No one has grieved harder than me.
Those are the words that just came off my keyboard. And then, a second later, I thought about grieving parents. And that grief isn’t a contest. It just isn’t. We all grieve as hard as we need to and as long as we need to. That’s truth.
Mom’s been gone 20 years now. 20 years! An eternity, I was going to write, and a second later I thought, “We’re all living in eternity.”
Yeah, there’s no winning when you 1) work in grief and 2) work in afterlife stuff.
My mother’s death was huge for me. The biggest thing that had ever happened to me, and the most mysterious.
So in that last year of her life I traveled thousands of miles every month to spend a week or two at her hospital bedside and as I walked into the hospital every day of every visit, an essay was writing itself in my head. I took everything around me in. And then finally, after she died, this piece came out of me.
It sat around for month, years even, and then, a few years later, was accepted for publication in a literary magazine affiliated with a medical school.
Mom’s death catapulted me into a search for the answer to this question: “Where did she go?” and that led me on a spiritual journey that hasn’t stopped. A story for another day.
I read once that the death of the mother is the first sorry wept without her. How true that is.
For today, though, the day before what would’ve been her 94th birthday, I’m sharing this piece in her memory.
This can be tough to swallow, because bad things happen in the world. Horrible things. And it’s hard to wrap our minds around why that greater reality (God, Allah, whomever) would allow bad things to happen.
My mind swirled when Krishna Das talked about that greater reality at a workshop. It’s not that I haven’t heard it before or that I don’t believe it. It’s just that I wonder all the time what it’s all about. Why these horrible things happen in the world. (I do watch too much Dateline.)
What about this idea that bad things teach someone lessons? Not necessarily the victim, either. Not that long ago I read something that pinged me big-time: “we’re not here for lessons, but to remind ourselves of what we already know.” Because as souls, we come in with a boatload of knowledge. Knowledge that we seem to forget once we’re involved in our lives on earth.
Krishna Das pointed out also that “It’s grace that saves all of us but it dresses up as something else when it comes.”
So, I think to myself, how are these bad things “grace?”
And I remember something else he said, quoting the Buddha: “there is no possibility of life without suffering.”
I can’t say I subscribe completely to the Buddhist view of life, but I do believe that life entails suffering. We can’t avoid it. Some suffer more than others. I have no explanation for that.
I can only trust that when we leave this life and move back “home” all will be revealed.
Wondering if you have any thoughts about that.
The Universe has your back.
I’ll bet you know that, just by reviewing your own life. I have my own proof of it.
I was getting ready to make a big mistake. It was a mistake those closest to me saw coming but I insisted they were wrong. That I could cope with the many and serious ramifications of my decision.
But as I was getting ready to pull the trigger (so to speak) something incredibly inexplicable happened. Something so big and so unexpected. So bizarre, really. And so good that I couldn’t resist it.
To accept this gift from the Universe, I had to change my mind about the big mistake I was preparing to make.
It wasn’t an easy decision. But from the age of 16 I’d used Pro/Con matrices for big decisions, so I pulled out paper and pen and charted out the facts.
And then thought about the emotions. What turned the corner were my feelings.
It was very clear I was meant to make the decision I made, even though I’d been resisting. In my imagination I heard my spirit guides talking among themselves, “Oh geez, she’s going to do this thing that really won’t be good for her. We’d better do something so big that she’ll have to pay attention.”
And so they did. I went their way and have never regretted it for one moment.
The Universe has our back. For real. For sure.
Maybe you don’t know that I do several services that help connect clients with their higher selves and/or their guides. Check out home page tabs on Regression and Spiritual Connection. Because your higher self and your guides surely have something to tell you.
Grief at the holidays can be a killer.
I should know: Four of my loved ones made their transition during this holiday period. In fact, we buried my mother on a Christmas Eve. BFF died a few days after Christmas.My grandfather died during the Thanksgiving holiday. So did Riley.
So here are a few ways to manage grief at the holidays:
There’s no avoiding it
The big thing is that you simply can’t avoid the grief. So don’t even try.
Your loved one was a valued part of your life then and still is. So: invite them to the holiday table. Raise a glass to them. Be grateful for the love you shared. What a blessing!
And especially be grateful that they are still ever-present in your life. They’re not gone at all. They’re just around the corner. The next plane. Right here, even though we can’t see them. We carry them with us all the time and that IS a blessing.
I’m thinking of a mother I know whose baby passed in the first few months. Her daughter is part of her life in a significant way and is now also part of the lives of her two other children. They recognize grief is part of life and mark each anniversary together as a family. It’s loving and it’s healthy for all.
It can be painful.
But, you say: “The grief.”
Grief is just love that thinks it has no place to go. But since our loved ones are really not dead to us–they live in our hearts–it DOES have a place to go. Your heart.
Grief is a reminder of the love we shared and still share, because love never dies.
As for the tears? Oh, I have them, too. Let them flow and wash away sadness as you celebrate the beautiful spirit that is still in your life and the joy that you loved one another.
