Sorry to see Carrie, Debbie and George all depart hours apart.
Someone posted something darkly humorous today. "David Bowie succeeded in finding an alternate universe and he's populating it with the best musicians." George Michael is certainly in that group.
Then someone posted a comment reminiscent of "Postcards from the Edge." Carrie Fisher arrived on the other side, then turned to see her mother following her. "Really, mother? You can't even let me get off stage by myself?"
When Debbie Reynolds suddenly followed her daughter off stage, my wife had just watched Carrie and Debbie's appearance on Oprah. Debbie had said on the show; "I'm staying alive so that I can keep an eye on Carrie. If I leave, who's going to take care of her?"
Apparently her job was done.
The point being that we don't know when our departure date is set - we may know on some other level when that is - but it's important to note that we can't judge someone by the method in which they get off stage.
I noted a person judging Carrie and George for their experiences with drug use. To which I replied: "Judge not lest ye be judged. Criticizing people for how they exit the stage lessens us all. Some people are beacons, some are drawn to their flame. We all come from the same place and return home.
What's stronger, more powerful - the myth we live, or the myths we create? I bow to their lights, all of them. The good they've done musically, on stage, off stage has healed more than most of us will ever reach in many lifetimes. Honor their journey, not their exit. That's mere scenario."
Caustic, funny, witty - a modern day Dorothy Parker.
Carrie was bigger than life, and a terrific writer. She was the go-to rewrite person for Steven Spielberg and others -- I know because an old friend said Carrie was always finding her into meetings my writing friend was invited to. Carrie was part of their inside group; she was their talisman. They ran everything by her, and often hired her to "ghost write" for them.
|Courtesy her pal|
Carrie as he first knew her. Photo
owned by S. Fazekas
It's interesting to note how people deal with death. They speak of this year we are in as if it's stealing or robbing the best artists. Well, that's true if you believe people die. I'm not saying people should or shouldn't believe anything - but it is in the data that we don't die. So it's a belief that we die - and people's reactions to it are personal and tragic. They feel the loss, they feel the pain.
But I'm here to tell anyone listening that's not how they feel. That's not their experience. The loved one doesn't feel pain or trauma. They aren't lost or confused (although initially they may be, eventually that fades away and they get on with their next adventure.)
So they aren't lost. Or do they feel that they're a loss. Or that they're missing everyone. Because they literally shape shift into another form. As Erik Medhus describes in his book "My Life after Death" he was standing next to his body when his family came in to find him. As Galen Stoller describes in "My Life After Life" he was standing beside his body when his spirit guide came to collect him. It was at that point he even realized he was "no longer on the planet."
They can still see all of us. They can walk around and watch us suffering. It's a bit like the old movie cliche, the twilight zone episode, where the guy walks around talking to people but they don't react to him. They can reach out their energy to try to comfort us, but most of us can't be open enough to experience that.
Which is normal, natural. I'm not saying people should not be sad or upset. Or furious. Or grieve. What's the point of being human if we can't grieve? But they should spend an ounce of energy thinking about how their loved one feels. Just open up their perspective a bit to imagine what it might be like for their loved one.
How are they feeling?
Fine. Thanks for asking.
Are they in any pain?
No. Not anymore anyways.
What's their experience like?
"I get to move around faster" one close friend told me (via a medium Jennifer Shaffer). "I'm feeling unconditional love" said another. "I can control butterflies and hummingbirds" said another.
Thousands of accounts of people talking from the flipside, saying mundane, every day magical things about what it's like to float around without all this weight.
So Carrie's journey - she made it to 60. We could argue "that's too short." Of course it is. But then one must ask - "well, what's the optimal amount of time on the planet? 65? 85?" It used to be the average age was around 35. Now it's 85. Debbie made it to 84. Was that enough? Too much? Too little? We all know people who don't make it that far.
|Luana with actor Michael Gough|
But I have had the experience of being able to find her on the flipside, and hang out with her (as recounted in "Flipside" and the other books.) That detail won't make anyone else believe in the afterlife, but for me it's instrumental in my becoming aware that she still exists, is still having fun, is still enjoying the ride. Because only I know what it's like to sit and laugh with her. And she continues to give me "new information" - things that could not come from me, or cryptomnesia, hypoxia or synesthesia. New information about my life and journey.
I know people who only made it to 23. (My pal Melinda Germann mentioned below.) I know people who only made it to one day on the planet. Do we mourn them any less? Do we add up the days they had and subtract them from an overall number? What's the precise number of days that constitute how we should or shouldn't feel?
We love them all equally. Here or there.
And they love us back. Carrie and her mom are experiencing this new kind of reality in their own time and from their own perspective. It is really odd that they both left a day apart... like old couples who can't let go of each other.
But wait a second - maybe they planned it that way.
