Chaco's Funeral

A Love Story from The Big Island of Hawaii

                                                                   by Kathryn Jensen


  Chaco the cat loved life.  This impressive cat’s mission was to remind his friend Mike of the great importance of giving him everything he asked for…affection, great food, and a warm spot on Mike’s bed. Chaco was well loved. 

 But alas Chaco got very sick and Mike decided the most compassionate thing to do for his dear friend was to take him to the vet to be put to sleep.  Mike stopped by to share the sad news.  All present joined in saying a prayer.   

  Today a miracle occurred.  Mike finally remembered to take Chaco’s ashes to his favorite beach,  Hookena.
He secured the remains in a tightly knotted plastic bag.                                                                                        
 The warmth of the sun was delightful and the crystal clear, aqua blue sea was calm as a pod of sleepy dolphins glided slowly in the tranquil waters of the bay. 

  Mike’s most sacred moments in life have been in the presence of dolphins and his intention was to spread Chaco's ashes in the ocean at a time when the dolphins could join Mike in celebrating the life of his devoted friend.  He secured the small bag in his bathing suit pocket along with several leaves….dolphin gifts.   

  Before dolphins deepen into mid-day rest, those in the mood for play, strike up “the leaf game” with leaves gifted to them and deposited in their waters by their human playmates. The leaves are tossed back and forth between these silly, playful dolphins and their human friends. They delight in showing off their exceptional talent for flinging the brilliant red-yellow leaves from their noses to their flukes to their tails. 

  So Mike, with great anticipation, began to swim slowly out to greet his cetacean friends.  But only within a few feet of shore he noticed Chaco's remains were no longer in his pocket. They were nowhere to be found.  With a heavy heart Mike joined the dolphins in the middle of the bay for an early morning swim. 

   Mike swam back to shore.  He removed his swim gear, walked onto the hot sand and shared his depression about the loss of the ashes with others.  His friend Wende listened sympathetically to the story of the missing ashes as she readied herself for swimming. 

  Wende and Mike are deeply connected friends who’ve shared delightful, synchronistic breakthroughs in consciousness during their swims with dolphins.  Wende knows about loss.  She’s spread the ashes of four loved ones over the past few years.

  As Wende joined the dolphins in the middle of the bay was startled to find a plastic bag floating in front of her… Chaco’s ashes!!   How did this elusive bag float so far from shore?!!  She tucked the miraculous find into her wet suit and proceeded to enjoy her morning swim, as the dolphins served her and others with a sweet reminder that “love is the only answer.” 

  After an hour or so Wende swam to shore with the intention that Mike would still be relaxing on the beach.  He was!  Mike of course was astonished and relieved to see a familiar bag with gray contents in Wendy’s hand.  Tears of amazement and relief were shared by Wendy, Mike and others who witnessed the incredible re-appearance of Chaco’s ashes.

   Mike prepared for another swim, this time, with what was left of Chaco tightly held in his hand.  Before he entered the water he noticed the dolphins swimming towards shore.  As Mike kicked slowly through the gentle waters the dolphins surrounded him with the obvious intent of holding their friend in a circle of golden heart centered compassion.  Perhaps they knew Mike was saying farewell to one of the best friends he ever had. 

  The dolphins, in unison, blew a wall of bubbles extending from the surface of the sea to the sandy bottom.  Mike released Chaco's ashes and they floated in the vortex created by the delicate, effervescent net that shimmered with fluctuating rainbow hues, resembling flickering lights of the aurora borealis.

  The ceremony ended and Mike flowed back to shore on a wave of Grace.  The dolphins flowed with him gifting him with their presence and a very special bright red leaf. 


  I arrived at Hookena for a late mid-morning swim and was greeted by Mike and our friend Ellen, a person close to Mike’s heart who, that very day, was flying home to Holland. Ellen was present when Chaco was put to sleep.  She loved and supported Mike through that sorrowful time.

  Mike’s eyes were wide open with amazement as he shared this story.  I asked him to write it down but he insisted that he was the story teller and I was the designated scribe.  Later on I heard about this extraordinary farewell to Chaco from Wende’s perspective. 

  This story “Chaco ’s Funeral” is filled with Wende’s and Mike’s experiences, descriptions and impressions.  However, as the tale of this remarkable ceremony flowed through my filter and onto my computer, the dolphins had their say;  hence the subtle but powerful love lessons from our dolphin friends.

 The dolphins remind us that gifts of love create the magic in our world and our connection to the divine. They’re here to model our potential and do so in profound ways.  As the dolphins open our hearts, we remember we’re here to give and receive love as we become the compassion we so deeply desire to witness in our world. 

  Mike, Ellen, Wende and I ask that you share this story with those you love.

©Kathryn Jensen 2009

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