The bright red plumage that bedecks the peppy cardinals in the cedar tree always catches my eye and makes me pause a moment...to breathe, and smile, and feel, and sigh, and allow the love I feel for you to swell into tears of longing. I am grateful for these all-too-rare visits from our crimson mediums that send me a message from you, wherever you are, right to my heart. As much as I cherish and am dazzled by a cardinal hopping about in the yard, there are other avian messengers more steadfast and sturdy. Since the day after you had died our resident family of crows began to behave a little differently. They gathered around the house taking turns as sentinels in the tree-tops. Raucous cawing alerts me when people come up the drive and wake me in time to see a sorbet-colored sunrise. They leap-frog from tree to tree escorting me along the driveway as I leave for work in the morning or come home in the evening. The cardinals are gorgeous heart warmers, but the crows, well they are something more akin to an animal guide who is working with us, Thor.
It's funny how we know things, but doubt ourselves until we get a third party to verify them for us. This is how I feel about my communication with you. It's so clear to me, but then I worry that it's just my heart's longing conjuring up a feeling, an idea, a notion…anything…that would corroborate my sense of connection to you. The cardinals, the crows, the music on the radio, the wind chimes outside my window. All these things that feel like places where your spirit can interface with us here if we just take the time to see and feel. I know two things for sure, the love in my heart can never die, and the love you have for me and all of us here can never die. So, if I can sink into that love and stay there, I can find you, talk to you and hear you. But still my mind can doubt, so I seek for outside help to give me something more evidential, more concrete, more believable.
A few weeks ago I had a massage with a healer who works with energy, similar to shiatsu, but more accurate to certain energy patterns. During this work, we built a rainbow bridge that connects you to me for ready, easy, clear communication. Since then I have focused on this rainbow connection that emanates from my solar plexus directly to your heart, Thor, to send love and little conversations. It's brought me such peace to have this energetic pathway for direct-messaging you whenever I have the notion.
Last week I spoke with a woman who has a strong connection between those of us who are incarnate and those of us who are discarnate. We set out with the intention of connecting with you, Thor, and we were not disappointed. You were able to communicate many things through her; special images and fragments of ideas that resonated in my heart to bring me solace and peace. But you clearly stated that the "big black birds" are your personal envoy and for me to keep tuning into them. Then she said that you sent her a very strong image of a rainbow that ended with me and that you are getting the messages and that the bridge is good! I tell ya what, I got goosebumps! That made me smile all the way through my whole being.
What a blessing to have found these beautiful helpers as I continue my journey into grief, love, and joy. I say all three because without the inexplicable, unfathomable heartbreak of losing you, Thor, my heart would not have been pried open to the greater experience of universal love. And without understanding that grief is an expression of that love, the love that binds us all, I could not have turned the corner to realize joy. Joy is our natural state. I'm not talking about the fleeting, conditional joy that is bound to this ever-changing world. I'm talking about the joy that pervades everything and is as necessary to life as air and water.
When I sit to meditate in the morning, I focus on my solar plexus where a ball of bright-yellow energy shines and pulsates like a million suns; the source of life lives in us all and radiates from this third chakra point to fuel our daily actions as well as our intuitive sensing and ability to manifest our intentions. I say Our Family Blessing and then repeat, "I live in a state of being that allows a greater experience of Love. I live in a state of being that allows a greater experience of Joy. I live in a state of being that continually rejoices in life." From the bright sun center, my focus moves to my heart which is still broken open, but it is warm and willing to experience everything; it can never be anything other than this, as it is altered forever by your death. Only now the sorrow and the love that live here are not just for me. My awareness is expanded to encompass the beauty and the suffering, the love and the light of all beings.
In my broken-heartedness I am not alone; countless mothers have walked this road before me and countless more will come - and have already. In the short months since you died, Thor, several young people from families I know have left this earth unexpectedly and far too soon. The wake of agonizing pain, grief, suffering and illusion-shattering transformation that follows those terrible deaths calls to me now. I know the journey, even as it continues to unfold for me revealing new truths and insight. I know the breathless depths and constricted heartbeats and stupefied disbelief and anguish and anger that backfill the holes in our being when our children die. I have found a path forward across the shards of my shattered heart to a new way of being.
When the news came that a dear friend lost her sweet boy, I was, at first, triggered and thrown back into those first hours and days after you died. My understanding of my friend's pain is so utterly deep that all the pain of my own experience came rushing back like a black wave. I cried long and hard in the shower, letting the water pour over me carrying the anguish with it. I sobbed for my friend and for me and for all the mothers whose hearts are ripped open with the death of their kids. We are united in a terrible and powerful sisterhood, our collective experience is one that binds us in sorrow and love and infinite empathy. It is the compassion for the suffering of others that alleviates our own - we are not alone! And it is this empathy that floods love across the pathways that connect us all. From here I can receive love, too. I feel it soothing and easing the sorrow, uplifting and carrying me when it hurts too much. And so I can eventually find my way back to the focus of my meditation…"I live in a state of being that allows for a greater experience of love. I live in a state of being that allows for a greater experience of joy…"
The bright sun in my center reaches out in an arc of rainbow-colored energy to tell you, I love you and I miss you, sweet boy. I listen to the silence of the morning as it is startled awake with the raucous caws of three crows in the tree outside my window. And as my eyes open from meditation I catch a glimpse of their black wings cutting across the saffron sky, their cacophonous chatter telling me, "I love you, mom and I always will."
I live in a state of being that allows a greater experience of love and joy. I know now, that even when there is sorrow, this is possible. This is what it means to truly live.
I love you, Mom.