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Blessing the Bridge: What Animals Teach Us About Death, Dying, and Beyond
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0939165384, Paperback)Like a hospice worker, author Rita M. Reynolds cares for sick and dying animals, helping them comfortably cross the threshold into death. At times, Blessing the Bridge reads like a kindly vet's instruction book, teaching basic skills in respectfully handling a dying animal, whether it's a newborn bird that's fallen from its nest or a beloved dog that's terminally ill. Readers learn ways to make an animal comfortable, such as laying wild animals to rest in beds of flowers or letting domestic animals die in a human's arms. What separates Reynolds from other authors that write about caring for sick and dying animals is her willingness to take the process into a more intuitive and spiritual realm. Reynolds offers suggestions for how to dialogue with dying animals to find out their preferences--whether they wish to die on their own or die through the mercy of euthanasia. She also believes in divine and angelic influences when it comes to helping animals cross over: "Much like the physician or midwife who helps the mother and infant through the birthing process, the angelic ones stand ready to assist those who are dying, but from the other side to speak, waiting on the spirit side of the bridge called death." There is no question in Reynolds's mind that animals possess unique souls or that they move onto an afterlife. She even tells of seeing the spirits of dead animals visiting her. Many of her lessons are conveyed through real-life stories, where we witness how she simultaneously releases and embraces dying animals. Like The Tibetan Book of the Dead, this book has functional appeal and spiritual longevity. Reynolds shows us how to ritualize and soothe animals' deaths, while also offering us abiding wisdom about life on earth. --Gail Hudson
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:33 -0400)
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