Pondering the Pavement

November 21, 2015

Gabriel’s Return

GabeDanielleApplesI’ve easily read thousands of people over my years as a working medium. And, by sheer logic, I’ve connected with even more spirits. For the most part the souls I’ve encountered—both of the pulse-steady and pulse-impaired variety—have melted into one colossal blob. It’s nothing personal, I assure you. Seriously, do you remember each and every person, upright or not, that you encounter?

I always explain to my sitters that I rarely retain any information brought forth in a reading. It’s the difference between telling your own story as opposed to telling the tale of another. You recall the vivid details of your own life but only bits and pieces of the tale of another. Some highlights will stand out along the way. Something that strikes your funny bone, makes your stomach turn or even makes the hair on your neck stand on end, turn white and then fall out. Our lives are the Main Feature while everyone else’s is merely a pre-matinee trailer. I bet THAT realization makes you feel so gosh-darn special.

Don’t let this worry you. The vast majority of the ones I remember are because it’s something really funny, weird or, honestly, just plain stupid. What’s that? You want an example? Well, OK, if you insist…

I vividly recall a time when I informed a sitter, “Your father is here.”

She immediately jumped in feet first to correct me. “No, he’s not!” she exclaimed. “He’s dead!”

After a very well-timed pause, I said dryly, “How closely did you read my business card?” Trust me when I tell you she turned a shade of red that I will never forget.

I once connected with a man who passed tragically at only 50. He was engaged and already to start another chapter in his life as a married man. I felt a huge slam in my chest, the sign given to indicate a massive heart attack. I relayed this information to his fiancé. She exclaimed, “Oh, yes, he DID have a heart attack! He was sitting on the toilet and just fell over dead!”

I heard the Spirit say, “Oh, great. You had to tell him THAT, didn’t you?” At the end of the session he showed me an innocent looking item—I won’t say what—indicating it was something he loved and it meant a lot to him. I was clueless as to what he was really saying. She screamed, “Oh, my GOD! I can’t believe he’d bring THAT up!” She was laughing so hard I thought she was going to have her own coronary. The mysterious item in question, while a commonplace thing, is also slang for a very specific sex act. One, I then discovered, was a favorite in his repertoire. As she calmed herself down, her late fiancé said, “That’ll teach her to tell people I died taking a crap.” I’m not forgetting that one no matter how much I try.

So, as you can see, some stick out in my mind. There are also a few who make quite an impact on me. Not only on my career as a medium, but simply as a human being. They go beyond the call of duty to remind us of the strength of unconditional and unending love.

I have had those in Spirit assist me in readings for individuals they didn’t even know in life. They have helped the other spirits make a better connection with me. They have shown up to serve as an example of what another soul was truly about in their own life. In essence, I help them and they help me. And, of course, all connections originate from one place and for one purpose: Love.

Out of all of the Spirits I have happily encountered, I have to say that a man by the name of Gabriel has claimed a secure spot in the top five. Look up “determination” in Webster’s and you will likely find “See Gabriel” as the singular definition.

I first encountered Gabriel on a flight to Wisconsin in 2014. He literally stalked me across half the country, making his presence unmistakable time and time again. He kept piling it on until I finally found myself with his fiancé, Danielle, and her mother at one of my group demonstrations. I wrote about it all so others could absorb the experience and his powerful message. You can refresh your memory by clicking here to read it once again.

* * *

I am often directed by Spirit to purchase small trinkets and bring them to my group demonstrations. I never know who will receive the item. It is soul-ly up to “them”. I’m Spirit’s Vanna White. They turn on the light and I just reveal the letter. Fortunately, Spirit makes this very affordable by leading me to area Thrift Shops or homes of vacationing families who don’t bother turning on their security systems. They send me off on these little scavenger hunts in my hometown as well as cities and centers where I am traveling. I merely walk into the brick and mortar building and wander around until something strikes me. I am not sure how I know what to pick up. I can’t describe it any better than saying, “I just know.” I don’t get anything clairsentiently or clairvoyantly. It’s a feeling of all knowing that I personally refer to as “Clair-YuhHuh.”

