Joy with Katie Hess: A Story of Love + Death

February 20, 2019

EP 75: Joy with Katie Hess: A Story of Love + Death 

In this episode I talk straight from the heart, recorded two weeks after the death of my sweet dog Joy who lived to almost 17.  A super intimate episode, I talk about the experiences I had leading up to her death, her last breaths and afterward, at a time when it was super fresh. I talk about rituals, cremation, the bizarre qualities of grief, the beauty of death and how a direct experience of death enriches our lives + awakens our wisdom. May it demystify the death process + help us dive deeply into the beauty of something we all must at one time face. In the process, may it illuminate a richer way to live. May it be of benefit.  <3

Specifically, I talk more about: 

- Making the decision to steer away from euthanasia and how that gave me 2 1/2 more years with Joy

- Knowing the signs that death is near + making the most of your last days

- Tuning in to what your loved one needs (in my case, my elderly dog)

- How to trust your inner wisdom + keep an open heart during the death process

- How the tongue can close the airways in the last days (in both animals and humans) and what to do about it

- The incredible, life-changing gifts you receive being in the presence of the last breaths + how death can be exquisitely beautiful 

- The nature of grief + sweet rituals that can ease discomfort or the intensity of the situation

- How easy it is to keep the body for three days in your house, why you might do that + how to do it 

- Types of cremation + how that can also be a beautiful ritual

Note: we're posting this episode one month after the death of Joy-Joy, and the grief parts of the experience are fully dissolved. Even though the living room table is still an altar full of flowers + photos of her, right now I only experience joy + happiness when I think of her.

I believe that the way I turned so fully + completely toward death may have intensified the experience in the moment, but it also allowed everything to process through very quickly.

Of course, all of us are different and we'll have different experiences in life with various loved ones, so everyone's situation is different. For me personally in this instance, I believe that immersing myself in the experience of it and really making time for it + for myself helped move everything through my system quickly.

I'm happy I recorded it during a time that it was all so fresh, because even though it makes me a little uncomfortable listening to it, it requires a heart wide open and ripe for expansion + I believe that's a good thing + reminds me of the preciousness of life and everyone in it.  ; ) 

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    Love + flower petals,


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