When someone we love dies, it’s probably the hardest thing we ever have to deal with. And yet the transition is inevitable. And since everyone we know is going to leave sooner or later, and a good percentage of them will go before we take that journey ourselves, it’s a really good idea to get a solid grasp on what this transition is, what it means, where they’ve “gone,” and how we can still interact with them.
The big mistake we make is avoiding the subject entirely until we’re in the midst of it, and so overwhelmed by grief and loss and despair we can’t find our way out. We can’t find understanding easily from those places. But if the understanding is pre-existing, we have a safety net. We still grieve, but we don’t plummet into a pit never to emerge.
Why this topic now?
I know. It’s spring, new life is all around us, and sunshine and joy and life. But just as the Veil Between the Worlds is at its thinnest at Samhain, (around November 7th) it is also thinnest at Beltane (May Day.) On the Wheel of the Year, Beltane and Samhain are opposite ends of the same spoke. People who want to transition find it easier to do so at these times. All of us on both sides find it easier to communicate with them at these times. Although with practice and awareness, interaction can happen all year long.
My own awareness of this subject was reactivated with the passing of my beautiful English Mastiff, Dozer two weeks ago. Words cannot express what an amazing being he was and is. My tribute to him is in my author newsletter. You can read it via the link without subscribing, and if you like it there’s a sign up link in every issue.Tribute to Dozer Issue
Yesterday, as I was out beginning the annual clean up of my flowerbeds and shrubberies (they’re nice shrubberies!) I kept glimpsing a dog out of the corner of my eye. I kept thinking Lance had come out with Roxy and Niblet, but seeing no one there. The third time it happened, I realized it was Dozer. I was cleaning up the young flowering hibiscus tree he loved best. Every spring, I dig around it, remove weeds, and replace thick black mulch. Every spring he would watch me working on it, wait until I wasn’t looking, and then dive in and dig the mulch all over the place in a frenzy of sheer delight! Eventually, I put a little garden fence around it to keep him out.
I was sure he was present, enjoying the same things he always enjoyed, as they all do. I was sure he wanted to dive in and dig my mulch all over, or at least the astral equivalent of my mulch. I didn’t put the little fence around it when I finished. I put big rocks around it instead. Dozer loves rocks. This change delighted him, I am sure.
Anyway, all this got me to thinking about the things I have come to believe that give me great comfort around the topic of “death.” And I thought I’d share them, in case they can help any of you.
No Death is 'Untimely'
I know it seems far more tragic and horrible to us when someone very young leaves their body behind. And when it’s happening and we’re in the midst of it, there’s no point even trying to understand or make sense of it. This is one of those things we need to have a handle on ahead of time.
Souls are ageless. Souls aren’t young or old. They are all part of the Whole, which has existed forever. Pieces of the Whole create and then inhabit human bodies so that consciousness can experience all of physical creation. So that consciousness can inhabit the world it has created, as a matter of fact.
All that information is gathered and shared with the rest of the Whole, which becomes more than it was before. Each lifetime contributes to that growth. Each experience adds to the collective knowing of us all.
No life is too long or too short. Each soul knows when it’s ready to exit its physical body and seeks the path of least resistance for its own reasons. Reasons that we can’t hope to understand until we do likewise.
Each soul can see far into the “past” and far into the “future” because time is irrelevant to Spirit. We made it up for our physical experiences. And so our Higher Self, our Soul, knows every potential ripple created by our personal timeline, and all of that goes into the decision to stay or to go and when and how to do so.
To the Soul, death isn’t any sort of ending. It’s simply turning the page to begin the next chapter. Exit the body, return to the Whole, share all the experiences, review, celebrate, discuss, rehash the lifetime just lived the way we rehash the latest season of our favorite TV series, and then start planning for the next visit. Design the body, choose the family, pick the geography, select which gifts and talents we’d like to have, which roles we’d like to play the next time around, and which experiences we would like to better understand by living them.
We don't really 'go' anywhere
They have only left their physical forms behind. But their spirits, their souls, remain completely entangled with ours, and that is where we must find them now.
Turn off the lights. What can you see? Turn them on again. Now what can you see?
There are things present that we cannot see. And not just due to darkness, but due to many other things. Take size, for example. We can’t see quantum particles or cells or molecules or atoms with our naked eyes. But we know they are there.
There are myriad colors beyond the narrow spectrum we can see with our physical eyes. Infra-red. Ultra-Violet. Countless as yet unknown and unnamed hues.
Blow a dog whistle. What do you hear? What does your dog hear?
