April 15, 1990 – July 2, 2009

Beloved Companion, Steward, and Spiritual Guide:
Meara's Journey

by Susan Trout 

In 1990, our volunteers felt we should have an Institute pet — Liz Cooper and Maggie Scobie found Meara at an Adams Morgan Pet Shop. I had interviewed many kittens at this point – and recognized right away that Meara was the perfect one. She had always been a "fire" kitty – one who preferred to play rather than sit on anyone's lap. Meara had her 19th birthday on April 15, 2009.

Meara's health had been failing over the previous year. She cooperated in the fall with her regular vet, taking her medicine for a hyperthyroid condition. Then, in February, she refused any medicine, regardless of how “clever” I was in hiding it in scrumptious food. Her holistic vet recommended I let Meara make her own choice about the medicine. . . .  Meara made it clear that the medicine made her mind and body fuzzy and sluggish and that she wanted the rest of her days to be conscious ones. And, without the medicine, they surely were – Meara was alert, engaging, conscious, and participatory during the last five months of her life. She especially loved to sit on the steps . . . and she loved participating in the two "Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream" symposiums held at the Institute that year. She "knew" the Symposium would help her and all sentient beings living on Mother Earth.

In April and May, Meara began to spend several days in each and every room of our building on all three floors. She would lay or snooze in places she had never been before. It was as though she was preparing a sacred container for the forthcoming work of the Institute that extended into every inch of our 6000 square feet of space. I witnessed, once again, the astounding power of her will and her devotional service.

 Meara was a healer and a master teacher of boundaries.  

In May, Meara stopped attending her chosen spiritual path class. Every Thursday for over 15 years, Meara had attended the A Course in Miracles Study Group, often sitting in her own chair – even, at times, asking to sit in the group leader's chair! She had a way of visiting other classes and events, too, always with the intention of being of service in some way. Everything Meara did was purposeful and embodied a teaching. There are many stories to tell about Meara and her service work at the Institute on behalf of participants, volunteers, visitors, and even our workmen – the electrician, furnace man, and window washer.

As Meara's physical condition worsened, she chose to spend day and night in the kitchen, where she could sit by the open door and be close to nature – hearing the birds and feeling the breezes. It was a joy to witness her integrity and consciousness.

As many know from experience, Meara was a healer and a master teacher of boundaries. And, she was blessed to have many healers help her throughout her life. Meara is at rest in the garden of the Institute's former home under a rose bush at 111 South Columbus Street in Alexandria. She is cradled in an exquisite box inscribed with the words "Live, Laugh, Love."

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