Even in death there is much to make one happy if he will but seek it. – The Secret of Happiness
Today we are almost bombarded by reports of death –– often unhappy, traumatic, even violent endings of lives that can be troubling to learn about and are so very far from the natural transition from one aspect of life to another that will be the experience of most of us. Here is one Lemurian’s experience with and growing understanding of this change of life that almost all of us are destined to go through.
My uncle died suddenly when I was nine. At the funeral we sat listening to the minister as my cousins cried quietly around me. Though I barely knew my uncle, sadness pressed hard on my eyes and the back of my throat. No one talked to me about what had happened, what it meant, or how they felt. And I didn’t ask. After the funeral, we went on with our lives as usual.
I was in college and a Lemurian student when my grandfather died, just as suddenly. I found my grandmother sitting in quiet shock and somehow smaller in her living room, relatives arranged supportively around her. Neighbors brought food. We ate together, visited the mortuary to view the body, and again there were waves of emotion but except for a minister’s gentle words over the casket, no significant conversation. But by then I was seeing death differently.
My grandmother was not Lemurian, but because her son and his family were, the Lemurian Fellowship sent her a card of support. It was the one thing she seemed to respond to that day, wanting to know who sent it, saying how kind it was.
When my dad and I were alone that evening, he opened up in a way he rarely did, saying his father felt deeply about things, but seldom expressed his feelings. I knew my dad was talking about himself too. The powerful bonds of emotion and memory that connect us to a parent melted his own natural reticence. We had a free-flowing exchange about Dad’s early life and our memories of grandfather. It was one of the best talks we ever had.
We remembered how capably he provided for his family, running a real estate agency in town while raising cattle, sheep, chickens and bees on the farm. His garden with seven-foot corn and luscious Concord grapes. How he lived twice as long as his father and brother, who both died at 40, yet how he worried about the heart attack that finally ended his life. How he always put up the bag swing and bought cases of soda when his grandkids came for the summer. We laughed at his famous absent-mindedness and the time he drove halfway to town before turning around to get his forgotten hat because otherwise, he said, “They’ll think I’m a college boy!” Or the time he asked my mother if she wanted to go with him to town. She said yes, and he promptly drove away without her!
As Lemurians often do, we thought about what my grandfather may have wanted to accomplish during the life he had just concluded. We knew this was not the end, only one chapter in the great book of his adventures on this earth. He would be back someday to start a new life in a new body, and though we would miss him a lot and both thought we could have done more to tell him how much we loved him, there was no sense of loss or hopelessness.
Sometimes the full glory of a life is revealed only at death. The sadness of parting is natural, but very often we can see it as a celebration of a life well lived.
A life is fully known only to each of us and God, but from all we knew about a loved friend, we can learn about life and ourselves.
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