Sunday, May 21, 2006

When We Meet Again

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Everything remains as it was.
The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no sorrow in your tone.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.
— An Irish Funeral Prayer

C., a close family member, is now transitioning. The brain tumor, which was diagnosed three short weeks ago, advances rapidly – there’s no treatment worth attempting and death of the body, imminent within a month or so, has been accepted by her fairly peacefully. Most of my family members naturally assume her survival into the next life, and are primarily concerned if she’ll be ok once there – of course she will, but we’re human and worry and will miss her very much in many ways. Her admirable and peaceful acceptance of the strenuous event is a soothing balm of truth to us all.

C. is in her late50s, only a few years older than I, and we’ve always had a strong and special connective bond. As her body and brain weaken, she ventures out of the physical world and around a little further every day. Her consciousness is changing along with her awareness, vibrating faster and faster, until eventually the body will no longer be able to hold onto her spirit body, which will then vibrate free.

There’s a general but vague idea that upon transition we will see the life we’ve lived flash before us. This can also take place before and during transition, and C. is experiencing this now. This I know because even though we are currently separated by several hundred miles, I’m experiencing many and various life moments of my own past with her, which are included in her own memories of me and of other family members. Our earthly connection is changing, and the ties are becoming loser, finer and fainter. Memories are living, not static, and ours are now catalyzing into a new vibrancy, which can be sensed by some family members only in subtle ways; while others, like me, are being pulled into re-experiencing times of life that seem like the past but are actually timeless and therefore always accessible, depending upon conscious awareness.

It’s becoming quite difficult for me to focus at times, and my own short term memory is taxed as I merge in and out with C.’s spiritual experience. I’ve asked friends around me to watch me carefully in a supportive way, even to help me across the street if need be, as I slip in and out of trance states, which are directly reflective of C.’s own experience in her hospice bed.

I’m increasingly being pulled into vignettes and little films of our pastimes together, filled with multi-dimensional sounds, sights, smells and emotions of every kind, from every age and stage of physical and psychological development we’ve had individually and shared together. Other relatives, who transitioned a few or many years ago, are gathering in increasingly joyful numbers for this blessed event, to assist C. in her rebirth as a Risen One, and to support and comfort those of us who must remain behind, however briefly.