I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times, in life after life, in age after age forever.
Posts tagged ‘afterlife’
At the time, I had been trying unsuccessfully for about six years to have a baby, so I asked him; “When will my baby be born?” After a moment, he shook his head, looked a bit bewildered and said; “Well, it’s not for me to question the information I’m getting, but I’m being told your baby will be born in January.” I said, “Really? January? As in two months from now?” He looked as perplexed as I felt and he nodded and said; “Yes. I’ve checked it several times. Yes, in two months from now.” Clearly, I was not seven months pregnant. We both would have noticed that!
And then she told me her story. She told me about preparing for the very real possibility of her death as she fought Cancer. Of meeting a man at a laundromat where she had to use the cart to steady her frail and weak body. He asked her to coffee. Later, she explained to him her dire situation and the futility of new beginnings in the face of a life ending. He told her it was not the end. He told her she would live and they would marry and have a daughter. Against all odds, he was right.
I like to imagine that during the short interval of days between her death and my son’s birth on the day of her funeral, they met each other in that mysterious place in-between this life and the next. I envision them together, with heads bent, foreheads touching, sharing the secret of the amazing gift that awaited me with his impending birth.
My sister Karen is a healer. She is a licensed Massage Therapist and Healing Touch practitioner who works out of a small office in the suburbs. In a recent phone conversation Karen told me about working with a client, Tim, who passed from Cancer. He was the husband of her dear friend, and the experience of his difficult death shook Karen to her core. “It’s been five months,” she says tearfully, “and I can’t move past it.” She is struggling with doubt about her practice she tells me, and she is questioning her ability to offer any real comfort to clients who suffer as Tim did.
As she is speaking, I suddenly remember something that happened to me while she was giving me a massage a long time ago. I had dozed off and dreamt I was being given a message about one of her clients. When I described it to her at the time, she said she did not have any clients by that name. We joked that I was a terrible psychic secretary and dismissed it at that. Now, while still listening to her on the phone, I rummage through my bookshelf to find the small journal I used to keep in my purse. Flipping through the meager number of pages that have any writing on them, I quickly find my scribbled note. I interrupt her to read aloud what is written under the date 4/29/06 (five years earlier). It says; “Message for Karen. “Tim” Your healing is making a difference-it is touching him, changing him. He has the hand of God upon him.” On the other end of the phone line, Karen is crying now, telling me this is what she needed to hear.
Our lives are filled with miracles and mysteries, folded and tucked lovingly into the everyday moments we so often miss, or, dismiss. In the past year, I have written about them often. They are not always the hair-raising, skin tingling events like the message for my sister was, but they are all equally sacred:
“Many years ago during my darkest hour, I held a small grain of hope that there would be days like today. A still, clear, quiet, sun-dappled morning, children sleeping in upstairs rooms, an old dog curled at my feet–a populated solitude. I am alone, but not lonely. A day, extraordinary in its utter ordinariness. I had faith, and I am here and I am grateful.”
They often whisper to us:
“Returning to bed at 4:30am after letting the dogs out, I slip gingerly into the space between husband and child that still holds my shape. I whisper a complaint about my cold hands as I fold them over my middle. Two warm hands reach out from sleep and cover mine. One large, one small.”
They are small, precious gems, easily overlooked if we are not paying attention:
“I walk past the home of a woman I do not yet know and I am deeply and inexplicably moved to tears by the spring bulbs blooming outside her picture window. Little blue Scilla flowers spell out the word “ALIVE.” Years later, after we’ve become friends, I learn she had endured surgery for breast Cancer and, facing chemo treatment, she had planted this beautiful message of hope the previous fall to celebrate spring’s arrival and her survival.”
They are holy moments, all:
“I wake up to a 7-year-old stowaway in my bed. She is cuddled next to me, gazing straight into my blinking, bleary eyes. ‘I think heaven is different for everyone,’ she says to me, ‘like Candy Land or a beautiful meadow. For me it would be just like my life now, here, with my family.’ I nod, smile and pull her close.”
These experiences do not happen to me because there is anything special about me, my life, or my children. They are there in your life too, all around you. I promise you this is true. You just need to be present and aware. It takes practice to quiet your thoughts enough to really hear, see, and feel these glimpses of divinity, but I know they are everywhere. I believe that you feel it too.
Divinity in the Everyday
In my late 20’s, after several yearly surgeries and hormone therapies trying unsuccessfully to conceive a child, I had a very vivid dream.
In my dream, I was sitting in a large lecture hall filled with students. I looked down the slanted incline of seats in front of me to the professor. I raised my hand. I asked, “Will I ever get pregnant? Will I ever give birth to a child?” There was silence until one student at a desk a couple of rows in front of me turned to me and said, “You know that I will be coming someday. We’ve already decided this. Be patient.”
She looked Native American. She was a beautiful, slender young woman with long brown hair, olive skin, and almond-shaped dark eyes. When I woke I couldn’t understand how this person could ever be my child, as my first husband and I were both Caucasian.
So powerful and unusual was this dream that I wrote it down. Fast forward a dozen years or so. The dream is long forgotten. I am a divorced mother of two blonde haired, blue-eyed adopted children from my first marriage. I have already been told and have accepted that I will never conceive a child. My second husband and I are looking into adoption when at age 39 I become pregnant. My daughter Piper is soon born to me and my Chinese-American husband. When she is thirteen years old, I recognize the young woman who spoke to me in that dream so long ago.
Piper has always had a casual certainty that has never left her of the place from which she came before her birth. When she was three, she was sleeping next to me when I awoke with a start (that feeling of falling). Piper was looking intensely at me and said, “The angels came to talk to you in your sleep, but I told them ‘NO!’, so they put you on the ‘heaven slide’ and ‘plop’ you slid back into your body!”
I have had several prophetic dreams. Uncanny and unsettling premonitions of what was to come at major turning points in my life. One such “dream” literally saved me from death. I do not evangelize about these occurrences. I haven’t even talked about them much until now, but they have fueled decades of my own personal study of mysticism, religious theology, and shamanism as well as any possible scientific explanations. I am a pragmatist at heart. I look for logic, for proof, for rational answers. I have found none of these things–only more questions about those angels that still come to talk to me in my sleep every now and again.
A documentary aired recently (P.O.V. on Public Television) related to this topic. It is entitled, The Edge of Dreaming. You can watch it here:
. It is a fascinating film.
“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” ~Rumi
“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.” (I Corinthians 14:1)
“A dream that is not interpreted is like a letter that is not read.” –Talmud.
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