“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
Still, we’d all hoped this day would have waited a little longer. In the end she was given just one extra day for every year of her short and precious life.
Her husband has lost his wife. Her small children have lost their mother. Julie’s mother has lost her daughter. I have lost a friend.
We’ve been talking a lot, Julie and I, these past 46 days. I was trying to help her prepare for the inevitable. My friend had time to record some messages and write letters for the events in the future where she will not be there to guide and comfort her two young daughters. She managed to create some new happy memories with her loved ones and to savour some last beautiful and life-affirming moments.
I also shared my insights about death, gleaned from all of my many experiences as a psychic. That we are souls having a physical experience, that when the body dies our soul continues to exist, that love endures, and that we are always and forever connected through love.
Julie had come to a place where she was no longer afraid of death. But she was afraid of pain and suffering, and given her situation, it was expected that her last days would be difficult, even with pain management.
But Julie died without having to experience any of that. She ended up with a bowel blockage, and needed emergency surgery yesterday after her temperature spiked and she began to have abdominal pain. The surgery went well, her family came to see her after she came out of theatre, and they sat with her until bed time, when she drifted off to sleep. She died in her sleep from heart failure. No pain. No suffering. No distress.
After I got over the initial shock of her death, I laughed. She got a good death. A very Julie death – for my friend was the Queen of taking care of every small detail, of streamlining and problem-solving and organising things just so.
Ah, we’re all saying through our tears. She didn’t suffer. She died in her sleep, which was what she’d wanted and believed she would be denied.
If Julie was a gardener (see opening quote), then the way she touched me is this – she showed me the importance of taking time for what matters and for making time for myself and my healing. She also encouraged me to drink fine champagne, eat the best chocolates, cheeses and cakes, and savour the deliciousness of life, even if it meant needing to bend the rules sometimes. Treating yourself occasionally, she kept telling me, was vital for anyone who worked hard and grew ragged at the edges from stress, duty and the ongoing everyday demands of life.
Oh my darling friend, I shall miss you being physically in my life. But you know you’re welcome to pop in any time, energetically speaking, for a catch up and some love.
Some pretty pink bubbles and cupcakes for you! Onward on your journey. Bless xoxo