I’ve enjoyed the Netflix show called Afterlife, with Ricky Gervais, and this poem at the end of season 3 made my eyes well with tears; “Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not thI am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.” ~ Mary Elizabeth Frye
On January 15, 2018, my father passed from this life to his next evolution. I held my father’s hand as he took his final breath. For months after that moment I only felt the absence of my father. The nothingness, only photographs & memories.
In September of that year, while on vacation in Barcelona, Spain, Patricia and I walked into the Crist de Lapanto Cathedral. We walked around admiring the majestic quietness and separated for a moment. I sat in the pews and focused on The Cross.
As I sat quietly, I began talking to God. I told God that I did not know if any of this, meaning religion, was real, but if it was I hoped my father was ok. Within seconds, I saw a white string of lights in front of me…it looked like a solid, jumbled line of white light, like white energy.
As I watched the light it took the form of my father…I could see the outline of his upper body sitting next to me. As I recognized the shape the light had taken, I could feel, for the first time since his transition, the presence of my father, silent, looking straight ahead. I froze, not wanting the experience to end. However, within seconds the light was gone and I could no longer feel my dad’s presence. I felt only sadness…once again.
I sat for a moment unable to move or talk. After a few minutes, I got up and looked for Patricia. When I found her, I must have had a strange look on my face, she looked puzzled. I grabbed her and buried my face in her chest as I wept like a baby, almost uncontrollably. After another minute, I was able to regain my composure and shared my story.
While at the Cathedral, I bought a cross for each of my sisters and mom, which I gave to them when we returned and I shared my experience. I know it’s hard to fathom, but it happened to me. I came away with a couple of insights;
I know my dad is not “dead,” but has evolved to higher form of energy,
I no longer fear my own death
I understand, one day I will transition as well…we all will. And on that, as my Native American Brothers say, “it will be a good day to die.”
Since my dad transitioned, I have honored him by tattooing my arm. On Saturday, January 15, 2022, on the 4th anniversary of my father’s passing, I got the latest artwork added to my body. Rick Sitherland, Clearvision Tattoo in Moorpark, honored me with his talent to capture an image and transition it to the memorial on my arm.
This is the way I’ve chosen to honor the memory of my father and to keep his spirit alive. I believe one day I will join my father in that higher form of energy and it will be a beautiful day.