Today is Thursday 10 October. I have two precious friends, one who is celebrating her bEarth to this world (happiest of happies Ms Sam), and another who grieves as her sibling transitioned yesterday (I'm holding you Owns). How beautifully do I feel the polarities of this day.
This got me thinking about Death. That life experience that so many struggle to talk about, struggle to process and are attached to so much conditioning of the process as being something terrible, devastating, to be avoided at all costs. It is the ONLY thing that we cannot avoid, and so I believe we need to shift our perception of Death.
With great love and respect, I share my thoughts here. Much has been written about it and in every culture, religion and belief structure there are very different views.
My own walk with Death, hand in hand, I now realise actually started with the first death I experienced. Do you remember your first encounter? I was a child, not older than 7. My cousin's brother-in-law was killed in a most bizarre accident. Riding pillion on a motorbike, they came across a herd of Afrikaner cattle crossing the road. It was at night but they saw them and slowed down, to move through the herd. One of the animals spooked and with those massive, deadly horns, impaled Clifford through the jugular?? I will never forget how I felt when we got the news. He was only 18 or 19, if I remember correctly. The memory has stayed with me my whole life.
From then on there have been many deaths. Always there is the rush of overwhelming shock, sadness and grief, the burst of tears, the questions ~ why? how? And then disbelief. But over the years my body and heart responses to Death have changed. The first significant “loss” for me was when my darling Dad passed in 1981. I was pregnant with my first child, and being the apple of my father's eye, I was devastated that he would not be there to hold my son. I will never forget the moment, frozen in time, when I walked into the nursery school class where my Mom was teaching. She had such a beautiful smile on her face, as she chatted with the littles ones. She was sitting on one of the kiddies' chairs and they were all around her, enthralled with the story she was telling. I stood at the door, saying nothing, just touching her with my soul. She looked up and saw me. And then she realised why I was there. I went to her, held her tight and we sobbed. From that moment until at least a week after my Dad's funeral, I was living in a daze, a fog. I remember very little, just know that I got through it some how. For many years I felt so much eina because my Dad had to be in a frail care facility, rather than at home with us. I felt guilt that I could not be there at the moment of his transition. But through these 38 years I have learnt that it is all OK, in fact it is Perfect. My Dad and I are NEVER apart.
Then the biggest shift in my understanding of Death came in the millennium, 2000. Starting in January, each month until July, some Being that I loved left this plane of existence. By July I was reeling. The most precious of these people was my amazing Mom. This was a very different farewell to my Dad. We had moved Philippa to a retirement home closer to me. At about 2am I received a call from the staff, telling me that they think I should come, my Mom appeared to be on her way out. I was only 15 mins away, thank God, so I could be with her. What an incredible and profound experience this was for me. My Mom was 83 and in good health, although she had some issues that were bothering her. There was no warning that she was about to die. I chatted with her, we sang songs together, I prayed over her, I held her hand, lovingly caressed her face. But her body was so sensitive, that I had to touch her as if I were a feather. She was at peace and knew she was leaving. At about 03:45, as I looked into her eyes, I saw a change. She shifted her gaze from my face to a point toward the ceiling, in the corner of the room. Some deep peace and joy overcame her countenance, it seemed she was seeing someone or something that she recognised. I could feel her slipping away. She took a breath in ….... and never exhaled it. What a privilege for me to experience this. Mom & I too, are NEVER apart.
I was appointed to speak at Eiti's funeral. This is the name my precious children gave to Mom. It was an honour for me to give the eulogy, and even though inside I was broken, wanting to weep my heart out, I stood tall and delivered her beautiful story in a way I hope brought her justice. My Mom & Dad's love story is like something out of a fairy tale. I will share it one day. They truly were twin souls, even to their names ~ Johan Philip van den Heever and Johanna Philipina van den Heever (neé Harding) ?!!!
The other deaths that year were particularly touching. My beloved furrkid, Kazia, held in my arms as she received the Big Blue injection in January. Another very close friend's step son, in March, from a suspicious heroin overdose. My dear brother in law Cosmo, from an unexpected heart attack, aged 57 the day before his birthday and on his wedding anniversary. All these had an effect on me and got me thinking more deeply about Death. I also started to notice that in our family, many deaths occurred at the time of another's birth??? Thats the connection we have, the Web that holds us, the trajectory of our entry and exit as members of the same Soul Monad!!
