My friend and mentor Jessica Alstrom has talked a lot about how, when we are afraid to let go of a co-dependent relationship or a job or other 3D-related circumstance that keeps us in a contracted emotional state, we are the only ones holding ourselves back from expressing and living our highest joy. That has been true with me.
I posted a while ago about my dream of having a campervan and going wherever spirit leads. Two months ago, I took a temporary apartment for two months in Lawrence, Kansas, with the goal of paring down my possessions and getting into a Class B motorhome. (A Class B is a small—about 20 feet—campervan with all the basic amenities.) Those two months have passed and I am only nominally freer of earthly possessions and have researched campervans but do not yet own one.
And the job (j.o.b. = just over broke) that Jessica talks about that we cling to because it pays the rent? That describes my job at Amazon. It pays for rent and groceries each month with no extra money and sometimes extra month.
Regarding roaming where spirit leads, I have a bucket list of people, places, and events I would love to visit. But honestly, as much as I consciously love the idea of roaming across the countryside in freedom, I am obviously afraid of stepping out into that unknown. My limitless travel plans are triggering the sh!t out of my inner child’s safety issues. My habitual go-to retreat is the 3D “logic” of keeping my ducks all neatly lined up in a row.
So at the end of July, with no campervan in hand, no remote work in hand, and the end of my lease term, it was time to renew the lease or move. I chose to move.
Long story short, the lease on the new apartment I found started August 1 and I had to be out of the old place by July 31 bright and early. With the shortfall of one to two days, the leasing agent ok’d my move-in on July 30. So I paid the deposit on the new apartment.
I arranged to take off work for July 30, scheduled the move-in walk-through with the leasing agent, and planned my move day to be done by end of day. At walk-through time, we completed the walk-through but were not given keys. I waited five hours—precious moving time—and finally learned that the property manager had denied me move-in access until Aug 1 because contractors were still finishing up construction. I needed a place for my apartment contents and me to sleep for two nights.
The leasing agent felt responsible for the mix-up and offered part of her garage to store my stuff and a couch for me to crash on for a couple of nights. So on the evening of July 30, I unloaded (three trips) into her garage, getting to sleep after 1am with a 6am wake-up for work.
Through all of this, all I could do was surrender to each new twist and turn of the story. My previous pattern would have been to get frustrated and upset that things were not going according to plan. But I didn’t have time to thoroughly lay out a plan for each new step. Totally unexpected developments kept popping up and all I could do was surrender to them. Apparently, higher-self had more surrendering in store for me as well.
That same night (Jul 30), my brother Geoff, in Calgary, phoned me to tell me that Roshanna, our soon-to-be 90-year-old mother, in assisted care for dementia, had fallen and broken her hip. Geoff, in consultation with the surgeon, elected not to operate due to Roshanna’s frailty. That meant she would be wheel-chair bound for the rest of her life. In the emergency room, they also discovered that Roshanna had pneumonia, having had a cough the past two weeks. My brother also mentioned that Roshanna had said to him a few days prior, in a lucid moment, that she didn’t know why she was still here (living), that she thought she would have passed on by now.
On August 1, I finally was able to move in to my new apartment. Between working all day, packing, unloading, and calls with my brother Geoff, it was another late night of moving, this time from the leasing agent’s garage to my new apartment. In light of Roshanna’s newest health challenges, Geoff and I decided I would fly to Calgary in time for her ninetieth birthday on August 3. So I booked my flight that night.
I awoke August 2 to find a text from my younger brother Cabot, who had arrived in Calgary the day before. He said our mother had passed away at 4 AM that morning, the day before her birthday, and the day I was to fly to Calgary. I was heartbroken that I hadn’t arrived in time to see her before she had passed. But I was relieved for her. With dementia, she hadn’t really been living. Once she decided to go, she went quickly. In typical Roshanna fashion, when she decided on something, she acted on it.
Brothers Geoff, Cabot, and I decided I would still go to Calgary, for a celebration of Roshanna’s life on her ninetieth birthday, and for a visit with my brothers who I hadn’t seen in three years. With a seat-of-the-pants plan, I finished transporting stuff to my apartment, leaving boxes stacked and bed unassembled. I packed a few things, left for the airport, and flew to Calgary.
Shannon, Geoff’s partner of 25 years, picked me up at the airport late that night. Shannon briefed me on the goings-on at their house. Geoff had mentioned to me earlier on the phone that he wanted to have a house wake. I didn’t know what that would be like. Shannon said they had scrambled to clean up Geoff’s workshop to create a sanctuary for Roshanna’s wake. The hospice where Roshanna had been for only 12 hours before she passed away wanted her remains vacated as soon as possible. So they quickly prepared a space.
