Monday, June 9, 2014


“Words reduce reality to something the human mind can grasp, which isn’t very much.”  Eckhart Tolle

I received that quote in my email yesterday as I tried to make sense and find meaning in the unexpected passing of my friend, Cheryll.  That is what we do as humans; try to make sense of things; try to set things in order in our minds so that the Universe is not so scary.  I know how silly it is to try to fathom the mysteries with something as futile as words, but here I go again:

I knew Cheryll nearly forty years ago when we were both students at Indiana University.  My fondest memory is her driving me through the country in her little red Triumph Spitfire with the top down, on our way to some simple adventure.  Both of us were light and free; both of us with our long hair blowing in wind.  My sister found a photo of the three of us:  she and me with our arms around each other and the car as background.  Proof of our youth and beauty.

Now, as a minister I feel like I am supposed to be on top of these things; literally looking at it from above, a little detached and wise.  But in this case, I’m in the thick of it; diving into the sadness and the sorrow, letting it wash over me like the crashing waves of the ocean.  And I’m feeling a little guilty that there are others who are more profoundly affected:  her parents, her brothers, her husband, her son and her young daughter.  When I think of them and their loss I am even more sad and sorry for myself.

All I know is that Cheryll is fine.  Spirit belongs to spirit, and her soul will find its way back to Godess.  It was her spirit after all that attracted me to her as it was with many of you who gathered for her memorial.  And there is evidence that she and I had a deep soul connection just as she did with many of you.  We did not keep in touch, but whenever we did get together it was as if no time had passed; we knew each other like those creatures in the movie Avatar, when they look at the other and say, “I see you.”

Cheryll’s human journey was but a short piece of her soul journey, and wherever she is now, she is continuing on that journey.  And we are left to make sense of her passing (or not) and to gain strength and wisdom somehow from this sorrowful event.  We are all better because of knowing her.  We have had more joy and more laughter in our lives just from knowing her.  Then we are given this bigger piece of learning; to find the nugget of truth in the midst of all the sadness.

Because we are all essentially spirit beings, we can still commune with her.  I have felt closer to Cheryll over the last few days than I have in years.  She is with us now and she lives in us; in our hearts and in our memories.  And for her son and daughter, she literally lives on, and they will write the next chapters in the book of Cheryll.

It has been said that sorrow carves us deep so that we can hold more joy.  We are living in the age of paradox.  We step down so we can rise up.  We go deep within in order to experience that sense of being out-of-body.  And now we experience deep loss so we can compare it to the abundance the Universe is pouring out on us.  We experience our sadness fully so it can stand as a dark canvas behind a vibrant, joyful painting.

So why did this “disturbance in the force” trigger me so much?  Cheryll has not been taken away from me; in a way we are closer than ever.  I think I was given another layer of my own personal wounding to heal.  I have worked on this particular piece before and if I thought I was finished with it, now I know I wasn't.  

Maybe I never let myself mourn deeply enough for the others who left me behind.  I let myself go pretty deep this time.  The point is to get it and to move forward.  We will not allow ourselves to become addicted to suffering.  I can see how easy that would be.  Still, before we move on we will be sure to cry all our tears.  It is important to allow our process to be complete, and not shortened by ego thoughts that say “you should be done with this by now”. 

The time is ripe for us to go deep.  This is up for all of us, and it is important. I am guided to point out that these energies which we may find at once piercing and painful, are a call for us to remember the sacredness of all our connections.  We need to remember how dearly we hold our bonds with our family-of-origin as well as our soul-family.  It is a good day to tell someone how much you love them.


I might mention that Cheryll loved it that I chose a Cat Stevens song for the inspiration for the title of my blog.  There was an abundance of Cat Stevens music at her memorial, and that made me smile.  We are all still "on the road to find out".

1 comment:

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed! Thanks for sharing so deeply, John. Blessings to all as you/they work through this and come to the joy :)