So, today I’m on my walk listening to a Podcast and thinking about my day coming up.  As always, Shayna is on my mind also and I’m thinking about how I haven’t cried in a while. Is the grief changing?  Do I not miss her as much?  Is this a good thing or a bad thing?  I spot a tiny feather on the ground and I’m taken back to a conversation I had yesterday with a bereaved mother I work with on the SoulPhone.  She showed me a collection of feathers she’s gotten from her son.  I haven’t seen a feather in a while I think. What’s up with that, Shayna?  This feather is really tiny, but a feather is a feather.  I continue my walk about 20 minutes later I look over to my right, and I see the biggest feather I have ever seen. It has to be at least eight inches long. OK, Shayna. Good job.

I’m walking slowly today.  I wrap up the Podcast and cruise back toward the house. I decide to check Facebook which I never do on a walk. This might be the first time I’ve done that. What pops up is a memory from 7 years ago.  It’s Shayna’s “Bugsy video”.  She was in the kitchen playing on my laptop and had turned on the special effect that distorts your face. For a few minutes, she just freestyles this comedy routine.  I walk by, having no idea what she is doing, and take my laptop back.  As I’m shutting it down, she says “Bugsy, shut down by the man.” I would discover it later among a bunch of videos she recorded on my laptop.  It’s my all time favorite video of her.

So, now here come the tears I had been wondering about.  So much pain. I miss Shayna every day. When I allow myself to think about more days without her, the tears come. When I think about her not being at the house when I finish my walk, the tears come.

Yesterday, I wished for a feather. Today, I saw the biggest one I’ve seen yet. This morning, I wondered where the tears had gone. Then, this video pops up that is guaranteed to bring them back.  Good job, Shayna.  I don’t know how you pull these things off.

Normally, in the circles I travel in, I’m defending ego because a lot of new age teaching is that ego is our enemy and we must do everything we can to vanquish ego.  Ego is a necessary part of being a human being on this planet, but like everything else, can get out of balance.  Today, as I’m on one of my afterlife boards, I see an ugly display of how too much ego causes completely unnecessary conflicts.

Someone came to the board.  As far as I know it was their first time there. They responded to a question about whether or not we do mundane tasks in the afterlife. Do we still have to do dishes? Laundy? Do we ever escape this drudgery?  This person, in their response, made reference to the movie Astral City.  Astral City is a movie based on the book by Chico Xavier, a Brazilian channeler who channeled nearly 500 books in his lifetime. The movie was a huge success in Brazil, where Chico has a cult-like following.  I happened to really have enjoyed the movie, despite some disturbing elements.

There is a member of our group who detests the movie and Chico. One of the disturbing elements of the movie is the teaching that people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol or even who abuse food end up classified as “suicides” and suicides go to a place of torment. The movie opens with a scene where the main character is in torment because he has not taken care of his body and his sudden death is ruled a suicide.  My friend in the group, who I know very well, pounces on it anytime this movie is mentioned. He lambasts the movie, Chico and the Chico-following anytime he gets the opportunity. His contention is the teaching of the movie could lead to despair. Anyone who has abused their body might give up hope and commit suicide since they know they’ve already trashed their life and there is no redemption possible.  The character in the movie doesn’t actually take his own life.  Ironically, his argument is similar to the problem pointed out in the movie The Discovery, but for the opposite reason.  In The Discovery, people are committing suicide to “get there”.  Once they have proof there is an afterlife, they assume it’s better, so they want to hit the fast forward button (boy can I relate to that).

So, back to my story.  The person who recommended Astral City had said it brought them great comfort. They, like me, saw the fact that life continues after “death”.  While there is a purgatory for some, it’s temporary, redemptive, and we can leave when we wish.  Families are reunited. There is opportunity for productive work. There is growth to even higher realms.  For all of these reasons, I liked the movie so much I bought it.

