by Natalie Dekel (MPhil)

We all come to this planet through the miracle of love, and for the purpose of living a loving and manifesting love in all areas of our life. There is nothing that shines brighter than the ‘star of life’, which resides deep in the souls of our hearts.

We behold life and see a beauty that shines from within the physical form in which it is ensconced so that we can bask in its light. We enjoy this light so much that we see it as an integral and essential part of us, all the while forgetting that the physical embodiment is only one aspect of this Light of Life. This can account for why it hurts us to see it changing from being very bright on the physical side of Life to being dimmed or invisible to us once it is not physical anymore – once our loved ones pass over.

The Spirit Within - by © Gil Dekel

'The Spirit Within’ – photo by © Gil Dekel.

Since we associate Life only with the physical aspect, we tend to think that being alive means being in a physical form. The fear of separation, of the inability to access the spiritual state of Being is so strong that the fear itself blinds us to the light of the spirit, and so we imagine that there is no continuity to life in all its forms, even as parts of it change at different stages.

We think that death means the end of everything as we know it. However is that really so? Does ‘loosing’ someone we love mean that we stopped breathing, sensing, feeling or living? Does life around us truly cease?…

Perhaps the initial state of grief is so strong that our mind and ego are being stunned into a paralysis of loss of the comforting habitual existence. This profound emotional state dims our ability to live fully and see that our loved ones who passed over still hold a light in their spirit hearts. In fact they become the Light. In grief we tend to close our hearts and shut our minds to the healing process that occurs and we reject any adjustments we can take to the change in the routine of what we think is around us. It is a perfectly normal response to a profound loss.

‘Spirit Hearts’ – photo by © Gil Dekel.

‘Spirit Hearts’ – photo by © Gil Dekel.

Nevertheless, the actual routine of what IS, of how Life carries on, remains unchanged. It even remains unchanged by our grief. The sky looks the same blue, the earth feeds the grass, and the air we breathe still brings us the promise of life and its validity that circulates through our numb body. What changes is our own ability to shift from self-centred being to that which acknowledges the continuity and the flow of Life in all those around us.

While the grieving are gradually or immediately immersed in the numbness and stupor on emotional levels, the reverse seems to happen to those who are in the process of passing over. It seems that those people that are ill but who have the ability of enduring their condition, recognise the inevitability and the acceptance of Life in all its changing forms. With pain and discomfort and the deterioration of their physical body, they learn to see the unique source of light in themselves that is stronger than their body; stronger than any physical circumstances, that is Life itself. The one who beholds that light in his/her body will fight to keep it alight, even as his/her physical strength to contain that light fades away.

Our body is a shell to a greater light. Yet this greater light is within. The sacredness of that Light is clearly seen by those who are attentive. At times, these shells we occupy cannot bear the wearing and tearing of the conditions that they undergo, and so these shells start to disintegrate. The owner of the body/shell, knowing from their physical view that the physical is their only way of living as a human being, will try to hold tight on to it. The body has its own consciousness, the ego, and is programmed to maintain and preserve that being to the last moment. That conscious aspect of the physical being has no concept or understanding of the non-physical existence as it is not included in its scope of function. Hence the body’s consciousness/ego is terrified of loosing control of what it conceives as its imminent end…

Meanwhile, while the body is trying to survive or recover to its normal functioning, the Spirit within has clarity and a knowing of the Being of Light that it is and which does not require the body’s existence. The person who allows himself to listen to that higher part of their being will observe with clarity the footpaths that they mark on the path of Life – the lessons they have learned in life, and the memories they want to take on to the next stages of their Life.

While both aspects of being (the body consciousness and the soul consciousness) are in fight over supremacy at that stage of Life, there comes a time when one needs to trust the powerful force of clarity and knowing which is unclouded by fears or physical pain. Then one needs to step into the unknown. One needs to learn to fly into the luminant eye of the Universe. This is difficult for people who experience leaving as ‘to leave behind’. They find it hard to let go of all that they know – their loved ones, the familiar environment and familiar states of minds. Often they do not remember or know anything apart from those memories. However, the process of moving on is inevitable and natural. This process brings them to the higher state of being where the illness, the negativity and the pain are so intense that the body enables its wearer to slip into a state where pain or negativity no longer have a hold over them. The choice of evolvement and enlightenment is given to them along with the ability to be with their loved ones at any time or place, regardless of whether they are physically acknowledged or not by those with whom they come in contact.

‘Body Consciousness and Soul Consciousness’ – photo by © Gil Dekel.

‘Body Consciousness and Soul Consciousness’ – photo by © Gil Dekel.

This experience of the living death and of letting go is perhaps as difficult for those who stay on this side of the veil of Life, the physical side, as it is for those who pass over. It may be more difficult for those who remain in the physical realm after the loved ones have passed because the loved ones moved on to embrace life without the confines and limitations of minds and bodies, while those that are left behind have to continue and battle the survival of the physical kind. Those left behind need to learn to let go too, to float along and find their way out of grief and emotional pain that can easily shift into physical and overwhelming and is alike to the stupor state.

How does one let go of a part of them, of their loved one?

We tend to hold our loved ones as a bond that connects us to a permanent life. This is a form of security and having a habitual and routine existence of familiarity. And while it is a true bond that is never soul-severed, our physical bodies try to claim an eternal-continuity which can never go indefinitely. A child that is only familiar with crawling will disbelieve the idea of running simply because s/he has no experience of it yet. However, we all grow to learn to run. Likewise, we cannot hold on to the familiar and safe just because it is all we knew all our life. There is much more that we can grow into and experience. The physical death teaches us the flexibility of body and mind. It shows us that it is not the end but rather a step to the next stage in the process of being alive.

‘The Permanency of Life’ – photo by © Gil Dekel.

‘The Permanency of Life’ – photo by © Gil Dekel.

The light of the stars reaches our planet thousands of years after the original star-planet has died, and yet we see the light so bright that even the darkness of the sky rejoices in its brilliance. Similarly is the process of passing over for both the observer and the participant – we learn to see the light of those who have been here and left. We also need to learn to live with those who are with us now in a physical form, so that we embrace the true community of Life, the continuity of spirit and its unity into perfection. The fact that bodies disintegrate back to dust does not reduce from life before or after the existence of the body; it simply points out to a stage in which we metamorph – like butterflies, accumulating light with our knowledge, wisdom and experience, and emit light so that others may see and learn.

As people become stars, high up in the sky,
they leave castles of joy behind them,
so that those who are left on earth can visit their halls
and behold once again the joy in the chambers of Life.

Poem by Yael-Louise Dekel (age 3-year and a half) and Gil Dekel, 2009.

If the source of luminance will hold dear the light, it will not let it go spreading into planet earth. Only by letting it go, can it reach us… And when the light of a loved one is asked to reach the heavens, we can learn to let them go, so those on the other side of the veil will rejoice in that light, and see, once again, what a remarkable journey is which we call ‘life’.

Dedicated to my mother Luda (1954-2009) with love.

28 July 2011.
© Natalie Dekel. Images © Gil Dekel.