Surprise’s story

Surprise playing

Her name is Surprise- and she certainly was one to us. She was born as a single puppy to a young golden retriever mother. I had yearned for a dog, and then in my 13th year, she joined our family. I was a loner,  the social outcast. But, Surprise brought me out of myself. She was/is a golden girl. I am writing here about the time during which she left her physical life, and the gift she left for me. It is because of Surprise that I came to know and trust in All That Is.

In the mail, came something addressed to me from the Maine Registry of Motor Vehicles. I had just moved back from Maine to the home I grew up in. I remembered mailing RMV my plates and wondered what they might want. I opened up the envelope. Inside was a picture of Surprise.  Along with the picture, there was a piece of paper with a  short message: “I believe this was sent in error. I found it between your license plates. I would want it back if it were mine.”

Several days passed. It was Friday and my parents planned to take her up to Maine for the weekend. They had a vacation home there. I saw her outside on her lead. I went to say goodbye to her. It was then I heard a voice inside say: “You’re never going to see her again.” I was used to internal sabotage and I didn’t know what this meant…Was this another way to hurt myself? But, I had heard voices call to me before. I sensed them as benevolent souls who meant no harm. I went down the stairs, hugged Surprise and told her I loved her, and  then went back inside to start my day.

I got a call later that night. My parents had taken Surprise to the vet. She was very, very sick. They didn’t know if she would make it through the night. I called the vet myself and was told the same. I made up my mind that I wanted to be with her. I would not let her be alone. It was late, perhaps midnight when I left. It was foggy out, cold, and dark.

I drove into the night. It was about 3AM when the car spun out of control. I couldn’t see well due to the fog. I don’t know if there was black ice. I don’t know what happened. But, later on, I wondered if I had left the car and my body to be with her as she left the physical plane.

I arrived in the early morning at my family’s home in Maine. We got the call shortly after 9AM. She had passed away in the night. I wanted to bring her body home. The ground was frozen. We brought her home. A friend of my sister’s dug through the snow and ice. I picked her up, placed her inside the hollow of dirt and climbed in with her for a moment. Everyone was quiet around me. That’s all I remember of that moment.

Later, I went down to the beach and had a little talk with God. I wanted a sign that she was safe and well. I asked for some sign, something that would let me know she was okay. In that moment, I was given a sign of a single white rose. We drove home the next day which happened to be two days before valentine’s day. I walked into a pharmacy on the way home looking for a valentine’s card for my parents. I glanced through the sympathy section. One card stood out to me. On the front, there was a single white rose and these words: “There is Life beyond the Wall.” I took the card home.

Days passed, then several months, and I spent a lot of time alone in my bedroom. And then, one day, I was sitting on my bed. I turned my head toward the center of the room and she was there in front of me. She stayed a moment or two before she disappeared.

A year passed. On the anniversary of her passing, I stood above her grave looking down upon it, searching for her. I felt empty. I picked up my head and looked around me at all the life around me and felt this amazing rush of loving energy coming from the life that surrounded me –  the trees,  bushes, rocks,  sky, and all of the critters. The energy flowed through my entire being, starting at the top of my head, through my entire body, and flowed directly into Surprise’s grave.  That was when I knew that Surprise was/is in all the  life that surrounded me. And so, I know that God is real, that Love never dies, that energy moves from form to formlessness, and that we never lose the ones we love.

With so much love and gratitude,



My Poem for Surprise

This is the season of death,
As she has taken her last breath.

I ask myself, what is beyond the wall?
I must believe, I cannot fall. 

I scream, I cry,
I whisper, why?
There must be a reason!
The answer is, this is the season. 

I go inside to the faraway place.
It is this world I refuse to face.

She chose to die and I to live.
What is it I still have to give?
What must I learn before I leave?
I know she is free but I still grieve.

I do not know of the other side.
Why  is it from the truth that I must hide?

To die is to live, and to live is to die,
So Surprise exists, it’s not a lie.
I know I need not fear,
I say goodbye, my Prise, my dear.

As she has taken her last breath,
This is the season of death.

 Deborah Thunderchild

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