But, here’s where the problem comes in. The person who recommended the movie was so attached to their recommendation that they took the criticism from the other person personally. Their ego was bruised. So, they attacked that person.  I tried to intervene with some humor.  I said “You brought up Astral City in front of Sam (let’s call the person Sam)?  Boy, I’ll bet you never do that again.”  Then, I tried to explain to the person that Sam really is a nice guy (and Sam really is).  But, he has a passionate hatred for these false teachings, New Age teachings that say we become egoless, balls of light just floating around for eternity or fundamentalist Catholic teachings that we have to go through purgatory if we screw up.  To Sam, I tried to get him to get this person a little grace because they had “lost” (I used their word) a child.  Clearly they were hurting and hurt people hurt people.

Neither Sam or the new person was going to back off.  Sam ended up blocking the new person.  The new person fired off a closing salvo on me and left the group. I said “Uh-oh, Betty left the group” (let’s call her Betty).  Sam said “Good.”

As an outside observer this saddened me.  Sam and Betty, in my opinion, were both too caught up in their egos to just soften their words. As I watched the exchange, I wondered how each of them would react to this when they have their life reviews. To be fair to Sam, he did say he was criticizing the movie, not her. But, she couldn’t hear it.  He jumped all over me once for mentioning the movie, but I was able to sort his criticism of the movie out from a personal criticism of me.

Our church is really big on a book called The Four Agreements.  It comes up all the time.  In fact, it came up on Sunday. One of the agreements is “Don’t take it personally.” Frankly, I don’t even know what the other three are. If that one isn’t number one, it should be.

Today in my Facebook memories, the post I made last year about Shayna’s scholarship came up. Thanks to Olivia Lorenz, one of Shayna’s best friends, and her mother Lisa, there is a scholarship fund that will give $1,000 to a deserving student at Lakota West who embodies the qualities and interests that Shayna had while she was here.

Last year I attended the event and helped present the award. That was a mistake. It was too soon.  Maybe it’ll always be too soon.  A couple of weeks ago there was a play at the high school. I couldn’t go.  Tywana went and presented it with Olivia.  Even though Shayna never attended the main campus (she went to the freshman building her last year), I simply cannot go back to that place.  It’s hard to believe it was just two years ago, almost to the day, when we sat in that gym and she got her honors for being an outstanding freshman.  She was 16 in a class of almost 600. She had her sites set on #15, one of her good friends.  I remember her asking if she could go out with her friends for ice cream after the ceremony.

Seeing her peers going to prom, getting their honors, going on with normal teenager stuff is tough. I’m trying to look at the big picture, the soul plan, the growth we’re getting, the service we’re doing. That’s my higher self.  But, the human part of me still feels cheated. This would be her junior year.  She was so brilliant, so beautiful, so caring. She was so full of potential.

I listened in as the committee read the applications of the scholarship applicants.  Again this year there were some very impressive candidates and the person who won was deserving. I’m grateful to Olivia and Lisa for setting this up. I’m glad to know that Shayna’s name is still known at the school.

One of the many things Shayna and I had (have?) in common is the love of playing video games. (Does she still play them?)  We used to play for hours.  I still play Clash Of Clans, an iPhone game we started playing together years ago.

Something a lot of video games have in common is at the end of a stage, there is a Boss level. The boss is a super sized version the villains you’ve faced during the game. The boss is seemingly impossible to beat when you look at him.  Your avatar is usually tiny in comparison.  The boss has more “hit points” (the amount of damage it takes to defeat him). He has impenetrable defenses.  Typically, it’ll take several runs at the boss before you can take him down.

The thing about the boss is the boss levels really pump up your adrenaline. You have to be focused to defeat the boss. You have to develop new strategies, moves. You can’t just go straight at the boss and take him out.  You’ve got to outwit, outplay and outlast the boss.

The key to a great boss level is the boss has to be something that is capable of being defeated, of course.  An impossible to beat boss would be no fun. On the other hand, to get satisfaction out of beating the boss, he has to be hard to defeat, seemingly impossible at first.  When I’m playing a boss level in a game and the boss goes down too easily it’s actually disappointing.

