Don’t Wait to Appreciate

Back in the late 1980’s, I often took a road trip from Utah to visit California; my old stomping grounds. Traveling through the barren desert of Nevada, just outside of the mountain range exiting the Utah/Arizona Border, there was an extraordinary place someone once told me about with such excitement, that I had to stop and see it for myself. So, on one such trip, I finally did it. I exited the freeway at Homestead Road and found my way across the other side of the freeway to an area where this supposed “really cool place” existed like a paradisiacal mirage in the desert.

I parked my car on a dirt parking lot and walked toward the cliff that led down to the river that ran under the freeway overpass, to see what I could see. I saw it! Right before my eyes, it was as if this part of desert landscape, in this small desolate town, out of nowhere, turned into some sort of Garden of Eden!

Hot spring like this, but not like this.

Hot spring like this, but not like this at all. Image: Pixabay

A hot spring ran down the hill through the area where hot pots formed deep enough for bathers to soak themselves in the mineral rich water flowing freely out of Mother Earth. With the warm water, green terrain sprang up everywhere close to these hot spring pools that graced this otherwise, very ordinary desert hill and dirt landscape. It was magnificent! And the view? Oh my goodness! It was a beautiful oasis with a desert view for miles, over-looking the river far below as it freely flowed by.

So impressed by it, I too told people about this place with such excitement, hoping that they would someday stop to enter this unknown territory of amazing paradisiacal splendor.

Flash forward- nearly 20 years later. I was traveling back from California with my family when I got this great idea to show them this amazing little spot in the middle of the barren desert. I had made that trip back and forth many times throughout the years, but would accidentally pass it. Not wanting to spend the time turning around at the next turn-off, because it was just too far away… I would skip it and ride on to my destination. “Besides,” I thought, “It would always be there next time.”

But this time returning to Utah, I remembered! I found the turn-off, and I even recalled exactly where it was. As we parked on that same dirt parking lot, which was still there, and approached the cliff, I was so excited! The green oasis, the hot springs, the hot pots to soak in, the river flowing by and the vast desert view from the hill. What would it look like now? Even better? I could hardly wait to show them what I had been telling people about for 20 years!

As we peered over the cliff, can you imagine what we saw? We saw the river flowing by under the freeway overpass and the view of the vast desert expanse, but where was my beautiful paradise that was supposed to last forever?

It was long gone!!!!  Apparently, I missed it by years.

Barren desert... but not that barren desert.

Barren desert… but not that barren desert. Image: Pixabay

I hiked down the hill desperately searching for it, only to find that it was all dried up. There were no more hot springs, no more green tropical plants, no more hot pots deep enough to soak in. What was left in its place were remnants of trash people had left behind on the hard rock and clay soil, along with the few desert plants that could withstand the harsh desert sun. A desert oasis turned trash graveyard existed now where something amazingly beautiful and so full of life once existed before.

The balance of our drive home was a sad one. I was clearly in a state of disbelief as the grief process set in. The implications were telling. In that moment, I could clearly see the “writing on the wall.” You see, for some reason, I always thought that my little piece of paradise would always be waiting there for me, whenever I remembered to stop by next. But it wasn’t. This led to a very sad thought. What else had I taken for granted? What else had I thought would always be there waiting for me?

Things change. And sometimes… they change rather quickly! What we once thought would always be there forever… no longer isn’t, at least not in this realm. You know the saying, “The only constant… is change.” Well, for people who like some sense of stability and security in their lives, this shifting reality can be rather unsettling, to say the least.

Recently, this old experience sprang to mind, and I knew there was something for me to realize. So, after all these years, I began to think about all of the changes that have occurred since that time, namely… the people, places and things of my life. But whether these changing landscapes could be noticed in the physical world or only in my own private inner world, just about everything had changed.

There were the ever-changing situations and circumstances of life. There were the places I’ve spent my time, the experiences I’ve had and the things I’ve acquired, each of these, meaningful or not. This was a landscape where my children grew up from children to adult without my permission. And, throughout the years, my finances and health fluctuated… right along with my weight. But never my age. Nope. Although I might have looked better or healthier on some days, rather than others, still… without my permission, my youth began to fade with each passing day. Rude!

There were the relationships in my life that began and/or ended. Those who blessed my life for the better… and those I thought hadn’t… but who really had. There were those people who have stayed awhile, and those who left or even passed away and left me, nonetheless. Even, my first grandchild was birthed into this world this year! And through all of it, there was the complicated and ever-changing mix of emotions experienced along the spectrum between joy and heartache. But then again… in the midst of all of this… there were the things I learned along the way.

