(For Your Own Journey through the Desert of Death)
“The soul of man is the candle of G-d.”
“Once something is joined, it is always connected, whether it remains physically linked or not.”
—Gregg Braden, The Divine Matrix
“After night comes day, inviting the dead to seek an open heart in which to find rest, an emissary who may become an ally, a friend.”
—Elie Wiesel, The Night Trilogy
Fulfilling My “Coda”
Originally, I thought that I’d have these conversations with you on the pages of a future book that still sits in the back of my mind. She waits for me to be done and free from creating this website . . . so I can finally start to pay attention to her, to say what needs to be said.
Yet, as I was getting closer and closer to completing the writing of the web content, I started to feel some urgency that this one talk can’t wait that long. That you may need this information as you’re dealing with your own process and journey NOW . . . and not have to wait for a few more years.
That conversation can start here and now, without wasting any more time, just in a shortened version. As a friend of mine recently put it, the web content, without this conversation, will be missing a “coda” (a metaphoric symphonic reference to the concluding passage of a piece, movement, or dance) for the energetic dance we have just previously created.
Did we? I hope so . . .
However, frankly, he did not know exactly what I was referring to; it was just an intuitive hunch that he has from time to time. So below are a few topics that were knocking on the door of my consciousness and wanting to walk in and be present, visible, and acknowledged.
Perhaps we were so silent for too long; not anymore. Shall we?
Pain of Children
When this tragic event took place in our family, I remember one of the individuals with whom we were in contact with at that time (an attorney) was telling me that my/our path would be very challenging . . . and severe.
He said that it would be more devastating than any other personal loss I had previously experienced.
(Note: In our approach, my husband and I are not using any terminology such as death, loss, etc. We asked the people around us to not speak to us in those terms as well, since we consider that the life of our son did not end. It was only transformed.
And, as a result of that transformation, we have now created this website and are making this
information available to others suffering through similar circumstances of pain. All this, and much more, has been created and completed with the collaboration and direction of our son.
Without his (our son) direct participation, none of this would have occurred and been published.
That is my approach and position. How you will choose to see, feel, and deal with your own experience is a decision of your own free will.)
“Please don’t say those words,” I asked him.
“We did not lose our son but only got separated from him physically. Yet ‘why’ would you say so? Did it happen to you too? Did something happen to your child? Where are those statements coming from?”
The oversize brown leather chair in his office, on which I was sitting, felt like a large black hole . . . a hole that was pulling me in. I had to hold myself on the arms of the chair. If not, I thought I would fall through it.
The back of my neck and my chest got very tight. The floor under my feet was dissolving. I held my breath and was terrified to hear his response.
“No,” he said, “it did not. My children are okay, thank G-d. Here they are.”
He pointed behind his back to a picture frame with a family portrait. They looked lovely and happy, as most family portraits do. But who knows the truth?
“You see,” he continued, “when we deal with children leaving before us . . . shifting, transforming . . . as you were saying . . . in your case . . . it upsets the normal order of things.
“According to the natural order of things, the parents must go first . . . before their children. That is the norm!
“Therefore, ANY change to the established order brings more challenges, more pain, and more devastation than we would usually experience if everything had gone according to the normal order of things.
In the days and years to come, when I experienced excruciating pain and unbearable suffering many times, I asked myself over and over again, “Why would I even make an effort to wake in the morning? What for? Another day of terrorizing pain?”
In those days, my mind would travel back to that day, to that conversation. Something about that conversation was very unsettling to me.
I could not accept the fact that the reversal of whatever we call “the natural order of things” (in my case, who leaves this world first and/or second) is to be blamed for this soul and gut-wrenching experience.
So what if there was no order at all?
Would we as parents still feel the pain, the agony to the same extent? Would we feel at all?
I was coming back to his statement, asking myself, “Is it true that the depth of my pain, my emotional and life devastation, is due to this out-of-order event?
And if that order was reversed and accepted by society as the “norm,” would then our pain and suffering be more bearable?
Are we as humans a product of our habits? And what if there was no order at all?