The girls and I played Mario Brothers together on the Wii many years ago. It took months to get past all of the levels, all of the bosses to get to the end to play the Super Boss. The final stage was nearly impossible. It took us days of trying over and over and over just to get to the end of the stage where we could face the boss. And, we were defeated.  We tried again and again and again. Eventually, getting through the stage became pretty routine. We knew what obstacles were coming and learned how to get by them. But, that Super Boss was still there.  Then, it happened. We defeated the Super Boss.  Cheers and high fives all around because that Super Boss was so hard to defeat the victory was that much sweeter.

The transition of a child is boss level stuff. For us parents facing this, it’s the hardest challenge this life could offer. It’s big.  It’s bad. It’s seemingly impossible.  But, that’s what a boss level is supposed to be. Shayna and I can take this boss down.  I know she’s right here with me.

Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?
[holds up one finger] This.
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean s***.
Mitch: But, what is the “one thing?”

Curly: That’s what you gotta figure out.

That is a scene from the movie City Slickers which came out in 1991.  For some reason I still remember that line well enough that when the title for this blog came to me, that scene popped into my head.

The other day I was listening to a Podcast where a master yoga instructor was asked if there were just one thing she could teach her students what would it be?  I thought about that. What is the one thing that is the most important in life? As I’m dealing with a lot of negative emotions surrounding death in the various groups I’m in, I ponder “What is the one thing that could help with all of that anger, fear, and depression?” And I came up with an answer.  I know the One Thing.

The One Thing is to know that your body is not you.  At the root of the fear of death is the knowledge that our bodies do not live forever. As much as we deny it, as much as we try to keep these bodies young, we cannot escape that nagging knowledge in the backs of our minds that it’s a futile effort.  One day this body will be no more. And, since we identify so closely with the body, the natural conclusion is that we will be no more either.

If we can break that attachment to the body, we can conquer the fear of death.  Yesterday I was discussing the fear of death with a young woman. I asked her specifically what does she fear? She thinks at the end of life we just cease to exist.  She feared being a disembodied consciousness in a black void.  Just blackness for eternity.  I told her that, if she ceases to exist, there will be no blackness to perceive and it certainly won’t be for an eternity. So, nothing to fear there.  She fears her friends going on and having fun without her. Again, if she doesn’t exist, she’s not going to be around to be jealous of them having fun without her. She fears what they are going to do with her body after she’s gone and people looking at “her”.  I told her that after she drops her body (she will go on), she won’t care any more about what happens to her body than she cares about what happens to the hair left on the salon floor after she gets a haircut. Her fears were totally irrational, yet totally normal.

My mother-in-law has already picked out and bought her casket.  Occasionally, I will tease her and tell her that we’re going to have her cremated.  “Oh no.  I don’t want to be burned up!” she’ll say. (I guess she thinks it’s going to be warm and dry and well lit inside that casket.  I let her keep that fantasy.)  When we talk about our wishes after our deaths, we’ll talk about being cremated or being buried. I’m very careful with this language. No one is cremated or buried. I’ll ask “What did they do with the body?”  The body, that which was their vehicle, is discarded. To me, it makes not a whit of difference what you do with whatever assembly of molecules happens to be collected at the time when I step out of my vehicle.  The molecules that were in this thing we call my body when I was born are long gone.  If I live long enough, the molecules that are collected today, April 25, 2017, will be long gone when I step out.  They come and they go. They pass through. They are not me.

I practice daily not identifying with the body. When I see it aging, I remind myself it’s not me. I’ve become so detached from it, I surprise myself when I get protective of it.  I do take care of it.  As vehicles pass by me too closely on the road as I walk, I get angry because they’re not respecting the space I want for my body. I still need it to operate in this world.  But, I know my life is not dependent on my body.

