Posts tagged spiritual heart

It’s been Two Years since Kenny Passed into Spirit

I wrote to his sisters on the exact second anniversary and recounted some more of Kenny’s antics trying to get my attention. Showing up on my screen saver just about every time I walked into the office after being away from my desk, either playing on the Jersey shore with his nephews or looking down at his “funny” feet. He loved to take pictures of his own feet, whether they were in those attention-getting five-finger shoes or bare, they fascinated him. Moving the little clay ducks around, souvenirs from the family’s beloved Island House. And as if that weren’t enough, that day I walked into my bedroom where the computer was on, and he was smiling and waving at me. Mind you, there are hundreds of photos on this screen saver.

They wrote back with their own family stories that made them smile. To this day they are great story-tellers and beloved by friends and extended family. Being an only child myself and missing my extended family, most of whom had long gone, when I was with them, I was warmed to be included in the fun and hilarity.

There were five kids. And there was always a lot of fun and pranks and just spontaneous occurrences that made everyone howl. I recall two they told me about Kenny; the birthday when his grandma had baked his favorite coconut cake, and when he blew out the candles, coconut was jettisoned all over the table. And the time as a little boy, he swiped some powdered sugar donuts off the bread truck, ran under the house to eat them, and when the bread man saw the donuts missing, he and their mom gathered all the kids and asked everyone present if any of them had taken the donuts. Of course Kenny said no, but the entire front of his shirt was covered in powdered sugar. He had to fess up and never really lived it down—the subject of many family story-telling sessions over the years!

We can assist a person out of their grief by curing them with joy.

Joy isn’t something where you say, “Okay, let’s have joy,” although that can work. It’s more about accessing enough joy inside so that it starts trickling out. Joy bubbles up and can make the body move and transform, and that’s extremely important. Some people can’t handle joy. It’s too electrifying and can keep them awake. It’s like a sugar rush.

You may miss someone who has departed, but you also have the joy that you knew them and were able to spend time with them. I have great joy for what my parents taught me and that they were my parents. I miss them but have no grief, because they taught me what they knew. I would have grief if I didn’t use what they gave to me, but I use it.

(From: Living the Spiritual Principles of Health and Well-Being by John-Roger, DSS with Paul Kaye, p. 157)

I’m beginning to experience joy. Looking back at a life full of achievement and creativity, I engaged in activities that would bring a person joy and I created things that would bring a person joy. But the nerve pathways to actually allow the experience of those things as joy were not entirely available. Therefore I misinterpreted those experiences as something like “work” or “satisfaction,” but certainly nothing like joy. And set in my expression was a deep sadness evident in my eyes and even if one doesn’t “see” auras, one would sense the eons of grief surrounding my countenance over incomplete relationships and unfulfilling experiences.

Always open to learning, always looking for the next awareness, always seeking to meld with the Creator, even when the pathways were clogged, this consciousness, this daughter of the Divine is beginning to experience joy. It’s not like joy wasn’t always present. It’s that I was not interpreting my experiences as joyful. Thank God for how the Spirit has always been ready to receive me. Thank God for the thousands of ways John-Roger has made the teachings available to us. If I couldn’t get it through a seminar, maybe I’d get it in a Discourse. If not there, one of his books, and if not that, an experience that hurtled me into the next level of awareness under the protection and guidance of the consciousness that ushers us into the Heart of God. Insight Trainings, University of Santa Monica’s Masters Program in Spiritual Psychology, Peace Theological Seminary’s Spiritual Science program. Initiations, aura balances, innerphasings, thirty years of working on the staff of the Seminary. The body of work that one man propelled into being during my lifetime such that a community of thousands of students said yes, we want to support your ministry, J-R, and we will carry out the work to the best of our abilities is no less than awesome.

The teachings of the Spiritual Heart are always available. And the learnings go on until the day we die and beyond. My life has been rich with “life-savers” in that when I could only learn the hard way, my consciousness endured and won out and continues to win. J-R has often said, look for the pony in the pile of poop. It’s got to be in there somewhere. In other words, every challenge offers a learning opportunity.

