How do we celebrate the birthday of someone who has died? Someone who has passed on? Birthdays are celebration.
We have birthdays to celebrate completing another trip around the sun. But when someone’s not here in the physical to make another trip around the sun, how do we deal with that? Do we acknowledge that they’re having another birthday? Do they ever grow older?
The reason for this post today is my daughter, Shayna Elaine Smith passed from the physical into spirit exactly 2761 days ago yesterday. She was a 15-year-old girl and it was sudden and unexpected. Yesterday, January 13, was her birthday. It was the eighth birthday we’ve “celebrated” since Shayna passed from physical to spiritual.
In a sense get easier. But in another sense, they don’t really get easier. It’s really interesting. Eight years on, what happens is around the time of her birthday, friends will reach out to us and start to remind us, usually a couple of days before. The first greeting I got was from someone in New Zealand, a day before her birthday in the United States.
It’s always a bittersweet thing celebrating Shayna’s birthday at this point because Shayna loved birthdays. She loved holidays. She loved being the center of attention. Her birthday is in the middle of a very busy season. Of course, it’s the holiday season anyway. But our wedding anniversary is early in November. My other daughter Kayla was born right around Thanksgiving. Then there is Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s. And then Shayna’s birthday wraps up the holiday season for us on January 13.
What we’ve had to do over the past eight years, is come up with new traditions new way of celebrating Shayna’s birthday. Shayna loved pizza, cake and ice cream, or anything sweet. So we go out and have pizza every January 13. My daughter Kayla came over. I went over to Kroger, and I picked up a tuxedo cake. So we had pizza and cake in honor of Shayna’s birthday. Then we decided to watch a movie.
It’s great to have friends reaching out. But it’s still it’s a hard day. My day started with tears, like most of her birthdays, I think every birthday now.
Even though I still feel Shayna with me in spirit, she’s not here with me physically. With her passing at 15 I wonder what it’d be like for her now to be with me at 23. What would she be doing? What would she look like? What would she sound like?
So it’s a tough day. But I was listening to a book I’ve been listening to this week that’s been extremely helpful to me. The author is Christian Sundberg. He has pre-birth memories. He remembers what it was like being in spirit before he came into the body. The book is A Walk In The Physical. This perspective helps me to understand and to cement what I already know. That is that we are not physical beings. And we don’t exist within our bodies, our bodies actually exist within consciousness. Everything that we perceive around us, all of what we call the material world, exists within consciousness.
Having this perspective, and knowing that this experience, this lifetime I am having is merely a short walk, it’s merely a stroll, it’s merely an experience that I chose, gets me through the difficult time. When I’m feeling the pain, loneliness, and separation, I remind myself it’s not only temporary, it’s illusory.
So I’m going through my day yesterday and looking forward to my daughter Kayla coming over for dinner. My business coach told me I should put up a guided meditation on my YouTube channel.
I created guided meditation on grief. I worked in this meditation a couple of years ago. I haven’t worked on it in a couple of years. It’s audio only. For YouTube, I put a video over top of it. I’m working on the presentation, and I get up to take a break, and I’m thinking about my friend Alvin. Alvin did the music and sound effects for the mediation. Just as I thought about Alvin and I sat back down at my desk, I looked up and saw a text from Alvin.
Now, Alvin and I hardly ever text each other. Every few months at most. I sent a message back telling him not only was I just thinking about him, it is also my daughter’s birthday. Alvin and I have a lot in common, not the least of which is young teenage children who live in the next world.
This is what we call synchronicity. And this is because of the timing of something like that because it was on Shayna’s birthday and because I was doing a meditation on grief. And because Alvin had collaborated with me on the meditation, I take that as a sign for my daughter, as a sign from spirit, as a sign from the universe. All is not really as it appears. All is a lot more than it appears there’s a there’s a sense of magic behind the universe. Carl Jung talks about the universe is built on archetypes. And what we perceive as just natural cause and effect and random is really very orderly.
This perspective has become more and more real to me, the more that I look at the world in more I keep my eyes open.
We decided to watch the movie last night after we had our pizza and cake. And so my daughter Kayla had not seen the movie, Palmer. Of course, we’re all thinking about Shayna. The main character in the movie isn’t Palmer (Justin Timberlake). It’s Sam. Sams is about ten years old and marches to the beat of his own drummer. He dresses the way he wants no matter what anyone thinks. He’s loving and kind. But, his tongue can cut you. He’s Shayna.
There’s a scene where the principal of the school is talking to Sam, and he’s asking some questions. It’s an uncomfortable question about Palmer, Sam’s temporary caretaker who is a convicted felon. You’re feeling uncomfortable, hoping Sam won’t say anything to get Palmer in trouble. You can see Sam’s face kind of contorting. And you’re wondering how Sam is going to answer this question. It’s a very tense moment. And the principal says Is everything okay, Sam? And Sam says, “Yeah, your breath really smells kind of funny.”
The reason why this is interesting is my daughter Shayna when she was about four years old, was sitting on my sister-in-law’s lap. And my sister-in-law was talking to her, and the same thing happened. Shayna’s face gets all contorted, and my sister-in-law asked, Shayna, what’s going on?” Shayna said, “Your breath smells bad. You need some gum.”