My annual trek to Wisconsin has made me quite familiar with the Dime and Dollar Thrift Store, a fun little shop in Stevens Point. I know the lay of the land quite well now. If my cast-in-stone routine was any more predictable, the world would use it, and not the sun, to check their clocks. My normal route takes me through the glass door and passed the display case doubling as a checkout counter on the right. My first stop is a rack of bric-a-brac on the left. I circle it with the same dogged determination as I hover over a bin of chocolate pudding at any semi-respectful buffet.  Something will just grab my attention and I grab it in return. It’s almost as if it flashes at me, like one of those Instamatic Camera Cubes from the 70’s. I then circle off to the right to graze through any CD’s that have, for any range of reasons, found themselves there. Retreating to the back room, I swoop down on every book I can find strewn over a span of several mismatched bookshelves. Then I flip through a bin of LP’s just so I can feel really old. A walk on the wild geriatric side will bring you right back to earth whenever you’re feeling exceptionally good about yourself.

With the Bay City Rollers echoing in my head, I will meander through small electronics and kitchen accessories. Then I wrap everything up looking through a hodgepodge of tumblers and coffee mugs. I see everything from #1 TEACHER to DOLLYWOOD OR BUST spewing before me like a marquee on crack. I will then take my haul, no more than 2 or 3 items, and amble my way back to the checkout counter. A couple bucks later and I’m the temporary caretaker of the bounty until each is passed on to the intended recipient.

My latest sparing shopping spree, however, paid no attention to my well-crafted routine. Upon entering, I made an immediate sharp left and found myself immersed in a jungle of book bags, clothing and doilies. I was in foreign territory. Clothing? Really? If you know me then you know my sense of fashion makes no sense. I own two pairs of shoes for crying out loud. TWO. And I cannot, for the life of me, fathom why anyone would EVER need a third. I buy a pair of sneakers. I wear them every day so they last about a year and a few months. When they show their signs of wear-and-tear, I buy an identical pair to replace them. I own four denim long-sleeve shirts. They’re identical. Variety is not in my spice rack, lemme tell ya.

So, completely out of my element, wondering if I need a passport, I took a 360 degree view of my surroundings. I figured I was there for a reason so off I trudged into the sea of racks and hangers. Turning a corner, I spied a backpack on the floor leaning against a chrome set of shelves. This grabbed my attention because my own needs replacing. I picked it up and gave it a once-over. I placed it back on the floor while making a mental note to ponder the purchase prior to my departure.

I returned to my traditional pathway and, indeed, was lead to two items along the way. Remaining true to myself, I sought out the backpack once more. I placed my soon to be purchased items on a shelf in front of me, paying no attention to its contents, and turned my focus on the backpack once more. I picked it up and inspected it with more scrutiny. The bubble of my initial inspection burst with a deafening dose of disappointment within a few seconds. Holes, frayed straps and a cracked coating joined in a rousing harmonious chorus of the “Don’t Buy ‘Dis, Dufus” Boogie.

Jpeg

I shrugged as I bent down to return it to the floor once again. In mid-bend I glanced up to see a stack of well-worn satchels staring me down. I dropped the backpack as my jaw fell open. My eyes widened as I remained frozen in the hunched over position. I then uttered the only thing an enlightened sort like myself can in a moment like this… “Well, son of a bitch.” Emblazoned in black marker across the side of a bag was the name GABRIEL. I straightened up and just laughed aloud. Of all the bags in the stack of 10 or more, only ONE had a name written on it.

Jpeg

I knew Danielle was planning to attend my second group demo the next evening. I loved the fact that I already had a story for her. Sometimes Spirit just makes my job all the easier with stunts like this! I snapped a photo of the bag as I said, “Thanks, Gabe!” I then retrieved my other items from the shelf above my head. It was only then that I realized that I had placed them on top of a large crystal dish. Not just any dish, you know? It was in the shape of a heart. I picked it up and gazed into it, slack jawed. Then I heard Gabe say, in a most serious tone, “Give it to her with my love and my blessing.”

