has shared a wonderful lifetime with your family. It sounds like it has been a healthy and nutritious life too! What a wonderful sentiment was that chocolate doughnut.

    Realizing that the rest of this lifetime is going to be lived without that special friendship and tangible companionship can’t possibly ever be easy, especially in the hours of departure. I can’t imagine ever being so familiar with what lies beyond the boundaries of time and this physical place to avoid the feelings of loss of someone we love. There must be a wonderful lesson in choosing love in this place where we can touch a warm soft furry coat and see excited leaps of joy and loving licks of kisses. To experience the beauty of receiving love in return that is unconditional has got to be one of the greatest and sweetest rewards.

    Somehow, it seems the only “gift” of someone’s departure from this life is that those who remain are reminded that there is something more beyond this physical place and time. It may not feel like a warm fuzzy gift but it does spur us on to live more, explore life more, and consider what is outside of this place and venture toward it again.

    It is great to hear that Steve is still scurrying around the cabin! I’ve been wondering off and on all week when we would hear if you had seen him.

    Blessings my friend ~
    ~Angela Russell

    “It’s not that there isn’t hope, it’s that we need a fresh dose of reality from time to time, in order to awaken to the true power of our reality. ” ~Adam King

    • Adam King

      Thank you for the wise and beautiful words Angela. And, seeing a quote from myself is very welcome. It’s profound to see your own wisdom when you’re psyche is hiding in the darkness.

  2. Claudine

    That was profoundly beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss. Your wife’s inner strength is something I really admire and hope to hone as single mum to my boys. Still so much to learn in life, and appreciate that I am learning from you and the community.

    • Adam King

      Thank you so much Claudine. I/we cannot wait to learn from you as well. 🙂

  3. Thea

    Dear Adam and Family

    Your doggie Brody story is so touching and real. How are we all always learning through living relationships to people, places, emotions, pets, nature and perspectives.
    We have been having a pet ordeal at our home too. A beautiful being that was brought into our lives by a friend who bought me a 2 Game of Thrones dogs- a new breed called Northern Inuits. They are a cross between Shephatds, Malamutes and Huskies. We had these rambunctious loving dogs all of two weeks when the white one, a male we name Dharshan was accidentally run over by my husband’s driver. Both hind legs were broken in several places as he backed back over him a second time!
    The night before I had had the strangest experience with this young five month old dog. He had hugged me literally for 40 minutes. Not cuddled but hugged like a human hugs! I had sat their hugging him back and then extricated myself and went to bed.
    After the operations the vets weren’t too optimistic as he had no feeling but I worked with him for an hour refusing to believe anything but that he could heal. After that hour he yelped loudly when the pinched his toes.
    One side six weeks on is still weeeping but he is now walking on all fours. He has the most sweet and positive disposition. He gives love and affection and he is positive towards us all.
    We still don’t know how he will be… what will happen but we are enjoying every moment and have made him as comfortable as we can.
    That he is here for a reason is never lost on me.
    We had three malamutes poisoned in the course of a year… they got out of our fence and probably killed or hart added some ones goats and so the man poisoned them but we don’t know for sure.
    Then the last one died of a massaive heart attack and we did an autopsy only to find that all along he had tiny lungs for his huge body and his liver and spleen were both under stress?
    We knew he could never handle too much long walking and was slower than the rest but he was such a loving one. His mother knew. Until her dying day she looked after him more than the others.
    We now have a quirky pack – a husky stray, a Botswana African dog stray, and the two Noryher Inuits. All young dogs with rambunctious crazy and sweet demeanors and very different to the five malamutes we once had holding a powerful majestic presence on our property. These ones are the strangest mix and I have been asking myself how I have ended up with them… yet, as we are moving into a new phase in our lives I do see that we need dogs who are less tied to us and more to the outer environment and each other as we will be traveling more and home less. These ones are definitely keeping one another joyful. They rarely mope.
    Isn’t it amazing how our pets naturally reflect us?
    With love and understanding for this phase in your lives.
    Thea Khama

    • Adam King

      Wow Thea, I feel as though I just traveled the world within your stories of your pets. I can literally see them, your’s and their experiences….all in a blink of an eye that seems to be lasting on and on.

      Just wow, thank you so much for sharing. I wish I could show you what I’m seeing right now and compare notes!

  4. Monika

    Dear Adam
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing with us. Your words made me feel sad and yet it is so beautiful at the same time , it made me cry. How precious every life is and how much we should enjoy every minute with a being while in physical form. The energy will be around forever but only alive we can touch and embrace. Blesdings to you and your family.

