Dealing with Grief

GRIEF FORCED ME TO TAKE THE RED PILL IN ORDER TO AWAKEN TO PEACE

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“After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”
– Morpheus | The Matrix, 1999

I wouldn’t say I was asleep before the loss.

As a child, I was very in touch with my gifts of intuition and an openness to spiritual realms. But then I lost my mother. My father. Aunts. All of my grandparents.
The losses accumulated and little by little I ignored my gifts; closing myself off from them to be able to function in this world that demands of us every day. I voluntarily entered a cocoon for comfort, to retreat away from deeper knowledge and understanding.

Then I met Derek, my beloved. He reintroduced me to that part of myself that I had hidden away and cut off communication with. I made peace with God and myself as a spiritual being and the gateway to awareness unlocked.

Yet, I was still living comfortably in my cocoon with all of its luxuries.

When he passed, I again saw signs and synchronicity. I could have gone back to ignoring these messages focusing solely on work, paying bills and going through the motions of a “regular” life. But I did not want to forget , not continue to ignore this part of myself that Derek had brought back to my attention as I had done as part of my coping mechanism with the passing of my mother, father and the rest of the family. Instead, I followed the signs which led me into an understanding and awareness I couldn’t possibly imagine.  

Like the character Neo in The Matrix, suddenly the warm, womb-like chamber I had rested in peacefully emptied itself, broke open, and ejected me painfully into the cold and the dark.

Despite my desire to embrace this part of myself, I still tried to crawl back into the cocoon and suture it up with blissful ignorance for a period after Derek’s death. What I hadn’t immediately realized was that the cocoon was destroyed and I could not go back because the butterfly had already emerged. I  couldn’t return into a space that no longer fit it and covered up my beautiful wings.

I was changed forever.

“Do not try and bend the spoon, that’s impossible.  Instead, only try to realize the truth—there is no spoon.  Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”
– A Potential to Neo | The Matrix      

Before the loss, I experienced the physical world through the lens of my mind – what I could see and touch. As things began to “happen to me” that I couldn’t make sense of, I realized I had to shift my understanding to allow the possibility that in death the prevalent identity of the body shifts into a new identity – Consciousness.

Now here is where we can get into verses from the Bible or quantum theory discussions and scientific claims, but this is not the point that I am trying to make.

When I look up into the stars from my apartment, I can feel that there is a world and Universe bigger than myself. There are forces that affect events that take place that we cannot explain. Once, there was a time when we believed it was impossible to go to the moon or travel beyond our own star. “The discovery of these things were possible because we allowed our minds to be flexible and entertain the possibility that there was something greater beyond our imagination.

So could we be flexible in allowing the possibility that we can still connect with our loved ones even though they are not physically present?


Would you like to try?

[Please have a notebook or paper handy and read the exercise through first so you know what to do]

Sit in a comfortable space with the lights dimmed and music/TV/phone off.

Place your feet on the floor so you feel grounded.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath through your nose and out through your mouth.

Imagine yourself walking down a long hall filled with soft white light.

This hallway has many doors, both on the left and right sides.

You walk down this hall feeling relaxed, taking easy steps.

You instinctually stop at the door that you are meant to open.

You open the door and see a beautiful room decorated in soft pink and white hues.

You are completely relaxed.

In this space you can ask your loved one a question. Wait for a couple of moments.

You may receive an answer in the form of a thought, an image or a song.

You may sit in this space for as long as you like. And when you are ready, you may leave the room as you walk back down the hallway and open your eyes.

What did you receive? Write it down.


You can try this short exercise anytime you wish. But it is a good example of what is possible to experience if we allow ourselves to change our thinking for even a brief moment.

Your mind may tell you that what you heard or saw was not real. That your conscious did not connect with another conscious.

And it is OK to doubt but ask yourself in the moment that you were in the presence of your beloved, did you feel unsafe or foolish or did you feel the depth of love or peace with your loved one?

If you felt love and warmth, is it unrealistic to bend your mind like the spoon and allow yourself to experience that re-assuring moment whenever you are feeling depleted?

As those still here living, seeking the truth and being aware as to where our loved ones go when they pass will not make the journey without them easier, but it does provide a gateway that when we need them the most we can connect to their healing love.

IN LOVE & LIGHT 
VAL

Image © Captblack76

The Messenger

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I experience each holiday differently. Some years I’ve been able to immerse myself into group festivities of merrymaking and some years I retreat into comforting activities Derek and I used to share such as making crafts or going on long drives and enjoying the beauty of the season.

I am in a retreat year.

But the one constant is that Derek always finds a way to let me know on Christmas Day that he is thinking of me.