I shook my head in wonder. No matter how many times I experience moments like this, I am always blown away. There’s nothing routine about this! I nodded and said, “You got it, dude.” My California Surfer Guide sneaks out from time to time…

I take my responsibility to Spirit very seriously. Unlike many mediums, however, I manage to have a lot of fun with it. I gave Gabriel my word and that IS my bond. If my tongue happens to be firmly planted in my cheek while I carry out my welcomed obligation, then so be it. (Cue diabolical twirling of my mustache) Little did I know at the time, but I was going to have to really work a bit to pull this one off. I hate when They make me sweat.

Saturday came and went. The sold out demo was a rousing success. An evening of both healing laughter and tears brought everyone together. There was only one little hiccup in this otherwise perfect evening: Danielle was a no-show. I was quite perplexed, as was Gabriel, I’m sure. Danielle’s punctuality was never questioned. If she said she was going to be there, she was going to be there. She may burst through the door at the last second but, by Golly, she was THERE. But not this time. Once I returned to my lodging, I emailed her just to ensure all was well. The email went unanswered. So, I lugged her heart to my next group demonstration. Again, she didn’t show up. I drove to my home away from home, entered my room and was immediately greeted by Gabriel’s tell-tale cigarette smoke. “Dude,” I said aloud, “Get her here! I don’t know what to do!” The smoke dissipated and I finally calmed myself enough to catch some Z’s.

I took a couple of days off from my rigorous schedule to visit a dear (live) friend near Chicago. While there, I received an email from Danielle. Way to go, Gabe! Something came up at the last minute and she was unable to attend. She asked for info on my other appearances and events. She assured me that she would attend one of them.

Again, she was as visible as Big Foot. And, yes, I found myself accosted by cigarette smoke. Oh, joy. The dead are, if anything, determined…and dead. After my final group gathering, on November 3, I sent her a text asking if she could meet me for breakfast the next morning. I told her I only had one day left in town and it was imperative that I see her. I didn’t tell her, but I really didn’t want to continue my journey with this Pig-Pen cloud of smoke hovering over me the whole time. She promptly agreed to our getting together over syrup and powdered sugar at ten the next morning. I had reached the end of my patience with Gabriel’s second-world-second-hand smoke. I guess you can say I just couldn’t HACK it.

Ahem.

I snagged a table in the back of the South Point Restaurant. I love this local diner. You get a gluttonous mound of food nearly obliterating your plate from view for a price that makes you look for the Fonz in the corner. They’ve also dedicated an entire wall to the miracle of bacon. I’m on board with anyone who worships Meat Candy.

Danielle dashed in with her twinkling eyes and a smile that can make you forget ANYTHING has ever been wrong in this, or any, life. After a hug and a laugh, we scanned the menus and placed our orders (both of which would piss off any cardiologist worth their weight in lard). Once the formalities were cast aside, and I knew we wouldn’t be interrupted by a waitress hell-bent on refilling any and all containers on our table, I proceeded to the heart of the matter. I ran through the whole story. My trek to the Dime and Dollar, my diverted route inside, the backpack. Everything. Her doe-like eyes widened even more when I showed her the photo of Gabriel’s bag (I honestly didn’t think they COULD get any wider!). Then I saw the very same windows of her soul glisten slightly when I handed her the crystal heart. I didn’t permit my gaze to linger beyond a cursory glance. That was their moment, just between them.

GabeDanielle01aShe sat there, looking at it, running her fingers around the edge, retracing the shape in her own heart. Then she smiled. She looked up at me and said, “You have NO idea what this means.” She nodded her head slightly. “You see, I collect cut crystal exactly like this. And, in my whole collection, I don’t have anything like this one.” She held it up with her right hand and waved it slightly. “I understand the message, too. His telling me he gives his blessing…you see, I met someone. I met him ON Valentine’s Day.” She smiled again. “I’ve always said I knew Gabe sent him to me. It ALL makes sense.” She returned her smiling eyes to the crystal heart and, for a moment, to Gabriel. And I haven’t smelled his smoke since.