So who's to say they don't know when that's finished? It would certainly "ruin the play" for us to know. But maybe some part of our higher self "always knows." Or always knew. But never told you because... well that would spoil the movie.
Debbie chose a lifetime that would bring her Carrie, and vice versa. And Debbie chose a life in the limelight as well. Lest we forget: Debbie was a "bigger" star that equaled the fame of her daughter Carrie - She not only starred in "Singing In the Rain" she had a run as "Tammy" - movie after movie where everyone looked at her and said "Oh, there's Tammy!" (like "There's Leia!") - and she didn't have to wear a metal bikini.
Here she is in "Singing"
My point is; honor them all. Whether they're here for a day, a week, a decade, ten decades. It takes courage to choose to come here. Give them the honor they deserve for even getting here in the first place. Give them their due for that alone. We can always say "no" when others ask us to join them here. At least that's what the research consistently says.
George Michael was interviewed just a few days before his passing. He talked about his recent bout with pneumonia, and how the doctors in Austria had brought him back to life. He said "I'm back, but I'm definitely more spiritual than I was before." He spoke as if he had a transcendent experience that allowed him to prepare himself for his departure.
Here's George singing one of my favorite tunes, one that he didn't write, but one that he interpreted beautifully: "The Long And Winding Road." And in this case, the long and winding road does bring him back... "home."
The long and winding road does always take us back home.
It's rare that we get a glimpse of people finding their way off the planet. We spend a great deal of time discussing how someone left, what age they were, what drugs they took or didn't take in their life - as if talking about them will make it so we will avoid the same fate.
|Charles, good friend to Carrie.|
As Charles Grodin once said (and I think he credited someone else for the sentence) "Just tell me where it is that I'm going to die, and then I won't go there." Chuck was good friends with Carrie. He's not a believer in an afterlife, despite writing the foreword to "It's a Wonderful Afterlife." (How's that for friendship?) He's feeling her loss as is his long time friend Paul, who wrote that "Yesterday was a horrible day...Carrie was a special, wonderful girl. It's too soon."
But again, it's rare to get a chance to "anticipate"our stage exit. Here's George a few days prior to his passing; note how he talks about his experience being so close to death, and how it changed him, made him "more spiritual":
Recently, I responded to a post where someone wrote about how all the "drug abuse" of these people (meaning George and Carrie) was "coming home to roost." As if living a life that was safer - no drugs, no danger, no over indulging - would somehow keep us alive. Or keep us from the fires of hell.
That's what makes some people sleep better at night. They think they've been good, they think they've indulged less than others, and when they get to that last day on earth, they're going to look around and say "See? I outlived you all! I'm going straight to heaven!!!"
According to what these folks say, when we get offstage, when we're done with the play, we put our props down, take off our costumes, and join our fellow actors backstage for the party to end all parties. Then we might begin to plan to come back here (or somewhere else) for another play, and we may or may not convince our loved ones to join us again for another run.
"Hey Larry, do you mind playing my alcoholic uncle again?" "No way, we did that back in the Viking era. Enough of this drunken uncle part!" "But you're soooo good at it. And I'll never learn the lessons if someone else plays it... pleeeease?"
A bit like a video game. A bit like a regular game. Like a TV series. Like a movie and a sequel or two. A bit like a sporting match. A bit like every dramatic twist and turn we've seen on our favorite drama, whether it's "Days of Our Lives" or "Game of Thrones." It is a Game - there are thrones, and there are days and there are lives. But when they're done, when the game is over; we simply "go home."
Recently, while lunching with Jennifer Shaffer, I had a message from a famous film director who passed away. I knew him, and asked if he had any messages for his loved ones that I could pass along. (Why name the director? It won't help anyone to believe or disbelieve - all I know is that I met this fellow once, and he said some pretty specific things about a mutual friend, which made me "believe" it was him.)
He had a specific message for his widow, and for another close friend. (Both the friend and his wife could not believe that he was speaking through Jennifer to me - perhaps because it's just too "out there" - perhaps because they just don't believe he would show up in Manhattan Beach at a diner - but I digress....)
He said "No one comes to the this side wishing they held back more during their lives."
Funny concept. Not one that I would have, or even could have thought up, nor Jennifer (who helped me with "Hacking the Afterlife.") But it's a telling quote. No one comes to the afterlife wishing they'd "held back" more while they were here. (So much for Father O'Reilly's admonitions on the altar.)
Remember; the quote is from someone no longer on the planet.
It's not about how others react to you over here (which can be annoyed, stressful, panic) - It's about how we view our journey on the planet, during our life.
Did we try to do what we set out to do? If we worry about reactions from others, we'll never jump off the cliff.
|3 Musketeers. Jennifer Shaffer and Scott De Tamble|
Jennifer is a medium, Scott is a hypnotherapist,
Both helped immensely with "Hacking the Afterlife."
