This past week, my Wiccan friend from church (who really needs a nickname if I'm going to refer to her online) told me that her familiar passed. For once, I actually do know how she feels. My familiar passed away two summers ago. Though they passed from this world in drastically different ways, the two--both cats, by the bye--had very similar effects on us. I sent my friend the link to the memorial video I made for Mystery, as an example of part of how I dealt with the loss. I also performed a ritual for Mystery, and since her passing I have still included her in several rituals, honoring her at Samhain and so on. I also still see her.
At church on Sunday, my friend did appear visibly distressed. It was easier for me, though, actually understanding. So many times we try to comfort friends when we have no idea what they're going through. I still don't know my friend very well, and I didn't know her Zoey. But I know what it must have been like, because of Mystery.
My friend said that what I said about Mystery in my video, how she came into my life around the time I started practicing and left when I had started getting back into it seriously, somewhat applied to her timeline with Zoey. She was going through a really hard life transition at the time, and Zoey was a comfort. We're not sure what it is about her path now that may parallel the reason Mystery left me, if there is a reason similar for her, but she does hope that, as I see it, Zoey was called back in order to help someone else who needs her more.
I made my memorial video for Mystery in order to help people know her more. I don't know much about Zoey, but at least you can know what I know, and keep her memory alive. Zoey loved to help my friend smudge the circle. She would follow her around the circle as it was cleansed. She was also quite selfless, always being there to comfort my friend. Even when Zoey was sick, I'm told, she would curl up on my friend's lap to comfort her. "Here she is comforting me, because I'm crying because she's sick! And I'm like, you're the one who's sick, I should be comforting you!" We hope Zoey is providing that kind of comfort for someone else now.
During the service, my friend had written in the Book of Joys and Cares to be read out loud to the congregation that the family cat had passed away. The person serving that day said "I don't know the cat's name, she didn't write it here, but I'm sure the cat was well loved and will be missed." An old man seated in front of us, who clearly didn't know he was so near the person whose Care was read, leaned over to the person next to him and said "The cat doesn't know it's name, either! Haha!" The next part of the service was the Silent Lighting of Candles, where we light a candle to mark a special event, remember a loved one, or "because we feel moved by a deep reason to do so." As we stood up, my friend tapped the man on the shoulder, and when he looked up at her, said, "Her name was Zoey."
I had been planning on lighting my candle for Mystery. I lit it for that man, instead. And for anyone who would see fit to poke fun at someone's loss. Perhaps people think a cat is not a significant loss, since most losses read to the congregation are of human family members and friends. But to us, whose lives have been changed and aided by these, our beautiful, magickal creature-friends... They are extremely significant.
Side Note: After that, I did spend a moment during our meditation manifesting a bundle of positive energy, both for her situation as well as for the man who made the comment, and for the congregation at large. I have always done this and felt that it works but it's only a feeling of mine. But my friend turned to me during a silent moment and said, "Thank you for the positive energy. I can feel that." I've never had confirmation like that, and she doesn't even know I needed it. I didn't know I needed it. But it helped. And so we help each other.
A candle for Zoey.
A candle for Mystery.
A candle for Ignorance.
A candle for Bliss.