On February 12, 2016 at approximately 4:44 pm, I physically lost my beloved Max Montgomery Strickland to cardiomyopathy. Without coincidence, the song, "Endless Love," was playing on the overhead speakers exactly at the time his doctor came to tell us that he was going into heart failure. Losing my beloved feline son was the most painful experience in all of my life. Literally. Max and I, as well as his sister, Kayli, who is still with me, had / have such a profound spiritual bond. Max was very special; there was - and still is - an angelic quality about him.
At 4:44 p.m. (a sequence of spiritual numbers) on February 12, 2016, I held my Maxie in my arms as the veterinarian delivered the injection that would allow him to reach the heavens. I literally felt as if my heart and soul were ripped from my grieving body. My mom Norma Strickland was with me and the two of us were able to hold him in our arms after he gently passed as he was wrapped in a brown blanket with white paw prints. I wish my dad, Byron Strickland, was there to hold Max, too, but he was in spirit. It was bittersweet as I knew he wouldn't suffer anymore in the physical realm. His veterinarians did everything humanly possible to prolong his life but he was called back home to the stars - and I had to honor his rite of passage.
I grieved as my heart tremendously ached. There were many days of shedding tears. Then, something beautiful happened: I felt Max's essence and spirit enter my soul - this was the beginning of acceptance and healing. Of course, it's still hard not having him here in the physical realm but knowing that he will forever be a part of my soul's tapestry does, somehow, allow for healing. The profound words written by my friend and renowned animal communicator, Karen Anderson, sit next to an 8×10 framed photo of Max and a small cedar box with his earthly remains. Losing a beloved animal is some of the most utterly difficult processes to endure. However, when you feel your companion's spirit enter your soul, that is when you know that he or she will ALWAYS be with you. Always. Endless love - two words that have extra special meaning now and forever. Maxie, I love you baby with all my heart. One day, we will be reunited and I know you will be waiting for me as I cross over. I love you sweetie.