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Grieving, Karma and Eternal Life

I have been putting off writing this article for a very long time, yet I know I need to write it.  Today I feel like maybe I can.

This is about grief and suicide.  It’s about life after death.  Most importantly it’s about love.

ascending staircase

The reason I have been absent from the blog for so long is that last year I found out that my dearest friend, Russell, committed suicide.  Even though he is my dearest friend, we had not spoken since December of 2012. I was in a bad place, once again experiencing major depression, chronic pain, and entering into a dark night of the soul.  He tried so hard to pull me out of it but his words hit me wrong, so I walked away.

At the end of that month, I moved in with my parents temporarily.  Being in a safe place and having some of life’s stress removed from my care, I began to get better.  Every now and then I would leave a voice mail or send an email to Russ, inviting him to contact me.

In January of 2015 I had a major shift in my spiritual belief system.  Being that he was an atheist I wanted to discuss my questions with him.  So again I left a message and sent an email.  About a month later it occurred to me that since he had not returned my calls for a couple of years maybe he really was done with me.  In the past we could go a couple of months without talking and then pick right back up.  But he wasnt responding this time.

So, I sent one more email telling him that I loved him, telling him that if he really was done with me then I understood but that I wanted him to know that he was important to me , that I knew he would be with me everywhere I go.

I hit send, turned off my light and settled in to sleep.  Only I couldn’t.  My mind was racing with thoughts of him, thoughts of trying to find out for sure if he really didn’t want anything to do with me.

We met in 1983, when I was 23 and he was 38.  For me it was love at first sight.  We dated for a few months but then he decided that my mindset was too serious and he wanted to just have fun. So he broke up with me.  I listened to what he had to say.  I left his apartment and went to my car to go home but I just sat there.  I really really didn’t want to lose him. I was hurting so much and I didn’t want to have it end this way, painfully.  So I got out of the car and went back to his door and knocked.  When he opened it I simply said ” I don’t want it to end this way”.  He opened the door wider, I went in and we talked.

Over time we became the best of friends and lovers.  We had hours long conversations on the phone.  We shared each other’s music and books, I could name every woman he dated and what he liked about them.  But underneath this cover of friendship, I was still in love with him.  I was waiting it out.  Sometimes it was painful and difficult to listen to him talk about other women. We often talked about what qualities existed in his idea of a perfect woman and relationship, a topic we called The One.  I always believed that  I was The One and prayed that one day he would recognize that.  Other days, we would argue and fight, I would drop to my knees and thank god that I had not married him!

We had our own magic.  There were times when we were so intimate that he could look in my eyes and read my mind.  I could call him on the phone when I was having a meltdown and he had the perfect words to pour over my head like warm honey, calming me and helping me change perspective.

I was there for him in his other dark times.  After he stopped working due to disability, a time came when he ran out of money.  He was close to suicide. He called me and asked me to find some way to help him, so I did.  I gathered information he needed to apply for early Social Security.  I obtained the funds from a church to pay his rent.  I found out all the community services available to help him financially and emotionally.  I made appointments for him, I handled his check book and saw that his bills were paid.  I made arrangements with his other friends to bring him food.  I coached him on how to handle people at his appointments in order to get the desired outcome.  This went on for months and it was very draining for me.  Sometimes he would take his frustrations out on me and I would want to step away from all of it but  he would beg me to stay.  I loved him deeply, so I stayed.  He trusted me more than anyone else in his life.

And we got through it.

Russell did things to help me in my life as well.  He possessed a wealth of information. Before the days of Google, if I needed to know something I could always get the best answer from him.  He never failed me.  He helped me practice my public speaking. He was always interested in my personal growth and tried to help.  He was always my cheerleader.

After the ordeal he went through he became more interested in what makes me tick.  He knew so much about me already but now it seemed that he wanted to understand the why of how I thought.

One day he thanked me for being who I was because, he said, I taught him more about how to love.  He perceived that  I demanded that he love me and express that love in a way that I could feel and relate to. He tried harder to do that.  Many times he nailed it.  No one else in my life could get into my thoughts and emotions, no one else could read my mind like he could. This was so important to me because due to a childhood trauma I had a hard time letting people into my life to love me.

