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Some Thoughts on Death, Grief and the Afterlife

This is a topical subject right now. Many of us seem to be losing loved ones.. death is very much in the air. So I am going to write about the effect that death can have on us, particularly the death of family members and close friends.

This blog has been prompted by the death of one of my oldest and closest friends. We’d known each other nearly 25 years; she was unconventional, like me – we were both into non-mainstream things. You could say we were on a very similar wavelength – she understood my world. So I will miss our long telephone conversations about the esoteric things we liked to discuss and compare notes on. So this is for you Jane, with thanks for your love and friendship over the years. You adored roses, and magenta was one of your favourite colours, so the photo is very apt.

The death of someone close can be quite shocking in the way it changes us and makes us look at things. It is incredibly humbling as it breaks your heart open; and it can also trigger memory of other losses and trauma that we are holding inside. All my close family members have gone, so I am no stranger to grief. It’s crucial to allow the emotions free reign - allowing the tears to flow – not holding it in; suppressed grief can cause stress and illness, and it’s not healthy. Recent bereavements can trigger grief at any time, quite unexpectedly, particularly on anniversaries and birthdays, so we need to be kind and understanding to both ourselves and others, and make allowances. I can only speak from my own experience which is that the grief that follows a loss, while incredibly painful, has greatly deepened my awareness on each occasion. Maybe we have to suffer in order to grow and understand more. I have heard it said that grief is really love with no place to go, and that rings true for me. The loss of someone who has been in our life for years can be quite shattering, and we never really get over it – I think we just gradually learn to adapt. Grief also seems to open our hearts more and more over time so that we are increasingly able to view the whole world from a higher and more loving perspective. It’s very painful when those we love are not there any more, and we are unable to show them the love and affection we feel, which is a natural human reaction when you care so deeply. All this love for the people you miss, and nowhere to go with it! So we channel it to our pets and the others who are still here with us. And in my case it also gets funnelled out into the world through my healing and teaching work – so now everyone gets it! When you are open-hearted, that’s how it is.

There are also instances where we have our own brushes with death – sometimes near death experiences (NDE’s) - and these can affect us and change our perception drastically. Many years ago, I stared death in the face several times, at the hands of someone I once loved, and each time it changed me radically. When you are a fraction of an inch from death, it focuses the mind in the moment like nothing else : there is a split-second flood of realisation of what really matters, and you never forget that - that inner knowing stays with you for ever more.. you are forever changed by that threat of imminent death. The fragility of life becomes very real, and you learn to live in the moment with happiness and gratitude for every day you have left, and want to make the most of it. And it also brought the realisation that life is all about love; we are love incarnate, expressing as humans for a while. And everything that happens or that we do is either love- or fear-based.

Regarding the subject of life after physical death : I speak from my own direct experience, which is that not only is there an afterlife, but that we are at times able to tune in and access it, and are often visited by spirit or deceased loved ones, wishing to reassure us or give us messages on a “need to know” basis. I have had countless dreams and visions to support this knowing of our connection with spirit, and the fact that loved ones are still bonded with us from the other side. It is after all only the body that dies – we can look at it as a sort of spacesuit, or bodysuit, that our soul inhabits as our vehicle for existing here in 3D on Planet Earth. When the bodysuit is no longer serviceable it drops off (death) and our soul goes home to the astral plane to continue it’s work there; until we agree to reincarnate into our next lifetime, to have more experiences and adventures, and so acquire a greater depth of knowledge and wisdom. And 3D Planet Earth has been the harshest environment to incarnate into this time around – only the strongest and most advanced and resilient souls have the opportunity of coming here. It is a particularly great honour to be here at this time of Earth’s and Mankind’s Awakening and Ascension.

Sometimes we get impromptu visits from deceased loved ones – I have had many over the years, which have helped me greatly. One example : My mum came to me in a very vivid dream/vision two weeks after her physical death – I opened a door, and my mother was standing there, wearing a party dress, all ready to go out (she was a very sociable Taurean and a fantastic professional pianist), and she looked absolutely radiant. It served to comfort me in the weeks and months ahead, having been shown so clearly that she was indeed OK in the next world. A few months later we met again in my dream/vision in a library this time – a quiet place full of books; she came towards me down one of the aisles, and said “You do understand why I was like I was?” (we had a very difficult relationship until the last two years), and I said “Yes Mum, I understand”, and we embraced. In this way, both she and I knew everything was OK between us at last, and we were both at peace with it.

Occasionally we re-meet people in this life that we knew in one or more past lifetimes. I have had many experiences of events from past lives, with scenes being played out like a movie in one’s mind’s eye. I can tell when I meet a soul I know from previous lifetimes; there is a recognition - we already know each other and have a strong connection, and sometimes I am shown events from those past lives that explain what is currently happening here and now. It’s always a rare blessing to re-connect with souls we already know, especially much –loved ones from very happy past lifetimes together.

Coming back to my friend Jane – the reason for this blog. Jane would want us to celebrate her as we knew her – happy, vital and alive. She was very real and passionate about the things that mattered to her – a person of great integrity who spoke her mind. She departed this world on Friday the 13th – a day traditionally believed to be unlucky in this modern patriarchal-run society. However, in ancient times when feminine energy was revered not suppressed, Friday 13th was a day of celebration of that beautiful soft, loving, quietly powerful feminine goddess energy that Jane personified so well. Maybe her soul chose that day to leave, knowing that her close friends would get the joke! RIP my dear friend Jane.. I celebrate and honour your life.

Sheila Whittaker February 2023

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