The Bear and Ed’s Good-bye Message

The bear in the back of Ed’s pickup, out in our pasture, with the DEC, Ed and me.

No one ever comes to our front door, so when I heard the knock, at first I thought it was the wind.

But there on the front porch was a man I’d never seen before.

He told me that, this morning, around 5:30 he was driving by and  saw a big black bear cross the road and run into he trees on the other side of your pasture fence.    “I just wanted to let you know there was a bear in the neighborhood”, he said.

I thanked him and thought of Ed Gulley.

Actually since Ed died, that bear that was hit by a truck two years ago and climbed over the fence into out pasture, has been on my mind.

It was a pretty dramatic moment and Ed was at the farm, picking up his work from the June Open House.  Jon, Ed and I   watched the bear hide in the tall grasses as Chloe, my pony at the time, ran the fence snorting and tossing her head.

Jon called the police and eventually the DEc came and shot the injured and dying bear.

Ed went home with the bear in the back of his truck and later skinned him with the help of one of his sons.  He was planning on having the skin taxidermied  but I don’t think he ever got around to it.

The bear dying on the farm and Ed being there when it happened had a spiritual feeling to it.   And in the days after we tried to figure out the meaning to it.

Ed came to believe that  “the bear, a young male, was looking to find and mark his own territory, that’s what they do when they leave their mothers, he was crossing the street and heading into the woods and hills across the road. You and Maria have been helping me to do the same thing, I want to expand my territory as a writer and an artist and that’s why he came to where I was, we both are doing the same thing. I think that’s why he came.”

I’m not sure how it works, but when that man came to the door this morning and told me about the bear, I got the feeling it was  a message from Ed.

I’m not saying that Ed’s spirit was somehow in the bear.  But if we’re all connected, people, animals and the natural world,  as I  believe we are, then couldn’t it make sense that between Ed,  the bear and the man who saw him  and came to tell us about it, that it’s some kind of sign.

Today is Ed’s funeral.  Perhaps this is Ed’s final good-bye to us or an acknowledgement of our friendship.

If the man coming to the door and telling us about out bear neighbor was a dream, it seems it would be the perfect symbol for Ed goodbye.




5 thoughts on “The Bear and Ed’s Good-bye Message

  1. I do truly believe there is meaning in ALL happenings in life. Our circumstances define us. Weather we are receptive to the meaning,also is defining. Some may say you could put /take whatever meaning you want to. But my meaning is for me,and it reflects MY circumstances. I say BE open.

    1. I like that Donna, that your meaning is for you. And that is a part of being open and being able to see what is sometimes right in front of you.

  2. Dear Maria, This is an amazing experience, especially since it was the morning of Ed Gulley’s funeral. I’m sure it is a message from Ed, delivered in a way that you would understand, using the bear ( a powerful totem, of course). Thank you for writing about his funeral, the photo of his casket having corn as a backdrop. I read all your posts, but the old computer at home no longer lets me write a response. I have to bring my laptop to town for WiFi to be able to write a comment, which is only once a week. Annie

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