This year he sent his message by way of my cousin. Kin2C

Christmas Eve, I was running errands and saw the license plate “Kin2C.”

Knowing that license plates are always a portal of communication for me, I sent a last minute invite to my two cousins and brother to come over for pizza and to make holiday cookies.

We do not spend time together so it was nice playing video games, making batches of cookies and enjoying each other’s company.

At the end of the night, my cousins gave me a bag of goodies which included a cute wallet, slippers and a shirt. I smiled at the beautiful gift and feel asleep.

It wasn’t until Christmas morning I realized what the tag of the shirt said. 20171227_103942

Our loved ones are constantly around us letting us know that they love us and are never far away. In this instance Derek used synchronicity/”happy coincidence” of the license plate and an unknowing messenger (my cousin) to send me a reminder that love never dies.

As I receive these moment of comfort, I wish you too peace and comfort in the signs that you receive during the holiday season and through the new year.

IN LOVE & LIGHT
VAL

Gift-wrapped image by @ Alena Kratovich

 

 

 

 

 

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS THE WAY YOU WANT TO

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I’m listening to the radio and the host mentioned how excited she is for Thanksgiving to be coming up next week. I didn’t even realize how quickly it came up.

Before, I would have had my Thanksgiving Day reservation made at Boulevard Five72 and a complete menu for the day after Thanksgiving all prepared by November 1st!

Now, the holidays approach like a regular day for me and I can almost slip through it unnoticed – until the invites come flooding in from friends asking for me to celebrate with them.

Of course I am always grateful, but the holidays after a loss is hard.

Even when you are surrounded by loving family and friends, sometimes it’s still not the same.

Through the smiles and laughter, there are times when a deep sadness peeps through and I wish I was home surrounded by what was familiar.

So, all of this is to say that I know that for some, the holidays may not be easy to navigate. In fact it may be downright hard.

I’ve come to realize that while the holidays will not be the same – some years will be good, some passable and some not so good – I had to give myself permission to do the holidays my way.

I focus on one day at a time and allow myself to do what makes me feel good, even if it means not following the expectations of what others may want me to do.

Every year, Derek and I engaged in our own holiday traditions. One of those would be to go to Bethlehem, PA to look at the Christmas lights and watch Santa ride through town on his Clydesdale-drawn sleigh.

I had a need to continue the tradition even though he was not physically here – so one morning, I just got into the car and drove to PA. The experience was different as it wasn’t during the night as I was used to doing. I also didn’t see Santa, but funnily enough I ended up having a good time exploring the Christmas shops and museums. I let go of expectations and gave myself permission to experience the tradition in a different way.

There are no expectations for you to be able to get through every day smiling and happy and that is ok even if others do not understand.

SO GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO DO WHATEVER  YOU NEED TO DO TO GET THROUGH THE COMING WEEKS.

If you want to stay in and create a voice message that says you are “Out of the Office”–
do it.

Book a trip for the holidays or indulge in something that makes you happy.

Leave a party early or not attend at all.

Or cry.

Give yourself permission to let the energy flow however you need it to.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO PLEASE EVERYONE
AND KNOW THAT EACH YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT.

I used to go to South Carolina to spend the holidays with my best friend and her family. The warm weather and running after my nieces would help me to reset.

This Thanksgiving is a toss-up of spending it with friends or taking an impromptu trip up north. Or I may make lavender and white chocolate cocoa, put on my favorite sweats and binge watch movies.

For Christmas, I always hold an annual Cookie Swap party in early December. However, this year, I have not given a single thought to the actual day and that is ok. Whatever I decide on, I know it will be what I want to do to make me happy. It will be what my soul needs.

SO YOUR MISSION – IF YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT – IS TO DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT TO DO,  WHATEVER MAKES YOU HAPPY OR CONTENT. THAT’S ALL THAT YOU NEED TO THINK ABOUT. ♥

Sending love and light always.

Val

 

RECIPE FOR LAVENDER & WHITE CHOCOLATE COCOA
Combine all of these ingredients into a small container to use whenever you want this indulgent treat.

¼ cup powdered milk
½ cup vanilla pudding mix
1 cup white chocolate, shaved
2 tbsp lavender

In a small saucepan, add ¼ cup of the Hot Chocolate Mixture into 1 ¼ cups of milk. Stir until heated through and the chocolate has melted.

Strain to remove the lavender and Enjoy!

Image by © Andreaobzerova

Vanity Plate Moments and Finding New Connections

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Perhaps the stars in the sky, are loved ones letting us know they are near, by guiding us through the night | Author Unknown

Our loved ones are always around trying to let us know that they are okay or are always near to watch or guide us. And sometimes they will go through extraordinary lengths to get our attention. However for the widow/er sometimes it’s like a being in a crowded mall with your child and you bump into an old friend. There are so many noises and stimuli including the conversation of catching up with your friend that you don’t always immediately hear your child calling for your attention.