Again, we don’t die. And, logic tells us, that if WE don’t die then our love certainly can’t, either. For whatever reason, Gabriel chose me. He sought me out and entrusted me, of all people, to help him help his lady love. He has an open-door policy with me. This sort of access is my equivalent of joining the Five-Timer’s Club on SNL. He has joined the ranks of other Spirits that I hold near and dear. I’ve never met any of them in the physical but I sure feel like I know them now. Gabriel is now hobnobbing with Jason, Alex, David and, my forever #1 gal, Dana. They have all allowed me to observe such perfect examples of unending love and I am grateful beyond words. And I cannot think of a better time to acknowledge that gratitude as Thanksgiving approaches.

Take a moment to acknowledge the loves in your life, both here and there. They never leave us. As long as there is love there is that eternal connection. Send them your prayers, your gratitude, your hugs, your laughter, your high-fives. Express it in any way you want and it IS received with open arms and crystal hearts.

It’s an honor, Gabe. Truly an honor. And I thank you.

 

Copyright © 2015 C A Filius, All Rights Reserved

October 15, 2014

Gabriel’s Flight

Filed under: Uncategorized — cfilius @ 11:11 pm
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“Oh, I believe in coincidences. I’ve just never seen one.” – Dannion Brinkley

 

22973022_sI love to travel. I always have. I’m never really happier than when I have an airplane strapped to my butt. As much as I adore be-bopping around the country, the only thing that makes me happier is being left completely alone as I do it. I have less than zero tolerance for chatty cabin companions on planes or trains. Just because we share a seat does not mean we’re going to bond, become Facebook Friends or swap thrilling anecdotes of adventures in coupon clipping.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. For example, several years ago on a flight out of San Diego, I found myself sitting next to a monk. An honest-to-Buddha-Monk decked out in full monk regalia. When God hands you a plate of cookies it is just rude to pass on it. I found myself uncharacteristically turning to my seat companion and saying, “So, what do YOU do?”

He looked at me for a moment blankly then burst out laughing. Another off my bucket list: Make a Monk laugh. Check.

I was making my way to my gate at LAX for my recent trek to Wisconsin, via Chicago, when I first spotted him. A bald man, slightly under my own six foot stature, clutching a large See’s Candy bag. “Ah-ha!” I thought to myself. “TOURIST!” He was clearly taking a large batch of various chocolate morsels for his family back home. I’ve noticed over the years that locals stuff their candy in their bags while tourists tend to flaunt their sugary trophy. I chortled at my nearly Sherlockian reasoning and ventured on to my gate. Once I secured a seat next to the closest electrical outlet—a highly coveted spot in any airport—I noticed See’s Man standing nearby. Seems I was sharing airspace with a tourist from the Windy City. How funny that I would spot him upon my arrival at LAX. What are the chances? I mean, out of all the airlines and gates and terminals at LAX I spot, almost the second I arrive, a guy going on the same flight as my own. Weird. I returned my nose to my book and happily tuned out the world around me.

I piled onto the plane with the rest of the herd all the while praying to any available Deity that I would avoid anyone even slightly enthusiastic about swapping verbs and pronouns. I made my way to my seat in the rear of the plane (seems fitting, doesn’t it?), slid into my adored window seat and then just waited. People kept filing on-board as I kept shooting small, unobtrusive death rays from my eyes at each and every one of them. It was working. No one was sitting in my row. Hooray. The boarding was nearly complete and I felt I could let my guard down. I sank into the nearly comfortable seat, sighed a self-praising relief, while whipping out my customary bag of Peanut M&M’s. Then it happened… One last straggler, panting, made a nearly Kramer-esque entrance onto the plane. It was none other than See’s Man. He made his way happily to the back of the plane, smiling at everyone who met his green-eyed gaze. “No…no…no,” I kept whispering to myself because, at this point, even my Guides aren’t listening to me. He stopped at MY row, took off his coat, and stuffed it overhead. He slid himself into the aisle seat, leaving an empty space between us as his treasure trove of See’s Candy went snugly under the seat in front of him. “Oh, just friggin’ peachy. He’s going to be friendly. I can tell…” I grumbled to myself.