    • Adam King

      Monika, thank you so much for your words and vulnerability. I know you’re always with me and I’m grateful to have the sites here to connect.

  5. Jan

    Such powerful writing – both about Brody and also from those in the comments above! There can be no doubt, we are all enriched both by and for the love of animals who come into our lives, in whatever form or relationship – and blessed are those who risk being open to the lessons, messages, and gifts in each and every one along the way! I agree that while the physical form never seems to last quite long enough for most of our wishes (most times), I totally agree that in truth they never really leave us…. at the very least they’re in our hearts forever more, and sometimes their presence can be genuinely sensed even years after they’ve “left us” (precious moments, those too!). Always look for the chocolate donuts!! — and the opportunity to provide them when they’re called for as well, because as you noted – no matter how “silly” it may seem or feel at the time – often it’s the small things like that which carry far more importance than anybody might imagine (lesson is: so if the impulse comes – by all means go for it!) ( … especially love that part, Adam — it’s truly amazing and awesome these kinds of small reminders of love, kindness, and generosity – ever powerful too – and made all the more important for having been noticed and appreciated! The one in my story was the little red heart sticker the vets put on the paw of a beloved cat [as part of preparing her for the injection] as we were helping out of pain/cancers a few years ago…. such a little thing that continues to mean the world to me, red hearts, LOL!) Piling on with even more love and hugs – thanks for sharing this all with us! Much much love to all.

    • Adam King

      Thank you so much Jan, especially pointing out (and contributing) to the importance and grace of the comments. Everyone one of them has been very special. Big hugs to you (and everyone else) 🙂

  6. Gus

    Dear Adam and family:
    “Soul on going” dear Brody….Thanks for sharing you and your family’s love for and with Brody.. When beloved animals companions make their transition, it is hard to accept, for me, these connections are of unconditional love with no human drama memories, so seemingly pure and untainted by drama..
    Love and Light,
    Gus and the Pawpads

    • Adam King

      Ah yes Gus, of course. So wonderful to hear from you for all these years. And especially grateful for “the paws” 😉

  7. Wendy MacKay

    Adam, Jen and children,
    Such a moving experience that touches the heart as I believe we can all relate. Personally, I find the loss of a pet such a difficult process. Our beloved pets unconditional love and forgiveness is so inspirational. I feel your pain during this period of grief and thank you for sharing your story. May Brody’s love and light shine upon you forever.

    • Adam King

      Thank you so much Wendy. So good to see/read all of these comments and know there’s been so much support. I often forget about other’s lives as I get so deeply enriched within my own. This serves as an important lesson to me to make sure I continue to support all of you as well. This is the most important thing to me during this time. Looking out for friends, while noticing them looking out for me. Thank you for that.

  8. Terri

    What an amazing story, Adam—
    I know Brody will return to you in some form and soon.
    Love always finds love.

    Yahoo for Steve—he is not giving up on this life.

    You and
    Your family are in our circle of love and caring.

    Hugs

    • Adam King

      Thank you Terri. It’s been so cool to read this now after returning to the cabin. Steve (whom we truly believe to be a boy), jumped in my hand the second I got to the cabin. I’m not even exaggerating that. I wish I had my phone or a camera with me. He just ran up, jump over a rock and straight into my hand. Of course, I had seeds in it. 🙂

      The picture above was later that day if memory serves…

  9. Nancy Fellenz

    Adam, my heart is heavy for you and your family. I just recently went on this same journey. So much sadness, grief at the loss, and so much love and joy in the memories of what my pet gave me. I’m sorry for your loss of Brody and the emptiness of the place he had in your home and in your hearts. Much love to you and your family.

    • Adam King

      That means a lot to me Nancy and thank you for sharing yourself during this process as well. It’s so strange how sometimes losing a pet can even be compared to losing a person. When we share ourselves, especially within the realm of things profound like Tessera, it seems to establish an understanding of our mortality, what comes after, and how it makes us feel. But with animals who cannot talk (or bullshit for that matter 😉 , it can truly test the mind and our beliefs.

      I’m just glad we still have each other and can enjoy this journey with every new day.