That night in February I started searching for him online.  His various social accounts were all active but when I searched his address through the white pages I found that the listing for his address showed the previous resident was deceased.

“Ah”,  I thought,  he must have had that heart attack that was always just around the corner.  I had to know what happened to him.  Several more searches and I found the listing for him with the Medical Examiners office. It stated the cause of death was suicide in April of 2013.  Well, shit!  

I contacted the Medical Examiner’s  office and they gave me a copy of the autopsy.  Russ had committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

The details are just too grisly.  I felt stunned.  I was so shocked; I felt my vision blur and my chest tighten.  I read it over and over because I simply could not believe it!  I remembered then that he had always told me this would be the way he died if he ever became seriously ill.  Well, that was a thought then, maybe he had been sick.

I called the manager of the apartments.  He told  me that Russ had been in a lot of pain.  When I talked to his sister-in-law she told me that a prescription for prostate medicine had arrived at the apartment after his death. Ok, one and one is two, Russ must have done this because of the pain he was in and a fear of cancer.  Contrary to popular opinion I respect a person’s right to end their life.  I only wish I could have been there for him and that his passing could have been gentler.

I also found out when I talked to her that they had not claimed his ashes.  Almost 2  years had gone by and they had not claimed him!  The thought of his remains sitting on a shelf in some warehouse was heartbreaking.  So I claimed him and brought him home.   He is in a box in  my closet now, and a part of him is in a silver heart I wear around my neck.

The shock wore off after a couple of weeks, I cried a lot.  I began grieving.  I talked to him, I wrote letters to him and I cried some more.

I had never lost someone this close to me and in this manner.  I didn’t know what to expect or how to process it.  I made a playlist of songs that reminded me of him, of us, or how I was feeling about him or how I had felt about him.  I played it constantly for a while and it gave me a release valve for my emotions.  I felt very guilty for not being there when he needed someone.  He didn’t leave a note. It was 3 months from the time I had stopped speaking to him in December 2012 to his death on April 1st, 2013.  I wondered what would have happened  if he had felt he could talk to me.  I wondered if I could have been a better friend.  Would it have made a difference?

I laid awake in bed many nights telling him I was sorry.

sleeping fairy1

One night, incredibly, he paid me a visit!  This was the first contact he made with me since I found out he was gone. ( I believe now that the urge to find him came from him).  He came to me in a dream.  In the dream we were in his apartment and his ex-wife was there too.  Russ was sleeping on the couch and she and I were cleaning his kitchen.  We talked about how sick he was.  Then I was in the living room and I was standing behind him as he sat on a footstool.  I had my arms around his neck, my face buried in his hair.  I could feel the silky softness of his hair and I could smell him.  I was telling him how much I loved him.  I was giving him reassuring words that everything was going to work out and that I was there for him.  I was telling him all the things I wished I could have said before he died.  When I stopped talking,  I was flooded with his love.

It came over me like a soft cloud, emotions cascading over and through me.  I felt his love for me! I felt his happiness at being healed, I felt him reassure me that he is ok now and he is truly happy.  He is safe and well.  Again and again he told me how much he loved me too, not with words but a sharing of the knowing of it.  The quality of this dream was such that I believe in my heart and mind  it was real, that he really came to me to tell me these things.  This wonderful man who could read my mind found a way to reach out from the spiritual plane to touch me again.

I found myself talking to him off an on, in my mind.  I invited him to visit me in my dreams.  Now and then I will hear a song on the radio that expresses something about our relationship so perfectly and I know that this is one way he speaks to me.

Several months later the most marvelous thing happened while I was driving down the highway.  I was thinking of Russell and then I heard him in my mind.  He told me that in this lifetime he had learned how to love me and in our relationship in this life I had learned to find my voice.  He told me that this was the reason we had both been here together in this life, after having been together in so many lifetimes and experiencing so many tragic relationship failures.  This time we had learned the lesson and our karma had been answered.  He promised me that in the next life we share together we would indeed have the relationship that we had longed for.

