I've a hard time dealing with the death of people before their time.
A few many years ago now a lovely lady and neighbour came to me for Reiki. She had cancer from which she was recovering, only that it came back again and despite the Reiki and the other treatment she was receiving she still lost her fight for life and with that her teenage children lost a mother and her husband a wife.
Her passing had a huge impact on me. She used to swim at Saints Bay with her friends and if you go there you will know that there is a rock to your left that looks like the hand of someone showing his or her fingers up to the world. Before she got too sick to swim, my beautiful lady would swim with her friend in the early morning and sit and drink champagne and feel some sense of connection with that hand as she wanted to stick her fingers up to the world too.
So did I when she died and I must admit that every time we go to Saints - which funnily enough is a regular thing for us these days - I always think of her and I take great comfort in those finger rocks! In any event after her passing, I took a break from channelling Reiki because I figured it didn't work anyhow right, because after all she died.
A few months later I received Reiki myself, from a lady who also channels from the other side. And she channelled for me that day and I was told that a beautiful lady wanted to talk to me, to reassure me that the Reiki had helped her enormously, brought her a lot of comfort and that she was ok, safe on the other side and that I was to start practicing Reiki again. Mind blowing really, but so comforting, I remember that experience like it was yesterday. I still think of that lady reguallry and the impact she had had on my life.
It was a few years later and over some wine that I was having a deep conversation with our lodger at the time who was a palliative care nurse, and we were talking about healing and death and she reminded me, or educated me I guess, that healing does not necessarily mean getting better. This was lost on me. As a healer, I expected people to heal, make changes, live another way, learn lessons, get better, move on, do whatever it took to - essentially - LIVE. But alas here she was giving me a totally different perspective and while it comforted me a little it also horrified me that healing did not necessarily mean living happily and forever after and I had to take some time to process and accept this.
But it was hard for me. And the passing of Sue most certainly pulled the rug from under my feet.
I met Sue in Goa when I attended a yoga retreat led by her and my most special yoga teacher, Emil. While Emil led us through the more contemplative, philosophical and meditative part of the 2 week retreat, Sue led us through the asana and the kitan and the dancing. She was full of life and confrontational with it too. I'll never forget the skinny dipping night when she pulled off all her clothes at the outdoor pool and dared us to bare ourselves whole, us Brits and Swiss had more of a problem with this than the other Europeans and hid under water!
I invited her to Guernsey and she came and stayed and led a weekend intensive with lots of asana, devotional singing and dancing and I will always remember leaping around St Peter's hall and one of my fellow attendees having such sore calves from all the dancing that she couldn't attend the next morning, let alone the poor solitary man who decided the female vibe was too much for him. So too the deep conversations we had and the pouring of souls and the richness of her eyes and her vibrancy and inspiration for life.
Sue joined a few of us for a meal and the family for walks and happy times on the Sunday so that we all connected on some level and we vowed to stay in touch and she was keen to help with aretreat on Guernsey. We stayed in contact following the weekend, but life shifted and mine was focused on conceiving Elijah and hers, I was later to discover, was focused on saving her own life. So actually the contact became silent and despite sharing the joy of Elijah's birth, I never heard a word back. I know now the reason for this because 10 months later later I heard the announcement of her passing. Rug was pulled.
I could NOT get my head around the fact she had died. She was Ewan's age, late 40s and vibrant and beautiful and a dedicated yogini who set up yoga on a shoe string and oozed beauty and loveliness and was just such a special alive person. Dead.
I just could not process it. It really affected me. She led an ultra clean life, she practiced daily, it was her life. She sang devotional chants in the most beautiful way, she was a yogini nomad travelling to share her joy, to die from stage 5 breast cancer, it made no sense.
I found a video of her at a cancer conference, in which she said that there was more at work than diet, or thinking or whatever it may be, that she had the healthiest lifestyle, that she did weeks of juicing and other alternative nutritional therapies, positive thinking, a lot of processing of the issues she had from her childhood and all sorts of things, and then chemo and then all sorts of other allopathic things and yet she was STILL was called to the other side.
It left me broken really. Not that this is about me. But it blew my healing world to pieces and I felt sad that I never got to say goodbye and thank you to such a shining light. She was all I ever could imagine being, so dedicated to the practice, to the nomadic yogini world and to the children she helped. So now, here, Sue, thank you. I listen regularly to your kirtan CD and sometimes I sing and sometimes it reduces me to tears.
I re-read a book recently by Caroline Myss called "Why People Don't Heal and How they Can", to remind me a little. Because some people don't want to heal, I see this a lot, some people derive so much attention from their illness that they do not want to lose that attention by getting better ( we talk about this in Reiki 1). So too others derive their whole identity from their sickness that they have not idea how or indeed who else to be, it is their story, but also the person they have chosen to be. I am sure we all know one of each of these.
And then there are others, for whom healing means a gentle passing to the other side. They are no longer meant for this world. And Reiki and reflexology and massage and counselling and whatever else it may be, helps them to come to terms with their next step to the other world.
And I understand this now, as a healer, I get that healing does not mean necessarily getting better. It can. And for many the healing journey is profound and awakening and life enhancing and indeed life prolonging. But for others, it is simply a comfort and a coming to terms with, and an acceptance of, their dying from this world and their transition into the next.
There should be some comfort from that recognition.
Yesterday a most beautiful lady passed on to the other side. She was still so young and she leaves behind two daughters who are 7 and 3. She attended a yoga retreat with me in Herm a few years ago now with her two friends so that united they were the 3 witches. It was here, on Herm, that she discovered the joy of Reiki and she went on to study to Master Level and during the course of her illness she embraced all alternative healing modalities and nutritional therapies.
It was her path I suppose, not that that concept will bring much comfort to her family and to the daughters who will grow up without their Mum. And I have to dig deep if I am honest to trust that this is how it is meant to be, that there is a reason for everything, and that all will be well in the end. But the practice assures me of this. It does. We practice to put into practice moments like this. Perhaps it s a cop out, but it eases the pain in my chest and calms my tears.
Earlier on today my Mum (as only Mum's can) told me that she had read a few of my blog postings and complained that I pontificate and preach a little. I don't mean to, I just love writing and I like to share. But regardless, it is at times like this that I think, it is all relative anyway. Death has a habit of stripping back the layers so that we are raw and exposed. This is how it is. Life. Death. This is another wakeup call on the back of so many recently, to remind me that it is not about going out and getting wrecked, or living life precariously or dangerously, or on an edge, but to love. just love. Just love yourslef. Just love everyone.
No pontificating, merely an observation that perspectives shift.
Always. Ever. Is. Love.
Love, love, love.
F - love and peaceful passing beautiful lady - Namaste.
So it was both a shock and a comfort to hear her words. That for some, like