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A Day of Rebirth

 

I originally wrote this piece for my blog on March 1, 2014, my daughter Jeannine’s 11th angelversary date.  Since year nine of my life as a parent who has experienced the death of a child, I have written about the teachings I have discovered when spending time with Jeannine on her angelversary date.  I wanted to again share my experience  as we approach spring, a time of both rebirth and renewal. I have discovered clarity in ritual and ceremony, while recognizing that Jeannine still exists, but in a different form of energy. I still have occasional yearnings for Jeannine’s physical presence, but am simultaneously blessed with the knowledge that she continues to be a part of the path I am now walking and will walk for the remainder of my lifetime. I recently told a friend of mine that I no longer look forward to her angelversary with dread, but with anticipation of the new teachings to be discovered.  Inevitably, the teachings that I discover not only strengthen my relationship with Jeannine but also enhance the service that I provide to others.  I never envisioned embracing or even wanting to embrace this perspective in early grief, but today I feel empowered because I have. As I mention in this piece: “ Pain demands to be felt”; I would also add that” Pain demands to be transformed.”  It is my hope that those of you who are experiencing the challenges of loss due to death or other transitions find your unique paths to transformation and inspire others in the process.

Unconditional and Never-Ending Love

Today marks the eleventh angelversary date of my daughter Jeannine's death. In this moment, I look at her death as a rebirth into a new life in a world that is governed by unconditional, never-ending love, bliss and the absence of malice and rancor.  Jeannine and I share a pure spiritual relationship that embodies all of those positive qualities that are in her world.  I do at times yearn for her physical presence, and I believe she at times yearns for mine. Whenever I receive a sign from her, I like to believe it is because she yearns for my physical presence, as well as the physical presence of my wife and two sons.  When a spirit makes themselves known to you, they are making themselves known to all that is a part of you. 

The Gift of Peace

This morning I spent some quiet time inviting Jeannine into my sacred space and sharing my gratitude for the relationship that we continue to share and the teachings that she continues to reveal to me about life, death and the value of a life.  I also encouraged her to continue to evolve spiritually and if she so chose, to make herself part of the universal intelligence that guides all who walk in awareness to do so with honor and integrity and to help them  inspire others to do the same. To empower Jeannine to continue to evolve in her new life is the greatest gift that I can continue to give her as her father. It is the greatest gift that I can give to myself, for it is the gift of peace.

Changing our Inner Landscape

I had an appointment to get my hair cut  and as  I looked at the landscape around me, commented to Jeannine that not much changed since her day of rebirth, but that it was OK, nonetheless. That is the cool thing about nature, that there is a consistency in landscape, a landscape characterized by unconditional beauty that we can find anywhere we look. Of course, after our loved ones cross over, the pain, anger, and disconnectedness that we experience clouds our perspective and contributes to us overlooking the magnificence of nature. However, once our inner landscape is transformed because of our desire and intent to see death differently, we again begin to appreciate nature's splendor and beauty. So our transformed selves, allows us to see the same things differently.

Starting Year 12 

Jeannine crossed over on 12:30am on March 1,2003. As of 12:31 am, I started year 12 of my new life path without her physical presence. Here are my thoughts as I begin year 12:

  •  I can't believe that it has been 12 years.
  •  I look forward to the day when I can begin eternity with Jeannine and with my ancestors who have entered eternal life before her. I am not however in a hurry to begin that next phase of my existence. I am inspired about what Jeannine has taught me in spirit. I want to continue to be inspired and to inspire others for as long as I am permitted to do so. I also have a wonderful wife and life partner and two amazing sons, whose lives I want to be a part of for as long as I am permitted to do so.
  •  My present moments become more enriched when the past serves as my teacher. My future will also be enriched as long as I continue to be mindful of this truth.
  • There is a great line from one of the characters in a book by John Green, called: The Fault in Our Stars.  The line is: "Pain demands to be felt."  There were many times in early grief after Jeannine's death that I did not acquiesce to pain's demands. It was only when I could honor my pain that my metamorphosis began.
  •  Every emotion that we experience, both positive and negative, is a crucial piece in the mosaic that comprises the path we walk after the death of our loved ones. We can learn from everything.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me validated me and loved me during the past 11 years of my life. Without you, I could not embrace the path I currently walk and will continue to walk.

Wishing you peace.

 

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About the Author

I became a parent who experienced the death of a child after my daughter Jeannine died of cancer on 3/1/03 at the age of 18. I am a retired addiction professional and am also an adjunct professor in the psychology and psychology-child life departments at Utica College. In 2007, I established Bootsy and Angel Books, LLC(www.bootsyandangel.com). The mission of Bootsy and Angel Books is to provide information, support, and services to individuals and families who have experienced the death of a child or other catastrophic losses. I have presented workshops at national conferences of The Compassionate Friends since 2008 and at gatherings of the Bereaved Parents of the USAin 2009 , 2011 and 2012. I have been a keynote speaker for national gathering of the Bereaved Parents of the USA in both 2011 and 2015. I am also the chapter leader for The Compassionate Friends of the Mohawk Valley. I have contributed articles to Living with Loss Magazine ,We Need Not Walk Alone, Hello Grief and Recovering the Self Journal. I have co-authored two books with Linda Findlay of Mourning Discoveries on navigating through grief during the holidays and pet loss. I am a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation and have also appeared on Healing the Grieving Heart and the Open to Hope Television show.. I am also a featured speaker, workshop presenter and coach for Aspire Place(www.aspireplace.com) You can also find me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/david.j.roberts1

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