Believing in reincarnation, having discussed that belief with him many times, I felt nothing less than absolute joy at this revelation!

Karma is such an elusive idea, most of the time we just wonder and hope to figure out why we are here and what we are supposed to be doing.  We follow our hearts or expectations and hope for the  best.  I feel extremely fortunate to be allowed to know this one aspect of my karma, to know that I am successful in answering it!  What a gift indeed.

I know there are many reasons why I am living this life, at this time.  My relationship with Russell is a big reason, but not the only one.  There are other reasons that may be just as profound.  Knowing now what I know about my relationship with Russell informs me about the beauty of life.

Lovers

The biggest insight of all is that life goes on.  Clearly there  is no heaven or hell,  life is eternal right now.  Life always has been, and always will be!  We don’t have to earn an eternal life, we don’t need to be saved from anything in order to enjoy a positive outcome after living a life here on earth.  As humans, we come from life, we live a life, we return to the source place of life, and again and again, because we are life and we have manifested ourselves in order to improve our experience.

I am grateful.  I am grateful to have known Russell in my life at this time in the cycle of my many lives.  I am grateful to have heard from Russell after he left this earth and grateful to know he is alive somewhere and that he wants to and does speak to me.  I am grateful to know without doubt that he loved me and still does.  I am grateful to know that we will be together, in fact that we are never really apart.

I am grateful for love!

Have you lost someone to suicide?  Have you been visited by a departed loved one?  What have you learned?  Please tell  me!

 

 

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The Dark Night

There is a time in life that most people go through.  It’s not about hitting bottom, it feels worse than that.  Its more than a rough patch, it seems endless no matter what you do.  Weeks and months go by and it doesn’t seem to get better.  Every thing you touch turns to shit, people get tired of helping or holding your hand.

More and more you don’t want to be a drain on your loved ones so you withdraw, a little more every day.  If you do go out, go to work or run errands, you are just going through the motions.  There is no rhyme or reason for the way it is, and you run out of ideas or energy for making it better.  It doesn’t  seem to change, or end.

Dark Night1

It is called  The Dark Night of the Soul.  If you are very lucky you may have a handful of loved ones who will stick by you.

Sometimes I think my whole life has been one long dark night.  Then I remember some pretty good times, years of happiness and prosperity.  That is what the Dark Night does to you, it makes you forget the happiness you have known.  In reality I have had periods of great happiness, wonderful contentment, and many periods in my life that I call the Dark Night.

This current Night started around 2007 and is by far the longest night I have endured.  It crept up on me quietly and misled me by disguising itself as progress.

The company I was working for had been bought out some years before and in 2007 they started making some serious changes.  At first I was assigned some traveling, which I thought was fantastic.   Then I was given some special projects and opportunities to advance myself and help to reshape the department.  Fantastic.  Hmm, lots of unpaid overtime. The more I did for them, the more work they gave me.  In my personal life I was attending a lot of spiritual retreats and classes.  I really thought this was all a new and exciting chapter in my life.

The stress started to get to me, though.  I developed an anxiety disorder.  Then I started having random pain in my body for no apparent reason.  I hurt my back working out at the gym and it never got any better.   I ended up on anti-anxiety and pain medications.  In 2008 I hit menopause, adding an anti-depressant.  In 2009 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, had to take 6 weeks leave of absence, and more medicine.

dark night3

I never really returned to work full-time.  I had to take off several days every month for rest and pain management and often just because the fatigue was overwhelming.

Then the other shoe dropped as a result of all the time I had given the company to restructure our department, they decided to move the location of our office from Texas to Michigan.  I was not making that move.

In September 2010 I was laid off.  I was able to get a temp job in March but it only lasted a few weeks due to my need for days off to rest.  I applied for early retirement through Social Security, beginning another long process that I am still muddling through.  I was no longer able to leave the house for shopping or able to clean house and do my laundry.  I only made it through those months because of 3 dear friends. One came to shop and clean and wash, one came to spend the night several times to keep me company and the other one took me out to breakfast once a week.

In December 2012 I lost my house and had to let my dog go to foster care.  I moved in with my parents and applied for medical care through the county.  Lots of pain pills.  The oblivion was so alluring.