Today I heard myself saying I’ve lived a blessed life full of service and learning. Not that I was always learning, there were many and long, tedious intervals of stubbornness, inability to perceive the good, nagging judgments, and an oh-so-serious outlook on just about everything. But today the next thing I uttered was, “Lord, I’ve done so much, experienced so much grace, love, acceptance, beauty, and understanding that I’m ready to go any time now. I almost believe this and as I write, it comes clearer that since Kenny’s illness I’ve been sliding into the most uplifting era of my life, and if that means lifting off this planet, then so be it. And if it means there’s more to do here, sure as my lucky stars (nah, not luck, more like blessings), I’m once again in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.


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The Day a Dear Friend Helped Me Fill Out the Mortuary Forms

It was March 23, 2010, just seven days before Kenny passed into Spirit, when Kevin and I sat together in the small seminar room, the most ornate and timeless room in the house. Originally the family dining room, replete with cherubs, soldier-like figures, rams’ heads, swans, and fruits and vegetables emblazoned in every media; carved gold-gilt walnut, cast polychrome cornicing, oils on canvas, and hammered brass, this room is now appreciated by many ministers and students of the Mystical Traveler in classes and meetings.

This time, the cherubs and soldiers and all the rest watched over us as we combed through the mortuary forms indicating what I wanted done with Kenny’s “remains.” Remains? How cold and unfeeling, that word, “remains.” He was still with us! And here I was filling out forms for when he was dead.

Two weeks had passed since my beloved husband decided to go on hospice care. Some people, I hear, last quite a long time on hospice. Some even get better. But we knew Kenny’s days were numbered because he would have to stop receiving blood transfusions on hospice and without blood transfusions, he would get weaker each day until there was no more energy to breathe. And so it was, just nineteen days after his last transfusion, on March 30th, he breathed his last breath surrounded by loved ones and welcomed by a chorus of angels and family that had gone before him to usher him into the Realms of the Divine.

But there he was down the hall still receiving visitors with enthusiasm, still smiling his forever smile, and still eating his favorite foods like Hawaiian Lau Lau, Lomi Salmon, and Chicken Long Rice from the Aloha Café with Haupia for dessert. There he was, enjoying every visitor that came to share their loving. There he was basking in his morning bath, no complaints really. Oh maybe a pain when he was turned in bed or maybe the swelling in this feet hurt a bit, but I’m convinced now as I look back on the images I have held all these days, weeks, and months, that the absence of pain was measured by and due to the exquisite and palpable love and gratitude he was emanating and giving and receiving and expounding upon whenever anyone asked.

And I am meant to fill out these forms while he is living the most profound days of his life 200%? How unfair! We weren’t prepared, largely due to my resistance to the inevitable. But that’s another story—how denial serves and how it undermines the beauty and sacredness of the truth.

I couldn’t bear doing it alone, nor could I bear to be away from Kenny except to do little tasks that only took a minute or two. But this task was gargantuan. My heart and throat ached and I couldn’t stop the tears with every sentence I read and every mark I made. Dear Kevin read with me, helped me focus and poured out his love and compassion with the tone of his voice, with his clarity of mind, sitting real close with his full attention and his presence and his willingness—to just sit with me and hold while I wrote and checked boxes and barely grasped the meaning, not wanting to dwell on what happens to a body when it stops living. I can still feel enveloped in a cocoon of caring, the kind of caring that really works—to ease the burden, to console the tears, to hold all of me, all levels of consciousness in the love of the Spiritual Heart. Try as I might throughout all these blog posts to describe the wondrous moments when I was truly aware of the presence of Spirit, I can only hope these word pictures touch you enough to reach your heart and give you a sense of their power, their sweetness, their unpredictable magnitude.

And here we are, another day in a life when one of us has met his last day in the glory that God prepares for us. Through my words, my pioneer tracker husband is still showing those of us reaching the age when we contemplate our own mortality more seriously—that we can leave this world with the truth on our lips and in our hearts, knowing we are one with God and welcoming the ascension to which we are all heir—into the Heart of God.

God bless you and remember to prepare those papers ahead of time so it’s all taken care of when the time comes that one of you will lift off before the other.

Love for you to respond. Tell your story. I’ve had several people share deeply and that’s why I’m writing—to give us all a chance to utter the truth about death and dying, no matter what that is. Please respond by writing in the comment field or writing directly to me at I’ll do my best to respond to all.