Would our reaction then be just the same as other events?
Would it be similar or different? If so, how?
Are the order of things and our default expectations the main determinant when we send our feelings and emotions into the abyss of darkness?
Is it true, is it possible, that if we deal with something that is “habitual” (a norm) in our society, then it is what dictates the level and depth of our suffering . . . or joy for that matter?
What is the true role of an order for things, a “norm”? And by the way, who set the order of death in place to begin with?
All those questions pushed me to search for answers. I knew I had to dig and search . . . and find some answers.
Here is another challenge for you:
“Where would you find any information about the order of Death? Where would you go to look?”
I went to the Bible! No? Surely, you didn’t think Darwin had an answer for me, did you?
Yes, I went to the Bible. I read from the left . . . and I read from the right. And from the bottom and from the top. I searched and searched and searched.
I was reading about Death and the “pain of children,” as G-d called the experience of burying children, during His conversation with Judah (son of Jacob), as much as I could find.
I was searching for every biblical story that had this theme, the “pain of children,” in the attempt to see the deeper logic, the reason, the hidden meaning behind it.
What was the purpose of this pain, this agony?
I was also looking to see how the biblical figures (parents) were responding to this event. How did they behave?
I needed to understand the meaning and the role of the order of things. Tirelessly, I was reading and reading and reading . . . anything . . . that was connected in any possible way to this subject, this theme as the Bible goes.
Surely, there is much more to study. However, allow me to share with you my findings (the short version) as they relate to our conversation here. First, here’s a “news flash,” in case you did not know:
The Angel of Death was created on the second day. Four days BEFORE, we humans—well . . . a man and a woman—were.
Did you know that? And if you previously knew that, then you would also know and understand that we, as humanity, were set up to fail . . . to make mistakes. Yes, that’s our job, to struggle and make mistakes . . . then fix them and make the world better.
Yet this realization left me with a feeling that we are playing in a “rigged game.” It was unsettling. I felt that G-d did not have enough trust in us, as humans, that we could rise to the occasion.
“The inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. ” That is what Bible states regarding humanity in general (Beraishiet 8,21).
And that sending Adam and Eve away to exile, in the end, had to happen anyway. And that is now where all of us are . . . as the Bible story goes. Learning and trying how to overcome that ( our evil inclinations) . That is that.
Second, let’s talk now about the order of Death in detail. Just follow me here . . .
Let’s talk about Adam and Eve. And let’s ask the following questions and see where we end up:
Q: Who were the first couple and parents?
A: Adam and Eve
Q: Who were the first children of Adam and Eve?
A: Cain (the first child) and Abel (the second child)
Q: Who was the first human to die (who began the order of dying)?
Are you with me here? Are you getting what I am saying here? Or, better yet, what the Bible is saying?
According to the Bible, the first human to die was the second (or younger) child. Not the mother, not the father, not the husband, not the wife. Not the firstborn, as happened in later days in Egypt during the Exodus.
No! The first human who left his physical form and came back Home was a child . . . a second son. The youngest one!
Here is another interesting biblical fact:
Clearly, in the eyes of G-d, Abel was favored . . . not Cain. Yet he/she, G-d, allowed Cain to harm Abel.
That is to say, Abel, the most loved by G-d and the youngest of all, went Home first. How do you explain that? How is that for “starting a natural order of things”?
So what is the “normal” order anyway?
Where did we get the idea of “normality” while speaking about the ending of physical existence?
Therefore, if the order of dying has nothing to do with our terrible pain and suffering, then what does? Where exactly is the source of the “pain of children”? Where are its roots?
Why is it, despite my many visions and daily conversations with my son, that I still was in this agony? Why? How about you and your pain? What else is a contributing factor to it?
After all, according to the Bible, G-d promises that after a year of grieving, He will make it bearable, easier, more tolerable. To come and heal our heart and soul. That is His promise.
Yet, in my case, after a year, my pain only doubled. And the more time that passed, the pain grew proportionally.
Given those bleak circumstances, I was still left searching for an answer . . .I had to.