I was no longer involved in church, or anything really.  The new doctor began rationing my pain pills and eventually took me off them.  I still have pain but at least I am awake.

Things seems to even out after a while, but living with elderly parents and fighting depression and anxiety, emotional upheaval became the norm.

And all along I have been fighting the Darkness.  Begging the universe to bring an end to it, looking for ways to find the Light again.  Its exhausting.  Fighting anything is exhausting.

In spite of my efforts to make things better, it only got worse!  I was fighting with every one in my life. Finally this past summer I decided that enough was enough and that I was ready to check out.  I wrote a note.  I texted it to 2 friends and saved it in my phone.  Then I got in the car and went to visit a friend in Arkansas.  It’s only 6 hours away and 1 tank of gas.  It was the beginning of October and I planned to live only until the 13th.  Russ’s birthday would be my day to leave this plane.

Well, my friend became seriously ill right after I arrived.  We made a pact: that as long as she would fight for her life, I would not try to end mine.  I hate to say that her illness saved my life, but I felt needed and useful.

dark night2

After returning home, I started thinking about this Dark Night and why it wasn’t ending.  I was reading a lot of memes on Facebook about resistance and attraction and other metaphysical stuff.  I had tried the constant gratefulness route before but nothing really got better so I had given up on that.  I began to think along the lines of letting the Universe have its way.

One meme really resonated with me, “what you resist, persists”.

One morning it just hit me in the forehead.  Why am I fighting this Darkness anyway?  Is there something inherently wrong with being in the dark?  Isn’t darkness part of universal balance?  Could there be a real reason for being there?  I made a decision right then.

No more resistance.

I accept the Darkness for what it is.  I accept that this is where I am right now.  I will embrace it.  I will enjoy it.  I will open up to whatever I can learn from it.

I will make it my friend, and maybe it won’t kill me.

Instead of viewing it as a black bottomless pit of despair, I am seeing this Dark Night as a friend who is walking along a path with me while I make decisions about what I am going to do with the rest of my life.  I am recording my thoughts in my Book of Light, so that I will remember this struggle and so that I can teach  my grand-daughter how best to handle her Dark Nights when they come, as they will, as it seems they must.

After all, it is only in the darkness that we can see the light of the stars.

stars at night

Returning

Hi Everyone,

I have been away from the blog for several months in order to grieve the loss of 2 dear friends.  I am back now with lots to share!

In this journey of profound grief I became interested in natural ways to achieve and maintain physical as well as emotional and mental health.  I have met some cool people and old and new friends have been so supportive.

I am going to be sharing with you the methods I have adopted for improving my health in future articles.

One item I want to share today is fruit water!  I have moved away from artificially sweetened drinks, but I have a strong sweet tooth nonetheless.

I started by replacing the diet drinks with Sierra Mist which is sweetened with sugar and stevia.  I love the taste and after a month or so away from the sucralose I did notice some improvements in my body.  Less dryness, fewer headaches, etc.  But my weight started to increase.  So I have cut down on that drink although I still enjoy a couple of cans a day.

What I am doing instead is making my own fruit water.  It’s really simple.  So far I have tried a strawberry lemon cucumber mix, pineapple mango cucumber mix, blueberry pomegranate cucumber mix and blackberry pomegranate mix.

The cucumber seems to bring out the flavor and sweetness of the fruit, but you only need a couple of slices otherwise it can be overpowering.

My favorite so far is the blueberry pomegranate cucumber.  Last Fall I bought 3 huge pomegranates on sale and seeded them.  Then I portioned the seeds into 1 cup zip lock bags and tossed them in the freezer.  To make the water I put a couple of slices of cucumber in a large glass, added about a half cup of frozen organic blueberries and a quarter cup of the frozen pomegranate seeds then filled the cup with filtered water.  Screwed the top on and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.  The next afternoon I transferred the concoction to my Yeti cup which keeps drinks cold all day long!  It was a wonderful elixir and I have enjoyed it several times this past week.

handful-of-blueberries

Helpful tip:  to seed a pomegranate easily do this, slice off a little from the bottom, just enough so that it will sit flat.  Using a sharp knife cut out a circle from the top making it like an inverted cone and pull that off.  Then score the pomegranate vertically along the natural ridges.  Placing your thumbs in the opening on top and your fingers holding the bottom, gently pull the pomegranate apart into sections along the scoring.  One section at a time pluck the seeds out!  It’s really simple and fast.

