Just be kind and brave. That’s all you ever need to be.
This tiny bit of wisdom has been my mainstay philosophy for as long as I can remember, and one of the areas of my life where it has been most applicable is in respect to after death communications. Since childhood I have been the recipient of these other world messages and they usually arrive when I am in proximity to the bereaved. A message from a departed loved one can offer a healing balm like no other- but if the grieving are not seeking out a message or do not believe in such things, it always presents me with a difficult dynamic. I have sometimes waited years for the opportunity to gently deliver an after death communication … and last week was one of those instances.
The adventure began when I arrived for an appointment at an automotive repair shop. As I approached the front desk to check in for my service a woman behind me gasped when she heard my name. She then turned to the man she was with and said loudly, “I can’t believe this is happening.” When I turned around to look at her, I immediately recognized her as Laura, a friend of a friend. She and I had never officially met, but had been in proximity to one other many times throughout our lives. Her saying, “I can’t believe this is happening” was the first real conversation we had ever shared.
Laura’s father died a tragic death two years ago. Since that time, by Laura’s own admission, she has been grieving acutely and unable to piece her life back together. Apparently her grief really peaked over the recent holidays, to a point where she felt like she could no longer live this way. A worried friend had given her my business card and had urged her to call to set up an appointment for grief counseling. Despite her friend’s urgings she had resisted reaching out for help.
She was in that auto repair shop by chance that day. She had never been there before, but needed a smog check done on her vehicle and pulled into the first shop with this service that she saw. I was in that auto shop by chance that day as well. I had never been there before, and likely will never be there again. But there we were, fulfilling our joint destiny while mechanics hammered away and the smell of oil hung in the air.
Laura could not believe that I had arrived to where she was…she took it as a sign that her Dad was pulling strings. I smiled and agreed that our meet up was an example of synchronicity at its best, but there was more. My path toward Laura had started long before that day… there was something that I had to share with her… so I took a deep breath and began.
When her father had died two years before, a few days after his passing, he came to me and gave me a message for his family. When this happens it is nothing dramatic- it is what it is. I get visitors- they bring messages…sometimes trying to deliver the messages to their earthly recipients is the difficult part. Picture it this way…. I am a relay runner on a track where people on the other side run. I put myself on that track knowingly and I run with one arm back- I have an outstretched open hand that is willing to take the baton. People on the other side know this and they pass me the baton when they can. That is the easy part. If their family members are awaiting a message this is a seamless transaction that benefits everyone. If the family is not waiting for a message it gets much harder… finding a way to get into proximity to them so that I can pass the baton (message) can be tricky. There are lots of grieving people who are nowhere near the track, some who don’t even know there is a track, and others who think that if there is a track, it is one that they should stay far away from because messages from the dead are somehow wrong. I am an open and willing channel, but I will not chase someone down to deliver a message. I trust the universe to arrange the meeting, and this impromptu encounter in the auto body shop was just such an arrangement.
So as Laura was settling into her notion that the universe had taken good care of her by arranging our meet and greet, I explained to her that I had received a message from her Dad just after his passing, and had always hoped to have the opportunity to deliver it. She was stunned…. A message from her father? What was it? She had to know…
As I stood there in the bowels of this auto body shop trying to figure out how to say what I needed to say, I am sure all of my angels, guides, and heavenly helpers were laughing their butts off. Sometimes my life feels like an episode of Candid Camera- only the film crew is on the other side, and the props are all on this side…
Most of the messages I get involve humor- they are clear, crisp, highly evidential messages, but they usually have some hint of ridiculousness to them. (Ridiculous only in the context of family members saying, why would he send THAT through as a message?’ To which my reply is always, “Well you know it had to be him, right?’)
The mediums that you see on TV that are always being shown serene images of celestial beauty, accurate birthdays, and sentimental bits of information that bring a tear to the eye…well all I can say is that their guides and helpers are much more elegant than mine are. My team seems to be a veritable troupe of comediennes… because the things they show me are often quite odd… and Laura’s father’s message was of course, quirky as could be. With the mantra of ‘ Be kind and be brave’ playing in my head, I swallowed my fear of humiliation and delivered my message; “He showed me a lawn full of plastic pink flamingos. He said it would make you laugh and that you would know exactly what it meant.’
I have come to deeply respect the silence that befalls one who suddenly feels the abyss of grief evaporate right in front of them. Through tears and laughter Laura recounted her father’s tendency to be rather unsupportive of gay rights. One year, he had been particularly vocal about a gay pride parade that was scheduled to occur in the town where he lived. On the night prior to the parade, Laura and her brothers snuck onto his lawn and filled it with pink plastic flamingos. As the morning of the gay pride parade dawned, he (and all of the passers by) awoke to a lawn full of bright pink tropical birds. The event had gone down in family history as the best prank ever.
Laura left that mechanic’s shop with more than a clean bill of health on her exhaust system. Her faith had been buoyed first by our chance encounter, and secondly by the message her father had brought through- a message that had gone undelivered until that day.
I left that shop with yet one more real life example that proves being kind and being brave is really all we ever need to be.