Since they aren’t really gone…
Invite them to your happy holiday. And bask in that ongoing love you share.
If you’d like additional support, please check out our grief products here on this page.
Now that I’ve had a little time to process the Afterlife Symposium I attended in Scottsdale, I wanted to report back. It’s sponsored by a great group of knowledgeable, smart people I’ve followed and admired for years. This was the second year I’ve attended and what I liked best about last year was the emphasis on the science of the afterlife. The big question is “Does conscious reside in the brain? Or does it reside outside the brain, perhaps in the soul?”
It’s more than a philosophic question; it’s a matter of science. Even anesthesiologists will tell you they don’t really understand the nature of consciousness. Get hold of THAT for a moment. If consciousness does NOT reside in the body, if it resides elsewhere, what are the implications for us humans? This is a question I’ve spent a lot of time considering and reading about.
I’m all about the woo, which is to say I push on things to see what they’re all about. I believe in having an open mind about the nature of life and consciousness and want to learn as much as possible about work that’s being done all over the world.
Anyway, this year’s conference was lighter on science, which was a disappointment. But there were other high points.
How did her dead son’s image get on her phone?
A woman in a nearby group of family members took a photograph of a wall hanging and when she looked at the photo, the image of her dead son appeared, superimposed on the photo. This happened in real time–no time to Photoshop. And it happened a second time, this time with a less clear image of her son.
His wife and kids were also there and when his mom discovered what had happened there was much excitement I’ve heard of things like that happening but I’ve never actually seen it. Until then. How does that happen? I don’t know. But then again, my friend texted me a week after she died. Truth.
Can dead people manifest in physical form?
I attended a session about physical mediumship: the ability to manifest in solid form those who have passed on–involving ectoplasm and some new concepts. I hadn’t known much about it before that session, but I found it fascinating and plan to do more exploration.
Since I’m a regressionist
I attended an excellent presentation on life between lives regression. It’s a service I do, too, via Skype or in person. In a life between lives regression, a client has the opportunity to visit the time just before this life when they are making plans for the lessons of this life with their spirit team and wise elders.
It’s my favorite kind of regression to have, myself, and I love doing them, as well. I appreciated the opportunity for continuing education.
There WAS some fascinating science
Sonia Rinaldi is a Brazilian scientist who is using technology to record voices from the afterlife and even from the minds of nonverbal people. Her work is riveting stuff. If you’d like to learn more, here’s additional info.
The symposium featured many mediums, far more than last year. That’s appealing to many people but for me, not so much. I have worked with many mediums over the past 20 years and now have one in particular who has been an amazing resource and even a spiritual mentor.
And the closing angel wash is always a beautiful experience. In that session, we walked through an exercise meant to wash away anything we no longer need–guilt, shame, fear, grief–whatever. I do something like that at the end of every regression, but this one is done in a group with amazing music. I’m going to blog more detail about that another time. Suffice to say it was a high point again this year.
Making new friends
It’s always nice to meet new friends with whom you have something big in common, and this trip I did meet a cool woman who I suspect will become a good friend.
I don’t ever expect others to believe as I do –recognizing they haven’t had the experiences or done the reading I’ve done. I’m no pushover–I like solid evidence and to experience things myself. I’m an observer and a critical thinker. And I’ve been known to change my mind if new information comes to light. IMy approach is usually “Let me look at this and see what it’s about.”
If you’re interested in spiritual connection, check out this affordable service — a guided after-death communication.
If you follow the medium Suzanne Giesemann, a retired Navy commander and former aide to the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and now a practicing medium…(yes, fact!) …so if you follow Suzanne, as I do, you know about her group of spirit guides that go by the name of Sanaya.
Every day Suzanne emails Sanaya’s messages to subscribers and each message ends with “you are so very loved.” Which is a statement that becomes more profound every time I read it. So much so that I feel it to my very core in a strangely emotional way.
A rare beauty
Because that kind of unconditional love is so rare. And feels so good.
I have experienced that love from the other side many times, as my guides and family show me the path, reassure me, reinforce me and actually just love me, totally and completely.
The most profound thing that ever happened to me was at a workshop. The medium was lecturing on funeral rituals, nothing woo-woo, and all of a sudden from my right I felt an overwhelming rush of love, a tidal wave of love that just kept coming, so big and so fast it overwhelmed me. I then heard my father on the other side say “I love you so much…” and give me other loving messages.
Like a tidal wave
It was a shock to feel the intensity of love from the other side and it stuck with me for hours until finally, it abated and I was left awed and amazed.
We live in a world where love isn’t always front and center. Where some people feel free to push their hate and fear out in public ways. We are “led” by men who use fear and hatred to get their agendas passed.
In the face of fear and hatred, there’s only one thing to do:
And remember that we are so loved. By the Divine and by our loved ones on the other side. There is a purity to that love that brings me to my knees in awe. Not in worship, but in awe. The secret to being loved is…that there IS no secret.
You are so loved.
And why not show someone how loved they are with one of our gentle healing gifts or healing candles?