If I can help people with One Thing, that’s it. You are not your body.  Your body is a tool, a temple, a vehicle.  Take care of it. Be grateful for it. But, don’t place ultimate importance on it. And, don’t worry about what will happen when you burst forth from it. It’s gonna be good!

It began on Friday when I sat down to meditate and found an archangel meditation in my iTunes library.  The meditation was dated 2007, but I cannot remember ever listening to it and have no idea how it got into my collection.  I listened to it and found it surprisingly powerful since i rarely even think of angels.  Why did this suddenly come up on my radar?

Saturday was a whirlwind of activity.  I began by working in my office for a couple of hours.  Then, we had a two hour video conference for Helping Parents Heal leaders.  I had had a two hours video conference for the SoulPhone on Thursday.  Saturday afternoon, it was almost 8 hours for my nephew’s tennis match and dinner with Tywana’s family.  Sunday began with church.  There was guest presenter speaking Sunday afternoon- for two hours.  But, I was not about to do that. I’ve been working hard on the transition of our website and I needed some down time. I took that one off.

On the conference call on Saturday, Tywana and I found out that Tom Zuba was speaking to our on-line group of Helping Parents Heal on Sunday night.  I had briefly heard some of his story. Tywana has read his book.  I was mildly interested in listening it. But, it was another two hour video conference on Sunday evening. All I really wanted to do was catch up on some TV. I was feeling exhausted and planning to hit it hard again on Monday.  Besides, I have purposely avoided books on how to grieve. Grief is an extremely individualized emotion and has to be dealt with in the way that best suits each individual.  Only once, in the very beginning, have I actually listened to or read anything on how to deal with grief. That was on how to get through those first few days when your body is just numb.  I wasn’t all that interested in what Tom had to say about how to deal with grief.  But, I was intrigued by the fact that this man has to be one of the best grief warriors who has ever walked the planet.  Not only had he “lost” two children and his wife, but these were not in an accident or all at once. It was first, his infant daughter, then his young (43 years) wife, then his middle school son.  Oh my God, how is this guy even walking around, let alone thriving? Maybe I’ll listen in for a while.

Tywana and I rushed dinner since she had gone to the session on Sunday afternoon at church.  We got done just in time to tune into the conference.  Tom spent the first hour telling his story.  I learned that not only had his wife and tow children left him prematurely, his days old infant brother passed when Tom was only six years old himself.  The unfair, premature death of his loved ones started at an early age for him.

We (I) have this expectation that death is supposed to come in order.  I’ve had several aunts and uncles pass.  Both of my parents are still in the flesh. Tywana’s father passed several years ago, but Alzheimer’s took his brain long before it took his body.  These deaths don’t begin to compare to the passing of Shayna, at fifteen years old. There’s something that feels unfair about that. It’s just wrong.  My parents are still here, but my baby is not?  If anyone should feel life is unfair, it’s Tom.  He and his wife were living the perfect life when his 18 month old daughter fell suddenly ill and was gone in less than a week.  They got through that and had two more children. Then, his young, healthy wife suddenly succumbed to a blood clot that went to her heart.  He gets through that, is a single dad raising two boys and one of the boys gets a rare, incurable brain cancer. HIs beautiful, brilliant, intelligent boy, coming into the prime of his life (just like Shayna) I don’t know how one man endures all of that.  But, if one man can do it, I can do it. So, Tom brings me hope.  My burden is nothing compared to his.