An Authentic Grieving . . . and the Myth of “Getting Over It”
“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
—Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven
An excerpt from my upcoming book:
During the prayer services, I started to feel fatigued. Was I exhausted from the few days prior that were filled with nonstop errands to run?
Our older son was getting ready to leave the next day for overseas again—at least for another year. Helping him shop, get packed, and get ready had drained my battery.
When would I see him again? When would I be able to hug him again?
Sleep, who can? What mother could?
I noticed that my body started to tremble. Was I lacking sugar? We had left very early, and I still had not eaten any breakfast.
I looked at the clock on the wall: almost noon. Hmmm . . . the service has to be over soon. However, I couldn’t go just yet; I needed to help set up a luncheon for the other community congregants.
This Saturday, as a family, we were sponsoring a community lunch that usually is served after the prayers. Different members of our community usually sponsor these lunches in honor of important family events.
This week, it was the second anniversary of the shift of our younger son.
However, we also added an extra dessert table for the kids and a large birthday cake . . . a surprise for our older son. He was turning 30 that week as well. A double event—tears and joy in one week. That’s life!
The last time we had had a double-event week was when our younger son was graduating from high school at the same time our older son was graduating from graduate school. Good times! Never again . . .Never again…Never again…
I felt as if time stopped. My heart was pounding; I broke into a sweat. Everything around me started to spin in slow motion. I was experiencing vertigo.
Trying to keep myself balanced, I focused on the spiritual leader of the community, who was standing at the podium delivering a sermon.
As usual, he was wearing his black hat and a long black coat. It was the “uniform look” for the spiritual denomination he belonged to. He was finishing his speech.
“As soon as he passes by me, I’ll ask him if I can lie down in his office.”
In that moment, I felt safe enough to ask him about it. Why not? This was the beloved spiritual community of our younger son.
My parents used to bring him here, when he was just three and four. My father was one of the “original few” who helped to build this community from the start. Now his name was engraved on a special plate that rested on the Memorial Wall.
The next week would also be the tenth anniversary of my dad’s shift—many events so close together. How can I deal with all that?
The speech was finished. And the leader was now walking around the room speaking with the other members of his community. Then, as if he felt that I needed him, he walked right in my direction.
Oh, good. Now I can get some rest, I thought. Hopefully I will not need a doctor.
Finally, he was standing right next to me. However, I had yet to say a word . . . then suddenly, with a very unusual force in his voice, he said, “You look awful!”
My son, who was now standing behind my back, responded softly, “My mom is not feeling well.”
“I know that she is sick; I can see that.”
With a loud voice and a large hand gesture, he publicly announced his thoughts. “I know that she’s sick.”
Then he bent over me and loudly said into my ear, “Your soul is sick; you are sick!”
I was stunned, frozen. What? Ahhh . . .
His breath smelled of vodka and something else. That smell, the odor of alcohol, always makes me feel sick to my stomach.
He was drunk; he was very, very drunk! I felt nauseated.
“You are sick and your soul is sick. Your soul is sick and you are sick . . . ,” he repeated over and over again, moving around me. He could not stay still.
Once again, my son asked him to stop. Again and again, nothing helped.
He did not hear my son; he was only focused on me.
I think I fainted for a moment or so, as I saw myself floating above the floor. I noticed myself sitting in the chair; I could hear the entire conversation. I was hearing his loud voice repeating the same phrase over and over again.
Like a large black raven that sometimes does those strange aerial stunts while looking for its prey, he started to circle around me. His voice was loud and penetrating, just like the croak of the raven.
No one from the congregation was even attempting to stop him; only my son. Everyone else was just watching.
Why is everyone so resigned, so apathetic? I thought.
The community has no compassion; this community has no compassion!
I could hear a few high-pitched voices speaking right next to me. It reminded me of the twittering of small birds. Who was speaking? Who was talking?
I felt myself go back into my body. I collected the last few ounces of strength that I had left and asked him, “Are you sure that what you are saying is what is true?”
