Honor Thy Dead

Tonight, I am honoring the soul of a raccoon that I came across yesterday that had been hit but was not dead. It was one of the most disturbing sights I’ve seen, this poor furry critter writhing around in his own blood, his mouth crying in anguish and his eyes, little glimmering eyes, meeting mine as his spirit wrestled to leave his body. I did not know what to do. I drove around him and pulled over to call my husband and mother. Hubby gave me the number for animal control, but they were closed for the evening. I looked around for a police car, that I might beg them to just shoot the poor beast and put him out of the misery. All the while traffic went ever past, then a bus rumbled past and I had to assume it finished the raccoon, or at least, helped speed the dying. I was twisted with fear and uncertainty as to what to do. I am a city person, with zero experience or knowledge of dealing with death of animals directly. I know nothing about safety when dealing with dead things. Furthermore, knowing how my dog bit the shit out of me when she got hit, I did not think it safe to approach a wild raccoon in its state, not even to get it out of the road, and in fact, wanting for the end of its suffering to come sooner by another vehicle rather than later with its slow bleeding to death on the boulevard. My husband knew without me saying that I wanted very much to go console it somehow, and he flatly said, “Do not approach it, honey. It is not safe to help it.” I felt as powerless as we did watching my mother-in-law die slowly, with her rattling breathing and loud moaning going on for hours and hours and hours. I am more at ease with the soul’s journey after leaving this earthly experience, but I am not necessarily comfortable with the suffering part of death. Especially a violent and sudden death, like this poor raccoon faced. I kept asking myself, “What can I do? Can I save it? No. Can I finish it? No. Can I even comfort it? No.” When the bus rambled on by, I made the decision that there was nothing to be done, rather than say what blessings I could muster and pray for it to leave it’s broken body as quickly as possible. I was able to drive home with few tears, in fact, barely any. The picture haunted me all night, and even with my knock-out skullcap tea, I was not able to stop my mind from revisiting it. I stayed up awhile watching HGTV and Spongebob, then finally was too tired to fight it. Saying more prayers for its soul, I drifted to sleep.

I could not drive past the scene today, but I did go swimming, which is very near. I find it interesting that I get a lot of my ju-ju moments when I’m swimming (my sun sign being Cancer, a water sign), and today felt odd as I climbed into the water. I decided I’d do a shorter swim, counting my workout in three’s (three freestyle, three breast, three kick) and with each lap I thought of the raccoon and prayed for his solace. As I swam, the tears welled up, as if the very water were flooding my insides with its mysterious, dark emotion, then leaking out with pricks of tears. I let my mind visit the scene, but I let it be ok to also let the suffering flow through me, and past. I can’t always be tortured what I see, along with my other torturous memories. I recalled my therapist telling me about all the burned bodies (some still hanging onto life) he’d seen in Vietnam, how they haunted him. But people must move on even though suffering doesn’t end. And won’t. This is a part of our nature, part of this world. So not to dwell on the sorrow, but to honor the life and soul of this little furry guy, I did a little chant that I wrote (I didn’t really know what to say, so I just wrote what came to mind) next to a picture I drew. In my scrying bowl, lighting the candle beneath, I added water, cypress essential oil, fennel, verbena, rose, and lavender to honor the Mourning Moon and to pray Raccoon finds his way.

Tonight I mourn Raccoon
Life taken abruptly, and violently
Sending my blessings with you
To speedily meet the
Mourning Moon.

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