My deep desire to bring the inner dialog about death outward is how this website came to pass. My life-changing experiences with death and dying taught me there is so much we can learn from death. Death can be a spiritually healing experience for us. When we learn to embrace death, we no longer fear life. When we no longer live from fear we can love and live fully.
It is my hope that in sharing mine and other’s journeys through darkness, we can:
- Gain peace of mind in discussing death and dying with family and friends
- Be fully present at end of life with those we love
- Help survivers live life more fully, authentically and peacefully
Since my grandfather’s death, I’ve been called to assist in similar ways at end of life. I’ve been honored to walk with my Godfather, who suddenly and unexpectedly died in March of 2016. His quick, intentional transition to the other side was graceful and chosen.
The Master of Love
My Godfather wasn’t coherent in this physical reality due to the brain cancer he took on just days before his death, but his messages from the other side were very profound. His death revealed the Master of Love that he was, though to the naked eye he was wearing the costume of an ordinary, hard-working father and husband. Through him I experienced the most amazing energy of love. In quiet moments, I gleaned a perspective on the soul’s choice to sacrifice itself for the greater good. Because I couldn’t translate the feelings I had during his transition, I built an altar beside a lit candle that burned night and day until he transitioned.
Barbara the Light Bearer
At the time of my Godfather’s death, I had been working with a woman named Barbara for about 3 months. I was introduced to her in 2015 and, at that time, her light was bright. I remember having a level of confusion when I walked into her room. She did not look like a woman who was dying, even though others said she was.
We didn’t know it then, but it was just the beginning of many months of hard work. She would take on the task of letting go of the material world that she loved, no, adored, so much.
During the last few weeks of her life, I would walk with her in dreamtime. One evening, at the top of a nearby parking garage, I received a somewhat frantic phone call from her daughter. She had stopped in to visit with her when Barbara seemed to “travel” into another reality.
It is common for the dying to transition in and out of states of consciousness. She had done it several times before reporting things like beautiful colors, waves of energy, and deceased loved ones. That night, she wanted to show me something. As I focused in, a special walk to the other side occurred.
The visions I saw were amazing. They were so real and the energy I felt as I looked at all the “worlds created” revealed a deep sense of peace along with profound love. Barbara repeated over and over again, “Creating the worlds.”, as I saw many types of high rise buildings and other dwellings in my mind’s eye
That walk into the created worlds was only one of many insights Barbara shared with me. There are two lessons I will never forget, both delivered two weeks before she died. She asked me to promise to never to forget them. I promised I wouldn’t and I’ll share them with you, too.
Important Lessons for Living
The first lesson was simply, in her words, “All there is is love. It is all love.” She said if we remembered that, we could experience more compassion for both self and others.
The second lesson she shared with me she called “the secret to living a good life.” I’m paraphrasing her words, but they went something like this: “I’m going to give you the secret to life…life is only about choice. In each decision we make we can make a choice to see the light that is right above our heads or we can choose to stay in darkness…the time between birth and death is simply about experiences we have through making choices.” She added, “We can choose to go towards the light or not. Don’t forget that. Choose wisely.”
Barbara “became whole” and died a peaceful death in the early morning hours on June 1st, 2016.
Initiation, not Vocation
What’s most interesting to me is that I didn’t consciously choose this work. I didn’t study for it. It wasn’t part of my business plan. It seems a bigger part of me saw my struggle and called me to bravely sit at the side of those I needed. Thinking they needed me, I went and bravely witnessed their struggle, not knowing how much I needed their wisdom and the lessons only death can give us.
Each time I’ve walked with death, I’ve been given a special opportunity to assist and be assisted. To learn the spiritual truths of life and love. As I’ve bravely looked at death, I’ve been touched by it’s wisdom and, armed with insight, I’ve been able to lean in, face my own fears and emotional strife. The reward: I let go and life gets better.
Shamanism speaks about the process of dying while we are still alive. Each time we die to one of our fears or misunderstandings we are reborn. We don’t have to leave our physical body to do this. This cycle of death and rebirth is available to each and every one of us, long before our physical death.
So I’ll continue to lean into this work of learning how to die, embracing rebirth, and being okay with not knowing what’s next. I’d love for you to join me in choosing life and living well.
The Story Continues
In December of 2017, I interviewed Barbara from the other side via her daughter, Susan. To read the wisdom she had to share with us from the other side, click here.
© 2015-2018 Janis Underwood