It was a beautiful sunny fall day in 1995. I had published my first book, The Ancient Ones, The Mission Remembered. Now, I was on the first tour to promote the book. Since the July publication, I had been in Utah, the Bay Area of California, spent a week with my family on the Olympic Peninsula and was now introducing myself and book to the Seattle area.
The day had been going well until I walked into the last bookstore. The owner was gone having forgotten our appointment. Nothing to do but head home. As I got back into my car, I thought about cold lemonade. A 40 minute drive home. Hot day, cool drink. Sounded good!
As I went to pull out of my parking space, my Spiritual team said, "Why don't you go on home." I argued, " Cold lemonade would taste mighty good." Then the reply, "Traffic will be questionable if you wait." "Oh, but a lemonade would be a great treat." "You can get one once you're out of the city if you want." No pressure. Just a suggestion. I had learned to listen to those subtle "suggestions".
So, I pulled onto the freeway and drove home. When I pulled to the curb, my 15 year old son and 11 year old granddaughter came running out of the front door to my car. That was a first!
My thought was, "Wow, this is probably what a dad feels like when his kids rush him after work." I smiled.
And then everything went sideways.
"Carolyn's been in an accident!' they shouted.
Carolyn, my youngest daughter, had stayed in Utah to finish at Weber State University when my son and I had moved to Washington state.
Accident! How, What, questions whirled through my brain as we walked in three legged tandem into the house.
My daughter Teresa pulled me in. "We have been trying to find you," she said. It was the world before cell phones. "Carolyn was in a car accident, hit by a semi and is in the hospital. We have tickets booked. David has packed you a suitcase and we were just getting ready to leave." It all came out in a rush and trickled down my spine.
I dropped my books in my room, was rushed into the back seat as my son in law, daughter and 3 year old granddaughter drove to the SeaTac airport and a flight to Salt Lake City.
Had I ignored or diminished the message, had I stopped for lemonade, I would have missed the flight.
The journey with Carolyn and the 23 months before she felt complete with the earthily portion of her Soul journey is another story.
What I want to share in this letter is an important truth I learned after Carolyn consciously left her body on July 20, 1997.
Regular conversations with her in that new world of Spirit began on July 21, 1997 and we visited every morning for the rest of the year. We talked about her accident, our relationship and her experience in the new phase of life.
I want to share a conversation that I had with her that informed what I chose with Keith's passing this year. Also, what I encouraged my family members and others to consider. This is from writings of a conversation with Carolyn about her accident and death experience.
"I am a little sad tonight, missing all of you. I will be hovering with everyone tonight and tomorrow. I hope my presence helps rather than aggravates. I know it has really helped me to spend time with you. For some over here, “death” has meant instantaneous severing by their physical family....it is extremely difficult.
"Even though the idea that the Soul never dies is fairly common, our culture has not taken the next step to education ourselves on the language needed to continue relationships beyond the void. Many who have made the transition we call "death", try to stay in touch. They call out, I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive! When those without a physical body suit move close to those they love, their loved one's energy field resonates to the Soul presence. There may be a feeling of coldness. And most usually it triggers memories from their times together. Instead of recognizing that the Soul presence is there to Love, Calm, Bless, the one in physical body is sent into great waves of grief and loss.
"When this happens again and again, the Soul discovers that in order to stop painful memories and grief, it is best to stay farther away. That is the true loss for those on this side.
"Treat this as if I am in a foreign country with only phone or mail access. When you think about me, quiet down and call me! I really need the calls from home, from family. The sadness you all feel will become empty. The calls would enrich both of our lives!"
And I have been blessed with experience after experience of such conversations. So, when Keith passed, I encouraged anyone who would listen to set aside time to "talk" with him. The practice can be as simple as setting Sacred Space and quieting the mind. Then, asking one question and waiting with a pencil and notebook for the answer. It gives a beginning. The answer may come as words, symbols, feelings or even colors. It is through making the effort to begin and recording the conversations that the relationship can continue. And as you begin, be willing to reach out to ask for help.
I hope that this idea helps your "boxed" limits drop away so the you might hear those subtle suggestions like, "Don't stop for lemonade." or "I'm alive and still with you!" Building a language that works for you creates the bridge between the worlds your loved ones may be traveling.
Sending blessings of love and insight for you and your life!
Sharon Riegie Maynard
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After Forty years of working within the worlds we call Spiritual and with Beings of the Highest Integrity, I am honored to share my path to spark and empower your own.