For eleven years of this incarnation I had been spared any kind of loss. Things changed suddenly in 1988 when my aunt died. She was about thirty-two and left one daughter and she was the pseudo-matriarch of my mother’s family after their mother migrated to work. I remember being in my school uniform at the Anglican Church in La Romaine waiting for the funeral to start. The church was on the main road so every time I visited that community after that I had to check to see if I could see the head stone as I passed by. That was a different time and they still buried people in the church yard. After that though death visited with a frequency that made me sick. The following year my uncle died of a brain tumour. My mother was really fond of her big brother. The next to go was my mother’s partner of three and a half years. Strangely enough he too died of a brain tumour. It would not be long until my mother would migrate to work just like her mother. In 1990 during the curfew that followed the coup attempt in Trinidad, my great-grandmother of ninety-four died of pneumonia. She died in the house with us at eleven o’clock on my birthday and we had to wait until six o’clock to remove the body. Five years later my uncle came to us in tears, his children’s mother was dead and he wanted to take his two children to live with him and he needed our help.
Then death took on a really sinister feel. The loss of two infants to problematic pregnancies took me for an emotional ride that made the few years that I dealt with that seem surreal. My first wife and I endured those incidents one after the other and I don’t know if we ever really recovered. Then about six years ago I got the worst death news of my life. I was in a restaurant in Port of Spain having a drink with two co-workers when my phone rang. It was my uncle’s wife and in a very calm voice she told me that my thirty-one year old cousin and her two children were dead and that police were at the house investigating. I could not move for an hour and it took everything in me not to let on about the news that I had gotten. I got to the house about an hour and a half later and the bodies were still in the house. I watched them bring out the body of someone I had grown up with and loved like a sister. The loss of those children rocked the community. She was murdered, and who could kill children like that. Death had changed forever. Then came news of another female cousin who had gone to France to teach English. Meningitis, she lasted two-day in the hospital after contracting the disease and she was declared brain-dead. Just a few months before she was scheduled to return to Trinidad, she came home in a box. An uncle present at the funeral was telling me about how much I looked like him and that I could be mistaken for his son, well he was gone within a year. Complications with his liver. Just after coming back to Trinidad for my uncle’s funeral, his sister was diagnosed with cancer. This particular aunt was the surrogate for my own mother who helped to raise us. It was her daughter who had been murdered. Now she fought with cancer, and after six rounds of chemo-therapy, lost to the disease less than a year after being diagnosed. My mother’s mother was the last to depart this life and closed a chapter in our lives as she had set many events into motion and now, with her passing we had to look to new sources for answers.
Fear is the most common barrier to living your spiritual existence. Chief among the many fears, is the fear of ‘death’. Once we exclude reincarnation we amplify the need to be attached to this life and therefore the most dreadful development is the ‘end’. This fear of death is a very powerful tool in our world. We can be controlled by the threat of death and only the most extreme of circumstances can get us to go beyond this fear and actually put our life on the line. The generally accepted concept is that if we don’t fear death then life will have no value. There is another way. When placed in the context of your soul contract and your intention, the decision to make the ‘ultimate’ sacrifice can be an important step. Your planning for generations cannot take place unless you can look beyond your own mortality and let go of possessions. This feeds back into the bloodline transference of gifts and tasks where no real progress can be made if we deal with things in only one time and space. Death can be managed to fit within a narrative. Do we set the narrative? Not completely but the free will system leaves things fluid to some extent. The importance of knowing how we identify with roles and how strongly we need the rewards of identity, will help us manage what we can manipulate in our lives, even including our death.
It has become common place in the world today for people to threaten loved ones and anything that we identify with to get control of our actions. Nothing trains us to deal with this in society. Your general outlook on life is the only thing that will help you cope with that. Preparing your awareness as a spiritual being is important to put things in context and help you stand your ground because you know what you are fighting for and that you are not alone in your battle. Your ego state is always backed by the higher mind and over soul. This is your knowledge and your experience as a soul and death and fear can never have dominion over them. The ego dies with the body but the consciousness expands, death is the return of our knowledge and all our experiences. There is no finality, only continuity. If we shed the ego willingly at different times when we are alive what is the significance of parting with it for good. It is possible to know who you are beyond the ego. To be successful it might even be advisable that you know yourself beyond your ego.
Why is death a mystery? The main reason I can see is that we exclude reincarnation and all that comes with it. Then we create these template like services to send off the departed soul. We claim that the service is for the living but the Tibetans know that the funeral has purpose for the newly departed as well. The body being shed, leaves the consciousness trying to make sense and organise its thoughts to figure out what to do next. We are told that when it drifts away from memory scenes it enters a state where the mind energy is all. Transition will depend on the consciousness freeing itself of this alternate realm energy state. While here we can create our heaven or hell based on how we see ourselves or based on our fears. It would be more useful to instruct the soul in the funeral, letting it know that it has to move on and that it is loved. Any scripture used should be specific to the person’s experience and give enough time for loved ones to speak about how they feel about the passing. The funeral should not be confined to a rigid program.
Death is sometimes used to end pain and frustration. Either by turning on others with murderous intention or by turning on ourselves through suicide. Suicide is one of the greatest transgressions against the spiritual system that arranged for your presence here. Suicide as an answer is short-lived as we are returned here a very short time after, under similar conditions to live out the soul contract. The amount of people who end their own life on the planet is always a large proportion of the population. We also resort to murder as a solution to our problems but this is a clear indication of our spiritual level. Lust, jealousy and hate are born of low vibration frequency. These are easy to come into contact with and with no mastery of self we are easily swayed to act in accordance with these emotions. Thoughts give rise to emotions and vice versa, so we must resist low vibration thoughts, to create a higher level vibration. When we do this we are not being saintly or pious but rather we are saving ourselves from sinking into a sea of negative vibration that is always present as an antecedent to our spiritual development. My mentor always says, “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance”. We are always required to remember that each case must be evaluated on its own merit and subtlety is always a factor as life and creation are a combination of complexity to amplify subtle gems of experience. Love life though it may not seem easy and the more aware you become raises your frustration but also raises your ability to attract better information.
Death is an extension of the time and space equation in creation. Nothing can be measured without a beginning point and an end point. Death marks an end point to a specific focus during the experiment that we are a part of. An opportunity to tweak with the variables. The emotion body is powerful but understanding death in this way can help us deal with the loss without creating unnecessary karma due to pain. Who we are beyond death is always with us, but the identity state is allowed to exercise its free will in a body and deal with the consequences. We must find a better way to benefit from the lessons of death in our community. Funerals are usually community gatherings and people leave these gatherings at a level of mental activity that is higher than usual. This need not be wasted as families who fight for material gain must look at themselves during this time. People who are selfish to the detriment of others must look at themselves at such time. People who have lived their whole lives ignoring that longing inside to find the source will have stirrings at this time. Death is not the villain that it was made out to be!