It's about following what makes your heart leap. Having no fear. Or worrying about it later, at least. Focus on the jump. "Just let go." But not so you can leap out of a plane without a parachute - what's the point of that? That would result in a long conference with your spirit guides; "Um... no parachute. Again? What's that about?" "Well, I just like to be spontaneous." "How about being logical?"
But the idea is worth examining. "No one comes here wishing they "held back" more during their lifetime." What does that mean, really?
Think of your journey like a performance. "Did I leave everything on the stage? Did I give it my all?"
That's what I think the quote refers to. To remember that while we're here, give it every drop you've got. Anything less is time wasted.
So... a long way of saying, thank you George, thank you Debbie and thank you Carrie for leaving it all onstage. For leaving us with a pretty clear vision of who you were and what you were doing here spiritually.
Healers, helpers, singers, dancers, writers... each one of them had different gifts. Each one of them healed and helped people in their own way.
Carrie helped people with mental issues - bipolar issues - but it required her to become famous in order for people to hear her. She never could have written "Postcards" if she hadn't worn the metal bikini. Five of her books are now in the top ten books sold on line. No way that happens (and heals people with laughter and openness about her mental battles) without her journey.
Debbie was the most sought after woman on the planet at one point "losing her man" to Liz Taylor - but of course Mike Todd was never lost, he's with her again as we speak. She lived to 84 because "she had to keep an eye on her daughter." And she did that! Beautifully. Hilariously.
George came to heal people concerned with their sexuality - an issue that is meaningless on the Flipside, but can cause an ocean of pain and hurt over here - George had to go through his own epic journey - coming out, being forced out, being arrested - to ignore all that nonsense about sex to find his own journey - and his fame made him able to secretly help people - every day stories appear about his unparalleled generosity... that could only have happened by becoming famous and wealthy... And to show others that it doesn't matter who you love - or why you love - it only matters...
That you are loved.
That you give love.
That you love love.
I mentioned my pal Melinda above - it was her birthday the other day - she died at the age of 23 after a freak plane accident while flying with her brother back in 1978. But some years later, Melinda's pal Patrice W sent me this dream she had about Melinda.
(Note: She used to love hugging trees. Patrice told me she said in her "dream" some version of "there are trees over here, but they're different.. so try to appreciate trees more.")
When telling me about the dream, she said she spoke to Melinda "but it sounded like a foreign language." She wrote down what she heard Melinda say:
"HI PATRICE. I'M HERE. I'VE BEEN WAITING TO SEE YOU AGAIN. DON'T WORRY ABOUT THIS JOB STUFF. IT'S JUST A TRICK, AND IT DOESN'T MATTER. YOU NEED TO REMEMBER HOW SMART YOU ARE, SO DON'T LET THESE GUYS TAKE THAT AWAY FROM YOU.
YOU ARE SMARTER AND THEY ARE FRIGHTENED OF YOU.... OR JUST PLAIN STUPID. I AM SO HAPPY, BUT I MISS MY FRIENDS, AND FLOWERS, AND TREES. ENJOY THEM NOW.
NOT BECAUSE THEY WILL BE GONE, BUT YOU WILL BE DIFFERENT. DON'T WORRY. IT IS JUST A GAME AND I WILL HELP PROTECT YOU. YOU NEED TO LISTEN WHEN YOUR EARS RING. I AM TALKING TO YOU TO TELL YOU SOMETHING INSIDE YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND.
YOUR SMARTNESS ISN'T EVERYWHERE SO I NEED TO USE THE RINGING TO GET TO YOUR HEART FAST. DON'T BE SCARED. THERE ARE MANY ON YOUR SIDE WHO ARE ALSO WATCHING OUT FOR YOU. PRAY FOR OTHERS TOO.
SOME NEED IT MUCH MORE THAN YOU. I AM FINE. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT. I GET CONFUSED AND WANT TO TALK TO YOU AND ... LOTS OF OTHERS WHO REMEMBER ME. WHO LOVED ME. I HAVE SENT THEM TO YOU, AND IT WAS HARD.
DON'T WORRY. WE ARE WATCHING. YOU ARE LOVED. YOU GIVE LOVE. IT WILL ALL BE REWARDED BUT NOT IN THE WAY YOU THINK. KEEP LOVING.
KEEP LAUGHING. IT IS WHAT I LOVED ABOUT YOU. NO, I CAN'T STAY NOW. I KNOW IT HURTS TO SAY GOOD BYE AGAIN. DON'T CRY. I AM HERE. I AM HERE. I AM HERE."
Important to know. They are not gone. They are just not here. And in Melinda's case she makes a pretty strong point by saying it three times: "I am here. I am still here. I am really still really here right next to you." A friend from back then asked me "How did you remember Melinda's birthday?" A logical question - after all it's been nearly 40 years since she left this plane on a plane. And I replied
"How could I forget?"
My two cents.