Kodiak's Story

Prince Albert of Kodiak

"Next to my son; Kodiak is the 'love of my life'; and a piece of my heart, if not most of it, went with him when he left this realm."

"Such a formal name for a best friend," Sonya observed; "most of the time I just called him Kodiak (Kodi for short), Baby Bear or Baby Beast". A registered Malamute weighing 160 pounds, he was a true gentle giant. Afraid of his own shadow, yet Kodi was loyal as can be. He was quite a "talker" too; but by the age of 13, he had lost his voice. "He would howl at anyone who would mistakenly sit in his huge leather chair," shared Sonya, quietly laughing; "and he wouldn't stop until they realized the error of their ways and got up. Between that, and our private chats each day, his voice slowly faded to a whisper and then was gone altogether." Kodiak also sired a litter of ten puppies. 

Sonya and Kodiak shared 15 years together before his death. "He even went on our honeymoon", she confided. There were many days where they'd spent every minute of every day together, and you can hear the gratitude in Sonya's voice when she speaks of his companionship. "I'm really thankful Baby Bear was with me during the darkest days of my life. In truth, I almost lost him from a stroke, right before I was diagnosed with triple negative, aggressive, invasive breast cancer on July 15th 2012."

She went on to confide the diagnosis was just one of many calamities that year. "My husband ended our marriage two weeks later, I was forced to close my 25-year old business in October of that year, and I entered a six-round series of chemotherapy five days before Christmas. Without Kodiak, life would have been very bleak; he stabilized my life and gave me unconditional love–at a time when life was beyond hard.

"The next year was no better; on March 12th, 2013, my only brother, Eric, died suddenly. Eric was a kind and gentle man who always wanted to help the underdog. How I wish he had been at my side during the next few months; when I had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, faced foreclosure, and had to move in with my mother (after being independent since I was 18!) Still I am so very grateful I had Kodiak to see me through it all (not to neglect my son and my parents, they were really supportive too). But there was no way I could have dealt with the life-altering events I've had without Baby Bear by my side."

“Why did you choose to honor Kodiak in this way?”

A member of the Mesoloft team is a client of mine, and as I cut his hair, he'd talk to me about what it is they do. I knew that Kodi was going to pass soon; so one day I asked him if they could release Kodiak's ashes in this way. It really was serendipity; and it seemed like the perfect way to pay tribute to my remarkable friend: as big as his heart; as big as the love we shared. In the end, it was even more perfect than I could ever imagine."

“How does knowing Kodi’s ashes are traveling the high winds comfort or otherwise affect you?”

"I can't describe how it feels to know he's all around me, falling to earth in far-flung corners of the globe. It's the ultimate way of returning to our source, of becoming 'one' with this beautiful planet. And it gives me a lot of joy to think how each dust mote I see in a ray of sunshine could be my best friend settling back to earth to become something fresh and new."

Kodiak 3.jpeg

Those of us with pets understand completely, and would probably agree with Sonya's observation: "If we're lucky, we bond with one pet in a lifetime that none can replace. It was as if, we had actually hung out before in a different or past life. I know it sounds crazy yet, it was just a feeling I always had the first moment I saw him."

"We will hang out again one day...I love you Baby Beast."
For more info visit our PETS page 

-Written by Kim Stacey

 

letting go

Since going public with Mesoloft, we have been inundated with requests about our services. Naturally, pragmatic things take precedence. How? When? Where?

Something that caught us a little off guard, however, have been the many stories we’ve heard from people about letting go. Some have made the decision that one final flight into the stratosphere is symbolically fitting. But whether or not you choose to use Mesoloft, today we thought we’d compile a short list of the ways letting go can help. 

1) Letting go doesn’t mean leaving. It doesn’t mean forgetting. You’ll always have the good memories of that important life, which can never be taken away. 

2) We’re in far less control than we think. That acknowledgement alone can help ease the pain of losing someone you loved. The American mythologist Joseph Campbell said that we need to let go of the life we may have planned or hoped for in order to see the life that is waiting for us.

3) We’ve been told that the idea that of internment in the stratosphere means that in a real sense your loved one really is overhead. In the case of Mesoloft’s services, that idea is literally true. Our modeling shows that cremated remains will remain aloft for extended periods of time. In other cases some remains will return to Earth as the nucleus of rain drops or snow. Some have said that those facts alone are a source of healing.   

4) A Mesoloft flight, like any memorial service, is a way to be in the moment so that that special relationship can be remembered fully. Letting go means developing an understanding of the life being memorialized rather than powering through the hurt. Letting go doesn’t require strength. It requires meaning.  