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Maybe I Should Just Kill Myself

A few months before the cancer diagnosis, we were arguing about what I called unnecessary spending. Me and my “volunteer” salary and Kenny on unemployment. When I couldn’t get through, when I felt unheard, when I resorted to mad, mean, sarcastic retort, I yelled almost red-faced, “Get a job!!! To that he said, “Maybe I should just kill myself.”

I was in shock…utter disbelief, insurmountable shame, that my words could evoke such a powerful response. I still had no clue how much turmoil was boiling under that calm, deliberate, and plodding exterior. But immediately I too felt the impact I meant for him and cried out, “Oh no, Honey, I didn’t mean for you to go there.” I’m so sorry, my darling, my tall, strong, handsome, cute, smart, sexy adorable husband. But still, even though I pulled back my rage, my temper, my “fresh” and stabbing comment for which in my childhood, I would have been smacked in the mouth and punished, I still didn’t get how powerful his cry for help was. How could I have known only two months later, he would be sentenced to death by metastasized melanoma cancer. Little was I aware of how his body had already been ravaged by the disease without us even having one clue. No pain, no bulging tumors, no erupting moles, and yet, there it was, silently killing my husband, the negative power having its way with his precious body, imprisoning his mind and emotions. Even this was hiding, and lurking, and eating him alive.

This moment of taking back my rage opened a place in me that saw, for the first time in a way that I could put words on it, how entwined I was in his family karma. I responded to him a lot like he told me his mother and father and sisters responded to his perceived weaknesses. Of course, he fit perfectly into mine as well. What that looked like is yet to be discovered. The point here is that in my realization, a little, thin trail opened before me and as I stepped out of the forest into the clearing, there I found my compassionate heart, and I began to see what he was reacting to in me–the judgmental, scolding, nothing’s-good-enough wife, mother/father/family all rolled into one.

So instead of blaming him for not having a job, for spending money frivolously, for amassing huge quantities of stuff, I began to have compassion for his story. So while all these years, my ranting and raving had no appreciable effect, this one single nano-second of compassion opened up a whole new world of discovery. My God, it does work to take baby steps. And another of the precious teachings of the Spiritual Heart reveals itself to me. What did I discover?

By now it was only a month or so before the diagnosis, and life as we knew it was about to change unmistakably, irrevocably, and permanently. What’s the lesson here? If you keep on doing the thing that is not working, you’ll get what’s not working. If you change just an iota, a hair’s breath, s blink of an eye, new worlds of opportunity become available. If you remind yourself that unconditional loving is the foundation for a deep and abiding relationship, and by the way, is always there underneath all the fodder of the world, it’s just a matter of shoveling that fodder into a pile where God can transform it into gold. You’d spend much less time, if any fooling around with reactions to negativity that cause it to fester instead of dissolve, and more time in the Heart of God expressing the “good things of the Soul.” Unconditional loving, compassion, understanding, acceptance and a list a mile long of positive responses to life’s beauty and life’s challenges.

I leave you with a heart full of gratitude for all the gifts I am heir to in this unprecedented era of awakening in my life. The greatest portion of the gratitude goes to my sweet and adorable husband who in a pure, selfless act of generosity, gave his life in service to my awakening. I know that’s not all that happened and he didn’t die just for me, and then again, maybe he did. After all, we were told that we assisted each other to pass into the realms of Spirit many lifetimes before. No wonder this was THE most profound experience of my life –a culmination of eons of passings with his dear and precious Soul, and certainly, as John-Roger has prepared us for our final and most important transition of our lives, it was the most profound and beautiful experience of this lifetime for Kenny. I am left in awe and give thanks for it all.

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How Spirit Works and How Fear Can Lead to Hiding

It’s been quite a while since I last posted an entry. Been working for the last three weeks and that daily activity takes my mind away from my sorrow and my loss. One of the pleasures of my work is getting my hands into the garden here at Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens. I love the gardens, the shapes and colors of the gardens, the living, loving, alive things and how they change and take shape. In doing things I love to do, I use up some mental and emotional energy in the loving. Oh, a friend told me yesterday that when she realizes she’s sad over the loss of a loved one, she immediately sends that Soul her loving–and as Spirit would have it, the loving comes right back to her in ways she consciously experiences it. Isn’t that wonderful! I’m going to try it myself.

