Tears streaked in gentle rivulets down her face.
Her beloved pet, her dog, her companion, had passed. He had been an anchor to her past and the bridge to her now. He’d arrived in her life when he was but a wee pup of 8 weeks old and had been with her through all the major life milestones; her single years, the meeting of her now husband, the arrival of her children.
And then…? Then, the other night, after her babes had been put to rest, her husband away for work, she had gone outside into the night to check on her mate.
She found him, apparently nestled in sleep, his chin resting on his front legs. But something was wrong. He was warm, but unmoving. He seemed peaceful, but wasn’t breathing.
In slow, agonising moments, she realised, catching her breath, that he’d gone.
And now she cried, describing how she’d sat beside him, how she hoped she’d been there with him before his Spirit has passed. How she told him what a wonderful friend he’d been. How she would miss him terribly in the days and weeks to follow.
But we weren’t alone in the room. There were two gorgeous children playing in our midst. We had thought we were quiet, keeping this pain to ourselves, but suddenly, the older of the two, the one wise beyond his years, moved quietly over to his mother.
“Mummy – why are you crying?” He asked, his enormous brown eyes fixed on her beautiful face.
“Because I miss Bosko Baby, that’s all. But Mummy’s okay, she’s just a bit sad.”
He used his exquisitely pudgy, three-old-hands, to clumsily, softly, wipe away her tears.
And then he disappeared, only to return some minutes later, this time with a small object clutched in his palm.
“Here Mummy – this is a shell for you. For your heart.”
This, from a rambunctious little boy, who runs and yells and leaps and roars. Here, in this fragile moment, he embodied empathy and grace and illimitable love.
But truly, the Universe whispers in gentle ways.
For he had found his mother a Scallop Shell.
The Scallop Shell, carried by St James on the road to Santiago.
The Scallop Shell and its timeless symbolism, denoting two stratums of existence; the physical and the spiritual.
Here, in this moment, he gifted his mother a sign for the limitlessness of life:
We are more than our physicality. Death is not the opposite of life. Death is part of the continuum of consciousness.
So what does this mean..?
Well… if you happen to be open to receiving missives from shells, and at the risk of sounding trite, this means my darling friend’s dear Bosko is currently rocking it out in Doggy Heaven; chewing the bone, sniffing the dirt, rolling the canines … and loving his human companion still.