Pomegranate

My least favorite so far is the pineapple mango cucumber, mainly because it gave me indigestion.  I will have to work with the proportions and see if I can make it work because it does taste pretty good.

I am working on trying different things for healthy snacks, and I have spent the past year learning about and using essential oils for physical and mental health.  I will write about these very soon.

I am also growing an aloe vera plant!aloe vera

What are you trying in order to make your body more healthy?  What other healthy food topics would you like to hear about?  Please let me know, I want to make this interesting!

Let Them Eat Cake or Pizza or Whatever

Point of view from my friend Darren. Well said!

darren's thinking

I agree. We should refuse to serve anyone who does something someone else wrote in one of the books or letters of the Bible is an abomination to God.

I refuse to bake and decorate a wedding cake for Rush Limbaugh‘s potential fifth wedding because my faith will not allow me to use a cake to promote, support, or contribute to the abomination of one who sows discord among brothers (Proverbs 6:16-19).

I will refuse to bake a pizza for Rafael Ted Cruz because my faith will not allow me to use a pizza to promote, support, or contribute to the abomination of one who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous (Proverbs 17:15).

I will not churn butter for Rand Paul or his son William because my faith will not allow me to make butter to promote, support, or contribute to the abomination of…

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It’s All I Ever Wanted!

Sparkly birthday card from GG and Papa

Sparkly birthday card from GG and Papa

Sammie has just turned 4 years old.  She really isn’t sure what this means at all, she is still figuring out how to hold up 4 fingers without having the pinky finger curled down.

What she does know is this, on minute she is excited about being a big girl, and the next she is talking in baby talk.

She thinks her magic is gone now.  This makes me sad, but I think I need to work with her to help her realize that her magic lives in her imagination…in other words it lives in her ability to imagine and create.  Rather than feeling sad about her “losing” her magic, I see this as a wonderful opportunity to help her find that her magic is something she can control and develop.  I think we’ll have fun together learning how to express this magic that we all have.

For awhile she had a companion named Shadow.  None of us grownups could see or hear Shadow, only Sammie.  If Shadow needed to go to the bathroom, Sammie went.  Then a few minutes later she would go again but this time for herself.  If something spilled, or disappeared, Shadow was responsible.

This is typical of most three and four year olds.  However for Sam, it has developed into a whole community of shadow people.  According to her, shadow people are those who can not be seen but you can hear them.  They talk to you.  They also live in the moon.  They are nice people, as opposed to the aliens who live in the moon.  The aliens there are not nice at all.

The other night I was visiting over at Sammie’s house.  She was on the floor playing and started in with some baby-talk.  I curiously asked her where all this baby-talk was coming from, because, I said, I thought she had told me she was a big girl now.

She replied “I am a big girl, but I am still YOUR little baby!”  I scooped her up and held her like she was a little baby and started to rock her and sing.  She became very still and snuggled into me.

Being four years old means that there are exciting things to learn, new games to create, new pictures to paint, big girl dolls with a wardrobe of clothes to be conquered.  It means learning your colors and numbers, singing the ABC song, bursting out with “Let It Go” spontaneously.  It means picking up your toys and eating your food by yourself.  It means putting on and taking off your own clothes and wanting privacy in the bathroom.

Being four also means that you still remember being three, and the love you feel when Grandma cuddles you.  It means you remember how you can give that special look to Papa and he will spoon-feed you your food.  You remember being the center of attention just because you came over to visit.  You also know that this will probably never change.  Because you remember these wonderful things and how it makes you feel, you don’t want to lose these things and these feelings just because you are growing up.

Grandma understands!  My promise to Sammie is that I am here to help her.  I will help her discover the magic she was born with that never goes away, it just takes on different forms.  I will help her discover new experiences that she could not enjoy at a younger age.  Grandma also understands that she needs to always be my baby girl, so anytime we can cuddle and rock and sing lullabies, we will do so!