So, Tom tells his story. This is a special man. I hear so much that resonates with me.  He believes that every death happens at the perfect time in the perfect way. Suicide?  Planned.  Heroin overdose?  Planned.  Your daughter falls off a zip line at camp because the counselor didn’t strap her in properly? Planned.  Your fifteen year old just doesn’t wake up?  Planned.  Tom has accepted that all of the death around him is part of a divine order. This resonates with me. Tom talks about healing. This is one of the reasons I’ve avoided the grief books. I don’t know about this healing thing people talk about.  I’m not sure it’s possible. I’m not sure I even want it. If healing means leaving Shayna behind, I’ll take the pain to keep her with me. He says that healing is not a destination, it becomes our way of being.  I like that.  I’ll never be healed.  He says if we love someone, we will continue to miss them.  He continues to love Erin (his daughter), Rory (his son) and Trici (his wife). So, he will continue to miss them until the day he drops his body and joins them.  He has an ongoing relationship with each of them, but as long as he is in the flesh, he will miss them. Healing though is not allowing that to destroy his being the radiant being he came here to be.  This all makes perfect sense to me.  He talks about some of the things he did to heal- walking daily is one I do.  I meditate. I listen to the Podcasts. I try to be of service to others.  OK.  Maybe I am on the right path. Tom’s 27 years out from the passing  of his daughter.  I can’t expect to be where he is since today is 22 months out from the passing of mine. But, I can look at him and have hope (and hope that I never get to 27 years out).

There’s so much that he said in that two hours that made perfect sense to me that I can’t cover it all here. I do want to highlight two things though. The first goes back to my opening about the angel meditation I did this week. Tom says we are all loved way more than we can imagine.  We are never alone, always surrounded by loved ones, ancestors and even angels. I feel very, very alone most of the time. I feel like no one is helping me carry this and I just can’t do it alone anymore.  In Tom’s worldview, these passings were not accidents. They are opportunities. They happened in divine order. We who are broken are supposed to be broken.  That’s not a by-product. That’s the intent. But, we are not alone.  Tom helped me process through the fact that I feel betrayed, angry, left alone, cheated.  Why is that?  If I am an eternal being and Shayna is in a place where she’s much happier, why do I feel betrayed?  If I know I am going to see Shayna again, why am I mourning like something ended permanently on June 24, 2015?  If I truly believe this was part of the plan, why would I be content with being bitter about it for the remainder of my days here?  None of that makes sense.  While those feelings won’t go away overnight (and they have not), I can see now a way to let them go. Practically speaking, I plan to add some healing modalities, like Reiki, to my healing regimen. But, perhaps most importantly, I feel a shift in hope that I can heal without losing Shayna.

The second thing he said that I want to highlight is this notion of what I will call divine providence. Our children’s “deaths” were not accidents even if they were ruled accidents, suicides, overdoses, whatever.  Swedenborg uses the term Divine Providence, which I think I’m coming to believe.  Tom talked about someone who is born schizophrenic. Tom thinks that people who agree to come here and be schizophrenic, become addicted to drugs, etc.  These are not young souls who do not know what they are doing. These are old souls making a sacrifice so the rest of us can learn a lesson, have someone to be compassionate towards, etc.  This directly contradicts something taught to me by one of my teachers just a couple of weeks ago.  They said that people who are schizophrenic are possibly young souls who rashly chose a body that doesn’t fit their soul’s personality and that is why they are of “two minds”.  These two teachings/views are 180º apart.  I thought about this as I woke up this morning. A lot of my friends will get upset with afterlife teachings that contradict and take it to mean that someone is lying. Or, even worse, that you can’t trust anything about the afterlife because we have contradictory points of view.  I don’t see it that way.  I take what aligns with the evidence as I understand it and what resonates with me.  When my teacher made the comment about schizophrenics a couple of weeks ago, that didn’t resonate with me.  I respect their point of view, but I don’t share it.  And that’s OK. It doesn’t nullify everything else they say or anything else they say.  Tom’s view makes more sense to me, brings me more comfort, and gives me a greater sense of being empowered.

Today, I wake up with a bit more hope. I know I will see Shayna again.  Nothing can stop that. When that will happen I don’t know.  I do know that today and every day from here until then I have choices to make in how I’m going to live. And, I like the choices I see people like Tom Zuba making and think I want to do that.