My voice came out unusually quiet, almost a whisper. Yet he heard it!
My voice stopped him for a second . . . and then something strange happened. He became more energetic and more engaged than ever before.
It was as if the quietness, and maybe the weakness in my voice, was gasoline that was poured onto his “fire.” As if my weakness, my physical inability, my dependency on someone else at that moment ignited something else in him. He became elated!
Bursting with energy and some kind of satisfaction, it was as if my momentary weakness contained the power of an aphrodisiac on which he was now feeding. He became ever louder.
“You are sick—your soul is sick; your soul is sick, you are sick!”
CRA, CRA, CRA . . .
He is drunk on his power. Where did this thought come from?
I was feeling more and more like a wounded bird being hunted for prey. His voice, his words felt as if he was feeding on my flesh.
I was being hunted to kill. He was killing my trust. He was devouring my hope. He was defiling my view of a community.
I stood up. I was able to stand up! On my own! Silently, I left the room. Outside.
Only one woman followed me to my car. I asked her to bring me something to eat and drink. She did. Soon the spinning and shaking stopped. I felt more together.
Much better. Solid. I felt the soft touch of my son on my shoulder . . .I started to weep. “He gives my soul tranquility” (Psalm 23:3).
Shortly after this incident, we left that community after another terrible incident took place that did not make any sense as well. That incident was also related to the shift of our son. It was very personal and deeply painful. It was the last straw for us!
However, others told me that after this first particular incident, he stopped his regular drinking. No one before had been able to influence him to do so. Not his wife, not the others around him.
Our New Role and New Responsibilities
With the shift of our children, our role in the world has shifted too. Now we are placed in the role of “teachers and healers,” whether we want this or not.
We will be put in situations not of our own choosing, where we will become the center of attention . . . under a magnifying glass. And everyone will be watching to see what happens, how we handle it, and what we’ll do next.
From experience, I can tell you this much:
In many cases, the people around you will not be “OK” with your grief and your authentic emotions and/or actions. I can’t tell you how many times I was covertly and overtly told that I should “get over it.”
What does “it” even mean?
As if I had no “right” to feel what I felt and just be with “it.” As if I had no “right” to get ill. As if I had no “right” to be not “happy” when expected . . . and to live my truth.
I had to learn how to stand up for myself and not to become “ashamed” of my process. I had to learn how to be “OK” and comfortable within my own skin . . . and with whatever that process was asking of me.
That became my own responsibility: to protect my own truth—my soul.
I had to learn to rise above people’s remarks and keep them where they belong—as just an opinion. An opinion that speaks and shows more about that person’s inner world than had anything to do with you or me.
I had to learn to be the best of myself in the Desert of Death. The Desert of Death will challenge us. We will be pushed to the max. We will be tested over and over and over again. We will learn about ourselves that we never knew before.
I had to learn about myself and uncover some parts too. Then I had to learn to accept those parts of me! What a challenge! What a responsibility!
To face and accept a different timetable that now was part of my journey too.
While for the most of the world “nothing happened” and the clock of their life remained the same, for me time stopped.
Time shifted. Time is not linear!
Back to my story:
In the next few weeks or so, I sent to the spiritual leader two e-mails where I asked for clarifications of “what happened.”
I also asked for clarifications regarding the alleged “illness of my soul.” Who and where was the healer, and who was responsible for the health of our souls?
None of my e-mails were EVER answered. However, I did confront him . . . and I think that act alone is what triggered his decision to stop drinking.
Six months later, that spiritual leader’s father passed away from a sudden bout of cancer. I wonder sometimes whether he told his father, before his passing, that his soul was also sick. Hmmm . . . better to have any soul than no soul at all!
Just yesterday, as I was working on finishing this story, someone from that spiritual community called me. This incident found its way into our conversation.
I was told that he still remains sober . . . and for the last five years has not touched any alcohol.
The Myth of “Getting Over” and Essence of Our Pain
Now for a few biblical/mystical facts:
- Jacob’s spirit left his body upon hearing about his son, Joseph, and seeing that his coat was covered in blood; this sent him into 22 years of deep depression. Twenty-two years! And ONLY after he saw his son again did his spirit revive in him.
