Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What is Death? by Eleanor Stem

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Egyptian Judgement in the Afterlife

I believe in reincarnation, that’s all there is to it. Souls clump together and help each other through lifetimes. We learn, collect good and bad karma, love or dislike each other, hurt or shore up the other. When we’ve known souls for several lifetimes, and one leaves this plane, it is difficult to bear. We miss them. Our hearts break for our losses, while they are glad to be back. Once we move on, we again remember what we thought we’d never forget, but did.

As 2015 shot out of the gate, and within weeks of each other, both my husband and I lost life-long friends, people we knew since we were children. We grew up with them, rode bikes together, suffered through puberty, know their children, their spouses. 

Husband’s friend lived down the street. He was always intense, and dedicated all of his energy to whatever he did. While young, he played in a band, traveled all over. One interesting place he lived was in Oklahoma among the Native Americans. He was a collector. He collected Native American artifacts, arrowheads. He loved music. It was part of his life. He breathed it, felt the thrumming of chords and notes in his flesh and sinew. He collected rare cd’s, band tee-shirts, memorabilia. Loved to have his picture taken with a musical group and post it on facebook.  One Saturday in mid-February, his chest hurt. By morning, he was gone. 

My friend and I started out as pen pals when I was twelve and she ten. At the time, I was embarrassed to have a friend so much younger than me, and I didn’t tell anyone about our age differences, fearing I’d be ridiculed. She lived in the West Midlands of England, near the Potteries where people in her neighborhood worked in factories and crafted Wedgewood and Prince Albert dishware. I visited her more than once, met her family, her aunt and uncle. I lived the same town for a year with my boys while I researched a novel. She saw my anger when I divorced; I saw her sorrow when her father died. Just before Christmas, she was diagnosed with cancer, and left this mortal coil a month and five days later.

We were shocked by these quick deaths, so unexpected. Medicine today is quite good. The doctors should have saved our friends, our loved ones. Why didn’t they? People with the worst, most insidious cancers can live quite a long time. Why didn’t my friend, or my husband’s friend stick around?

Because we are the ones who choose when we come or go, what our lessons will be, how we will learn these lessons, who we want to run with, love and dislike. Once our life's lessons are complete, we leave. We review. We either hang out in the clouds or begin another life. Our guides help us. God aids us. We are not alone.

I had vivid dreams of my friend laughing at my sorrows. She was glad to be on the other side. I asked where her life review took place, and she answered, on a hot, sandy beach. She was always cold in England, and this satisfied her a great deal. Almost a year ago, she told me she was bored. In my dreams, she admitted her life had been too constricted, controlled. Now, she wants to play, have a more exuberant life, be slightly naughty. She stuck around for her memorial service, then with a sweep of her skirts, she was gone. I hope this new place she goes to will be filled with more love, more light, and be better than the violence and hate of this earthen plane.