Earlier in this post I mentioned that within my experience of the disappearing paradisiacal oasis, there was something for me to see… and this is it. Life offers its beauty to us in every NOW. While we might be able to revisit something of our past, and maybe or maybe not it is still there, what is to be noticed and appreciated is always right before our eyes. And because life doesn’t stop for any of us, life hopes we will not miss out on it because we were waiting around for another time for us to enjoy it.

In every moment, life is inviting us to be present and aware to the life happening all around us. By recognizing and appreciating the people, places and things in our lives, right NOW, we will not have the regrets of having missed out because of the inevitable changes that life will bring our way.

In a nutshell… Don’t wait for another time to appreciate someone or something in your life now. Because… like the hot spring that once flourished, then dried up, without notice… life can change rather quickly and time can run out too.

Appreciating life and time

Appreciating life and time. Image: Pixabay

 

The Gifts They Leave Behind

While cleaning the house, shortly before Christmas, Pat finds a Christmas gift from Dustin, intended for his mother.

Dustin's gift

Dustin’s gift

Pat writes:
“When I was cleaning a few weeks before Christmas, I found this gift all wrapped up, under the couch. It was from Dustin’s last Christmas here.”

“Dustin was always buying me little knick knacks. Somehow, it was stuck under the couch from 2014. (Shows how well I clean.)”

“Didn’t find it until a few weeks ago…2016.
I think he did this on purpose. My Christmas gift from Dustin…2016. He wanted me find it.”

Commentary- I am never surprised when I hear of this happening. I have even experienced this for myself from time to time. When this happens, it is fantastic! Somehow you just know that the gift you found was intended for you to find at that very moment. Continue reading

Is Suicide the Answer?

Since Raj’s tragic passing, Archana has been devastated enough to consider suicide. But this time, Raj asks her to promise to serve out her purpose without him.

Archana writes:
“Yesterday when I got up, I stood in front of God’s photo and said, “It’s enough, and I’m tired. Please take me back to you!”

“Even while talking to a friend at another time, I said, “I have no intention of living. Every day, I wake up hoping it should be the last day. But somehow, death is not ready for me yet.”

Godavari River

Godavari River. Across the river where Raj drown.

“Well, last night, I had a dream where I was at the river bank where Raj tragically drowned. In my dream, I was talking to a friend about how the tragedy happened. Then, to my surprise, Raj came walking up in the sand and sat down next to me. I smiled at him and asked, “When is my turn? I want to be with you.” He took my hand in his and said, “Promise me that you’ll not commit suicide.”

“I don’t remember what happened after that, but it felt good to know that Raj was listening to my words. Still… it’s really tough to take so much pain in one life.” Continue reading

An Unexpected Visit

In an after-death communication, Amber, a self-proclaimed atheist, receives a message of love and comfort from her mother on the “other side.”

Amber writes:
“My Mother died in 2015. As my last living family member and with the Mother- Daughter connection that we shared, the first year has been the saddest in my 55 years of life. However, I take sweet comfort in her love for me, and in a moment after her death that I hold close to my heart.”

“It was one month after her passing. I had another day of steady tears and inconsolable sadness. The huge thing was simple: she was gone and I was alone without her. I came home exhausted from the day, sat on the couch and continued my sobbing. Then, I heard her! She said, in a voice I remember as that of how she sounded when she was in her 30s, not the weakened tone of her 78 year-old dying of cancer self. (And this is something in and of itself; that she spoke with a healthy young voice. If I was to create a message in my head from her, I would never have thought to change her voice to her younger days.) And what she said was exactly enough – not one extra word needed to be spoken. “Amber, I love you. I am here with you.”
Continue reading

Taking Control of the Holidays

I know experiencing the holiday season without our loved ones can bring up a lot of emotional stuff. That’s bound to happen. But just a few quick ideas about how to navigate the holiday season to make sure that YOU are powerfully in charge.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Customarily, Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and to show our gratitude. I recommend taking some quiet time during the day to write a letter to your loved one. In it, you could express your gratitude for them and what they contributed to your life. You might even place a token or offering (something meaningful) for them with your letter as you put it in a special place; a self-made altar, a drawer or decorative box that holds the things of theirs that you treasure. Oh sure, you may have a good cry, but let it all out. Crying is the body’s natural way to release pain and the process of letting the tears out creates brain chemicals that will help us to feel better each and every time we cry. Crying won’t hurt you, it will heal you. So don’t be afraid of those tears, or even those emotions that are causing those tears. Feel what there is to feel. It’s okay. Continue reading

Grieving Pets

When Charlie’s master, John, passes from this Earth, this loyal and beautiful doe-eyed kitty-cat sits at the window each day, awaiting his return home.