He sat down, turned to me and gave me the renowned manly non-committal, “Hey.”

I returned the same all the while tightening my grip on my M&M’s. He was then kind enough to sit there and not say another word for over 4 hours. God love him.

The plane safely touched down in Chicago. See’s Man, and his coat and bag, ventured off the plane following another emotionless “hey” exchange. All is well and right in my world once again. I wandered off to my next gate with the same determination I have as I circle the Lo Mein bin at any Chinese Buffet. My gate companions and I streamed our way onto the Wisconsin bound aircraft in an almost Pavlovian-like ritual. My seat was, thankfully, a single one on the left side of the plane. There was absolutely no chance of anyone even thinking of starting a conversation with me this time around. Life is good…

Then I heard a voice. “Hey! You again!”

I glanced up and, by God Almighty, I’m facing See’s Man yet again! My eyes widened behind my tinted lenses as I said, “Seriously?” He just laughed and jutted his hand out to me. Well, I had to shake it or hand him my second bag of M&M’s. Since I don’t share, I went through the motions of being oh-so-gosh-darn friendly. We chuckled, one of us with sincerity, and he walked on by. Again…what are the chances of this happening? I stared out the window, asking my Guides, “What IS the significance of this?”, as I gnawed on a mutant two-fused-as-one light blue M&M. I got nothing. So, I just shrugged it off. There were, after all, M&M’s to explore.

I was standing in baggage claim playing luggage roulette by the carousel. Will my bag be within the first ten? Odd? Even? Who’s to say? I fill my time with weird shit. No doubt about it. I glanced over my left shoulder and low-and-behold, See’s Man was approaching me. I just looked at him, as he smiled, and said in my subtle, cellophane melting voice, “STOP FOLLOWING ME!” He laughed. He thought I was kidding. How adorable.

“So,” I said, realizing he was just not going to walk on by, “Come here often?”

He smiled, “I’m moving here.”

“Willingly?” I asked out of true bewilderment. “You DO realize they have REAL winters here, right?” The only way Californians realize it’s winter is when we have sudden urges to wear socks.

25451295_s“Yea. I know it’s going to be different but I like it.” He placed his See’s bag on the ground and extended his hand yet again. (I thought we’d already finished with this ritual!) “My name is Gabriel,” he said with genuine Midwestern sincerity.

I just smiled to myself and said, “Charles. Nice to meet you.” When in Rome, you know?

We chatted a few more minutes until my suitcase finally made its curtain call. I snatched it up and wished him well in his new life.

“God’s speed,” Gabriel (aka See’s Man) said as I hauled my American Tourister down the corridor.

As I made my way to the outside Wisconsin air, I thought it was pretty cool that I had an angel traveling with me. I figured it was just my peeps letting me know they were there. Awesome. I made a note to jot this down for a later date and then went on my merry way assuming that was the end of the story.

Assuming is, of course, the working word here.

* * *

Mediumship is, by no means, an exact science. Once the barn doors are open any and all animals within no longer feel a need to remain in their stalls. I may give a reading to someone hoping to hear from their loved ones when, out of the blue, a co-worker’s father-in-law may make a cameo appearance. This has happened far more times than I can count. This has nothing to do with my inability to add—I am just far too lazy to actually keep track.

I stayed at the home of Gregg & Dar, both clients and now dear friends. Yea, I question their tastes in friends, too. I just assume it’s based on pity. ANYWAY… During a reading for Dar last July I was faced with someone who was not in her own inner circle. The son of one of her high school friend’s dropped by to reach out to his grieving father. Outside of a few snippets of information, Dar wasn’t really able to confirm much of what the boy was giving me. She made notes of all that was brought forth and promised to later relay it to her friend. I provided her with a separate MP3 recording of his messages for his father as well. She contacted her friend who seemed somewhat intrigued but, as with many unfamiliar with the truth of mediumship, he was hesitant. He said he would get back to her once he made a decision. A couple of times afterwards he contacted Dar about possibly swinging by to hear it. However, on both occasions, their schedules just did not line up.