5) Find someone else to confide in. Whether it’s a spouse or significant other, a family member, a close friend, or a clergy member, a trusted partner can help you begin the process of letting go. And of course, if you’re feeling overwhelmed you may want to seek the help of a professional counselor. Just talking out loud can help lessen the hurt and bring meaning and a newfound awareness to what you’re feeling.

If you believe Mesoloft’s services may be right for you, have a look at our website at mesoloft.com. We invite your questions.

We are pioneers with a purpose.

Lois and John Lafferty

“Their love, and the bond between them, was so special and unique.”

How did they meet?

Friends for as long as her daughter Misty can remember, Lois and John turned to one another later in life. "It was when they had both lost someone and were grieving that they turned to each other simply for comfort and friendship," she confided. "But then they realized that they didn't want to go through the rest of their life without someone special by their side–and so their friendship turned into something awesome. I'd never seen my mom so happy; I think the ten years they were married were the happiest in her whole life."

Tell us about their life together.

"They loved to travel," shares Misty. "They were traveling buddies, and had their little map and they would 'pin' all the places they had been. John loved history, and he really loved anything new and exciting. And mom loved sharing new and exciting things with him. I think they would both be really thrilled with the idea of traveling in these lofty winds; and so pleased that they took this–his first flight–together."

What is their most precious lesson? "

That's easy," Misty declared.  "Family is Everything"

And, she told us, they really 'walked the talk': whenever they had to, they would each take on the roles of peacemaker and mediator. "If there was someone in the family not talking for some odd reason; they would intervene and talk to both of them, get them to work it out. Both of them honestly felt that, at the end of the day, your family is your family. You should love them no matter what; you need to help them get through whatever they're going through. Family was the most important thing to both of them.

"I think that's what made their love so strong; it's because when John and my mom got together, he wasn't really close to his siblings. He had strayed from them. And my mom brought him back to his family. That meant the world to his siblings, it meant the world to him; he was so grateful that he got those last ten years back with his family, he reunited with everybody. It became so important to him and so important to her; that no matter what, we're family, we love each other, we help each other through thick and thin."

Misty, a wife and loving mother of three children; seems to have learned this lesson well. "Do all things in love," is the footnote in her email messages. "Sending their co-mingled ashes into the upper reaches of near space, where they will travel for who knows how long, and who knows how far; just seemed so right. What an adventure! It makes me smile every time I think about it." Certainly done in love, we think John and Lois would be more than pleased with her decision–they'd be delighted.

MesoLoft Can Ease Grief Work

MesoLoft Can Ease Grief Work

Here, in a nutshell, is the opinion I'd like to share: the ash scattering service provided by MesoLoft does much more than merely scattering the remains; it effectively change a person's on-going relationship with their deceased loved one. To say it another way; in taking their cremated remains to the edge of space and scattering them (to be carried around the globe by the ever-shifting winds), MesoLoft helps to positively redefine the enduring connection between the bereaved and the deceased.

There's something else you should know: the essential emotional quality of this connection greatly affects the outcome of grieving. Let me explain. If the emotional tie between living survivor and the deceased is weak or negatively-charged (with resentment or anger, for example), the long-term well-being of the grieving family member can be compromised. But when the connection is strong, nurturing and positively-charged; the grieving person is empowered to work through the four tasks of mourning and ultimately better adjust to a new way of living.

What are the "Four Tasks of Mourning"?

Basically, these four things are the core elements of healthy bereavement. Identified by Dr. James Worden, a leader in the study of grief and bereavement, the tasks are:

  • To accept the reality of the loss

  • To process the pain of grief

  • To adjust to a world without the deceased

  • To find an enduring connection with the deceased in the midst of embarking on a new life

We're really focusing our attention on the last two tasks; the two which focus on developing a healthy adjustment and connection. And to me, the service provided by MesoLoft changes the nature of both their adjustment to a new reality, as well as shaping (or reshaping) the nature of the enduring connection the living have to the deceased.

No longer is the deceased nowhere (although perhaps stored in an urn on the fireplace mantel or on a shelf in the closet). Once scattered at such great heights, they are now everywhere. Their mortal remains have become part of the greater whole, nurturing life on this planet in unforeseeable ways and serve to deepen the enduring emotional or spiritual connection their bereaved family and friends have to this continuing, all-pervasive presence.

Kim Stacey is an anthropologist, licensed funeral director and certified grief counselor. She not only brings a unique global perspective to any conversation about life celebration and commemoration; her work as a grief counselor has given her the insights into the complexities of human reactions to loss. She can be reached for comment at kimstacey@sbcglobal.net