Deena, John’s long time girlfriend, recalls her sweetheart, John, and his loyal female cat named Charlie:

John

John

“John always had a love for animals. When his father died, John left grammar school to become a farmer, which he did for the next 20 years of his life. During his farming career, he had several run ins with the local policeman who kept telling him not to keep the tractor running as he kept jumping on and off of it, because it was against the law to do so. One day, this policeman told John that he would make a good policeman. Soon after, John quit the farm and joined the police Academy where he was a very good police officer for 31 years! John was one in a million.” Continue reading

Grief Compounded

Shortly after Margaret lost her Father, Arthur, who I wrote about in the last post, “The Present”, there was another sad loss of life that further compounded her grief.

ICE

ICE

Margaret writes:
“We had another very sad loss over the weekend which was compounded by many factors. My husband, Joe, let ICE, our beautiful 3-year-old pit bull out at 5 am. She went after a lizard and fell into the deep end of our pool. She went straight down. It all happened right in front of him. Somehow Joe was able to get her out and tried to do CPR but couldn’t save her. So there is shock and guilt and a lot of grief. There is no answer or explanation to find comfort.”

 

Angela and ICE

Angela and ICE

“I have not had a dream about my Dad since he died 3 months ago, until this happened. I went back to sleep at 10 am after this horrible incident and had this dream. My daughter, Angela, was talking to my Dad on the phone. I told her to ask him if he had our dog, ICE. (In my dream, I think both my Dad and ICE were alive).She asked him and turned to me to say, “Pop pop has her!” Without really thinking about it, I said, “OK, let’s go get her!” In my dream, we were on our way to meet my Dad to pick ICE up, but I woke up before we got there. Strange, yet not.” Continue reading

The Present

When a powerpoint, “The Present” arrives in an email for Christmas, Margaret’s mother is forced to believe that this was sent from her deceased husband, Arthur.

Margaret writes:

Margaret's Mom & Dad

Margaret’s Mom & Dad

“My Dad passed away on September 21, 2015. Although he was 85 years old, it was sudden and unexpected. We were extremely close and I was/am devastated.”

“My Mom was a rock after my Dad died. She seemed to be busy tending to things like canceling Dr.’s appointments, writing letters, sorting through things, etc. I wondered what would happen when there was nothing further to do. She is a very strong woman and far less emotional than I am.”

“Christmas was difficult and when I called her, she seemed sad on that day, although she was doing her best to put on a good front, trying to comfort me. There was just something different that day and although she would never admit it, I could sense it. I miss my Dad every day, but Christmas seemed even harder. He was everything to me.” Continue reading

At the Brink…

Just when Lara was at the brink of her capacity, she experienced this amazing near-death experience!

Lara writes:
“I was severely depressed at the time before my NDE. I had gotten into a car accident a year ago and suffered short term memory loss. My neck and back were also in a lot of pain and my left eye would twitch at times.”

“Family life was unbearable, dealing with school, mom’s chronic illness, dad’s neglect and gambling addiction, and brother’s focus on himself. My sanity and patience started to dwindle.”

“Weeks before my NDE, I wasn’t able to study for a college exam and was under extreme stress. My moods were up and down. The only way I knew how to cope with all the stresses in my life was through an eating disorder. I began to eat less and less and lost a lot of weight. My stomach was always in pain and I had no energy to do anything. I was very fatigued and hanging on by a thread.” Continue reading

GriefandMourning Beacon (Vol. 1)

Warm greetings, friends and readers of GriefandMourning.com!

I hope you and yours are well, and that your summer/winter season, wherever you may live, has been good and peaceful.

Just a heads up! As you can see by the “Vol. 1” in this post, I have just started up the first periodic/newsletter/beacon for the Grief and Mourning website. Although I don’t necessarily like extra reading, myself, I found it a necessary line of communication in order for me to send you my personal greetings of love, thoughts and disseminate announcements about upcoming classes and other important information that you may be interested in. I promise to keep it short and sweet!

Coming up soon. I will be teaching my 4-week online class, “Connect With Your Departed? Being Your Own Medium” Series. Classes start October 7th. Early bird special is up now. There is also a special repeaters cost for those who want to stay in the conversation. Here’s the information about the upcoming classes, along with participant testimonials. 

