Most of my childhood, I was surrounded by the energy of the elders, my favorites being my great-aunt and great-uncle. My great-uncle used to play under the table with me when I was a kid, taught me swimming and badminton, and studied history and geography with me later on when I was in school. My great-aunt was the family tailor, so I had a lot of clothing made for me with love, just the way I wanted. I often say these two were my angels. They taught me love and acceptance through their unwavering presence. We disagreed many times during our time together, but never rejected each other. They gave me a glimpse of the unconditional love of the Spirit in the physical form and showed me it was possible. Humans can love unconditionally.
As all stories come to an end in this temporary world, so did ours. My great-uncle left the physical realm in 1995, but Great-Aunt Milka was with me till just a few years ago. In those five long years of gradual letting go, she taught me how to be present to a loved one who is dying. How to let go (although, I don’t think I passed that one) and surrender to life as it is, no matter how painful and unfair it feels at that moment when we cease to exist physically.
What I want to tell you in this story is how love never dies; it never goes away nor disintegrates when the physical body does.
In order to have closure with a departing person, I need to witness a dead body. Until then, I stay in hope that it is a mistake, that the person is alive, and that it all is a bad dream. When my great-aunt passed away, I was not present at her bedside. My chance to see her for the last time was just before the services in the chapel at the cemetery. I knew I had to do it, but the fear I experienced was immense—not fear of her, but fear that I would not be able to handle the loss. My therapist gave me advice: keep asking her for help and keep communicating with her; she will walk you through.
As the song “In the Arms of the Angel” played, I was standing amidst my family and friends, holding my mom’s hand, crying and sobbing interchangeably. I asked Milka to help me accept her leaving, to show me she was really still there (obviously in another form). At that moment, I felt her hand on mine and found myself “inside of her body,” together with her. In a spirit form, she showed me inside of where she lived for 82 years. It was empty. It felt like somebody turned the lights off and vacated the house. I will never forget that moment. The acceptance of death settled inside my chest a bit more easily.
I realized in that moment that, in reality, she did not die (I knew that, but now I realized it through the experience) and that my contact with her would continue. Our love was eternal. It had no end.
As a matter of fact, she continues to be present in my daily life. My great-uncle accompanies her in our encounters: they keep teaching me, holding me when I have no one available in the physical form, showing me other worlds, healing me. They are my bridge to the world of the Spirit. That bridge is made of our love and it keeps growing. I still miss their physical presence … and as soon I say that, I feel them next to me. There is no emptiness or loneliness as long as we keep looking for a ways to connect.
Contact, presence, and love are eternal. These are the things, probably the only things, that truly matter in this world.
* This story was published in Knowing There is More, a collection of extraodinary stories, compiled by Carol Hibbert,( available on Amazon.com) All profits for this book will support La Familia Medical Center in Santa Fe which serves families in need as well as the homeless.