Chapter 21 -------- Crossing Over
The final two weeks of Danielle’s life were full of more than just miracles and spiritual experiences. It was a very memorable and positive experience. The disappearance of the pain gave us an almost sublime time together. The support from the community was paramount in helping to create a stress-free environment. In this place of peace and love, Danielle would channel divine energy. Danielle continued having startling realizations. I believe the first big one was about having a supportive community.
It was clear to Danielle that not all people were capable of being present for someone who was dying. It wasn’t easy for some people, and their behavior would result in less than ideal actions. After many people failed us, Danielle came up with a solution. “The Inner Circle,” as she called it, would be one of Danielle’s most important contributions to helping others in the future. The combination of and “Inner and Outer Circle” would provide greater benefit to everyone.
It was a system that she developed to assist a community in giving the proper support to people who were sick or dying. The inner circle would consist of several individuals who were committed to upholding the goals of the person needing assistance. It does not work when people are divided about how they should behave or help. The person in need is always the one who suffers when there is conflict.
Regardless of differing opinions, it was extremely important to be united in the cause. Which means that once a line of treatment is chosen all people, regardless of personal beliefs, need to support the patient’s decision. Support is what truly unifies the inner circle in a common goal. We didn’t have support like this until we enlisted the help of Danielle’s friends. The people Danielle choose to be close to her met her inner circle requirements.
The Inner Circle was meant to be the direct line of communication between the outside world and the individual. It would be used to reduce as much stress and provide as much support as necessary. Danielle was very proud of her revelations explaining how imperative it was that I share her idea. She stated that it was important to have individuals who were emotionally strong in the inner circle. Those who were less in control of their emotions would need a different role.
Danielle assigned the “Outer Circle” to people who were less capable emotionally. This was an ideal place to put people who wanted to help but don’t have the time or energy. Many people fall into this category. Due to the stresses that society has burdened people with, many people lack the ability or available time to continually participate in the dying process. Not to say that many couldn’t find the time. Instead, our experience showed that most people are already at their limits.
I was a perfect example of how getting overwhelmed causes destructive emotional reactions. I think it is honestly easier for people who aren’t extremely close to an individual to behave appropriately. In a society that does not recognize emotional strength nor teach emotional strength in any congruency, we can’t expect people to be experts. Danielle and I both recognized a huge failure that our society made when people are terminal or near death.
Too long, I went without any direct experience, and the small experiences I did have before my wife, were with Grandparents who lived at a distance. I felt that I had failed my family a bit by not offering my help more. It made me feel bad, that as families, we often forget the amount of stress that comes with watching someone you love die. The longer that families deal with the problems, the longer the stresses build.
In six months of dealing with the illness, both Danielle and I were exhausted. I couldn’t imagine people that deal with years of treatments and all the side effects that come with Chemotherapy. I had witnessed that reality almost daily working in the Medical Marijuana Dispensary. I could see the stress between couples and the relief that many found in Medical Marijuana. It was even more difficult to hear stories from others who told of more failures.
The Hospice nurses and volunteers all confirmed my fears that many people don’t receive “healthy” support from their family at the end of their life. We were gifted with five incredible women who were instrumental in helping with making the final weeks as easy as possible. I was getting more help from the ladies every day. It was a group effort to help support Danielle and also to help carry out her final wishes. It would be a challenge for all of us.
I still don’t know how Danielle did it, but after the pain stopped, she planned all of her funeral arrangements. It was an incredible feat to watch as she accepted what was going to happen. It was clear to Danielle that she wanted her memorial service to be something special. She had difficulty deciding on which direction she wanted to go. After much thought, she elected to have two separate services.
The reason she wanted two is to have one specifically for the adults and another for the children. The adults needed to have a safe space to express their feelings. Danielle didn’t want them to hold back at her service. There were things that Danielle wanted all of us to say as adults, without any hesitation. Danielle wanted to protect her students from anything that may be upsetting.
Danielle knew it is not easy to let go if you are worried about offending young children. Danielle made it imperative that only high school age and up would be allowed at the adult service. Danielle wanted people to let it all out, to be emotional and share. We had shared so many strong feelings about everything with each other, so she knew right away that I wanted to speak at her service. It was clear that there were some serious things that I wanted to discuss in my eulogy, and Danielle knew that.
It was important to both Danielle and I that I comment about supporting. In a town like Sedona, where people pride themselves on acting with love and light, we rarely saw it. Far too often, we were victims of a “more enlightened ego.” These people think they are helping, but they are too self-absorbed to discover how they can, in reality, help. Instead, we had people who were “enlightened,” telling us what was best without any concern for Danielle’s choices.
I’ve been there too, especially when it comes to thinking I know what is right. My spiritual quests have led me to many profound answers that have changed the way I live my life. I even tried to force other people in my life to adopt these principles as I knew it would improve their lives. However, in the process of helping, I was ending up with the opposite result. For years I was completely unaware of why I was causing this to happen, despite my best intentions.
Now I understand my mistakes and why I failed so many times. My experiences were individual and unique. No matter how much we try to follow in another’s path, it still always becomes our own. Just because I have read the information that would work for me, it doesn’t mean it works for everyone. Danielle taught me that lesson over and over.
I learned this early and couldn’t force my treatments on my wife. Sadly, even spiritual workers fail at service to others even though I expected otherwise. The amount of Ego that spiritual workers display is offensive at best. I see it in the condescending nature that most use to identify people that are “low vibration.” The attacks and disrespect create separation among people who would otherwise be interested in spiritual growth. If we only encouraged each other, the possibilities are limitless.
I’ve met some people that can read thoughts. A powerful life-changing experience, to say the least. I consider all of my thoughts before I think them because who knows who is listening. I have even met others that can read past lives and even talk to animals. The number of people I’ve met that break the conventional mold is in the hundreds. Each one is living life in their unique way. These differences are not wrong because every person has their truth. Even ignorance lives in its false reality, but it doesn’t make that reality any less real.
In my experience when it comes to living in a reality that many spiritual guru’s live in, what is correct for one guru may not be the same for another. Many live in different perceptions of reality. It isn’t an easy concept to grasp for many individuals since we are taught otherwise in schools. The power of belief is challenging even ideas like aging and fitness. There is even a scientific revolution happening in epigenetics that is proving all of this true.
I learned about a society in Africa that lives in a completely different paradigm than the rest of the world. In this African culture, they believe that the longer you run, the more skilled a runner you become. According to this community, the older men are stronger runners. The idea challenges our conventional model that we are less capable as we age. When science went to check this phenomenon, they found that the elderly African runners were physically equal to elite young runners from America. I’ve reconsidered beliefs because of these discoveries.
I was truly a witness to the power of belief being active in our day to day lives. I also realized that the power of our belief is far more complicated than I could have imagined. The subconscious plays such a vital role in our beliefs and how our reality unfolds. I watched as