There’s a scene in the movie where Sam steals a snow globe. Later he returns a snow globe to the girl he stole it from. Shaynahana loved snow gloves. She collected snow gloves from all over. When people went on vacation, they brought snow globes back for Shayna. The collection is still in her room.
That’s the way that we celebrate her birthday. We still talk about her being 23, even though some people say forever 15. And in a sense, that’s another paradox that we live with. Is Shayna forever 15? Or is she 23? And the answer is yes. It’s both.
It’s very much like we are living in a dream. When I’ve in a dream at night, and I’m that I’m that dream avatar sometimes I’ll remember it’s not the real me and I become lucid. And I’ll look around in the dream. And I marvel at how my consciousness creates the environment that I’m in, and how real it seems I’ve even reached out and touched the wall, or felt the sun on my face. And thought this is really cool that I’m able to create this within my consciousness because I know I’m dreaming.
And when I’m living in that dream, a lot of times when the dream gets really uncomfortable, I’ll just wake myself up.
Christian Sundberg talks about, we have the veil that we put on we come into this reality, when we come into this physical reality veil actually veils our memory of knowing where we came from. And the veil is what allows us to fear, the the separation, the fear, the loneliness, the powerlessness that we feel when we’re incarnated as human beings. That veil is very effective. We can’t just wake ourselves up while it’s on. We can’t go back to that Higher Reality.
And all of these feelings we have of being lost, powerless, lonely, etc. are very real, but they’re based on an illusion. The fact is that we are never separated. The fact is, there’s absolutely nothing to fear. The fact is that we’re never truly alone or separated. But it feels like we are when we’re in the dream. Continuing in the dream metaphor, we’re really mostly back Home in our real real life. You could say we’re sleeping there and dreaming we are here.
Another analogy like uses video games, my daughter and I loved to play video games. Shayna passed away eight years ago before they were all the VR sets like there are now. But, like in a VR all we see here is what is presented to us by our five sense. These are like the hood we put over our eyes and the controller we hold in in our hands to maniuplate the environment. our loved one might be sitting on the couch while we standing in the same room playing the game. But, we can’t see or hear them. We can only experience what the game presents.
In this reality, it’s as if our Higher Self is playing us, the character. Our character interfaces with this world through our body. When you’re playing a video game, you can really get into it to the point you forget yourself and become immersed in the character and the story of the game.
Why do we play the games? We play for the experience. We enjoy the story. We love the thrill. As we play, we develop skills that can help us in this game or another game. The more difficult the game, the greater the adventure and the greater the opportunity to build skills.
Earth life is difficult. In other reality regions, we can control much more by simple thought. On Earth, the material world is almost impervious to thought. We have to take physical action. We experience things we can’t experience while in spirit. The deeper we go into the depths of Earth life, the more we can appreciate what we have when we’re not in this environment.
Often, as we’re going through the most difficult times, we feel like this is too much. “I would have never signed up for this.” What if we flipped that around and said, “How can I grow from this? How can I use this? Why might I have planned this? How can I use this to make myself a stronger character? How can I build my my hit points? How can I build my experience points from this?”
As spiritual beings, we are whole, we are all connected, we are all perfect, he way that we are. But we always have the opportunity for growth, through experience. That’s why we choose to come here.
Let’s be very careful with this. I don’t say this isn’t real. Because it is real in the sense that that is an experience. What we do here matters. But it’s not the ultimate reality. When we’re going through these difficult things, it’s not our true selves, our true souls, our higher selves are never in any great danger or any danger at all.
What we can do is we can grow and we can improve our ability to make choices. We can improve our capacity for love and for compassion. We can grow our appreciation for what we have back Home.
While the physical things we move around over here are not permanent. The car will one day be retired. The house will be torn down. In fact, the Earth and the galaxy themselves, will one day be only a memory. But you preceded all of those things and you will exist long after. And what you’ve done here will carry forward with you. It will resonate throughout the Collective Consiousness as well.
On Shayna’s birthday, I had to play this song, Home. It’s sung by Stephanie Mills and it’s from The Wiz.
And oh, if youre listening, God, please dont make it hard
To know if we should believe the things that we see
Tell us should we try and stay or should we run away (Should we run away)
Or will it be better just to let things, let them be, oh
Livin here in this brand new world
Might be a fantasy
But its taught me to love, oh, yeah
And its real, its so real, its real to me
And Ive learned that we must look
Inside our hearts to find
A world full of love
Like yours, like mine
Like, like home
(When I think of home)
My friends smilin down on me
Givin me their energy, oh
(When I think of home)
I think of a peaceful world and joy
All around me, yeah
(When I think of home)
And love that we share can never
Never, ever be taken away from me, yeah, yeah, yeah
(When I think of home)
I just sit down and think
And gets on down in my bone, bone, yeah
(When I think of home)
I can hear my friends tellin me
Stephanie, please sing my song
That’s the way I view my life now. I’m living in his brand new world. It’s kind of a fantasy world. A lot of my friends have gone Home. I’m old now, much of my family has gone Home. My daughter has gone Home. But they’re not gone. They’re still here to still smiling down on me, still cheering me on. They’re still giving me their energy. And I’m grateful for that.