Flash forward to my October arrival. I doubt I had even been there an hour when, out of the blue, the man called and wanted to hear the barely 10 minute recording.

“Charles is here right now!” Dar exclaimed. “When do you want to come over?”

“Five minutes. I’m just down the street,” he replied. Sounds like one of those so-called coincidences, doesn’t it?

Through tears he was able to validate all of the information that came through via his son’s never ending love. In the midst of this emotional roller coaster, he made an off the cuff reference to his grandson, Gabriel.

I just stared at him. You have GOT to be kidding me…

***

Moments later I received a text message from a friend of mine in LA. He was telling me he’d just spent the day in the San Gabriel Mountains. He makes frequent visits there but, in the past, he has always referred to it as simply, “the mountains.” As in, “I’m going to THE MOUNTAINS” or “I really need to plan another trip to THE MOUNTAINS.” I have never known him to refer to them as the San Gabriel Mountains. Well, go figure.

***

After Dar’s friend left, I returned to my room to unpack. As I was mulling over this whole Gabriel scenario, I pulled my Archangel Tarot Deck from my bag. I was immediately given the short and sweet suggestion, “Look at the top card.”

Since I have no will power of my own anymore, I removed the thick deck from its box and flipped over the top card. It was an Archangel Raphael card. I shrugged. “Yea? So?”

Then I heard this exasperated voice whisper, “No. The OTHER top.”

Clearly the Angels feel the top of the cards should be the side with the angel’s picture and NOT the ‘back’ of the card. So, I flipped the deck over and dealt from what was once thought of as the bottom. It was an Eight of Gabriel. My shrug was now replaced with slowly widening eyes. For hoots and giggles I checked out the very next card: The Nine of Gabriel. To add just one more cherry on the proverbial Sundae, I was told to cut the deck. I did without hesitation and found myself staring at The Page of Gabriel.

It was at that moment that my jaw and the floor fused as one. This was more than Spirit letting me know they were with me on this journey. But, for the life of me, I had no clue as to what it meant or what was coming. Some psychic I am.

***

My second group demonstration of the week was held at Kindred Spirit Books in Stevens Point. (Happy to make a shameless plug for this wonderful store!) The second reading of the evening went to two ladies in attendance, mother and daughter. The Spirit drilling through with an absolutely hysterical personality was the daughter’s fiancé. He had passed tragically too soon in a vehicular accident on Mother’s Day of this year. His energy was nothing short of dynamic. His humor and love was so vivid! His energy seemed to grow with each validation that was given. His fiancé and her mother were laughing through their tears, just as it should be. The healing truly excels once the tears of loss are replaced by those of recollection and love.

In the midst of this intensity he told me to stick my tongue out at them. Isn’t it great that I can pull all sorts of immature stunts like that and blame it on the dead? I love my job, but I digress.

So, like an obedient medium, I stuck my tongue out at the ladies. There was a brief gasp of shock and then they both laughed so hard I thought they would fall out of their seats. They explained to me that he stuck his tongue out in nearly every single photo that was ever taken of him. His mother-in-law-to-be said, “We have more pictures of him with his tongue OUT instead of IN!”

His fiancé laughed, wiping a tear from her eye, and said, “That is just SO Gabriel!”

I stared at her. It was if time had literally stopped. “Did you just say his name is Gabriel?”

She nodded, “Yes.”

I was dumbstruck—emphasis on ‘dumb’. Unbelievable. I took a moment and told them the whole Gabriel story. I finished by saying, “That guy has been hanging with me since I left LA! He’s determined!”

His fiancé confirmed that. “You bet he was!”

Her mother added, “Honestly, on the way over here, I told her that with Gabriel’s personality, it would be likely that he would show up first!”

“I’ll be honest with you,” I said. “The way he felt in the beginning made me sense he was actually late for the demo tonight.”

Both ladies laughed again.

“He was late to everything,” said his fiancé. “I even told him he’d be late to his own funeral!”

