17: Channeling Dad

17: Channeling Dad

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven

Channeling Dad

Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.

~Rabindranath Tagore

Father and I agreed on many things in life but strongly disagreed about some issues, including what happened after death. He believed that when a person died, that was it — no heaven, no hell, no bells tolling, and no continuation of the soul.

I believed that when a person’s body died, the soul crossed over to somewhere. I didn’t necessarily imagine that “somewhere” as heaven, but rather that the soul returned to God, Spirit, Source, or whatever anyone else called that sense of the Divine. Then, after resting and reviewing the life just left, the soul could choose to return to earth — reincarnated.

Mom and Dad lived several provinces away from me for the last twenty years of their lives. Every three months I would fly out to visit for a week or so and I did that consistently until they died. Mom left first. Dad and I were there in the end and he dispassionately described the physical dying process to me (being a retired nurse) as Mom lay slowly leaving. Although it was a lesson in the physicality of dying, it was a hard one emotionally for me, as she and I had been extremely close.

They had been together almost sixty years by that time and her passing left a huge hole in Dad’s life for a time. He lived in a retirement community in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia and over the years they had lived there he had made many friends, who all rallied round him. For the next five years he stayed actively involved in the community in a variety of ways. I continued to visit regularly.

We talked about death and dying from time to time. Dad researched the funeral costs and picked the provider he wanted us to use. He posted his wishes on the fridge door so my two brothers and I would know what to do when his time came. He was very pragmatic about it all. And he and I talked. Our different views about death were very apparent and rather then get into any argument about it I started to use humor with him. As I spoke of the soul journeying onward and not dying Dad would tell me that I was just plain crazy! In turn I would tease him and say that when he crossed over I expected to hear from him. Further I gave him the words I expected him to say to me — “You were right, daughter!”

When it was Dad’s turn, I was there along with one of my brothers. Dad passed in the early summer. About six weeks later, a friend and I travelled into a neighbouring province to visit another friend at her camp at a lake for a weekend. On our way home, we happened to be driving by a retreat centre that we both visited from time to time. We decided on the spur of the moment to pop into the retreat and see if anyone was home and have some tea.

Sun Carrier, one of the partners at the retreat centre, was a person who channelled three different sources of Enlightened Beings. She and her partner were home, and as we sat with our tea and caught up with events, she offered to channel for us. My friend Priscilla and I were delighted to have that opportunity and quickly agreed.

After we all meditated Sun Carrier began to channel. The guidance offered through the channel was loving and expansive — which had always been my experience. The message was flowing along when all of a sudden there was a switch from that channel and my father came into the channel with a message to me.

Father’s message to me was not, “You were right, daughter!” He did not use those words. What he did say was that he was sorry for being such a stubborn old codger (words that were common for him to use), and that I had more knowledge about dying than I even knew. He continued on by saying that my use of humour when talking to those who were getting close to dying was a gift, as it eased the fear in the individual, and I should continue to do so. His closing words had me laughing and crying at the same time. He touched on his stubbornness again and said that I had a bit of the same — something that I had been struggling with for a number of years. Then he was gone and the other channel continued.

As we sat around at the end of the channel and talked, Sun Carrier expressed her surprise about Father coming into the channel. I was astonished, and emotionally elated and grieving at the same time. Although Sun Carrier had known that my father had passed, she had no prior knowledge of how he and I used to talk about death. When I explained the conversations he and I had about death, about my expectations that he would contact me and say “You were right, daughter,” we laughed about his message to me. Even then, he was not willing to say the actual words, but the message was clear — my view of death was “more right” than his view. An argument I was happy to win!

~Camille Hill

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