Endings and beginnings

A friend of mine died on July 21st. He was in the prime of his life and there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to his being plucked from our lives so early. In my parlance, I would say that he had work to do elsewhere and we were lucky to have had him for as long as we did, however I recognise that that doesn’t necessarily provide much solace for his friends and family who are struggling with the loss.

This is the first time in my life that I have witnessed the gradual letting go of life and while it was emotional, it was also a privilege. I forget sometimes what a taboo there is about talking about death in our culture. I never learned to speak of it in a hushed voice and indirect references, in large part because my mother didn’t. I have to keep reminding myself to walk gently when around those who are more sensitive. In my own strange way, I have always felt close to the people I’ve known who have died. I summon them up when I feel in need of their input. I suppose you could say that I have an active meta-life that includes the dearly departed. In that respect I am somewhat unusual.

When it was getting close to the end, my friend’s wife said to him that births and deaths are miracles and should be treated that way, or words to that effect. I agree with her sentiments. To witness either one is a wondrous event. I’ve always thought that where we go when we die must be the same place as where we come from when we are born. When a babe is born, we don’t imagine that he or she is coming from a horrible place, so I’ve always thought that we should be comforted to know that those who die go back there again when they leave our company.

I hear over and over that death is frightening because it is a journey into the unknown. We say that no one ever comes back and tells us what it’s like on the other side. As far as a physical body is concerned, that’s true. But I’m not so sure it’s true of other means of communicating. This is perhaps where we cannot survive on science alone, which doesn’t know how to prove where a ‘non-scientifically-verifiable’ message comes from and therefore won’t give it credence. Myths, folklore and religious traditions are full of messages from beyond the grave but they can’t be scientifically proven.

I have often been the intermediary for some of these messages from ‘the other side’ and I have to admit that I’m not particularly interested in proving their veracity. I’m satisfied that they are authentic and so I focus instead on what the message does for the recipient and leave the rest to the scientists among us. It appears to me that quite often there is unfinished business when someone dies and there is some urgency to the messages from people’s departed friends and family.

When clients come to me asking to speak to someone who is dead, I usually find that I can make contact just by asking for it. The nature of the contact is as unique as the people were themselves. One woman’s mother sang a line to a song – quite humorous if you know my singing voice! Sometimes the departed give advice, sometimes they answer a question and sometimes they just reassure the the client that they are safe and happy where they are and not to worry. Interestingly, many of the departed ask for forgiveness. It would seem that they can see things from their new vantage point that they couldn’t when they were alive.

Participating in this process is emotional and exciting if you don’t believe that anything exists beyond the physical plane. However, if like me you believe that the earth plane is just one of many options, then what I do is still a privilege but quite matter-of-fact. Even people’s pets have been known to come through, and not just good old Aunt Maisie. I think that people have been seeking reassurance about their loved ones’ departures, animal or human, for as long as we have been around on this planet. I see it as quite natural to be concerned and to miss the one who is gone.

I have a friend who lost her husband to a heart attack about twenty-five years ago. She is herself a healer and so at least familiar with realms of ‘otherness’ but to this day she is annoyed with her husband for not communicating with her once he was dead. I hear this a lot from clients in both therapy sessions and readings.

I often wonder if the dead aren’t communicating with us in such a ‘usual’ way that we just dismiss it as too ‘ordinary’, as if the contact should come with a clap of thunder to make it extraordinary enough to be from the other side. Perhaps when the dead person comes into our thoughts, that’s a form of contact. I suspect that the dead would not want to frighten those they leave on this side and so would keep the contact withing the realm of the expected. It may be a fine line for them to walk: too ordinary and it risks being dismissed as ‘just my own thoughts’, and too extraordinary and you frighten the person into thinking they are losing their marbles.

My job, when I am involved as the intermediary, is often just to hold the container that keeps the contact between realms safe. I can tell the client that this experience isn’t crazy. I have to say that often there is some sort of confirmation of who is on the other side so that the client knows that I’m not just making it up. Conversely however, sometimes there is no message from the other side, or no new message from the other side.

I worked with a family a few years ago who needed to be told the same thing over and over because they didn’t want to accept it. The deceased wanted them to know that his death had been part of his plan and was on schedule, and that he had other commitments waiting for him. He said he was fine where he was and that it was his time. The family were afraid that he had rejected them and left them behind. They wanted to know why, if this was part of a plan, he hadn’t told them that it was going to happen. He kept trying to explain to them that he hadn’t known in that earthly way but that it was scheduled in the bigger, spiritual plan. That may be more of a consolation when time has healed the immediate wounds a little more and not fully appreciable in the grieving moment we were in. It appeared that the message needed to be delivered at that particular time because I was available then and they trusted me not to mislead them.

Considerations of births and deaths and grand plans leads me once again to the concept of time and what it really means. If we lead many lives, are they concurrent as I believe or consecutive, the way history records them? If they are concurrent, then do the choices we make in this life affect history, and how? On the comical side of things, I have a picture in my head of a bevy of monks running around with their parchment and quills, rewriting history every time someone makes a choice that influences another lifetime. It’s mind-boggling and I will leave that topic for another time.

I just hope that my friend’s family and friends are able to find peace with his passing and that, wherever he is, he is enthusiastic about the next stage of his soul’s existence. Go in peace my friend.

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One Response to Endings and beginnings

  1. Anonymous says:

    Beautifully written and, oh, so true. My Teachers tell me that we live several lives concurrently, with different results according to different decisions we made in them. We sort of know about this one because our consciousness is presently here. We learn, create karma, and face the consequences of our acts in all of them, as experiences for the soul.

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