I have always loved the song “Standing On Higher Ground” by Alan Parsons. I’m sure I’ve listened to it hundreds of times.  I’ve always felt a little bit guilty, a little arrogant, cocky even because I could always so closely identify with the idea of looking at things from a different perspective and, in the song, the writer is saying:

I know the truth
But I can’t say
And I have to turn my head
And look the other wayI’m not afraid
And I won’t lie
As long as I see no wrong
I won’t need to testify

I see the world
And I’m looking from a high place
Way above it all
Standing on higher ground

I breathe the air
While they’re running in a rat race
Way above it all
Standing on higher ground

Yeah, it seems to me to be a little less than humble to say I’m breathing the air, while they’re running in the rat race.  But, it’s true. I’ve always had a different perspective than normal. I listened to the song a few days ago and wanted to share it on Facebook.  When I went to YouTube to find a video I could share, I found this beautiful (unofficial) video for it.

This morning, while I was on my walk, I just had to listen to it again. As I walked the hills of West Chester, this question occurred to me “How did he get on this higher ground?”  I’m guessing he wasn’t born there.  People can’t fly.  He had to climb.  Climbing is tough work.  As you leave your friends behind and head for the hills, they think you’re crazy. You have to break away to even begin the journey. You face storms on the way. Your legs burn.  Your lungs labor for air.  You go through treacherous places. You may even go through a few valleys. Then, finally, you reach that place high above it all where you’ve got a whole new perspective. You can’t see the rat race when you’re in the rat race.  The writer of the song isn’t arrogant.  He’s celebrating his hard earned victory.

Day 664- Death from the Other Side

From this side of life, death appears to be a dissolution, something in face of which the human being has a ready fear and dread. From the other side, death appears as the light-filled beginning of experience of the Spirit, as that which spreads a sun-radiance over the whole of the subsequent life between death and a new birth; as that which most of all warms the soul through with joy in the life between death and a new birth. The moment of death is something that is looked back upon with a deep sense of blessing. Described in earthly terms: the moment of death, viewed from the other side, is the most joyful, the most enrapturing point in the life between death and a new birth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 161 – The Problem of Death I – Dornach, February 5, 1915

I’m reading a book given to me for review. The book is “We Got It All Wrong”  In the book, a woman whose mother has passed has an experience in meditation where she sees Jesus and he asks her for her ball.  She looks down into her hands and sees a ball.  She realizes this ball represents the grief she’s been carrying for her mother.  Jesus wants her to hand the ball over to Him.  Her reaction to paraphrase is “Uh, no, Jesus.  This is all I have left of her.  I’m not giving this to you.”

This resonated deeply with me.  The anger I felt on Easter morning. The sadness I feel every day.  The longing I feel. That’s what I have left of Shayna now. It’s palpable.  It’s almost tangible. Parents of children whose children have transitioned cling to whatever we can. We are scared we will forget the sound of their voices, the feel of their cheeks. We hold onto their clothing, their stuffed animals, anything. We try, in desperation, any way to contact them again.  Yesterday a friend asked if anyone in a this group I’m in would be willing to undergo a medical procedure, normally done for medical reasons, that has a decent chance of causing you to experience and NDE.  My first reaction was “Probably not.  First, an NDE isn’t guaranteed.  Second, an NDE is highly customized and individualized for what you need.  If you needed to see a particular loved one, you’d probably do it in another way or spontaneously have an NDE.  Third, no ethical doctor would do such a thing. (I assumed the procedure involved stopping your heart).”  But, as I thought about it, I began to wonder.  “Would I do it if the chances were good I’d see Shayna (or any loved one or even an angel?”  Yeah, maybe.  Yeah, probably.  Anything to bolster the hope.