We cannot hear sound waves. They hit our eardrum, and travel to our brain where they are translated into sounds. There are numerous wavelengths beyond the spectrum our ears can pick up. We have proof of this with the dog whistle. The dogs hear a different spectrum of waves, and can hear things that we can’t. There are countless other sound waves out there, that neither we nor our pets can hear.
When Souls leave their physical form behind, they change into a vibration (like light or sound) that we cannot perceive with our physical senses, because they are no longer physical.
But they are still present, and still interested in all the things they were interested in before. They don’t “go” anywhere. They expand beyond the old physical limitations and can now be in many places at the same time, because space, like time, was created to ease the experience of humans. It’s all illusion. All space is here. All time is now. They’re still with us.
How they've changed...
We change at death. We expand into a wholeness that we can’t even imagine here in our limited bodies. Everything that was physical still exists, it’s just no longer physical. We still hear and see and feel, just not with eyes and ears and hands. Those of us still physical can still see them and hear them and feel them, but likewise, not with our physical senses. They are spirit now. That’s the biggest change, the lack of their physical presence.
But just as we can see and hear and speak in dreams without using our physical mechanisms for those senses, we can experience them in the same way.
I’ve been told to stop looking for the loved one where they were, and look for them instead where they are. And I’d add not to look for them as they were, but as they now are. Expanded, enlightened beings of pure positive energy.
Do they keep their personality, the stuff that made them uniquely them? Or do they meld into a greater Whole? Yes and yes. Both. They are without limits. They are without any limiting beliefs. They have no grief. They don’t miss us, because they are closer to us than they’ve ever been.
How to find them
As with all things, the way to experience a thing is to match its vibration. Tune in what you want by realizing it’s already there, it’s just further up the radio dial than you currently are tuned. Begin to tune them in by looking for signs of what you want, right where you are. Those signs are the guideposts to more.
The beloved dead are pure positive energy. Therefore, we can’t tune them in very well, very reliably, or very clearly, from a place of despair. It’s only during those moments when the light shines through our dark clouds, that we can hook up with them. Often, that happens while we sleep. Usually, we release our pain and resistance during sleep, allowing a crack for them to come through.
But as the grieving gives way, and as we resume life in our new normal, we must look for them by aligning with our Souls, our Higher Selves, because that’s where they are, dancing and playing and loving us just as always. But literally from within.
It’s not just an expression that they live on in our hearts. They truly are dancing with our Inner Beings.
It's like a live stream
It might help to put all this into internet terms.
My body is a computer. My Higher Self is live streaming all that is ME into my body. The Whole is the entire Worldwide Web.
To stream effectively we have to be connected to the net. Aligning with our Higher Selves is how we maximize our router for the best signal strength.
And when our computer dies, the live stream doesn’t stop. The internet doesn’t blip out of existence. The stream keeps streaming. That stream is us, and we go on and on.
(Sidebar: If you think that should mean we can plug into any stream we want to, you’re right. We can download da Vinci, or Shakespeare, or Ghandi. We can likewise tap into King or Krentz or Kravitz. Any being, physical or not, can be tuned in. We have all the genius of the ages at our fingertips. Just silence the mind, listen for them, and tune in.)
So, as with all things, alignment with our Higher Selves eases our way and empowers us to experience so much more than we can through our 5 physical senses. And we align with our Souls through…
- Daily meditation
- Basking in all things good
- Adjusting our default setting to “satisfied or better”
- Adjusting up from “satisfied or better” to “mostly joyful”
- Practicing presence in each moment
- Feeling and expressing true gratitude and appreciation (not just lip service)
- Looking for signs of that which we desire right where we are, and expecting to see them
- Love. Love. Love.
Distract yourself into bliss
I was not thinking about Dozer when he came to me yesterday. When I think about him, I tend to miss him, and feel heavy-hearted and teary-eyed. I was thinking about the beautiful landscaping that I work to improve every spring. I was kneeling in the grass and digging in the dirt under a blue sky, beside a bubbling stream that was once a dream and is now a reality. I was noticing the buds on the little flowering tree turning hot pink already. I was singing with the birds. I had just finished meditation before I began gardening. I was aligned with my Inner Being.
That’s when my Dozer could come right on through so powerfully that my brain kept translating his vibration visually, as glimpses in my inner eye. He was right there, in spirit, waiting to dive in and dig up all my pretty black mulch, just as happy and excited as always, without the aches and pains of an aging physical form. Just a being of light and love and playfulness, still with his Dozer personality, but expanded beyond the state of “Dog” into the state of spirit. He is still Dozer. He is also very much more.