  10. JoAnne

    Dearest Adam,

    Thank you for your sharing of Brody’s last moments here on this plane. I am crying even now as I imagine what you and Jen felt as you had to put Brody down. It put me back 30+ years when my Phaedra died, I still miss her as I am sure you will miss Brody. It’s funny. She is still in my heart and that still makes her alive in a way. She is still part of my life and whenever I see another dog chew tree branches or skitter at her own shadow, I have to smile. I didn’t in the beginning, but I do now. Just as you did when Brody ate his last “treat.” I know that she is running somewhere, eating logs and getting lost. I would like to believe that I will meet her again but we don’t know what lies ahead. Do their souls reincarnate? We can only know from our own experience that Brody loved life, loved you, Jen and the kids and had an extraordinary life while he was here. And he contributed greatly in what he gave to you all. Celebrate that. Feel sad, cry, hold Jen and the kids. It does get easier somehow. Getting another dog does help. Although, I wouldn’t know as I never got the opportunity to have another. After she was cremated (that’s another story unto itself), I was given Eugene O’Neill’s “Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog.” While it made me cry, it also was like a warm hug from my best friend (Phaedra). You can find it on line if you wish to read it. Also I read a book “Art of Racing in the Rain” if you haven’t read it, it is lovely. And is a testament to the love of a dog and his master and what comes after…maybe. I hold you all in my thoughts. Brody is eyeing Steve somewhere. You can count on that. Hugs.

    • Adam King

      Thank you for the story and the book suggestions. And, for Phaedra. Such a cool name I had to look it up. “Greek for bright”. So very cool.

      And yes, I have a lot to share about life and death. No, I’m not better nor more clever than any of you. But together we’ve moved mountains and I promise we will continue to do just that.

  11. Alan

    Thank You for the story.But I must say something.Almost 5 years ago,I go the same,let we say process.
    But not because of ilness,but,I have previous dog 15 years in god in bad.But then the time come,when I
    must say goodbeye to Him.It tooks time to heal that.Later I decided,that I will took new one.

    Have a nice sunday

    Alan

    • Adam King

      Thank you Alan I appreciate that. And yes, it was a beautiful Sunday when you suggested enjoying it. 🙂

  12. Aline

    Thanks for sharing this story Adam – and your reflections. It’s always difficult to say goodbye to a beloved pet. Thinking of you all moving forward without Brody being there. Thank you.

    • Adam King

      Always gives me a warm feeling to hear from you Aline. Thank you.

  13. Pat(Itstime)

    We’ve journeyed together for so long, yet I don’t know what to say……so I send hugs/tears….and smiles.

    With love to you and your family,

    Pat(Itstime)

    • Adam King

      Just seeing your name gave me a smile. Thank you Pat.

  14. Linda Foster

    Thank you Adam for sharing your story about Brody. Like so many of the others who have commented here, I too have lost beloved pets and can identify with the range of emotions that are being experienced.

    I now see the animals, mainly dogs, that have been in my life, as master teachers, in that they opened my heart to experience so many emotions, but primarily love. In their physical departure they gave me permission to feel a depth of grief, sadness, loss and the very painful absence of their presence in my life. For that I am always truly grateful. The continuing and constant reminders of them having been here, long after their physical shift, brings joy to my heart now. Unconditional and non-judgmental, so many lessons can be learnt through their gentle nudges.

    Your beautiful story helps me in the chaos of these seemingly tumultuous times to never forget the simple pleasure of having your best friend wagging their tail with joy and happiness in their eyes and delighting in the company of two buddies together spending time. Thank you your story touches deeply within.

    Much love to you and your family. Linda

    • Adam King

      Ah..those were some wonderful words Linda. Thank you!

  15. Deborah

    Thank you for sharing your story and reflections. Your writing was just lovely. Having been with many pets through their passing this really touched me. And I am so glad Steve has returned! I feel the same way about a fox that is a guardian of where I live up here in the Mountains. He was gone for awhile and I was so happy to see him the other day and know he was still with us! Many blessings to you and your family.

    • Adam King

      Oh, and how I love those pictures of the fox around your home! Thank you Dj!

  16. Pam

    The tears are rolling down my face & my heart aches as I read your (Brody’s) story. When I read the part of where Jen was holding Brody I saw myself with my “pumkin” Tasha” as I held her in my arms as she transitioned. How special yet how painful that moment was & is. The tears continue to fall as I’m writing this but the memories are so cherished…I loved her dearly & I had the priveledge of being with her for 15 yrs. As all of us, in one form or another, have lossed someone we love, we face mortality and learn what is so important…it truly is better to have loved & lost than to never have loved at all.
    with you always,
    Pam

    • Adam King

      It’s always warm to feel the connection with someone else who has experienced loss. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. And, I’m sure all of us have lost, loved, and did it all over again. Truly wonderful to share (even if it hurts a little) our stories with each other. That to me is that this is all about. Acknowledgement, support and connection. Thank you Pam.

  17. Holly

    I send you and family condolences on your dear Brody. The amazing unconditional love and memories our pets bring us is like a gift from God. Many blessings!!!

    • Adam King

      So spot on Holly. Thank you!

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