I’ve also continued the task of unboxing things upon things and deciding where they go. The task of notifying a myriad of businesses, associations, and contacts that Ken had died. The task of communicating with hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies. But the most important message today is about how Spirit works. My friend Richard came to me a couple of weeks ago and told me that the night Ken died, he and his partner Kate were overwhelmed with the joy and welcoming they sensed Ken was receiving as his soul left his body. They each had their own experience of this without conferring with each other until afterward. It was as if they themselves were present on the realms of Spirit where these welcomes take place. Indeed, if I understand the teachings of the Spiritual Heart, some part of their consciousness (their own souls) was present on those realms and they were conscious of it just as Ken was conscious of his Soul throughout the last few months of his life here on earth.

Remember I told you about my other minister friend who had the same experience as he prayed outside our door the night Ken died? And remember I told you about how my practitioner friend helped Ken realize that his grandfather’s soul was present to support his transition? And how John Morton, the Spiritual Director of MSIA, told me not to worry about missing the moment that Ken would leave his body, that I would be called, and indeed I was called out of sleep to awaken just minutes before he stopped breathing.

So when I am conscious enough to move my awareness to the Spirit that resides in me, I am comforted, I am hopeful that my future has purpose and even more loving than I’ve ever experienced before, and I know my birth family and my spiritual family love me and help take care of me by praying for me, by giving me space to do those tasks, and by asking if I need anything, and helping me dig into the boxes, and listen to me tell the stories I have written about here, and look at the photo album of his life, and make DVD’s of the memorial service and our wedding, and CD’s of our ordinations and the interview in the New Day Herald.

In a couple of weeks I’m traveling to the East Coast where his family will hold two more memorials for Kenny. With me I take a bunch of memorabilia and his ashes. Cremated human remains, TSA calls it. And a death certificate to prove that the box indeed contains these remains. Impersonal and yet a daily occurence on any airline on any given day. Deeply moving how such a common thing can be so profound when it’s someone as close as a husband with whom one has spent nearly every day for years upon years. I still think he will walk in the door any moment.

My sweet and darling husband was no saint, at least not until the last couple of months of his life, and oh now I’m remembering, not even then. He left with some secrets that I’m only now beginning to understand. In the big scheme of things, not terrible things, but what is important is that my fears fed the part of him that was compelled to hide. I was very outspoken about what I feared and that made him hide what I feared. I know this sounds vague so I’ll try to be more specific–just as a way to get clear enough for me to let go of the fears and for you to understand how fears could tempt one to hide.

I am highly sensitive to cigarette smoke. I avoid it wherever I go and choke up immediately if I smell it. Ken continued to smoke about 4 or 5 cigarettes (the natural kind) throughout our marriage on the sneak. Never in my presence and always on breaks at work or in the car with the windows wide open. I never found out he still smoked after telling me he had quit years ago until he was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. And that’s when he really quit. I was shocked but oddly enough I wasn’t surprised because he knew how to hide so well. And when he or it was found out, he didn’t seem to mind taking the consequences–his nearest and dearest being mad as a bat, withholding love and unable to communicate. Somehow my inability to have any altitude in these situations fit perfectly into his pattern of being scolded for things he did out of his own compulsions. This is only one example of many that showed me two people could play into each other’s negative patterns just by being who they are, human beings with foibles and weaknesses.

To this day I still don’t know the dynamic of Kenny’s childhood that created his ability to hide. I do know the dynamic in my childhood that produced fears–doing things that my parents would disapprove of, that would create reasons to punish me, that reflected in my mother’s eyes as she glared at me ready to pounce. Like flashlights under the covers at night. Like shaving my legs, and wrestling with the boys. Waiting to do the dinner dishes until my grandma got up to do them. Wearing my skirts too short. And necking! Crazy isn’t it! Still together Kenny and I created our own brand of miasm that was hard to crack. It only began to disintegrate when I realized what we were doing. Naming it started its downfall. Thank God because it freed me up enough to give my life over to serving Kenny in his hour of greatest need. I am blessed. I am grateful, I am willing to serve as my life’s work. I pray for my Kenny’s Soul and ask him to watch over me in my elder years as I do my best to demonstrate who I have become as a result of our relationship.

In this my love reaches out to you to brighten your awareness of your own divinity. God bless you.

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