Do you remember your dead or are you connecting with them? There’s a difference.
Think about those two verbs “remember” and “connect.” Now choose an important person in your life who has died and remember them for a minute or two then spend a few minutes connecting with them. What difference did you experience?
This week is the week of the dead…Halloween, All Saints, All Souls. November is the month when we are sensitive to endings and life beyond endings. Endings inspire memories. Life beyond endings inspires new connections.
When we remember our dead, we remember their stories and their appearances. We remember their lives. We feel joy that they lived. We remember the role they played in our lives and the feelings we had for them. We feel loss and grief and dismembered now that they are no longer living with us.
When we connect with our dead, we are not remembering, we are engaging. We are in and active relationship with a human being beyond the threshold of death. Not trying to bring them back to life, we meet them on the bridge between the earthly world of time and space and the spiritual world of the absolute and everlasting.
Before I go on, I want to say that remembering and connecting can happen simultaneously I am writing this post so that we can be more conscious of both activities.
In the last few weeks I have experienced a new level of connection with my direct ancestors: my parents, my grandparents and my great-grandparents and a few others who deeply impacted my life. When I remember them I am remembering my stories about them. Of course, some of them I never knew even though my DNA reflects them in some way. I have a grandfather who I never met and there are no photographs of him. I do have a few stories but they are brief and not very revealing. He disappeared when my mother was three and his absence in her life left emotional scars that she passed on to me and my sister. My father’s father I knew well and the formative scars that came from him also have a heavy energy in my life, but I also have happy memories of sitting on his lap listening to him tell me stories.
I remember my ancestors and I work to forgive and free myself from the limiting force of my ancestral wounds. But I also work to see the shaping purpose in the wounds…if I hadn’t suffered in this way, would I have my capacity for compassion? Yet I see myself as a victim of my ancestors when I am remembering them. And, I see them as victims of their ancestors and their unmet needs and unexpressed angers.
Remembering the dead is a mixed bag of emotions for me. Connecting is different.
Let’s look at connecting with the dead. This is a wholly different and deeply holy experience. Way beyond remembering for me.
If we are to connect with the dead, we must be willing to consider that there is a non-corporeal reality or realm of existence where human beings are dwelling without a presence in time or space. This would be a spiritual world where each human being exists as a purely spiritual being, beyond personality. For me it also means that each of us has experienced other lives in the past and will experience more in the future.
The more I wonder at this spiritual reality, the more I see it as an existence beyond the story or narrative of biography and all the relational knots, difficulties and attachments of memory. It would be an existence beyond victimhood, beyond winning and losing, beyond drama and heroics, endurance and rescue.
Ways of Connecting
Often I write to the dead or have conversations with them. The topics aren’t about my stories, they are more about life as a path of inner development. The dead in the spiritual world aren’t interested in stories. They only attend to questions and investigations about the wisdom, love or freedom we find in the good, the bad and the ugly of earthly existence. And I have found they appreciate the irony of our lives and like to laugh with us.
I have also found that I can ask if a topic engages them. I feel a kind of flat space/time when the answer is no. When there is interest I feel it as a warmth and a movement, a kind of spiritual listening.
When I am in distress and want to be rescued, I feel a caring distance and yet I also feel a support that stirs inside of me. The dead look to see if I find my own inner strength and resilience.
I am often surprised by the gifts that appear – a word pops into my consciousness, a bird will start to sing, I read a phrase in a book. I smile at these connections. At first, I thought I was making it all up, but after years of paying attention, I am so confident in these connections.
BTW, I spent yesterday with my grandchildren and realized that this attention to working with the dead will bless my connections with them and my great-grandchildren when I am across the threshold of death.
Working with the dead, receiving their gifts, is one of the four engagements with our spiritual companions. Besides other human spirits, there are our guardian angels, the spiritual hierarchies (such as archangels, archai, exusiai, cherubim, etc), and the nature spirits. We must learn to engage, connect and converse with all these beings in a very practical and meaningful way. My online, self-directed course, Engaging Your Spiritual Companions, is a guide to this direct experience of and connection with spiritual beings. Please consider purchasing this course. Connection with these beings is deeply enriched if you can name them, relate to them and distinguish their particular deeds in a conscious way.
My New Way of Connecting
Let me share with you my latest engagement with this connection with the dead.
I have about 600 flower, gem and environmental essences. These are powerful healers, liberators and strengtheners.
I also have experienced family constellation healing which heals ancestral wounds and dysfunctional relationships.
Until a few weeks ago I never brought the ancestors and the essences together. Now every night I connect with an ancestor and I am given a gift of an essence.
Here is how I have been working, engaging, and celebrating my relationship with the dead over these weeks…
Each evening I open up my baby book to the page that has my family tree: my parents, my grandparents and my great-grandparents, all written in my mother’s neat script when I was a few weeks old. I take my pendulum and move it over each name asking which of these ancestors I am to connect with. When I learn who it is that wants to engage with me on that evening, I go to my cabinet with all my essences and seek out the particular essence that is the gift of my ancestor.
Each essence has been a gift beyond any possibility. Total love. A gesture beyond any attachment to story or redemption. For example, both my grandfathers, the one I knew and the one I didn’t, chose Calla Lily essence. This is the essence of balancing genders and establishing boundaries of reverence. This seemed like such a gift of love from these two ancestors. No story, just healing, liberating and empowering love.
I truly feel the connection with each of them that is timeless and free of drama and remembering. I wish I could put this into words. Perhaps it is a resolution of karma or a support of my destiny or both. All I can say is this active engagement, the choosing and taking of the essence is so REAL, so beyond any suffering or story that I feel only love. I stop remembering them and connect.
It is important to know that your dead are not just those individuals who are ancestors related by blood or those you have loved dearly, but also include all those who played a role in shaping you and your life.
One of my big stories, a story that has continually made sense of my perceived “failures” relates to my birth trauma. My mother was in a labor room, by herself. She said the labor was easy and relaxed saying there were only two challenging contractions. When the labor nurse came to check my mother, she saw I was birthing and my head was crowning. She immediately held my mother’s legs together, stopping my birthing journey. They took my mother to the delivery room, anesthetized her and waited for the doctor to deliver me. For how many minutes was I blocked?
Throughout my life, things have been easy to initiate and then suddenly I STOP…the will to complete disappears. I am remembering an intense story of trauma and the nurse who caused it.
I used my pendulum to connect with the nurse’s soul. The essence that came up was a blend called Go-Create which overcomes resistance to fulfillment. Perfect! A direct engagement with a dead soul whose earthly action had so challenged my life. But the connection with her on the bridge between worlds cleared the memories and opened to love. Because of this and the other engagements over the last three weeks of flower essence gifts from my ancestors, I am a different person, feeling differently and acting differently in ways subtle and significant … moving into a life of freedom and love.
There is such a powerful creativity to working with the dead. I hope you have a sense of this from what I have written.
If you would like guidance on using flower essences with connecting with your ancestors, please make an appointment here.