- Sarah’s heart stopped at the moment she heard some false news about her son.
- Eve argued and had a fight with G-d when her son, Abel, was taken from her. Only when G-d promised her to correct it by bringing them together in the future did she feel somewhat comforted. And he did.
- Life that has a high spiritual energy can never die. What does that mean?
In brief . . .
That as long as we have a deep soul connection with our children, they are in fact considered to be alive. As when a life that was spiritually guided can never die. In many of the cases, children are naturally highly spiritual anyway.
What does this mean?
It also means that G-d can’t comfort us after a year, because it usually happens when there is not enough spiritual energy. Not enough energy of “life,” as in “regular” cases.
That is “why” we have more pain. Our soul feels and knows that our children are here. With that knowledge, we cannot be comforted by the Divine energy. We can be guided. We can be directed. We are loved. But the reduction of a pain is a different story.
What does this mean?
Pain is a sign of feeling the energy of life from a dimension that is wave based. Esoteric. Energy based. Mystical. Quantum. Alive! Present. Here!
That energy is felt by our soul. Our soul is the detector and the transmitter of that energy.
Side Note: I believe that one day, our technology will be able to develop a device that can not only detect this energy, but also see it and understand its vibrational frequency and translate it to the waves of the voice. It may look similar to HoloLens (computerized eyeglasses / mixed reality device / holographic computing platform) that just recently was used by NASA on the space station.
Till then we need to use and trust our own G-d-given devices that are installed within our bodies.:) . We have a sonar system that is installed in us. Just as dolphins. Each of us has it. Not everyone use it!
Hey, remember the time when we did all mathematical calculations by using our mind only? In my time, we were forbidden to use any assistive devices at school. We were told: use your brain! What happened now? Shall I say more ? 🙂
Anyway, this soul energy radiates across our physical, emotional, and mental bodies. It has to increase and align its frequency. Increase its vibration. Breaking the blocks that we have, creating new pathways in our being . . . all done with an experience of pain.
Breaking the crust of physical existence conducted by default is a laborious and painful process; it is not free of charge!
The energy of Soul has to not only elevate its intelligence to a different level, but also make all attempts to remain there. Getting there is not that easy, and maintaining that position, over time, is a huge challenge!
Since the physical existence is polar in its nature to a soul energy, the energetic system of our being that’s subject to default responses in the material world becomes subject to restructuring.
The purpose of the new system is to become a supportive platform for a soul that must remain to find its new balance . . . and avoid being dragged down. That is what becomes a daily challenge and goal to accomplish, while dealing with polarities.
Bringing the vibrational energy of Soul Intelligence forward and putting it in the driver’s seat of our life is the focus and the goal—a goal worth the pain and suffering!
Therefore . . .
A lack of spiritual energy is considered to be “death.” Period.
If you look around, there are many “zombies” around us who are spiritually dead, yet they are still in possession of their “vehicle,” so to speak.
Furthermore . . .
It is a mistake to think that the lives of our children have ended; their life continues! In many cases anyway . . .
That is why we never can “get over it”! We feel their life! We feel their energy! They feel our energy too! We are connected; our soul connection is unbroken!
How can you get over something that is alive and present? How?
What to do?
Be authentic! Trust your experience! Without authenticity, the crossing of the Desert of Death becomes almost too impossible.
In the Desert of Death, there are many paths and trails; none of them is the same. Choose your own.
Trust your heart, trust your soul, and keep walking the path that speaks truth to you! This Journey is only between your child, your dearest one, and you!
May the Divine Energy of Kindness always keep all of you in its web!
“Some things cannot be spoken or discovered until we have been stuck, incapacitated, or blown off course for a while . . Out of the cross-grain of experience appears a voice
that not only sums up the process we have gone through,
but allows the soul to recognize in its timbre,
the color the texture, and complicated entanglements of being alive.”
—David White, The Heart Aroused