By Jamie Obakponovwe, Minnesota
While settling into the rhythm of a new job and home, my husband and I adopted two kittens who were sisters, Wilma and Luisa. Instantly they brightened our lives and gave us constant, unconditional love—each in her own special way.
While Wilma lived in motion, Luisa was the quiet, gentle observer. She sat straight and tall—often under a lampshade—and embodied stillness and contentment.
Luisa unexpectedly passed away. We were heartbroken. She was there one day and gone the next. In the weeks that followed I felt a blanket of sadness I could not shake. I thought of her constantly and wanted one more chance to tell her how much I loved her and how grateful I was that she’d come into our lives.
I began asking the Mahanta, my spiritual guide, for help with this. I wasn’t sure how the connection would be made, but I kept surrendering it.
One Saturday morning a few months after Luisa passed, my husband left the house to go for a run. About a minute later, the doorbell rang. When I opened the door, he was standing there, pointing at the ground. He said, “I think this little bird needs some help.”
Under the tree I saw a tiny baby bird sitting very still and perfectly upright. Since it had all its feathers, we thought it must have just fallen out of the tree but might not have been hurt.
I walked closer and began inspecting it from different angles. It even let me get right up to its face and seemed fine with the closeness. Everything looked healthy. Still wondering if it might be injured, I went inside to get some towels and find a box.
When I came back, the little bird was still sitting under the tree. Very carefully I scooped it up and lifted it to my shoulder, trying not to put any pressure on it. It seemed content with me holding it and sort of leaned into my shoulder
At this point, I decided to sit down with the bird and contemplate on what to do next. Silently I sang HU to feel peace. I asked the Mahanta for guidance on what to do next to help this little bird.
After a bit, I put the bird in the box and went inside to look online for help. Soon I learned that I should put the bird back in the tree and let its mom take it from there!
Where Did You Go?
By the time I came back outside, the box was empty. I started looking under the patio furniture and in all the shrubs. I looked under the tree where we’d first seen the bird, then walked further out in the yard. I could not find it anywhere!
As I turned around and starting walking back toward the patio, I looked up and was surprised to see the little bird sitting quietly in the tree. I wondered how it got up there and realized it must not be hurt after all.
I walked closer to the tree, and it started hopping down the branch until we were almost at eye level and a few inches from each other. It then slightly turned its head to the side, so we were eye to eye.
While the bird looked at me, I started to feel a wave of love come into my heart. For me, this is always a sign of the Mahanta’s presence. Suddenly, I said, “Luisa?”
The little bird stretched its neck tall, as if to confirm this, and then dropped its head back down.
I could barely believe it and asked, “Luisa, is that really you?!”
Again, it stretched its little neck really tall and then relaxed again, looking at me. My heart filled with so much love. I realized Luisa was right here in front of me—still sitting straight and tall, as she had always sat under the lamp in our living room.
Time stood still. Here we were, Soul to Soul, with this wave of love flowing back and forth between us. I finally could share with her all that was in my heart. I told her how much I love her, how grateful I was for all she’d taught me about divine love, and how happy I was to see her experience a new freedom in this little bird body.
It then occurred to me how much Luisa had loved having her belly rubbed when she was a cat. I wondered if she would still like this and decided to carefully try it out. As you can see, she still enjoys this very much!
After a few moments of petting her belly, I took a few steps back from the tree. The mother flew down to her. They followed each other from limb to limb to the top of the tree and then flew away.
After this experience, the sorrow I’d carried around for weeks lifted. I realized all was in its rightful place.
I still miss Luisa very much, but now it’s the happy memories that come back when I think of her and gratitude for this moment shared. I know the love between us, as Soul, is eternal.
—Photos and video by Jamie and Akpovi Obakponovwe