The reason I was at her house the other night is because it was the night of her fourth birthday.  Her big party will be on the weekend, but on her actual birthday her great-grandparents and I wanted to give her the gifts we bought for her.  Everyone should have a birthday gift on their actual birthday!  We also wanted to enjoy watching her open the gifts and appreciate them without all the overwhelming excitement and energy that takes place at a child’s party.  Her momma had a chocolate cake with four purple candles, Sammie managed to blow them all out after several tries and a wee bit of help from Papa.

I had fun teasing her when we first arrived, asking her if she knew why I was there because I could not remember!  And this package in my hand?  I wasn’t sure who it was for, could it be for mommy?

“It’s for ME” she said, “it’s MY birthday!”  She said this with great excitement.

After we all sat down in the living room and she had showed us her pinata and the huge balloon daddy had brought her, she reached for the package I brought.  She pulled out the doll clothes and shoes one by one and admired each item.  For a little girl she really knows how to enjoy opening a gift!  It is a pleasure to watch her, I can’t describe the joy it gives me to watch her face and hear her words as she expresses her appreciation!

A bag full of new doll clothes!

A bag full of new doll clothes!

After that, she reached for the packages that GG (great grandma) had brought her.  The first one was a good-sized plush My Little Pony named Twilight Sparkle.  She loved it!  Then came the last package, also from GG.

Sammie reached in and pulled out….a plush Elsa doll!  Complete with soft plush yellow hair, sparkly blue gown made of satin and tulle and blue satin slippers.

It's all I ever wanted!

It’s all I ever wanted!

Sammie was overjoyed!  The first thing she said was “ohh, it’s all I ever wanted!”  She repeated that over and over while holding the doll and twirling around.  She held it up over her head to look at it, and showed it to all of us, all the while repeating “its all I ever wanted”.

It was such a joy to watch her in such ecstasy over a doll!  On top of that, I don’t know whose face I enjoyed more, Sammie or my mom.  Mom’s face was beaming, so happy that Sammie was so happy with this gift!

I never really knew my great grandparents.  Neither did my son know his.  So I am really happy about the fact that my own parents are getting to enjoy having a great-grandchild and that Sammie gets to know them and have such memories for later in her life.

Sammie is also learning a really good lesson with all this.  She has wanted an Elsa doll since the movie came out last year.  Her mom says that every time they would go to a store and Sammie would spot one, she would beg for it.  Mommy would say things like “let’s wait and see what Santa bring”,  “let’s wait and see what you get for your birthday”,  ” that doll is so small, the price is too high for a small doll like that”.

So Sammie waited.  She waited and waited and waited.  For months she has sung “Let it Go”.  When she spends the night with me, we watch the video on my computer and she knows all the words to the song.  I am not allowed to sing it, only her!

I hope that now at this young age she is learning that waiting can be worth it!  After all, she waited as patiently as a three-year old can, and by the time she turned four, she received “all she ever wanted”!

Your turn!  Tell me about a time when you wanted something, anything and had to wait for it, making the final outcome that much sweeter!

A Killer In Your Fridge ~ Sweet Poison…A MUST READ

Reblogging from another, and just want to add that in addition to the diseases mentioned in this article it is now believed that some forms of Parkinsons’s, especially young-onset Parkinson’s is caused by Aspartame. Susan – mysticheartblog

Rhonda Gessner

In October of 2001, my sister started getting very sick She had stomach spasms and she was having a hard time getting around. Walking was a major chore. It took everything she had just to get out of bed; she was in so much pain.

By March 2002, she had undergone several tissue and muscle biopsies and was on 24 various prescription medications. The doctors could not determine what was wrong with her. She was in so much pain, and so sick she just knew she was dying.

She put her house, bank accounts, life insurance, etc., in her oldest daughter’s name, and made sure that her younger children were to be taken care of.

She also wanted her last hooray, so she planned a trip to Florida (basically in a wheelchair) for March 22nd.

On March 19, I called her to ask how her most recent tests went, and…

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