The Story of Lambchop and of Blue Jay
copyright 2000 Teresa Wagner
all rights reserved
What follows are two brief stories of the use of flower essences with animals and death: One in which I believe I used them effectively, and one in which I completely missed the mark. I hope you will find them useful.
Suffering from bloat, Lambchop was in great pain. My shy, sheep friend was also emotionally devastated from the loss of his beloved sheep companion, Baby Doll, who died that day. I gave him Five Flower Formula for his emotional and physical trauma which he relished having rubbed around his mouth and gums. As I laid with him on the hay, holding his head and offering Reiki, he kept telling me he didn't know whether he wanted to leave his body to join his friend or stay with those who loved him here. He was very pulled, very unsure. Over and over I let him know that either decision would be supported and that I would stay with him as he decided (had I had Schleranthus with me I would have given him that also to help him make his decision). I love this sheep and very much wanted the delight of his continued company on earth. I knew, though, that my role was to give him all the space and support he needed to make his own best choice. Much as I "knew better", I'm afraid that without the help of Red Chestnut (for me) my bias to have him stay may have been inappropriately communicated. With its help, however, I was able to calmly and genuinely trust in the wisdom of his soul to make his choice, to cherish our moments of intimacy and remain unattached to the outcome. Lambchop decided to stay. After medication and a vet visit (to which he was transported in the air conditioned front seat of a truck, much to the delight of passersby), he is now home in his pasture. No longer shy, he is absolutely full of himself, charmingly demanding of love and attention, and very happy. He says this is because "I decided to stay. Baby Doll didn't pressure me to go to her nor did you pressure me to stay. I did what I really wanted to do. I was so scared before you came. It hurt so much and I could see Baby Doll just above me. I was so confused. Holding me and the drops made me calm. Pretty soon I just knew I wanted to stay. Now I like being a star."
Years before Lambchop, a little Blue Jay waddled over to me in my garden one morning. He clearly didn't feel well and said, "The other birds told me to come to you, that you would be able to help me die." I was immediately smitten with this beautiful little being and began a completely inappropriate campaign to convince him to live. I told him about essences. He wasn't interested. I told him about a wildlife rehab center just up the road. He wasn't interested. I pushed the issue. I didn't feel he was near death and that he could be helped. I chased the poor bird around my garden trying to get him in a box to take to the rehab center. Finally, he went so far beneath a rose bush I couldn't reach him. I told him I was on my way to a volunteers' luncheon at that very rehab center and would talk with him again when I returned. I left a small bowl of water with Five Flower Formula. When I returned, I found him beneath the same rose bush where I left him, dead. The shame of what I had done overwhelmed with me with remorse. As I cried and cried and held his little body against my chest, his Spirit said to me, "All I wanted, all I asked was for you to be with me. I just didn't want to be alone when I died. That's all I wanted and you didn't listen." I have never been so utterly ashamed of myself in my life. I knew better. I can hear animals. I talk to them everyday, but I didn't listen to this precious little bird's simple request. I am comfortable with death; I am around death regularly. I counsel others on accepting death, but here I was, little miss animal communicator and grief counselor, and I couldn't honor this being's request to die with my companionship. As I continued to sob and hold him, I was filled with self-loathing. He then lectured me, gently and compassionately, about the need to transform my self-pity and self-blame into learning--that it was simply time for me to learn. I was to take some feathers from his body to remind me next time to listen. I tried to pull a few feathers from his body and it just seemed so awful to pull them, even though I knew his dead body could feel no pain. I hesitated. He then said in a joking, affectionate way, "OK, you can cut them off with a scissors, but you better do it. If you don't listen to me this time I'm going to be really pissed." I listened! And thankfully, for Lambchop, whose path I crossed later, I learned.
Listening to the Animals
We have so many essences available to us, so many holistic and traditional modalities to facilitate healing. Applying or offering any of them without listening can be futile. Had I simply listened and honored what the bird asked of me, we could have had a sacred experience together of his transition, perhaps with the soft support of Angelica and Angel's Trumpet . Instead, by bulldozing him with my solutions, he died alone and I spent miserable days afterward recovering with Pine for guilt and Sage to help me integrate the wisdom from the experience.
When working with animals, it is just as important as when working with people to listen, to find out what they are thinking and feeling, rather than imposing essences or any healing based solely on subjective interpretation of behavior, or our belief in what is right. In working with people, most of us would probably not think of recommending essences for complex problems without inquiring about and listening to the subtleties and depth of clients' concerns, then matching flower essences to the specific issues of that individual. Animals are best helped with that same level of assessment. The use of animal communication and flower essences together is a powerful partnership for healing. We can offer that synthesis by working in tandem as practitioners, through cross referrals, or by developing our expertise and practice in both.
I am extraordinarily grateful to the pioneers, my own teachers, my peers in both fields, and to the flowers themselves for their help in allowing me to do what I most love to do: Help the animals and the people who love them.
Note: For more detailed information about recommended use of flower essences for grief from the loss of an animal loved one, visit our Flower Essences to Help Us Cope and Heal From Grief section, and our Using Flower Essences to Supplement Animal Communication section. To read more about the subtleties and details of the healing qualities of the essences described in this article, read The Flower Essence Repertory.