Another death was integral in my spiritual awakening. This was in 1986. I witnessed the terrible drowning accident that took a little child and felt such overwhelming, gut-wrenching emotion. I could not understand why I was so affected, to the extent that I had to leave work and go home. It plagued me, and initiated all the existential questions that eventually led to me taking a path back to God. I learnt that night why I felt it so much. This little girl was the child of a friend. That was a super big WTF for me and one I have pondered a lot and over time it was a key to my understanding that we are all connected, all One, no matter how “disconnected” we may feel. That day, I was feeling the heart of my friend, without even knowing the tragedy unfolding for her and her family.
And lastly, the Very Big One for me. And as I write this, the tears come flooding again. The grief wells up, pouring out of my Holy Chalice, with so many mixed emotions. Joy, despair, horror, acceptance, questioning, connection to the Divine, loss, longing, laughter, sweet memories, guilt (but only briefly as it is a wasted emotion IMHO), grief, anticipation, KNOWINGNESS. On 3 March 2017, my son chose to exit. To all intents and purposes on an amazing trajectory to fulfill his passionate dream of being a successful winemaker, his product in restaurants and bars in places as far afield as Japan. His death may be described as “committing suicide”. I don't like to use that phrase ~ committing is something horrible, like committing a murder, or committing genocide or femicide. He may have taken his own life, but I KNOW that it was from a place of deep courage, strength and very conscious choice. There was an investigation (not yet officially closed) as much of the circumstances were inexplicable, and who knows ~ I have since that day prayed for and continue to trust for the Truth to be victorious. I KNOW that every death can actually be described as a suicide. What is suicide? It is ending your life. This can be done in so many ways, and I am of the very firm belief that every death is a “suicide”. We come into this life with a Soul Mission. We contract from within the realms of Creation what we are going to experience here on Earth, what lessons we will learn and with whom. Every detail is planned and executed in Perfection. Is the death of a young man, his whole life an epileptic, taking pharma drugs to have some sort of “normal” life, any less a conscious choice when he decides he will no longer take the meds as they make him half human? Does the gentle passing of a 90 year old, in her armchair one morning, any less her decision or choice? Yes, you may say but what if “outside forces” interfere with our lives. My answer, it is part of the Plan. What about the way we are taught to believe, as Christians, that suicide is a sin? We are ALL God's Creation, and others of His Creation believe that suicide is an honourable action! Then there are the many religious beliefs around life and purpose. We could debate this all for days! We need to relook the stigma attached to suicide, as well as the imbalanced importance on the physical life of how ever many years as opposed to the eternal life as Spirit, which never ends. I am often seen as brutal, when I express that this time in a skin jacket is not as important as our time in Higher Dimensions. I know I have lost friends because of my raw truth, but that is fine!! Of course this life is important!! Don't get me wrong. It is beautiful, valuable, precious and to be lived to the very best of our potential. BUT, Death is not the end of us. We need to hold sacred the passage of Life, both from Spirit to flesh and flesh to Spirit, for it is an ongoing cycle, for most of us, until we fully return to the One. It IS the Great Perfection, no matter how we feel in that moment of “loss”. Inverted commas because there truly is no loss.
Since Kyle's exit, I have expanded in such a glorious way. He has been one of my greatest teachers. I am aware of his presence every day of my life. Some days more than others. There are signs that have been given me, that I know are God's way of showing me that Kyle is just a breath away. I miss him in the physical more than words can ever describe. At times I feel my heart will burst with longing. I just want to have that “one more dance” that one more meal, that one more sublime bottle of his wine with him, just once more hear his beautiful voice as he plays Black on his guitar, just one more hug from my amazing Lion-heart son. Just one more. And the grief wants to consume me, but I stay true to my daily mantra. “I feel the grief. I will not be consumed by it. I honour the LOVE more than the loss”. I know my son shines on brilliantly in Higher Realms, where he continues on his own Soul Mission. One day we will all be together again and what a fcuking celebration that will be!!
If you are grieving someone today, as I am sure all of us will feel as you read this, my prayer is that you will find great comfort in these words, for we ARE eternal and imperishable and those who are beyond the Veil can be felt and experienced if we open our hearts to them.
Much love & Keep Shining!
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