For myself, I had so many emotions and “noises” going on in the first weeks after Derek passed, I couldn’t hear him grabbing for my attention with the exception of the truly extraordinary like when the car radio would play the same song over and over or the time when I felt like I was being woken out of bed by no one in the room (that is a story for another time).

Derek and I used to talk, text or I.M. each other almost non-stop throughout the day — the only time we were not in contact was when we were in meetings. With him gone, I missed that constant contact that soundboard to bounce ideas from, to share stories or to just say “I love you.” It was frustrating to me because there were so many signs pointing to him being present but I couldn’t hear him…

…That is until I lowered the noise in my heard and learned to tuned in to the “right station.”

It began three months after Derek’s passing. I was spending the day with my friend and her 2 god-children in Poughkeepsie. We were returning from my favorite place — Cracker Barrel and were dropping the boys off home. The music was playing and the spirits were high in the car.  The melodies of Barry White were drifting in the background and my friend was recounting stories…stories that I vaguely remember. I was sitting deep in my thoughts wondering why I was still “here?” More importantly, what was I going to do “here” now that my soul mate was gone? Silent tears began to fall…

In an instant the music stopped; the string of thoughts stopped as I heard a voice tell me to look up. In front of me was a white Hyundai SUV stopped in front of us at the light. The license plate said “VALUVAL.”

I stared at that plate for a long time as I couldn’t believe what was in front of me. Of all the places, of all roads of all times, I would stop right behind a car that would hold so much meaning for me. My relationship with Derek changed in that instant. He wasn’t gone, he never left …I just couldn’t hear him.

While my communication with Derek has evolved and expanded, I still talk to him in the most visible way possible — through license plates. Usually, I will ask a question and there will be a car in front of me or near me answering that question.

Below are just a couple of examples of my communications with Derek through this medium. Every time I see a new one I still smile in loving awe and amazement — even the very small and subtle messages. I had to let go of the control of wanting my communication with Derek to be the way it used to. I had to let go of the idea that he had fully abandoned me. He wasn’t going to answer the many texts or emails I left him telling him how much I missed him. He wasn’t going to call me on the phone to tell me he loved me. But when I let go and opened my mind and heart to accept whatever happened, we found a new way of communicating.  And in that, I found that  we are never without them and they are never without us.

March 2013: The one year anniversary is approaching in three months and my anxiety attacks have returned. I find myself in moments when I’m not breathing…

On this late night I’m heading to the supermarket to pick up a couple of items. I get out of the Clarkstown-20130309 - Exxhalecar and emotions begin to overwhelm me; I find myself on the verge of crying again — I put my shades on so no one sees my eyes.  As I return to the car, right in front of  me is the plate – “EXXHALE.” I had been holding my breath again and I finally exhaled>

April 27, 2013: I had just finished my journal entries that was part of my weekly homework in my new Path of Light class. I decided to go out Orangetown-20130427-Maitreya1and take one of my weekend drives and mediate on what I had learned about always being conscious to shine our light into the world. As I was driving, I started to think about how excited I was to be in this class and wondered what the topic of discussion would be for the next week. Just as I was thinking of this a car turned out from a gas station in front of me. The license plate said “MAITREYA.” That following Wednesday in class we received a channeled lesson from Lord Maitreya in disconnecting from the mass consciousness.

IMG-20131028-NewWay1October 2013: It’s been a little over a year since I’ve learned to look for signs from Derek through license plates and yet I still find myself questioning whether my communications with him are real. On my walk home from the bus stop, I found myself posing that same question. I kept wondering how would we communicate effectively? I felt like Derek and I were speaking two different languages and I was not feeling confident that I was “doing it correctly.”  I pulled out my key to open the door; I fumbled and dropped them on the ground. As I stooped over to pick them up, I noticed the license plate “NEWWAY.” Yes, we were learning a new way to talk and I just  had to trust in my ability to get the message that I needed.

March 22, 2014: Was going through a particularly emIMG-20140322-Undead1otional day. Both our anniversary and my birthday was coming up in April and I was feeling Derek’s absence more than ever. I went to the mall hoping to distract myself with a movie. The tears began to flow as I entered the parking lot. I started talking to Derek on how much I missed him. In that moment I doubted that he was really with me — I said to myself that he was dead and that I was making everything up in trying to believe that he “existed.”  As I pulled into a parking spot, there in front of me was a Jeep Liberty with the license plate said “UNDEAD.” Even through the tears, I had to laugh and thank Derek for “bringing me back.”