A group guffaw erupted on that one.

***

This is a grand example of how our loved ones are not only with us, but they are with others, too! Gabriel didn’t know me from Adam, coincidentally the name of the son of Dar’s friend mentioned earlier, but yet he knew I was on my way. He knew his beloved was going to be there. And, most importantly, he knew he could trust me with this responsibility and, for that, I am honored. Our loved ones, just as the love we share with them, know no limits or boundaries. There are absolutely no time or space restraints on our connections with one another. We just keep going and going and going, never ending, always loving and living.

I’ve always said that once this work bores me, when I am no longer amazed or intrigued by it, I will just walk away. Well, kids, I can honestly say I just can’t see that ever happening. I hope Robert and the Crew are OK with that.

15461882_sCopyright © 2014, Charles A. Filius

September 7, 2013

Carved In Stone

ImageI have always had a love of cemeteries. If you know me, even slightly, then you know this little personal morsel. As a child, I would spy a graveyard from the confines of my grandfather’s Buick and demand he stop the car so I could check it out. He would say, “But we don’t know anyone buried there!” Oh, please. Like that was a credible reason. And, of course, he wouldn’t stop. Grownups just didn’t get me. To this day, if I spot a cemetery along any given route, I will stop and wander through for a bit. I cannot pinpoint my fixation to any solitary thing. I find them comforting and peaceful as well as just plain fascinating. Each and every resting place serves as slivers of living—pardon the fully intentional pun—history, brief glimpses into people you may not know but yet share a common element: mourning a loss. The grave often gives us a chance to reflect upon and celebrate the life of the person interred. I experience such warmth when I spot graves that are brightly decorated, often with random, yet very personal, bits and pieces.

I have seen final resting places decorated with everything from margarita glasses and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to bottles of India Ink and cow-themed wind chimes. I’ve seen the small grave of a little one gone too soon blanketed with an array of their beloved toys. A grandfather’s love of fishing was easily proven with a rod & reel attached to his headstone. The woman whose blatant love of casinos was shared in an epitaph, chiseled forever in granite, for all to see: ‘I’d rather be in Vegas.’ Tears of sadness and joy, mixed together, simultaneously grasping the loss while finding comfort in what made each person unique. How do you wish to be remembered? Words or actions? Collections or recollections? I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that I have a thought or two for my own…

Robert, my Master Guide, once described the physical life as a yardstick (apologies to my metric fans out there). “One’s life covers allllll this space,” he said, spreading his hands over the full three foot span. “And yet, when one has passed, so many only focus on this tiny sliver,” he continued indicating the very end of the stick. “All that was measured prior cannot be forgotten. Do not permit the grief to block out the true evidence of the life lived and shared. It is all measured.”

I understand the pain of loss. We all do. It is inevitable. And, frankly, you need to mourn, to grieve. Sadness, just as joy, is vital to the human experience. You cannot raise yourself above it for it is part of what makes you human. While the initial loss can be devastating we can often find comfort in the memories, allllll those other moments that filled the space prior to death, as Robert pointed out. While I deeply mourned the loss of a dear friend, I find myself, time and time again, recalling our last Thanksgiving together. It was nothing short of a modern retelling of a classic 1930’s screwball comedy. That memory alone has carried me through some rough patches.

I find that Spirit often utilizes humor in their communications with us. Recalling a funny incident, relaying a comment that is “just so like them.” It not only gives you evidence of their continued existence, but it also gives you inspiration to heal, move forward, and smile as you think about them. Some believe dealings with Spirit are to be solemn proceedings; void of what I feel is the true human touch. Sorry, but I disagree. As noted psychic Hans Christian King has said, “They’re not deity’s people. They’re just plain folk.” Respond to them now as you did when they were here: with love and laughter.

“There is no moment or memory that is too small. Just take the time to allow the light to shine divinely and watch it all grow within your heart, your soul. This light will surely enhance even the smallest of gardens, providing you with shade and comfort from this day onward.”

– Robert

Copyright © 2013, Charles A. Filius

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