Sometimes death seems closer than other times. In the past few days I’ve encountered the idea of death in different ways. Shamanic Healer, Carol Tunney, who was so helpful to me last year at this time, died on Friday. Jon’s insulin shock yesterday, got me thinking what could have happened if it went untreated. And I was intrigued by Elizabeth Nichols-Ross, blog writings about being an Undertaker in Cambridge NY.
Carol’s death reaffirmed my beliefs about what happens after we die. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but even though I didn’t get to talk to Carol, before she died, and tell her how much she helped me and that for me she was a powerful healer, I think she knows how I feel. Because I believe we can communicate with people after they have died. And for me this hasn’t come through a Seance or planned ritual, but at odd moments when I feel the presence of the person and communicate with them through either words or emotions. And I feel different afterwards, as if something has been resolved. With Carol, I brought myself back to the state I was in when she performed my Soul Retrieval ritual. I opened my mind and heart to it and let Carol know how she helped me. And I truly believe that if this is possible with anyone, it’s possible with Carol. Who claimed to be able to be between many worlds when she was alive.
But I also know, that this is a belief. I remind myself that I don’t really know if this is the truth or not. It may just be a function of my brain being stimulated in a certain way or a rationalization to make myself feel better. I have my beliefs, buy I have more respect for the idea of the Great Mystery, of not knowing, than thinking I actually do know.
And if these beliefs were truly tested, by the death of Jon or of my own impending death, I have no idea where they would go.
So why speculate on something that can’t be known? Which brings me to Elizabeth’s writings on death. As an undertaker, she is not concerned with the afterlife and what may or may not happen, but with how the living deal with someone’s death. There’s something so matter of fact and practical, yet also emotional, about the way Elizabeth treats death, that I actually enjoy reading about it. There’s something comforting in how ordinary it seems. It’s not about the unknown, as much as the familiar. Elizabeth writes about the ritual transition from life to death. That’s her part in it. And on a professional level, she doesn’t have to deal with what happens next for the dead or the living. But there’s something powerful in the ritual she provides. She makes death seems like the most natural thing in the world. Which, of course, it is.