When I arrived at their house, I went with my brothers to Geoff’s workshop to visit the physical remains of our mother. They had created an amazing space in such a short time. There was an altar with portrait pictures at various points of my mother’s life, and cards and notes from people who had visited that day or who had wished her a happy birthday before they knew she had passed on. There were candles and sculptures and essential oils. There was an amazing storyboard displaying pictures, events, and people, depicting my mother’s life. And in the center of the cathedral space that is my brother’s workshop was a table with my mother’s body resting as if asleep, on a sheet with rose petals around her, with one hand resting across her solar plexus and the other by her side. Her face was at peace. Her mouth was open, as if in the final release of her spirit. She was much thinner than when I had last seen her three years before.
I wept to see her. Her hand was cold to the touch, but still felt like her hand. My brothers and I sat in silence. We later talked about how we felt we saw movements around her body but thought our eyes were playing tricks on us. Someone related that in traditions and religions outside Western practice, the custom is to let the body rest three days following death to let those in the unseen world unwind the chakras and fully release the body. Although I have known many people who have died, I have not had such an intimate experience with death as this.
The only one of my parents’ siblings who now remains is Roshanna’s sister Alice, who claims she will ascend while alive. I have no doubt of it.
The next day, August 3, would have been Roshanna’s 90th birthday. It was an amazing day of love, grieving, and a reunion of relatives and friends of Roshanna that I hadn’t seen in years if not decades. At one point, there were nine of us who stood encircling the platform on which Roshanna’s body lay, holding hands, honoring Roshanna, sharing our memories of her presence in our lives, and the gifts that she brought to the world. It was a sweet and healing sharing circle that arose spontaneously. It gave free and open voice to our grief and to our appreciation for her. At one point I said, “Roshanna, may your crossing be warmly received on the other side by all those who love you.” My brother Geoff said, “Yes, Elan [Roshanna’s friend and awakened psychic] said she was received with great joy.”
In 1975 when I joined what later became known as the Heaven’s Gate cult at the tender age of 21, it was a shock to my parents. Although it was their predisposition to go against the grain, my joining a cult was a catalyst in their search into deeper truths for answers to the question of why I would do something so foreign to normalcy. Their search for answers took them into esoteric metaphysical paths, much less common then than now.
In their explorations, they took courses, read books, and went on retreats. They eventually opened the first metaphysical bookstore in Calgary. People later told me that some considered them the metaphysical elders of Calgary. At one point my mother joined Scientology for a year to understand what being in a cult was like. She eventually developed her own healing methodologies involving essential oils and sound healing. My dad studied with Robert Monroe in Virginia, eventually teaching Monroe’s Hemi-Sync technology. My parents had an open marriage for a time as did many in their circle of friends. Theirs was the only marriage that survived. Both my parents were light-bringers, experimenters, and metaphysical pioneers. Many people in the Calgary community felt deeply grateful to them for their contribution to their individual lives and their community. My dad crossed over in 2010 (10/10/10 at 10pm).
If everything is soul-contracted, then all these events and paths were previously decided amongst us, from my joining the Heaven’s Gate cult, to my parents diving deeply into metaphysics and spirituality, to the impact they had in their community, to my mother’s slow decline into dementia.
All those in the sharing circle knew my parents’ history. All of us had experienced the power and love Roshanna expressed throughout her life. But more than that, it felt like we were honoring an amazing light-bringer on behalf of a collective of both the physical and nonphysical realms.
The next morning, August 4, the day after Roshanna’s birthday, it was time for me to pack and fly home to Kansas City. I had planned to be there just for her birthday. Two days before, the funeral home my brother Geoff had found had been very understanding of his request for a house wake. Now, this morning, at their appointed time, they came and—very respectfully and professionally—collected Roshanna’s remains. As they left, Geoffrey, my older brother, the one who had primarily looked after Roshanna’s needs and affairs in recent years—was heartbroken as they left and openly wept. He had been a tireless support to her, and it had an impact on many levels of his life. His grief overflowed at that point of finality. Her body will be cremated this coming Tuesday.
This past week has changed me in ways I cannot describe. Two things I do know: I don’t need all my ducks in a row. And I feel the veil between worlds is so much thinner. As I corresponded with a friend, I told her I felt my mother is now set free. I feel her restored to her full power, love, awareness, and joy in spirit. My friend agreed, saying, “Yes, I feel her own joy—she did the total super-nova—you will feel her around you—she’s close.”