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  1. Donya Wicken
    2014-02-02 @ 2:24 AM

    I enjoyed this article. I don’t understand why anyone would grieve the loss of an animal and then imagine them in a separate heaven where we can’t enjoy their presence. I’ve gotten several messages telling me that my mom is enjoying her afterlife taking care of animals. Recently I heard from my late dog Meggie. She told me that she and my other animals are all fine and not to worry about them. No details about their activities but she seems to have both human and animal friends including my parents. I was very surprised that she could talk to me. She even had a name for me. She called me “Big.” (I gave her a name; she gave me a name.) I asked Ben how she was able to talk. He said she wasn’t talking with words. She was talking to me the same way he did–with thoughts that I made into words.

    • Julia
      2014-02-03 @ 11:39 AM

      Yes, Donya, strange as it seems some of them do talk, but not all. I’m glad you brought this up. Similarly, infants after they pass talk too.

  2. Cath
    2014-02-02 @ 5:58 PM

    When my dog died recently my heart spoke of the inconsolable grief written above in this post. Although I had been through this process of letting go many times with humans, there is something about the decision making that often has to happen with our animal companions. The decision to end a life, through humanitarian compassion to end their suffering. My dog had cancer, and bladder disease. I found I was being given a choice, to act through my own belief or to follow the road most often taken, namely how to treat her cancer became the choice of allopathic medicine and chemotherapy or homeopathic and holistic nutrition. The latter was the choice I made and I was so fortunate in finding a wonderful center called Tree of Life, In Courtney, Vancouver Island. They spoke to my dog as an individual, a presence and she responded by extending her life 10 months pain free and taking her own decision in the timing of her death. That said, the final moments were heart breaking for me. Although she clearly decided, after my words telling her that she had done well and could go whenever she wanted, that this was the last day – it was still that final decision to say goodbye. Or so I thought. We drove listening to her favorite music, she with her head on my lap. When we got to the vets, almost 3 hours of a trip away it seemed with ferries included, she regained consciousness and struggled to sit up then looked at me, and laid her head on my heart. She said goodbye. Yet, as she drifted into her sleep, I was graced by glimpsing her dreams – I saw my father (long since deceased from cancer) waiting by a field. He had been a farmer and although had never met her, she was a sheepdog. I also saw a friend’s mother recently passed, who had taken care of her in her lifetime. And finally someone very dear to my own heart, appeared too, apparently ready to take her. He seemed to be standing on the top steps of a plane. In an instant I saw him lift her up, and she a puppy again. At that moment, the vet said quietly, she has passed. I don’t know about animal heaven, but I felt very certain, along with the euphoric feeling of peace and love that swept over us as she died, that I have been given a gift. And so I shared it with you here. Love, animals are part of that loving consciousness, which never dies. Thank you for this post.

    • Chris
      2014-05-24 @ 3:46 PM

      Thank you, Cath, for sharing your beautiful gift!


  3. Rex Fleming
    2014-02-08 @ 1:04 AM

    Hi Julia, well life on Earth is in very serious trouble if there is NOT an afterlife or “Heaven” for non-human life forms. Why ? Simply because 99% of all the species that have ever lived on Earth are now extinct. Crises created by human irresponsibility, such as climate change, species extinctions and acidification of the oceans are threatening to obliterate much of life on Earth as we know it, during this century. Here in Australia we are being told that our precious Great Barrier Reef could be toast within the next 30 years, as coral bleaching caused by global warming runs rampant.

    Two major concerns I have about afterlife research are its gross Anthropocentrism (only our family members and other people matter in the afterlife) and, if people consider animals at all, they only seem to care about their own domestic pets, which is just another symptom of human parochialism. The assumptions that only people have “eternal souls” and the grudging concession that if animals survive at all it is only as a “lower” consciousness which inhabits a separate sphere to Humanity, are disastrous legacies from Judeo-Christian religion and Neo-Platonism. It is precisely these attitudes that have helped create the crises we now have on Earth, so projecting these attitudes into the afterlife simply compounds the damage.

    Incredibly, Earth has lost TWO THIRDS of its large mammal species since humans became the dominant creatures on Earth around 60, 000 years ago. The “safari” experience today only available in Africa would have been available in North and South America and Australia before people arrived on those continents. Australia lost dozens of species of giant kangaroos, giant wallabies, giant wombats and diprotodons, giant reptiles and giant flightless birds, following the arrival of people 45, 000 years ago. We have lost a further 21 species of mammals and around the same number of birds (mostly on offshore islands), since the arrival of Europeans in 1788.

    Depressed as I am by all of this, I am clinging to the hope that “pristine” versions of Earth still exist in some of the afterlife dimensions, and that I personally, when my time comes to leave this impoverished version of Earth, might be able to directly experience and interact with them. I think you grasp the urgency of these questions, Julia, so let me know what you think.

    Greetings from Sydney, Rex.

    • Julia
      2014-02-08 @ 6:03 PM

      What I think is, Rex, YOU ARE RIGHT on all accounts. And I am grateful for you comment. I used to say, we should never have left caves–when life was simple and population small. But my husband says we should never have left trees! We have forgotten our own animal roots in the runaway ego-oriented world. Mandates of having dominion over the beasts don’t help. We have a long way to go. But think, Rex, even 50 years ago you would not have written such thoughts, you would not have taken these concerns to heart.

      There are a million things to say about all this. In The Last Frontier I write a great deal against the Darwinian notion of exploiting for so-called survival. We do not recognize the enormous cooperative animals have built among themselves. Only we have stepped out of that cooperative and the Imperialist view of our superiority. I am very proud to have Neanderthal blood!

      From the glimpses I have had of the future, this poor little Earth will grow green again. And we will begin to understand consciousness, especially consciousness outside our own. And we will come back to the first and only law–reverence for all life!

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