Knock, Knock, Knocking

heaven door

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” Rumi

Life is all about change.  In our day to day world it is easy to forget that fact.  We go about our days thinking the same thoughts, doing the same things, slight variations of a constant stream of sameness.  It brings comfort and lulls us into a false sense of security.  We nestle into our routines and create a nice, comfortable illusion for ourselves.

But then something happens and that illusion is shattered.

Which brings us to last week.  Message received from Mom:  Dad is in the hospital with multiple pulmonary embolisms (emboli?) and while she ensures that everything is fine, I decide to hop a flight anyways, to see for myself. What, me worry?

*SPOILER ALERT*

He is fine.  I am happy to report that through the magic of blood thinners and after a week in the hospital they sprang him and he is back to his former self, only better because now he can breathe.  Which is important.

But for a while there he was knock knock knocking on heaven’s door. He actually came close enough to the other side that he had a peek at it.  As he was laying in the hospital his first day in, he had a couple of visitors show up.  His parents.  They stood there in his room, smiling, dressed in their best going to town clothes and looking to be in their early thirties, which is cool because they’ve been dead for quite a long time.  Dad reported later that he had the thought that he must be passing over and that they had come to meet him.  He claimed to have no fear at all, just a sense of comforting recognition. And then Mom walked into the room and they disappeared.

Exit not taken, for which I am sincerely grateful. Back off Grandma and Grandpa… we are keeping him here.

Dad’s experience reminded me of a book I had read not long ago by David Kessler, called Visions, Trips and Crowded Rooms.  David Kessler is a hospice expert and through many years of working with the dying came to realize that a very large portion of those in their end days had similar experiences.  Upon further inquiry with other healthcare professionals, David managed to compile accounts of the phenomena that people seem to experience at the end of their lives.  While each experience is unique to the individual there seem to be three distinct themes.

The first is Visions.  Many people in their final hours or days will have visions of another place or of deceased friends or relatives popping in for a visit.  The visions while unique to each person all seem to have one thing in common. They are comforting, bringing a peaceful exit that seems devoid of fear.  Having that peek across to the other side and seeing the beauty and love that awaits takes the fear out of death for both the dying and the bereaved who are left behind.

The second phenomena is that the dying, in their final days, will often make reference to taking a trip.  They will talk about waiting for a bus or train or ship.  They will sense the need to prepare, get packed and ready to leave.  The metaphor of dying as a journey to another place is made manifest in these visions that many of the dying share.

The third shared experience common among the dying is the sense that the room becomes crowded.  Many of those at the end of their lives will talk about the crowds of people standing about.  When asked to identify the people in the crowd it seems that they are the deceased friends and relatives of the person getting ready to pass over.  Must be one heck of a party when the dying person finally joins all of them.

The medical and scientific communities have long sought to ignore these events, chalking them up to oxygen deprivation or hallucinations brought on my drugs or a dying mind, but there is a growing movement of researchers determined to bring these experiences into the light.  Latest studies put the frequency of visions and phenomena upwards of 90%.  That seems a mighty big coincidence, don’t you think?

It is comforting to realize that there is nothing to fear in dying. If anything these experiences make me understand that death is a sacred  part of life.  Taking fear out of death and dying helps to take the fear out of life and living.  At death the veil lifts and the dying see that they are surrounded by crowds of loving beings.  It makes me wonder.  Have they been there all along, walking with us through life, whispering , laughing, cajoling and comforting?  I think so.  Yes.

At Steven Jobs’ funeral his sister eulogized him.  She talked about his final words as he passed from life to death.  His words really do say it all:

“Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”

Heaven Sent

Photo by:  Walter Babinski, My American Husband
Photo by: Walter Babinski, My American Husband

” My soul is from elsewhere, I am sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”  Rumi

I rise.  As I leave the weight of my body and of the material world behind I feel a euphoria I have not experienced since putting on this personality.  Leaving the physical manifestation behind feels like music sounds.  I rise.  I rise and all is love.  Fear no longer exists.  I am weightless where I had no idea there was weight.  There is a cloak of fear, a mantle of it that held me in my skin and once I am released it falls away and there is nothing left between my Self and pure bliss.

What I have seen as reality parts like a curtain and there is my home, right there. I experience recognition. This is my home.  This is where I came from in the first place.  How had I not remembered that?  I am surprised at how close it has always been.  The veil was very effective while I was in human form.  Transparent from this other side, I am able to see whatever people and situations come to my mind.  Past, present and future meld into one and all I need to do is cast my interest somewhere and I am there.  Simply, instantly, I experience this most current lifetime.  What was once experienced by mind is now experienced by Spirit.  I see and hear and feel from every angle.  All that I felt and experienced on earth, all that others felt and experienced, and all of the waves and ripples created by every situation.  It is like a vast, musical arrangement and I hear the harmonious chords of each relationship played… a symphony of love and light.

I am still wearing the vestiges of human consciousness and can see that my human mind created every moment of discomfort, drama, pain and fear that I experienced.  I am amazed that I was so attached to the pain that I forgot how to allow the Divine to flow into my moments.  I have a knowing that my purpose in this lifetime was to find my voice.  I watch the pivotal moments as they fleet through the movie of my now Spirit mind.  So many opportunities to be authentic and to speak my truth and I watch as my human self cowered, hiding behind the mask of acceptability.  So many growth opportunities squandered.  There is no judgment, either from my Self, or from the guides that surround me.  I know that Life is our biggest challenge and that I will be given many more opportunities to grow.

I wonder if next time I will remember.  Will I know that the veil shrouds the truth and that the truth is utterly simple?  The only trick to fulfilling my life’s purpose is to feel good.  Just that.  Feeling good allows the divine river to flow and that wonderfully swift current journeys us through lessons and experiences that bring us to our Purpose.  Whatever lesson plan we have devised for ourselves will flow to us faster and easier through joyful means.

It is when we allow our human fears, doubts and wrong thinking to freeze us into inaction that the Spirit team will step in and help us along by giving us the traumatic catalysts for change, like loss, humiliation, imprisonment, despair, or any number of other triggers.  From this new perspective I understand that floating on the river of joy is so much more effective than being kicked along the shore.  The destination remains the same, even if the journey seems vastly different.

Would I choose to learn my lessons through trauma or learn my lessons through joy?  No brainer.  Next time I pick joy.

Gosh I hope I remember that.