Last Friday, as I was heading out the door to attend the Shakti Makerspace Open Hours, I asked Lucy, our Labrador retriever, if she wanted to go for a ride. She looked at me with her big brown eyes, cocked her head to the side, and wagged her tail: dog code for “Please!” and “Are you serious?” and “Yes, oh yes!”
Out the door we went, albeit, at a much slower pace than several months ago. Lucy, at 13 years, has been showing her age. Her hind end is riddled with arthritis, she has a torn ligament in her left knee, and she takes medicine for congestive heart failure. Despite her ailments, Lucy is a happy dog who never complains.
Going for a ride is one of her favorite things to do. As we approached Shakti, she became more animated. Lucy loves going to Shakti. She loves going to Shakti because she loves people. Lucy has never met a stranger. True to form as Lucy entered the door, she immediately looks for her friends. She greets everyone and lets each person pet her for as long as they want. Eventually she settled down near my chair and only got up if a new person came in the door. (Lucy is the best hostess. She welcomes everyone.)
As it turns out, last Friday is the last time Lucy will come to Shakti. That night she had multiple seizures. She would not drink water and she could not walk without assistance. The following morning we took her to vet and made the hard decision to put her to sleep.
Sitting on the floor in the vet’s office, I gave Lucy lots of pets and told her how much I loved her. While we waited for the lethal injection, Lucy laid on a blanket and did not move. She seemed content to be with me and unafraid.
The veterinarian stayed with us during the whole procedure. She was kind and direct. The veterinarian explained what was going to happen and when. She also kept me company until Lucy took her last breath. I am so grateful for her and her staff’s support.
Needless to say, I am sad. I miss Lucy a lot. She was such a good dog. Lucy loved the simple things in life: food, walks, rides, and pets. She never hurt any living creature, including our obnoxious cat who probably deserved a growl a time or two. Lucy was a gentle soul who was happy just to be with her people. I aspire to be more like her.
I want to thank all the family and friends who shared their condolences with me and my family. There are a lot of us who understand the importance of and value our animal companions: your kind words were a huge comfort. Thank you.
I have two big takeaways from this weekend.
- Love comes in all shapes and sizes. Whatever the form, love continues to exist long after the form leaves.
- Grief is a reminder that to be vulnerable is an opportunity to connect. While allowing others to hold us, to care for us, and to listen to us may make us feel vulnerable, it also is healing. Letting people see our pain helps us to navigate it.
Sending everyone lots of love,
The Shakti in the Mountains’ Cookbook is almost complete!
This e-book will be available for download in mid-December and is full of yummy recipes and heart-warming stories. All proceeds from the sale of this cookbook go to a new Shakti Scholarship fund, which will provide financial aid to folks who need help attending the Shakti Stewardship Program. Minimum donation of $25 will grant you access to this beautiful e-book. You can now pre-order the cookbook here.
A big THANK YOU to Christen Minnick for collecting the recipes and stories and to all the folks who contributed.
P.S. The Shakti Cookbook makes a great Winter Solstice gift!!
NOTE: Your e-book download will be sent to the email you use to donate. Please be sure this is a working email.
Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where people could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Kim is a licensed professional counselor and a yoga teacher. She completed the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy program as well as the Shake Your Soul Yoga Dance program. Kim is very interested in somatic expressive therapy, archetypal psychology, gardening, herbalism, astrology, wisdom traditions, and regenerative economics.
Kim continues to build and to support inclusive, vibrant communities. She spends most of her time mentoring leaders, guiding healing programs, and providing mental health counseling.
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