We’re getting this week’s newsletter out a bit early, and you’ll see why in a moment.
Early yesterday morning, October 15, my sister Christine’s husband Dick died. I’ve written about Dick and Christine in several newsletters these past few months. So I’m sure many of you know about them.
Dick was being kept alive by a respirator. He was conscious and alert until just a few hours before the end. Christine and the doctors, bless their hearts, were direct and honest with Dick.
They told him they could keep him on the respirator indefinitely, that being his only chance of living on, albeit in a painful, permanently bedridden state. Or they could take him off the respirator, give him pain medication, and let him go. Dick told them to take him off the respirator.
Several hours later, he died peacefully and without pain. As much as we will miss him, we all know he is now at peace and rejoicing in his new life and grand new adventure.
Dick was not only my sister’s husband, but also one of my closest friends and a beloved brother to me. I shall miss him.
Thank you all for your loving support during this difficult time for my family. I’m sure all your thoughts and prayers helped Dick make his transition easily and effortlessly.
I will be leaving for New York this coming Thursday, October 20. I plan to be there at least until mid-January next year, possibly longer.
As I’ve said in recent newsletters, Spirit’s and my work will continue in New York — the newsletter, readings, orders, etc. The only possible interruption may be with the newsletter due out Tuesday, October 25. I’ll do my best to get it out on time, but I can’t guarantee that right now.
All our contact information will remain the same — email address, website address, phone number, etc. I will respond to all your email, phone calls, etc. as I get settled in New York, though I may not be as prompt as I normally am. So please be patient. Once I’m settled, things will be back to normal.
Finally, please keep Christine in your thoughts and prayers as she goes through her own transition now to life without Dick.
And now on with the rest of today’s message.
Many years ago, my wife Theresa and I were at a special Roman Catholic service. The priest conducting the service was a dynamic, charismatic young fellow by the name of Vince Keane. He was an amazing man, full of life and joy. That was especially remarkable for a Roman Catholic priest in those long-ago days.
In his homily, Vince talked about death. He had worked with many dying people and their families. And he approached this dreaded subject from a most uplifting, positive perspective.
We, those in Vince’s audience, were volunteers who worked with and for seriously sick and dying people — folks who were “terminally ill,” beyond all the hope or help the medical profession could offer. Often, these people, and their families, were in deep distress and unimaginable pain.
I don’t remember all of Vince’s homily. But one thing he said struck me so deeply it has stayed with me all these nearly 30 years since he spoke to us.
At the end of his talk, Vince said, simply, “Death can be a healing.”
We have spoken before, and recently, of death, a subject so many humans dread to discuss. So we will keep this week’s “homily” short.
John has eloquently spoken to you on this subject before. So we shall add only a few short remarks here today.
Death is not the end of you. Most of you reading this already know that. Though you certainly miss the physical form of your loved one, death is simply another step on your journey of eternal life.
You have no ending, and you have no beginning. You just are — forever and for ever.
Certainly, your form can change — and does. When you incarnated into this lifetime, you transformed yourselves from the realm of spirit to the physical.
And when you’re finished with this lifetime, you will transform yourselves from the physical back into spirit. Though, in truth, you have never left the world of spirit.
When your physical life becomes anything less than joyful, when you are wracked with pain, physical or emotional — as Dick was — death can be a healing.
And so, death was truly a healing for Dick. He wisely chose to move on to a more joyful life, instead of living on in a pain-wracked body.
And his death will also be a healing for Christine, and also for his other family members and friends.
Once Christine moves through the grieving, she will reemerge into the joy of life, knowing she and Dick will meet again.