Reflecting on Brijanna’s death, it was not surprising that the elements of this article came together because of experiences with animals. Brijanna loved nature, animals and the elementals. Her desire to communicate with fairies prompted her to take her first clairvoyant class decades ago and launched her spiritual path. 

Here are some musings and insights from her last days as a spirit in a body.

1: The Lesson of Release

On Sunday, August 11 Brijanna went to the ER with severe pain from an intestinal blockage she had been dealing with for awhile. She was admitted, and tests were administered to determine the issue, which would take a few days to discover. 

Wednesday morning I went for a hike in the morning before heading to the hospital. I asked Spirit for “hellos” from the creatures and spirit world and the opportunity to take photos to show her in the hospital. On the hike up to the overlook a dragonfly posed, as did a ladybug, a bee, butterflies and flowers. On the hike back down, I was stopped in my tracks by a different sight.

On the dusty trail, with the aspen leaves shaking and filtered light flowing through, was a mouse’s head with the face towards the sky and its eyes peacefully closed. Inches from it was a small pile of mouse intestines, pink and glistening. There was a faint hum from the shimmering green flies enjoying their find. There was no blood spatter or mess. It was so very neat and tidy; a still life set up for me to find of a mouse’s death. 

I paused for a while, taking in the scene and its likely message: that death for Brijanna’s body was imminent. Indeed, about an hour later as I was driving to the hospital, she called and said that her 8 year dance with breast cancer was nearing its end; the intestinal blockage was cancer and inoperable. Projected timing: 10 days if she did nothing, a couple of months if she had a stomach tube inserted. 

The next morning I went to yoga and received another clear message. I saw the image of a hawk catching the mouse and leaving it’s head and intestines. The insight: release of the mind (mouses head) and release of the toxins (mouses intestines) and the hawk (like an angel) soaring into the sun (God/Goddess) with the true essence of the creature. In the process of death, we release that which doesn’t serve us, and take with us to Divinity the wisdom gleaned from our earthly experience. Thank you Hawk and Mouse for the reminder to release thoughts and energies that do not serve us and that are not of our vibration. Take time every day to pray, meditate, and release. Then welcome within you that which is of your truth. Let every day involve a bit of conscious Death because that allows you to engage more intimately with Life.  

2: The Lesson of Wisdom

Brijanna decided to extend her life and have the tube put into her stomach. It would allow her to release ingested food and not have so much pain and cramping. Few nutrients would reach her body, and that had already been happening for awhile. The extra weeks afforded her time to quit work, finish loose ends, see friends and family, hike, and dote on her three cats. Barely a moment was left unbooked those last few weeks: you had to get onto her schedule! 

Soon after she went home from the hospital, I went over in the morning to walk a trail near her house that meandered along a steam. We often saw ducks and herons. On this morning her cat, Sadie, followed us for a mile or so, which was fun until we saw a great horned owl on a low branch about 50 feet off of the trail. 

While I oohed and aahed about how beautiful it was, her eyes were on Sadie…a potential meal for the bird of prey! But Sadie was aware, and headed into the tall grasses away from owl. 

We marveled at its beauty; the detail of the patterns of his feather, and its inscrutable gaze. It’s palpable presence felt of Power within Stillness and Truth within Mystery. 

The lesson of wisdom was very clear. For Brijanna, although there was much activity in her life, she made time for meditation and introspection. Wise owl of mystery…thank you for the reminder of finding that still, centered space within ourselves amidst the challenges, dangers and activities of life in these bodies. 

3: The Lesson of Intention

Brijanna had three cats, and she had felt for awhile that the adventuresome cat, Sadie, who followed us to the owl, would die before she passed and be on the other side for her. But there was a surprise in store.

Six days before Brijanna left her body, a friend put together an intimate Early Thanksgiving for her. Even though she could barely eat she was still game to smell the stuffing and pumpkin pies and try bites of what she could. 

