Frieda’s Ashes and Tiger Strength

Fate waiting for me on the trail in the woods.
Fate waiting for me on the trail in the woods.

I hadn’t been thinking about it at all.  Then suddenly,  I just knew I had to scatter the rest of Frieda’s ashes in the woods.  I got the tin from my alter, and Fate and  headed out into the woods.  Jon was in the middle of making dinner so he couldn’t come with us, but I promised to save some of Frieda’s ashes for him to scatter where and when he wanted.

Frieda had walked on that path with us for a year or so before her legs got so bad she couldn’t get in the car anymore or take long walks. I knew I wanted her ashes to go in the woods, not on the path, but I wasn’t sure where that would be.  I just followed my instincts, that’s was why I was out there on the spur of the moment to begin with.

Fate and I walked for a while.  She was a little more wild than usual, running into the woods then catching up to me.  Or running ahead and waiting for me.  But when I saw the pine tree on the side of the path and stopped she stopped too.  I circled the tree letting go of handfuls of ashes, Fate following behind me.

Then I walked some more and thought of the flat grassy area circled by trees, off the path and up the hill.  Sometimes I sit there quietly, it always feels special, like something important happened there.    It’s the kind of place I would choose to set up my tent if I were hiking in the woods.

I stood in the center of the trees, and spinning around I let go of handfuls of Frieda’s ashes.  Around and around I went, drawing a circle of ashes around me.  And each time I came around I saw Fate watching. When I was done we were both dusted in ashes.

The walk was full of circles.  Circling around the pine tree, then spinning around in the circle of trees.  After scattering Frieda’s ashes we continued on the path and took the loop, which circled around and brought us back home.  I didn’t say any words on our walk, but I felt Frieda’s tiger strength.  I knew with the ceremony of the ashes, I finally was able to incorporate that energy into myself.

And I have no doubt that Fate’s coming to us had something to do with letting Frieda go and feeling my own strength.  Fate has her own tiger energy but it has nothing to do with my fears and need of protection, which is what Frieda’s tiger strength did for me.   I can do that for myself now.

I’m not sure what else Fate will bring me.  Right now she’s becoming a great studio dog and animal companion for my walks in the woods.  And right now, that seems to be enough.





13 thoughts on “Frieda’s Ashes and Tiger Strength

  1. I am so happy for you Maria..letting go of a special pet is not easy, I love the way you did it..with Fate. Fate seems like such a wonderful companion for you..

  2. Loved this, Maria. Reminds me that I have ashes to scatter from my last 2 cats. And when I scattered my mom’s ashes, I was covered too. Almost like a final loving embrace.

  3. Have a lump in my throat. Sometimes you just know when the time is right Life is a balancing act and you are getting your equilibrium back. You have had quite a time lately.Love your blog ,feel like I am reading your diary! You are a lucky lady with Jon and the animals!

    1. Oh I am lucky Lynn, I am grateful everyday for my life and all the wonderful people and animals in it. And for my work too. And for everyone who reads my blog. So thanks

  4. Dear Maria, I am certainly enjoying your journey training Fate and Chloe, making them an important part of your life at Bedlam Farm. Frieda’s ashes in the woods is such a painful but necessary part of accepting change, letting go, heading into the future. I’m not that good at it. Reading how you handle inevitable changes helps me much. Annie

  5. What a beautifully written piece, and very timely for me as I am in the midst of deciding what to do with my own dog’s ashes. I thought I knew; they would go to her favorite places, the park, the beach, her play group. But I can’t let go of them even though I know she is her state of perfection, far from these ashes. Maybe in time she will be one with all her favorite places but for now, I need her here with me, even though I know she isn’t.

  6. Beautiful, Maria. We all deal with death in our own way. You have done this beautifully. You are becoming a whole and a new person. You love Jon him and need him, but I believe no longer in a dependent or subordinate way. You are your own person and a reborn strong woman. We love seeing that.

  7. Dear Maria,
    I love your posts so much. So many times I find myself nodding, or thinking yessssss, or a bit teary, and I want to reach out and give you a hug or a high five or just a smile.
    Thank you for sharing your life, your art, your strengths and weaknesses, joys and sorrows . I’ve been a follower of Jon’s for many years and was so happy when you started your own blog. That word doesn’t seem to do it justice.
    Anyway, I look forward to more.
    Warm wishes from Cape Cod,

    PS I have one of your potholders from a long time ago – it’s still going strong and is my favorite!

    1. Thanks for all your good words Kathy. It’s nice to know you’re out there. And I love to hear about my old potholder, especially when they’re still going strong.

  8. This is so touching Maria. I thought that Frieda may have gifted you with Fate. Frieda was your soul dog and I think she knew every step of the way what you needed. Love you Frieda, you’re with nature now and will be with Maria and Fate with each gust of wind, ray of sunshine, falling drop of rain and lacey snowflake drifting from the sky.
    Maria, you have taught me so much about letting go.Thank-you, 🙂

  9. May I say to Pat that I feel exactly as you stated you do. I’m inspired by Maria to scatter my girls’ ashes in their favorite places but I feel so much feeling (I can’t describe what; calm, happiness, love) whenever I look at their container of ashes. We are considering moving to another house so maybe that will help me decide what to do. I think they would like to be here since it was their home.

  10. Thanks Maria for sharing Frieda. I just got done reading her story from The Second chance Dog. You and Jon have gone through so much with Frieda by your side and found love together at the Bedlam farm. Magic happens wherever love is. You and Jon are great people. I am so happy for both of you.

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