Frosting on a Grief Layer Cake – Molly 5/08/96 – 8/11/12

It may be easy to misinterpret the intention behind my wanting to share intimate images of dying, death, and grief. So let me be clear. I do not share these images to titillate, sensationalize, or create emotional disturbance in companions sharing this path. I DO want to show that there is tremendous opportunity contained in the experience of loss.

Death, although brutally shocking, also contains beauty, humor, and love. For me it holds the reigning title of greatest teacher for offering lessons about life, love and what IS truly important beyond material possessions, which do not bind us to this life.

In the brief sixteen year life of my beloved Bellevue Sea Blossom Molly, she has brought me many gifts: the importance of sharing a good snack, fun, silliness, adventure, moment to moment presence, shameless unrestrained emotion, and relishing one’s true nature. She has shared all this and more, with devotion, love, forgiveness, compassion, and true playful beagle spirit.

Her devotion to mom was epic. I believe she waited for her to go, then two more weeks, to make sure I was ok, and for the return of her beloved veterinarian – Dr. Indu Mani of the Natick Animal Clinic, from a much needed vacation.

Even in the final day of her life, she brought joy and comfort to those who knew her. She had steak tips for dinner, took a walk around the block with her BFF Thunder, ate tons of dog cookies, and enjoyed a party with neighbors and friends to honor her life. In the last hour she morphed from an old tired, panting, sick, pain riddled dog back into a puppy. When she refused her favorite treat, it was a sure sign that all the agonizing about the decision to let her go before organ failure and more pain, was absolutely the right one at exactly the perfect moment.

And still she gave one final gift. She spent the ten seconds remaining in her sweet and precious life tucking her head into my tummy, and I will carry forever the feeling of her there against me, under my heart. It was as if her spirit which had carried her body simply slipped out, allowing her shell to slide gently to the floor.

Indu Mani, who has been with us for several years now on this journey, was the only vet Molly ever trusted and truly loved. I couldn’t imagine Molly leaving without her. The kindness of her spirit, and gentleness of her healer nature truly made the experience, which I had been dreading for 16+ years, bearable.

It has been over two years since Molly was able to come along for adventures in the woods, which she loved. It is wonderful to imagine she will be running ahead of me on the trail at Ashland State Park tomorrow. She is my beloved forever dog, and will always be so.

This multi layered cake was baked to deep golden perfection and allowed to cool on the sill. With magnificent elegance it has been frosted in beauty. I offer it to all – may you partake of it’s sweetness, or place it under your pillows to dream the healing that it offers. In the belief of all that is possible and good in the world.


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"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 bakka2thesource a collaboration of musicians and artists.
This entry was posted in Aquil Abdullah, Caregiver, Dying, Life, love, mindfulness, Resiliency, soul and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Frosting on a Grief Layer Cake – Molly 5/08/96 – 8/11/12

  1. Glennie Bee says:

    Beth, your undimmed generosity of spirit, your ability to see through the grief and recognise something sublime, is in itself beautiful, inspiring, and very humbling.
    I can only hope that, come the day, I can accept such loss with something like the same dignity and grace.

  2. bornbyariver says:

    Beautiful memorial to your precious companion. I’m sorry for your loss, but glad she can frolic in the woods again

  3. We say in Ghana that dogs are really like human beings. Those who really love dogs have said that they are in tune with any situation that befalls humans and can even know when death is approaching. There are instances where the dogs have taken on calamities of their masters and borne the brunt. There are also instances where dogs have been known to die right after the death of a loved one. I am not a dog lover, but my father-in-law has a breed that he dotes on and they are close to his heart. To see them all together they are just like his grandchildren. My husband loves them dearly and he is only keeping them out of our home because of me; however, that is going to be shortlived when we move into our own home. I do hope that you are well. Stay blessed, Beth.

    • I should think Ghana is someplace that would really suit me well. I hope someday to have an opportunity to visit. I also believe this to be true. I always said Molly saved my life, because when I experienced her unconditional love, I had the strength to leave a relationship that had become unhealthy, despite having to leave behind those I loved very much. She always gave far more than she received although she surely did have a better life than many humans. I am well, in part because I know that I am loved far around the world and back again. Much love to you Celestine and to your wonderful family. Beth
      ps. I am hoping to start catching up with all the wonderful blogs I read later in the week. I look forward to the posts I have missed during these past couple of weeks. z

  4. Sylvie says:

    She was so loved!

  5. ijwoods says:

    Thank you once again Beth for sharing something so personal in such a beautiful way. Reading the post and looking at the photos I can’t help but reflect on how amazing life is.

  6. Scott says:

    What a beautiful story. I know you pain as well as your joy of having Molly part of your life. I’ve had nine dogs in my life time and the joy of having my friends well outweighs the pain of losing them. People ask why I keep getting another dog and I feel bad for them not knowing the pleasure of having a dog. Nothing better than having a wagging tail when you get home or to curl up and take a nap. The nice thing is how Molly will always be in your heart. Very glad you wrote this story. Molly was and still is a wonderful dog. God Bless

    • Thanks Scott, they are such amazing and wonderful beings. It is as you know all too well, a funny time in the house, waking for walks and coming home in time for feedings that will not be. I feel her head against me and I cry, but the tears are different now, more of an honoring what is and will always be. At the same time, I know she, and my mom are encouraging me to find my own way home to what I love. Slowly I began yesterday to make my way back onto my erg (which I could not touch for the last few months) and before summer’s end at least one symbolic return to slide across the water in my old Hudson. Are you connected to that Hudson????? I appreciate you taking time to send such tenderness and compassion my way. Smooth water to you.

