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My dad’s body had the yellow-gray pallor of death. His mouth hung ajar and one eye was slightly open, glazed. He had taken his last breath a half hour before and he was dead.
Or was he?
His Spirit hung in the room palpably. I could feel him. I embraced his head and wept, yet oddly felt calm. It was if he was whispering to me, “It’s ok. I love you. I’m here.”
It was my job to call the undertaker, but I couldn’t. He was still there. It would be like burying someone alive. My brother, sister, partner and I sat in his room next to the body, reminiscing for four hours. Each one of us said we could feel him there, silently joining in the conversation.
An interesting thing about death is that once the body drops, we can often forgive everything in an instant. Why is this? A Course in Miracles says it’s because the body was never real to begin with. “The body is a fence the Son of God imagines he has built, to separate parts of his Self from other parts. The body is a dream.” (W-p.II.5.1:1; 3:1) Somewhere in our psyche we know this is true, that no one is contained by a body. The One Higher Self, of which each of us is a fragment of the whole, cannot be separate from Itself. Love is what’s real behind the form, and Love is the only thing that’s eternal.
That’s what I felt when my dad dropped his body. Love. Pure Love, unfettered by a fence, a barrier called a body.
When we experience the unreality of the body, it can be easier to forgive. The body’s gone, but we still love the person. When the body is present, we have expectations and get angry when they’re not met. I was often irritated because I wanted my dad to get up and go to the bathroom without me having to remind or help him. Without the body, that’s not an issue.
After he passed, my dad’s body had the grotesque appearance of the dead. But he appeared radiant. He glowed. As I stood next to his dead body, I thought of the lines in A Course in Miracles: “Can you imagine how beautiful those you forgive will look to you? In no fantasy have you ever seen anything so lovely.” (T-17.II.1:1-2)
Is there a loved one you feel separated from, either by death or other means? Imagine him or her here, right now. S/he is here. You cannot, and have not, lost them.
May you feel loved and blessed.