Last night, Tywana and I watched Long Island Medium.  Heavy D’s sister, Portia Davis, was there seeing the medium.  She talked about the anger she had because of his sudden death at the age of 44.  Fortunately, she got some extremely healing messages and said she left feeling better. Heavy D told her that she needed to let go of the anger.  It was changing who she is.  He was at peace.  Theresa told her that she needed to have that be enough. That he was at peace.  I could relate to her anger, her shaking her fist at a world that took her brother in such a cruel and unexpected way. Sadly, at the end of the show, they gave an memoriam to her. She died herself, suddenly, a few weeks or months after the filming, at at 51- unexpectedly.  She had lost three brothers, all at a young age. Was it her grief that killed her?

Back to the original story, the grief ball.  Jesus told her to take all her grief and put it into the ball.  She does this, but she is still reluctant to hand it over.  The grief and the pain, she feels, are all she has left of her mother.  Finally, she trusts Him and hands it over.  He sets the ball on the ground. For a minute, she’s scared he’s going to crush her mother.  He kneels down in front of the ball, puts His hands together in prayer and turns His face to heaven “Father, pleas take away this child’s sadness and grief for the loss of her mother.  And unleash Maureen’s goodness and absorb int into the heavens. Anything that was not good, allow it to dissipate.”  The ball cracks over and a beautiful butterfly emerges and flies up in to the heavens where it is absorbed.

I’m not quite there yet.  It’s been 21 months. I’m still holding onto the ball.

It’s Easter Sunday. This is the second Easter since she passed.  The weather has been amazing for the last few days.  Thunderstorms are in the forecast, but the morning is glorious. It’s in the low 50s, the sky is blue and the sun is shining.  This is my favorite time of the year. I’m awakened by the sounds of birds singing in the trees behind our house, through the open windows, just before day break.  Winter is over. Spring is a celebration of survival of the death that is Winter.

For my walk this morning, I decide to start with a walking meditation. I normally sit in silence, listen to ambient sounds, inspirational music, or I listen to a guided meditation. Today’s going to be tight on time, so I decide to combine my hour walk with a half hour of walking meditation.  I begin walking concentrating on the feel of my feet hitting the pavement, the feel of the breeze against my skin, just staying in the moment and observing what I feel, not blocking any thoughts or emotions, letting them come through me.  Then, I feel it.  Anger. Seething, white hot anger.  Or is it frustration?  I’m having trouble differentiating the two. And is there a difference?  I don’t know.

Our plans for today are to have Tywana’s mother and one of her brothers over for dinner.  Kayla has decided to not come home for Easter.  Shayna is either always here or never here, depending on my perspective at the moment.  My brother is having a huge Easter celebration in Columbus.  All of my siblings will be there, my parents, etc.  Family gatherings at this point are hard because I think about Shayna not being there.  But, staying at home is hard too, because Shayna is not here.  It’s a lose-lose. Tywana’s mother isn’t really able to travel at this point in her life. So, staying here with her is what we decided to do.

As I’m walking along feeling this anger, I’m first tempted to try to push it away.  But, that’s not what I’m trying to do right now. I want to sit with it. I want to feel it. I want to let it flow through me.  I continue my walk, step by step feeling the physical sensations in my body and letting the anger talk to me. I’m frustrated with this life. I feel all alone. They tell me I’m always surrounded by angels and guides.  If that’s true, it’s time to show up angels and guides. Maybe if I had a financial breakthrough in my life, at least it would distract me from the loss of Shayna.  I look up from the pavement and notice the sun, the bright blue sky, the trees, the birds, just how beautiful creation is. I know this is the one day of the year we are supposed to feel the most hope. It’s resurrection day.  I hear God saying to me “Look at all this beauty I’ve created.” and I say back “Who cares?  The world might be beautiful but my life isn’t right now. The beauty of creation is like a mockery of my life.  What good is al this beauty when I have no place in it?  I’d really rather not be in this world if it’s all the same to you. Thanks anyway.”

I’m coming up on the 30 minute mark of my meditation. I’ve had no great revelation, but the anger has at least subsided. I’ve let it run its course. I’ve got the rest of the day to get through, so I switch on some music to hopefully break me out of the funk so I’m suitable to be around people for the rest of the day.