  7. Valerie says:

    Hi. I don’t know you and I found this link on a friend’s Facebook page. Your blog about your dear sweet dog touched my heart. I cried reading it and looking at the pictures remembering my forever dogs….Maggie and Heidi. Maggie lived for 16 years and Heidi for only four. I think what you wrote was beautiful and I wanted to tell you so…

    • Valerie, Thank you so much for this gift. Maggie and Heidi, I sense tender joy filled playfulness. It is wonderful to share so intimately an open hearted connection. Nothing is inconsequential when we open to the great mystery of life. I am glad to know you by these ‘forever’ introductions. Blessings and peace to you. Beth

  8. Kathie MacLeod says:

    What a lovely tribute! Amazing what they can teach us about life and death. She looks like she was a beautiful dog who lived a good life and did a great job. Her love will never die in your heart and she must have known how loved she was all along. May your happy memories help you through this sad time.

  9. Pamela Janz says:

    So beautiful Beth….The one thihg that always brings comfort around losing our furry loved ones is to know that we gave them an amazing life so incredibly filled with love…given and received…and Molly was particularily blessed because she could be home with you so much …..I hope Thunder is adjusting ….I hope his eyes are starting to look less sad being without his best sweet friend

    • hi pam, missing your clown crowned face. thanks sweetie. thunder is lying on the floor as we speak, he seems happy to come over even if he is a little sad still while he is here. I got molly’s ashes back yesterday. getting them was not huge looking at them on the couch was. cried my eyes out, had a cuddle with thunder and got on with the afternoon. those woonzine magical what-cha-ma-call-ems are helping with the inflammation. wish you were still here. love z

  10. Robert Vanderwaall says:

    Dear Beth, A wonderful gift you have to write such wonderful words many of us (former and current) pet owners have felt or feel about our own pets. How wonderful God is to allow us to always know what they want or need eventhough they can’t speak or verbally reply. Wagging tails, droopy or perked up ears, sad eyes, happy barks seem to speak volumes to those of us who find it easy to care for someone else. Well done. Thank you. Robert v.

  11. EllaDee says:

    It all works out doesn’t it… Molly was there for your Mom, and your Mom will be there for her. And you have the wisdom to know they are both still there for you but in a different way than they were. Through my tears (own losses, own memories) I value what you share and congratulate you on doing it so well. When my do Bo, died at 14, there was only one kind little boy who asked after her. I like that way you share with the world a better way 🙂

    • Thanks Elladee. It does work out. I am glad to still be living in the house the three of us shared. It may feel a little empty and sad right now, but it is filled with visceral memories that I find comforting. It truly is my hope to bring the isolation of this experience out into the light of day precisely because sadly, for so many not doing so causes it to turn inward and do further damage. I have always longed to be part of something bigger that connects the heart of regular folks through everyday human experience. It sure feels in some ways that for me this dream may finally be coming true. May we continue in friendship. blessings to you dear Elladee.

  12. Mindy says:

    oooooohhhhhhh…. the spark of tears unbidden and uncontrollable at the last picture of you on the floor with your dear Molly. Again, thank you, Beth, for trusting us with these incredible moments. I plan to share this post with a dear friend with whom I spent some of the last hours of her own mom’s life. She has a love for animals in her heart bigger than any I know.

  13. Thank you for sharing the story of your beloved dog and all the beautiful images.
    The night I held my Casey-dog in my arms as she was passing at age 16, my mom’s caregiver called and said, “Your mom’s blood pressure is 210 over…” Mom was 98. I said, “My dog is dying. Mom will have to wait until morning.” It was the only time I ever said anything close to that in all the years of taking care of mom. The next morning Casey died and shortly after we buried her on the slope behind the house in a sleet storm, I took mom to the doctor to check her blood pressure. What a crazy time that was. Mom lived to be nearly 102 (died March 2011) and met Taz, our current much-loved Aussie. I am looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  14. SwittersB says:

    Oh Beth. Such beautiful words. I have been remiss in not realizing your recent journeys. Such a load. Such dignity and strength. You are a blessing to me and others. Hugs.


  15. it must have been a great loss!

  16. boomiebol says:

    Beautifully written…

  17. Terre Mirsch says:

    Hello Beth,

    Somehow I missed this post when it was initially published so I apologize for the delay in responding. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved dog, Molly. The loss of a pet is significant, and the impact of this type loss is often not recognized by others. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you adjust to life following the two very significant losses. Please remember to take time to care for yourself.

    • Thanks Terre, yep. a pretty HUGE life change. the process of grieving continues, as does my re-investment of life. As always, your concern and understanding go a long way to reminding me I am not alone and more goodness awaits on the other side of grief. I look forward to seeing where the journey next leads. all the best. beth

  18. Terre Mirsch says:

    Beth, I somehow missed this blog post and learning about the loss of your beloved dog, Molly. I am so sorry to learn of your loss. Pets are integral parts of our lives and their death has a significant impact. Too often others don’t recognize the significance of this loss and we don’t get the same level of support that we receive when following the death of family or friends. Please know that you remain in my thoughts and prayers as you adjust to life following 2 significant losses.

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