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  • Writer's pictureMarybeth Haines

Mr. Mooshie's Christmas Stocking

Mr. Mooshie's Christmas Stocking

At the time of this writing, it has been exactly 326 days, (or 10 months and 22 days, or 46 weeks and 4 days…but who’s counting right?) since I witnessed Mr. Mooshie take his last breath. I remember telling him how much I loved him and how thankful I was for his many gifts he shared during our 17 years together. The memory of his passing is surreal, and it feels like it was just yesterday BUT also feels like it was a lifetime ago.

Can you relate to this?

After his passing, I donated many of Mooshie’s belongings such as his carrier, toys, some needed medications and food to Pets Niagara, a local organization that does wonderful work with cats. Knowing that his items can help other kitties in need brings me comfort. It’s something my sweet boy would want me to do.

It took several months to work through his other items such as what we referred to as his “food lift” (his raised stand he used to eat off of to help ease the strain with his neck and muscles), his blankets and also to go through all the photos I have of him. It was a good and healthy way to actively mourn his passing and work through the grief.

I remember many times with Mr. Mooshie that involved laughter, tears, and a few incidents that although at the time were stressful (like him eating my father’s dried funeral flowers, curiously jumping off my apartment balcony onto a detached garage rooftop <which I then needed to do the same to go and retrieve him>, and knocking some of my precious belongings onto the floor while watching them shatter…just because he I laugh now…but at the time…not so much! We’ve been through a lot together. Through breakups and sorrow, life changes and triumphs, friendships and the list goes on.


Christmas is always an emotional time for me and for many others I talk with. It’s a time of reflection and memories. A time to honour our individual faiths, remember our loved ones and much more. I choose to meditate on the many gifts life brings and share peace outwards to the world, especially at this time of year. It’s a powerful time and it feels good to do that.

This year will be our first Christmas without our boy here in the physical (although I believe he is here in spirit). As I was bringing out the Christmas decorations and hanging our stockings, I came across Mooshie’s and an immediate wave of sadness came over my entire being. I thought to myself “I can’t hang his stocking up this year. There’s nothing to fill it with” and I became tearful. I then proceeded to fold his stocking back up gently, with honour and placed it back in the hamper.

The following evening, I shared with my husband Troy what had happened earlier that day. I explained how I felt sad and that it really hit me hard how much I still miss Mooshie. I told him him that I had his stocking out and then put it back because we wouldn’t be able to fill it this year, meaning he won’t be here to see what’s in it and spend Christmas with us like we used to do.

This is where my husband is my hero. He always knows what to say, even when he’s having a hard time himself. Troy spoke very directly with me, and with a calm and gentle voice. He said “Oh, we can still hang up his stocking. We have lots to fill it with this year. We can fill it with Mooshie’s love”.

Mr. Mooshie & Nemo's Christmas Stockings


Now, I support others in healing from the loss of their pet every day. The insight I can share with them is heartfelt and it brings me comfort in being able to walk beside them on their journey as it is “me companioning with them”, and we are doing it together. I often hit a wall and can become a bit hard on myself when I realize I too am struggling in some aspects of my own personal healing. And then it hit me. I realized that I find it so hard because it’s “me companioning me”. My emotions cannot remain neutral as they are raw and deep. That’s why I am grateful at times like this and for others like Troy who can remind me.

Troy reminded me that Mooshie WILL be with us this year and we can honour him in this special way. Of course I know he will be with us, but did you see what I did? I created a blockage because of a physical object; his Christmas stocking and that gave my mind a message of loss. I associated his stocking to the loss that I feel.

Why the heck didn’t I realize this? Oh yes…I remember now. Because it’s still too raw for me…even ten and a half months later and I needed a teacher to remind me of this gift.

Thank you Troy!

Healing takes time, I get that. Like I mentioned, it’s what I teach every day. And it’s something I need to keep reminding myself of. On this day that you are reading this very post, I share this story with you in hopes that it can be of comfort and support in your own unique individual healing journey. And to remind you that you too, can honour your beloved pet(s) this Christmas time.


This Christmas season, if you have a pet that you are missing, I invite you to go get their stocking. If you don’t have one, go get one. Hang it up in their honour and then fill it with their love! Watch it overflow and feel what your time together means to you.

Our pets are not gone! They have merely stepped down from their role as a beloved pet in our life. Their essence, memories and many gifts still remain. We just need to remember that!

On this Christmas Day, December 25th, I invite you to unite together all around the world in honour and in tribute to our pets of yesterday. Let’s join in this global initiative and do something our pets would want us to…FILL OUR HEARTS WITH THEIR LOVE & CELEBRATE THEM!

In honour of all our pets, I reach out to you in remembering them! Will you join me?

PS. Mr. Mooshie! Thank you for your guidance and help while I wrote this message. It has helped me in healing and in helping others heal too. I always remember you with a smile my sweet boy. I love you xo.


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