In a recent Shoud, Adamus asked us to step up and leave a message for those who will come along after us on this path to Realization. My message was that we have never done anything wrong, not in this life or any other incarnation. It is a message that many Shaumbra have embraced and understand deeply in their hearts. We are just here to experience, and no experience, however dark or challenging, should bring us shame or suffering. However, I have found that there is one part of life where so many of us continue to struggle with that concept. That area is death and dying.
As many of you know, I walked my beloved husband John through his transition from here to there. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life and changed me in ways I can barely explain to others. It was a perfect adventure for us both; painful, challenging and overwhelmingly beautiful. In the end we both were able to acknowledge the importance of the steps we took together, and today that journey continues to color my life in unexpected and wonderous ways.
Death has always been a major character in my life. It was a close companion through my teenage years of depression to my exploration of darkness through drugs and lifestyle choices, then on to my work as a therapist with many folks who were dying or held a deep wish to die. I have lost all my family members and all the dearest friends from my past. As an AIDS/HIV therapist in the early days of the epidemic, I have sat with many incredible people as they prepared to die and walked many clients through their own darkness and self-destructive desires. I have seen the countless different ways people choose to face death and had the great honor of being present as they moved on to the next adventure. I have lost clients to suicide and walked those who have been left through their own grief and recovery. Of course, I have had my own myriad of experiences with grief and the distillation of wisdom that came from that grief. This journey continues on today as I watch many Shaumbra trying to come to grips with their own human mortality.
One of the biggest challenges I see Shaumbra face as they enter into their dying experiences is the feeling of failure. The sense that, somehow, they are not doing what is expected of them, that they are disappointing Adamus, other Shaumbra and most of all themselves. Didn’t they agree to become realized and stay here in body? Doesn’t this path guarantee that they won’t die too early; or at all? What have they done wrong that cancer or other diseases threaten their human incarnation? I’m sure that before John’s death, I shared many of those feelings.
Today my feelings about death on the journey to Realization have changed dramatically. If I have done nothing wrong, have never made a mistake in lifetime after lifetime, how can my death possibly be a wrong choice? How can my creation be perfect except for dying? As Shaumbra, we seem to be fine with being dead, but not with the act of dying itself. How can we change that?
One of the things John and I would remind each other of is that no one gets out alive. Death is an inevitable, vital part of this journey. I have come to deeply believe that it is much easier to die than to be born. I have had confirmation of this belief over and over since John passed, and his ongoing presence is a constant reminder to me of our immortality.
Of course, as we face into our death, we will find fear and anxiety. We have a survival instinct deeply imbedded in our DNA, something we created to keep us here throughout a lifetime. But we can move deeper, if we allow it, into a space of peace and observation. The act of actively dying is another cocoon. It is a space where all of this lifetime seems to dissolve, and we are momentarily suspended between the human experience and the wonder of who we really are. It can be a time of profound integration and review; a time to unconditionally love ourselves and allow the expression of love from others. One of the greatest gifts of John’s death was in the last few months of his life where we finally allowed ourselves to deeply love each other without any barriers or judgments. Love helped John awaken before his death and gave me a template of how to love myself as I stay here in body. It was one of the most amazing experiences of this lifetime and one I would not have had if he had not chosen to leave as he did. It was his final gift to me.
A few days after John’s death, he left a message for Shaumbra entitled The Greatest Disease. I would like to leave that message here for you as a conclusion to this article. As Shaumbra, we have faced into so many challenges, from the angst of Awakening to the allowing of Realization. We have been (mostly) fearless in the face of it all. Perhaps the act of dying is one of our last frontiers, so to speak, a place we can begin to dialog and create a new template for this most challenging and sacred experience.
The Greatest Disease
The greatest disease is not cancer or heart failure.
These are imbalances of the body.
The greatest disease is not depression, anxiety or schizophrenia.
These are reactions of the mind.
The greatest disease is staying asleep, in spite of knowing it’s time to wake up.
Staying asleep tears at your heart and at your soul. It’s being untrue to yourself in the midst of the greatest truth of all:
You are free.
Staying asleep is living in a limited state of being, and this will haunt you more than any disease of the body or mind.
Instead of fighting cancer or depression, go deep into your heart.
Feel what is yours and leave everything else behind.
Don’t dwell on old memories or worry about the future.
These are diseases that will deny you of life.
The greatest disease of all, for Shaumbra, the one that will keep you from your heart,
is staying asleep.
John Kuderka, Oct 7, 2017
With Love to All
Channeled by Geoffrey Hoppe
Leslie currently lives in Louisville, Colorado, exploring all manner of creative paths and potentials. She left the mental health field after working for over 20 years in public mental health, serving severely mentally ill children and families.
She started the first HIV/AIDS support network outside of Chicago at the beginning of the epidemic and continued to serve that population throughout her career.
She met John through her participation in Crimson Circle events and they lived together for over 14 years in Colorado. Since John’s death, she has allowed herself the time and space to heal and explore what may be next on her journey. She can be reached via email.