Miracle #25 - My Release From Guilt And Fear
In 1995, while living in Nicaragua, my husband and I found out that we were expecting our first child and decided that we might as well get a dog too.
We adopted Gypsy, an adorable long-haired dachshund puppy, and it was love-at-first-sight.
Gypsy moved with us from Nicaragua to Mexico City for 2 years, then on to Havana, Cuba where tragedy struck.
One day, I took my small children and Gypsy to the swimming pool at the hotel where we were living while awaiting permanent housing. I allowed Gypsy to run free within the fenced-in pool area.
As I was gathering the children and their toys up to return to our hotel room, I noticed that a man had called Gypsy over and given her a treat.
I thought it was odd, but I was distracted by managing a toddler, a baby, the beach towels, floaters and my room key.
It was only after we returned to our hotel room that I noticed Gypsy convulsing, and then she began to vomit blood.
I rushed her to the vet, but she could not be saved.
They said it was strychnine poisoning and she was buried in the garden of the vet's office.
For years following this incident, I could not think about Gypsy without bursting into tears. I felt terrible that she had not been on her leash at the pool. I felt guilty that I could not recall what the man who poisoned her looked like when I was questioned by security.
Her death at only 4 years old seemed senseless and heart-breaking. I was unable to rid myself of grief.
In 2003 I visited the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) in Virginia Beach.
I walked the labyrinth there in a meditative state and thought about Gypsy, wondering if she were in heaven. I wanted to know that she was okay.
I wanted a sign from God that she was safe and happy.
Then, it occurred to me that I might not recognize the sign from God, so I decided to make a specific request - to see another dog that looked exactly like Gypsy.
I had never seen a dog like her, and I decided that if I did, I could finally feel okay again.
That evening I accompanied a friend to dinner at a restaurant.
As we exited the premises and walked towards my car in the dark parking lot, I heard a dog barking. I turned and saw a woman sitting in her car with the door open and a dog on her lap.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up.
I walked towards the woman, and the dog barked louder and louder. I asked her what kind of dog it was, and she replied that it was a long-haired dachshund.
It looked exactly like my Gypsy.
At that instant my grief left me, never to return. I was freed from the terrible burden of guilt that had saddled me with a sense of responsibility for Gypsy's death.
It was as though a tightly coiled thread around my heart had just unraveled and blown away. I understood that not only had God heard and answered my prayer, but that everything in the universe was just the way that it was supposed to be.
My perception shifted away from one of trials and tribulations to one of and joy and lightness, and it has never shifted back.
Thank you, Holy Spirit
There is no grief with any cause at all. And suffering of any kind is nothing but a dream. - ACIM Lesson 284