My father passed away when I was eleven years old and this event had a significant impact on the course of my life, made more complicated and misguided as his passing was clouded by emotion – and misunderstanding of the truth of what had occurred.
The emotions that most impacted my life were grief, guilt and sympathy – which you might say are natural reactions to having a parent pass over when you are at such a tender age. That is … if you buy into a model of life that says that the natural course of human life is to be born, experience many things, grow old and then pass away when you are in your eighties or nineties. And that this is your one and only life, especially when viewed from a false religious narrative that also loads the event with notions of good and bad, heaven and hell – all watched over by a God keen to judge how one has lived their life, based on a narrow set of standards.
I learnt of my father’s passing when my mother came home from the hospital, where he had been admitted the day before with a seemingly sudden illness, a complication to an ill condition he had developed in infancy. My brother and I were sitting on the lounge at my grandparents’ place, watching TV and eating dessert, when my mother came in and told us that “The angels have taken your father to heaven.” This was a rather poetic way to explain what had happened, and no doubt there was no real guide book as to how to explain such a thing to a child at that time.
My first reaction was to go into guilt – how could I be sitting here eating dessert when my father had just passed away? Surely I could have been more responsible, I told myself … as if my behaviour had an impact or ability to control the course of events that had unfolded. For many years I could feel this guilt around eating food – as I’d associated it with somehow being irresponsible in the face of such a life tragedy.
This feeling of guilt was further cemented in the days after his passing when I took on board comments made to me about how I should handle my father’s death. As my mother was working at a Catholic school at the time, we were visited by a group of nuns. I have a clear memory of sitting on the end of a couch with a rather large and imposing nun sitting beside me, leaning in very close and telling me not to cry or be sad as my mother already had enough to worry about and didn’t need to worry about me. Naturally I did feel sad that my father had passed away, particularly as it was so sudden. I was confused about what I had seen when I visited him in the hospital and also that I didn’t have the chance to say goodbye. It was all so unexpected.
Rather than being given the support to understand what had happened – I was left to find my way amidst the behaviour of those around me and the beliefs and traditional views they held. I could sense people looking at me and without using words, there was a feeling of ‘that poor little girl losing her father’. The sympathy that was directed at me was another layer of emotion on top of the guilt I’d taken on and the grief that was not given expression, having held back any tears I might have felt were there to shed.
In this sense, the passing of my father was not seen in its true light and the process naturally completed. The emotions continued to sway the way I viewed life and were often motivators for choices I made, particularly in relationships with men.
Throughout my life, whenever someone I knew passed over, it was like the whole ‘job lot’ of emotions I had taken on would come to the surface and I’d find myself getting absorbed into the story of what had occurred and even more disturbing, wanting to fix the situation for others, somehow thinking I could take away their pain and going into sympathy with the situation myself.
This really was a murky business.
I also became fascinated with the whole process of death and went about ‘learning’ what really happened when someone passes over. I studied a well know ‘expert’ on death and read about various cultural traditions and beliefs around the whole dying process. Yet, all the while I carried unresolved emotions and could feel how they continued to play a part in how I saw life, relationships and the impact this had on family dynamics.
One thing that I became open to was reincarnation. This made sense to me, when compared to the Christian teaching of the body being brought back to life in a far distant future and everyone living happily ever after somewhere up in the clouds. However, the way reincarnation was presented by different cultural groups was still clouded with confusion and many aspects of the way it was taught just didn’t make sense.
I could feel all of this begin to unravel when I began to be open to the healing that was on offer at Universal Medicine courses and presentations. I still had many questions and could sense how entrenched my reactions and emotions really were. I remember going through a phase of wondering how else I could have responded as a child, justifying my behaviour, feeling the disempowerment of believing I was a victim of what life had handed me and having a deep attachment to the story of how my childhood had unfolded. I saw life in terms of the domino effect: because this happened, then that happened, leading to this happening and then that, as though I was a pebble being washed and tossed along a stream with little or no choice other than to continue to react to each new situation that unfolded.
It was through a loving commitment to knowing what the truth of life is, that I have gradually been able to clear and heal all of the emotions that held sway in my life for so long. With each point of clarity, I can see and feel that life is so much more than what I had allowed myself to believe.
I now see reincarnation as a very natural process that makes sense and is an offering to return to the innate wisdom and qualities that belong to our Soul, the aspect of us that remains true in its connection to the one Soul, God, and the Oneness of the Universe. This occurs through an ever-deepening process of renouncing all of the false beliefs we have taken on and a clearing and healing of all of the choices that were not in true alignment to our divine nature.
With this understanding I can feel that my father’s passing was part of his own evolution and what had been called for by his own Soul, and all that he experienced was the result of his many choices over many lives. I can also feel and see that his passing was a blessing and gift for me, an opportunity to more deeply read and observe life and although my own life would have been simpler if I had this understanding and awareness as a child, I can truly appreciate the offering and the support of the teachings of the Ageless Wisdom and the community that lives and reflects these teachings so simply. This support has allowed me to accept the truth of life, let go of the emotions that I had taken on and live a life that feels true, full of innate wisdom and a connection to a much grander model of life.