Upon arrival she immediately sat down and said, “Well, this is all becoming very real…” 

The day before, her cat Nate had left a dead snake in her bathroom on the bathmat exactly where her cat Guinivere had died a year or so ago. Snake medicine: a harbinger of change and transformation. She was quite impressed with Nate’s choice of creature and his clarity of placement. 

The surprise was that he was killed that night by a predator. The morning of Early Thanksgiving he hadn’t come home and it was clear to her that he was gone. She thought  Sadie would go ahead of her. 

The intention was so clear. The snake and its placement, and the surprise of Nate leaving. He was her heart-chakra cat, a lover and a snuggle-buddy to all visitors. Silly and a bit awkward, you had to love him. His love waiting for her in Spirit would assist in magnetizing her soul to Divinity. Well played Nate, we did not see that coming! 

Living from intention that is based on Spirit means being aware and open to signs and guidance, and then acting from a place of intention grounded to Oneness. Thank you Snake and Nate for the reminder of the part an intention connected to Divinity plays in our lives. 

4: The Lesson of Love

Six days after Early Thanksgiving, on September 27th, Brijanna drifted into a sleep from which her body would not awaken. She lay comfortably, as if napping, but we knew differently. There were roses by her bed and her comforter was strewn with red and white rose petals. Candles illuminated her room, and occasionally a friend played a singing bowl as we meditated and held space for her journey home to God/Goddess. 

As with birth, death happens at exactly the right time. The spiritual body collects its wisdom, and the physical body lets go through the contractions of kundalini energy.  Time seems to stand still. Feelings ping pong from sadness to wonder; from helplessness to a feeling of deep knowing that all is as it should be. Life and Death, the ultimate dichotomy. 

The constant that holds it all together is Love and a sense of connection to something grander than can be imagined permeated the room. What is enough or not enough in such a situation? It becomes about embracing faith and trust in new levels, and just matching the love. 

In the end, quite simply, her cat Sadie, the adventuresome one, helped her body with it’s last release. Small, long-haired, black and white Sadie who is not daunted by anything, spent 40 minutes purring and kneading on Brijanna’s body up to her final breath. That fearless little cat. 

Thank you Sadie, for the reminder of Love and how simple it can be. 

5: The Lesson of Pure Joy

Brijanna had so much to share in her life.  She was an artist, a healer, a clairvoyant reader, a spiritual teacher and animal communicator. 

She walked her talk, and shared about her ability to work consciously and energetically with the energies of depression and anger. She very deliberately befriended and explored those emotions and found ways to transmute them when they distracted her from her joy. 

You didn’t hang out with her very long without knowing her enthusiasm for meeting dogs on the trail or cats in the neighborhood. Really, any creature would do! Goats, horses, birds, wolves, moths…

Before we indulged in Indian food at a favorite restaurant, a visit to a neighboring field was generally necessary to watch the communities of prairie dogs and bunnies that lived there, squeezed in amidst businesses and homes.  We loved the prairie dog squeaks and mannerisms. The bunnies were more quiet and tentative and Brijanna always laughed at their twitching noses. 

Ever onward the world of nature moves, amidst and despite the bustle of we humans and our  building and destroying; cars and noise; and often general obliviousness and distraction. And yet the beauty and miracles of the truth of our world never leave and await our love and connection. It takes intention and focus and a strong desire to look away from the seductive pull of constant doing and adding on and inflating— and instead turn inward to the world of what, perhaps, really matters. 

Which brings us back to release. Release in order to mindfully sink into our joy and love and wisdom daily. Releasing the notions and patterns that don’t serve us and instead aligning with playful moments and finding reasons to smile, moments that allow our hearts to melt, and introspective moments to see and sense the connections and signs and synchronicities that are there for us to savor. Death offers us a chance to pause and remember why we are here on this planet, and then act and be accordingly.

Thank you, Prairie Dogs and Bunnies for the reminder of the Joy that we are, no matter what we are experiencing. Thank you, Brijanna. May your soul sing. 

Rev. Hope Hewetson  has been teaching and reading for over 25 years. Call Hope for a reading or healing at 303-530-0232, or email her at