The Angel Effect

The second annual BIRTHFIT Summit has come and gone; I’m still recovering from the weekend and catching up on everything that had been put on hold. This event started exactly a month after my best friend left her physical body. To say the last five weeks have been challenging would have to be the understatement of the century. If you know me at all, you know that I’m speaking about my sweet Angel kitty. You see, Angel and I started our journey together, side by side, when I was a freshman in high school. She has been my guardian Angel for the past twenty years and will no doubt continue to be for years to come.

I believe that we are all souls inhabiting these physical bodies of ours. I believe that each soul is on his or her own journey. I believe that some doors will be there for me to open and other doors will be there for you to open. And these beautiful messy paths are here for us to experience, learn, and grow from.

Angel could have chosen any physical form she wanted, and I would have fallen in love with her regardless. Angel chose a white, fluffy 6.5 lb Himalayan cat body and it suited her absolutely perfectly. She loved herself. Angel absolutely adored being in her body.

I witnessed Angel grow and evolve just as I grew up and evolved. We spoke the same language. She knew when times were tough and would come sleep right next to me in bed. She loved celebrating and eating a big ‘ol steak. And Angel never missed an early morning coffee and reflecting session with me.

Over the past three months, Angel had communicated to me, in a few different ways, that she wanted to transition at home and that she needed our (Logan and my) support.  Moving our egos and emotions aside and reminding ourselves that this is her journey, we prepared ourselves to fully support her. We sought out the support of Paige from GraceFull Dying to help with the transition. Paige is almost like a doula for the dying.

When the time came, we contacted Paige and she guided us so that we could be fully present for Angel. Paige told us exactly what would happen – as in what bodily systems would go first. And we stayed in the moment. We turned on beautiful music, made Angel the most comfortable spot full of black t-shirts and blankets, and lit candles all over the house. The process started on Sunday and Angel left her body on Monday at 4:15pm.

I can honestly say that I have never seen anything as courageous and elegant as Angel embarking on the unknown.

I share this with you not for sympathy. But to share with you the support and love we could (and should) give those traveling into the unknown. You see, birth and death are the same: a soul traveling into the unknown. And as this soul, wouldn’t it FEEL really fucking good to be supported and loved?

But that is not always the case. Support and love often get the backseat when fear and pain are the drivers of the bus. There are no sustainable lifestyle choices made out of fear. The choices made because of love, however, will stand the test of time.

The BIRTHFIT Tribe surprised me during one evening of the BIRTHFIT Summit with a specially-made book called “The Angel Effect.” The beginning of the book says, “We want to make sure that you realize that – just like Angel – your quiet confidence, resolve, and bad-assery are incredibly impactful. You have directly positively influenced each of us, and in turn we have been able to influence our communities. Your reach is immense, and we are all honored to know you. Thank you for your Angel Effect on us all.”

I invite you to support the soul next to you on their journey – whatever that may be. I invite you to respect their decisions, even if you do not agree. I invite you to send them love and celebrate their uniqueness. And of course, I’d invite you to try out a little bit of the Angel Effect: quietly and confidently influence your community.  



Lindsey Mathews



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