It’s not easy heading back to work after a great weekend. The weather is hot and humid again. People seem to have issue with dialing internationally today (remember, by day, I’m Mr. Telephone Man.) After dancing through the weekend, it’s like reality has slapped you across the face. The alarm clock blares and off you go into the rat race.

Last night my sister called. My Aunt Rose passed away yesterday. She’s had some health problems for the past couple of months or so and apparently her death was related to that. She went quickly in her home before the ambulance had the chance to arrive. She was my sister’s godmother. I’m happy that we had the opportunity to see her a couple weeks ago at a graduation party. She seemed happy, despite side effects from her medication. She smiled. We hugged.

I find it hard to see others at funeral services. I don’t mind seeing the deceased, as I know that they’ve already left this world and are now experiencing eternal happiness. When I look in a casket, I don’t see my relative or friend, I see what they’ve left behind. A car without the driver, if you will. I prefer closed casket services, simply because it allows me to focus on the memories instead of the body. But what I really don’t like is to to see others grieve. (Who would like it, after all?) It’s because I can’t help them. I can’t take their pain away. I want to say “They’re happy now. They’re at peace! They’re looking down upon us. They’re right here. Smile, celebrate their life and dream about them tonight. Close your eyes and listen to their whispers. Feel the eternal love they’re feeling. Give them a great big hug and tell them to give God a kiss for you.” But I never say those things. I’m afraid I’ll cross a line. Everyone has a grieving process that they go through. I must allow them the luxury of their personal journey. So I hold a hand, I hug, I mumble my sympathy, I relive some memories and I try to make them smile.

Rest in peace, Aunt Rose. Make sure God doesn’t get too sweaty.*

* inside family joke.

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The Path.

The sky was a mix of rose, mauve and a pale blue. I could smell the scent of lilac on the gentle breeze. Off to my right was a beautiful body of water. The waves gently lapped at the shore. Below me was a beautiful sandy beach. On my left appeared a beautiful silouette. An apparition. A spirit. A soul. Human words can not express the beauty, the vibrance or the essence of the figure that appeared. I instinctively knew her name as “Amanda”. She was recognizable beyond doubt as soon as I sensed her.

“You’ve asked for my help in the past. I’m always here for you, in the past, in the present and in the future.”

Lying ahead of me in the sand was a well defined path. The path stretched ahead for what seemed an eternity. I could see no end.

“You are on the right path. You have your doubts, but not to worry, for you will know when you’ve veered off course.” As she said that, I saw myself walking down a rocky path. There was a yellow and brown snake along side, not threatening, but frightening me nonetheless. There was no breeze, no scent of lilac. There were bushes with thorns. None of this was frightening, but it was disconcerting and gave me the sense of “wrong”.

My consciousness brought me back to the sandy beach, the body of water, the gentle wind. I saw others effortlessly walking in the distance. They were each walking their own path, intersecting with one another. But I couldn’t walk. My feet were heavy. I could barely lift my legs. The sand was holding me down.

“Your own negativity is holding you down. It’s preventing you from walking your path easily. You have many gifts. You bring joy to others, through laughter, through the sparkle in your eyes. But you complain about life. You never seem happy. You’re making the walk much more difficult than it needs to be.”

I continued to try to walk forward. The sand was still heavy, my feet were heavy, but I managed to take to steps forward. Along side me, on my right, appeared another spirit or soul. I instantly recognized him as Earl. He was a little younger looking, but it was definitely Earl.

“He’s here for you, as you are here for him. You’re walking the path together. Your guides are always here, watching over you. Lift your feet. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be lazy. Walk your path. Just stop complaining about the journey. Look around, there’s beauty everywhere.”

“Walk your path, John. Clear your mind of negativity. Focus on all the positive aspects of life. Share your gifts with others. Then walk your path with confidence. Just stop complaining about it.”

And with a final scent of lilac, I awoke, feeling absolutely wonderful this morning. I believe someone is trying to tell me something.