The Number 8
In Ted Andrews book, Animal Speak, there is a page devoted specifically to the meanings of numbers as they relate to our understanding of nature. The number 8 signifies, among other things, the symbol for infinity or eternal life. It is ironic that eternal life arises from death, an event so emotionally painful to those who bear witness to it. Death is an event that all of us would wish to avoid or talk about. However, death is woven into the fabric of our very existence and can be one of life’s greatest teachers and can help us achieve a greater purpose in life.
I live in a rural area, only minutes from Utica, New York. I reside in a three-bedroom ranch house nestled off of a road labeled Oneida County Route 26(the sum of the individual numbers is 8). After over a year of looking at houses of all shapes and sizes, my wife Cheri and I fell in love immediately with this one. I think it was the beautiful backyard and in ground swimming pool that sealed the deal for us. The road is surrounded by landscaping reminiscent of something that one would envision, if they believed in an after life. I have lived in this area for close to 28 years and with my wife Cheri, raised three children. One of my children, Jeannine, entered eternal life at the age of 18, on March 1,2003. She had a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
The “Why” Questions
Parents whom I have talked with have asked the “why” questions after experiencing the death of their children. I had plenty of “why” questions myself. Though the “why “questions never resulted in answers that would satisfy me, they did help me eventually help me make sense of a world, where the rules changed due to Jeannine’s death.
Different Kinds of Questions
I have learned that there are messages inherent to all that is part of the world around us. Being aware that insight can come from anywhere and being open to it, can provide us with moments of clarity that can help us on this sometimes uncertain road of grief upon which we travel. I would like to share with you some recent observations and questions that have arisen from living in the proximity of Oneida County Route 26:
Today I consider myself to be a permanent resident of Infinity Boulevard. It is a road that I believe all of us travel when we experience the death of a child, or other catastrophic loss. It is a road where lessons about life and death are revealed regardless of time passed. It is also a road where insight and knowledge developed is not, nor never should be, attached to conventional wisdom…… and therefore knows no limits.
You are a soul
You have a body