Upcoming Classes   •   Connect With Your Departed?  •  Testimonials

Also, I will be offering a variety of interesting and insightful classes. Even some free ones. They just take time to create. I will announce these in my upcoming newsletters.

...on the ride of our lives

…on the ride of our lives

Thank you for reading. My love and blessing of peace and healing go out to all of you.

May you always know that you are never alone in your trials and tribulations. We are all on this ride together. Hang on!

Thank you for your support. I truly appreciate it.

Love and living light,
jade

Dustin Is At It Again!

In this after-death communication/spirit visitation, Dustin arranges the guest room bed with another humorous scene. Instead of several stuffed animals, now there is one big stuffed animal, neatly placed as it looks out the window.

Pat writes:
“Hi Jade. My sister, Kathy, sent this today. Again, when she and her husband, Owen, woke up, Dustin had been there! I will forward you Kathy’s experience and the pictures. Just one cat toy this time.”

Dustin's Shenanigans

Dustin’s Shenanigans

Upon receiving the latest visit from Dustin, Kathy writes to Pat:
“Hi Pat. When we got up this AM, Owen said, “Come here.”  We think Dustin was at it again, as the white blanket by the window where the cats sit was totally straightened out. The last time when he placed many stuffed animals on the straightened white blanket they were all looking out the window. This time just one larger cat toy; a stuffed calico cat, was sitting perfectly straight and staring out the window. I guess, Dustin liked Jade’s last post about him. Hugs.” Continue reading

Another Dustin Moment

In an email about her latest visitation from her nephew, Dustin, Kathy writes this after-death communication to her sister, Pat, who is Dustin’s mother.

Kathy writes:

Dustin, Ashton and Blaze

Dustin, Ashton and Blaze

“Morning Pat. Something happened at my house that makes me think Dustin was here again. Our cats love laying on a bed in our spare room by the window. There are 2 or 3 blankets usually all messed up and a bunch of little stuffed toys buried here and there. This morning as I went about my normal routine of turning on the computer in that room on the way to the kitchen, I looked toward the window. It was unbelievable how the toys were arranged. I said, “Owen, come here” as I pointed to the little cat toys. He said  “Oh, my God. Who did that?”  I said, “Certainly not the cats!” The blankets were straightened and the little stuffed animals were all arranged neatly, looking out the window!”

“Is this something Dustin would have done? I took some pictures to send to you.” Continue reading

Lights Out!

In this after-death communication, Stacey becomes a believer in the afterlife, when her recently deceased father, turns out the light as he leaves the room!

Stacey and her Father

Stacey and her Father

Stacey writes:
“My dad passed away on the 4th of February 2016. The most incredible thing happened a few seconds after he passed away. The light in his hospital room went off. No other lights in his ward did this but his. The nurse checked the hallway to check if someone had pressed the button but no one was around. I”d like to think he was letting us know he was okay and not suffering now. He had a fantastic personality and this is something he would do (turning the lights off as he left) as he would have found it amusing, and it relaxed my family.”

“I was not sure about life after death before, but now I’m a true believer! I would like to share my experience of my dad’s after-death communication with everyone!”

“Lots of love, Stacey xo!” Continue reading

Happiness

In this after-death communication, Dick visits me with “Happiness!”

Happiness Box

Happiness Box

Yesterday, when I was walking through a store, a bright pink decorative box caught my attention! As I looked a little closer at it, and simply because I love the color pink, I saw the word, “Happiness” written on the beautiful box that was bedazzling me at the time.

“Well, that’s funny!” I thought, as I took a closer look. “That reminds me of what Dick used to write at the end of his emails to me, just before signing off by writing his name.

Then, I remembered! It was only one short year ago when I met Dick on a European River Cruise that I was on at the time. He was sitting across and one seat over from me at the breakfast table I was seated at. As I looked at him, I noticed that there was this light around him, and a tender kindness that ran deep as his soul. Our eyes met, like we had always known each other, and he wished me a ‘good morning’ before excusing himself from the table, for a full day of sight-seeing. Continue reading

Still By Your Side

Just days after I got around to posting my last post, “Roses my love?“, which was an old after-death communication of Elisa’s from several months previous, she receives this new one, showing her that her beloved Eric, is still by her side.

Elisa writes:
“Dear Jade, I am so excited to tell you this. Two nights ago, I woke up around 4am, and went back to sleep around 5.30am. Then, I dreamt the following.”

“I was in a room with other people, and it looked like we were attending a course. I was seated at the front, next to another person. Then, the course leader asked if anyone wanted to take a break, and most wanted to. So they started to leave the room, except for me and the person I was seated next to.” Continue reading