Hans – Dr. Johann Gottlieb Laetz – died on September 23, 2014.
On December 2, 2014, I experienced a mysterious encounter with an owl.
At about 8:30 am, a short-eared owl flew directly down into my kitchen window and fell to the ground.
I immediately ran out to cradle the stunned bird in my hands.
When the large orange eyes closed I thought the beautiful creature might be dying.
Stroking its neck and feathers, I murmured, “Don’t die, don’t die.”
But the owl was not dead – it suddenly energized and sat up along the thumb and index finger of my left hand.
For several minutes it sat grasping my fingers, turning its head often to look directly at me.
And then the owl lifted off my hand and glided away into the trees.
This March, in Arizona, Hans and I hugged each other for what turned out to be the last time we would ever meet.
After I returned to Japan, Hans and I talked to each other by telephone as usual until early July.
Then Hans suddenly and totally “disappeared” from my life.
His son, Kurt, apparently acting under a new Power of Attorney, responded to my email saying only that Hans had been moved to a different facility, but inexplicably refusing to tell me where.
Alarmed, and certain that Hans would never cut contact with me from his side, I retained an attorney to help.
Despite repeated attempts all my pleas were ignored and none of his three adult children, who had always known of the bond between Hans and me, ever divulged any information about his whereabouts.
When I last held Hans in my arms in late March, he told me as always how much he loved me – that he always had, and always would.
Yet from July until his death in September Hans and I had zero contact – an enormous shock after close to four decades of continuous contact between us.
GRIEF AND TRANSFORMATION
Hans and I were married for 22 happy, productive years.
When a spiritual calling took me alone to Japan, we remained unfailingly close, loving each other through 38 years, until his death.
For the past twenty-odd years, after my move to Japan, Hans and I spoke with one another just about every day of our lives.
Hans visited me twice in Japan recently, intending to move here for the last phase of his life, and we had already prepared his living space.
I feel such sadness that Hans, weakened and vulnerable, might have faced a frightening isolation in his last months.
Old friends in Arizona who longed to see Hans have said they were blocked from visiting him.
Even now, not one detail of his funeral has been given to me, the woman Hans loved, nor to several concerned people Hans knew well.
Mutual friends are bewildered as to why they were unable to pay their last respects.
OWL AS MESSENGER
I accept the owl as messenger of Hans’ transformation.
Through the owl’s steady eyes, Hans brought me a message of enduring love.
Through the owl’s fierce grasping of my fingers, Hans presented me with the owl’s wisdom and strength.
Through the owl’s joyful return to the forest, Hans pointed out his new journey, freed now of all manipulations and restrictions.
So, dear Hans, I thank you for your mysterious, wonderful gift.
It confirms I must have the courage now to continue my own journey in this life.
As you reminded me when we met for the last time in March, you and I have loved each other for a very long time.
Your owl messenger lets me know that you love me still.
Hans, aber ich will euch wieder sehen, ich will euch wieder sehen – Catrien.
Catrien Ross presents her art and music for Hans in a YouTube video, “Remembering Hans.”
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