This is a letter to my beloved companion of sixteen years, my doggie, Neesie.
Hello my angel Neesie,
You must be here in my heart. I call on you and in an instant, I feel you. There is no break in our communication even though your body is gone.
My heart was so heavy and you knew it. In fact, YOU were far more lucid and open than I was willing to be.
Please join with me in helping me to forgive myself for mistaking “guilt” (caretaking your body) for Love. I was an excellent caretaker, dutiful, concerned for your physical comfort, medications, food, etc.
But “that” was not what you were calling me to. Was it? You were calling me to Love…to being “present” with you WITHOUT fear or concern. You wanted me to enter the peace of God WITH you. And I couldn’t do that while I was in rescue mode, prioritizing taking care of your body rather than joining with your pure Soul.
For twelve months I witnessed your body declining. You had no hearing, and then minimum eyesight. Twelve months of almost daily potty accidents in the house, mostly in my bedroom. The coughing escalated over a year and suddenly became overwhelming, waking me up many times a night. And then there was the constant whining…which morphed into an almost continuous mournful whimper.
You were inconsolable no matter what I did during all that time. I often went to sleep only to be startled awake, sure I heard you crying or coughing. I’d turn on the light…and you were sound asleep. Your distress was echoing loudly in my mind and I could not shut it off.
That last year with you, I put myself on hold. You and your “state” were my utmost priority. My mind was always listening and asking, “What does Neesie need?” “How can I make her more comfortable?”
I dreaded the time when you would leave your body. I couldn’t even stand to think or feel any of the thoughts and emotions that wanted to be seen around this. I was in a constant state of inner conflict over you. I just did not know how to console you in your distressed state. The constant whining seemed to get louder and it drowned out my lucid mind.
I saw an unmistakable inner split within my mind. I was torn. On the one hand, I didn’t want to let you go. On the other hand, I was resentful that you were hanging onto the body.
Around four days before you left your body, I broke down and asked you, “What do YOU want?” “What more can I (Nouk) do?” I was desperate.
And you said, “Hold me…Just hold me.”
So I scooped you up into my arms and kissed your face. I wrapped you up on my lap and took you with me around the house. I sat and wrote one of the most important sections of the new book with you sleeping deeply on my lap. It felt so safe, peaceful and glorious!
All my resentments and conflicts disappeared. Only Love and immense gratitude remained.
I stroked your neck, I scratched your ears and massaged your back, whispering how much I Love you, and how thankful I was to have you. You’d awaken and lick my free hand in gratitude, and then drift off to sleep again.
I held you Neesie.
I really held you. Deeply. And with all of my Soul.
We were together for sixteen years…yet I had never held you the way I did those few days before you left the body. We joined you and me – in the deepest and most reverent Holy Communion.
And then the whimpering stopped. The distressed crying stopped. The coughing stopped.
All this time, you only wanted this tender, Holy Communion with me. That was ALL you wanted.
You told me then that you were now ready to leave the body and that I should call the vet to come over. You had fulfilled your Assignment and delivered the lesson to me. The clarity of your message was undeniable.
But when the vet had given you the first injection to take you into an unconscious state before administering the final injection…I was overcome by a wave of such deep grief that it took away my breath. I just HAD to be alone with you before the last injection.
I took you into my room and sobbed, kissing your beautiful face and ears. Feeling you so powerfully. And it was then that your pure and innocent message pierced my heart.
When I asked you a few days before, “What do YOU want?” You said to me, “Hold me.” And now, as I held your limp body close, your deeper message unfolded in my awareness like a multi-petaled flower:
“Enter deep, vulnerable Holy Communion with me. Stay with me. Don’t run and don’t hide. Don’t be distracted by the appearance of the state of the body. Stay with this most sacred, tender Union. Hold it, and cherish it with ALL of your being. See nothing BUT this…because this is ALL there is. Love is fearless. Love is guiltless, innocent. Love is undivided. Love is without conflict. Love is without sacrifice. Love IS here now…in this most blessed Holy Instant that we share. Show-up. Feel it with all your heart and never ever let it go.”
You came to teach me how to lay aside my own unconscious fear of Love. My final block to True Intimacy with the Christ within. You came to teach me how to be willing to “be held” in perfect Love.
You held ME.
And now I am willing to BE held. In all my concerns about your body (my body and every body), I didn’t realize that I was resisting this – LOVE.
Thank you my Neesie…
I Love you beyond eternity. Kissing your beloved face,
NOTE: This is such a profound lesson in revealing how “guilt” (sacrifice, bodily concerns, etc) is mistaken for “love.” Guilt compelled me to be concerned about Neesie’s body which completely eclipsed the LOVE that we shared. This is why we cannot afford to see the ones we Love AS bodies. We either see them AS a body (guilty) – or – we recognize them as LOVE (innocent). These two are mutually exclusive and cannot coexist.
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