We have deer that pass through the property from time to time. On Wednesday, the sad day we sat together in the dining area, one came within 10 feet of the large panel of windows. We had never had one come so close, ever. The deer’s body stayed parallel to the house but her sweet face turned and peered in. She stared at me. John, there is a deer, right behind you, I exclaimed in a whisper. He turned in his seat and looked. She did not move with his movement. She stared through the window and into his face.
We were both at the large family table, John with his back to the yard. A light rain fell. Our beloved failing dog Ginger was at our feet and often throughout the morning we took turns on the floor next to her, patting her and loving her. She was very quiet. I slid the large windows shut, it was so chilly. I had just sat down again. And then the deer visited.
Beautiful brown deer. Gentle. Strong and wiry. Her calm presence took over for the ten seconds she stayed. Ten seconds sounds short but if you count one-one- thousand; two-one-thousand all the way up until ten and stare into the eyes of a beautiful animal it seems just right.
Whatever you believe is fine with me but I lean toward believing in a spirit of divine love everywhere, which unites us all and waits for us all to find it, no matter who we are or where we are. I believe this divine Energy, no matter what you call it? Holy Father or Holy Mother or Holy Spirit or God or maybe a thousand other names- is the essence of what every religion is trying to reflect. And so in my Spiritual world this creature of nature had perhaps wandered close, guided by the source of all~ sent to visit and provide comfort.
We needed comforting. I was nervous and apprehensive as we waited for the vet to come and help us set Ginger free from her body, which she could no longer trust to move under her own command. I am sure there are many words that could describe my husband’s sadness but I cannot begin to find them. His love for his companion is deep, and this decision and loss of her is a major life event. His heart was on his face. I was scared a little, and I was watching the clock, for 1 o’clock was the time.
And while we waited with grief the deer came.
She looked in on us.
I googled the meaning of a deer visit. What did it mean to the Indians who walked the America’s, what did it mean to anyone, as an animal totem or an animal guide? For we truly felt visited. My voice cracked as I read out loud some things a woman named Elena Harris wrote.
When you have the deer as a spirit animal, you are able to bring gentleness and grace in every aspect of your life, even in the most challenging moments… you can tackle difficult situations smoothly…. And because the deer’s antlers can grow back once they fall off, the animal is revered in many traditions as a symbol of life regeneration…. The deer invites you to find rest and peace in silence.
The vet came.
And Ginger left this world we know.
The vet left.
We hugged and cried. It had stopped raining. John went out to dig in the earth for a place to put her, while I prepared her and wrapped her in a blue blanket. I watched John through the window while I waited with her body. Suddenly John cried out. Melissa.
I walked out across the property, and crossed the creek, and stood next to him. He pointed into the grass, under a green hosta, in an area that has trees and ferns all around. There, just five or six feet from the pretty spot he had chosen for Ginger; was a little something he had not seen for almost 20 minutes. In the peace and silence of nature hid a tiny new comforting thing.
John's view from Ginger's spot. The little one is well hidden.
Together we got Ginger settled in her new spot, and
the whole while our dear little deer slept.
Melissa Regan is a Storyteller who is honored to celebrate the life you live and the people you love. She partners with individuals at significant times of life and loss, supporting them by creating and presenting their loved ones story at a service or by planning an inspirational day of rememberance and reflection.
Melissa spent time as a critical care nurse before she became specialized in the field of organ donation. Melissa was well known for the care she gave grieving families and did this delicate work for 14 years. Her experience lead to her teaching heartfelt methods of communication to donation specialists around the world.
Inspired by everything these families taught her, she expanded her perspective on life by studying Positive Psychology, earning both a CiPP and a CAPP. She received training as an end of life doula through INELDA. She has a special grace all her own when it comes to supporting us at times of change and loss.
Melissa is a wife, mother, lifelong learner, and a lover of the wonder you can find in a single moment. She brings this wonder to her public speaking, connecting us to the grandness and depth always present in the day to day.
“Take a day to be thoughtful... the rest of your life is here.”