Dr. Eben Alexander talks about grief

ImageI’m on Dr. Eben Alexander’s mailing list, and received an email where he talks about his aunt who died last week.  He’s suffering from her loss, explaining that although he’s had a near-death experience with all the love, joy, peace and beauty it entailed, it does not make him immune to the human emotion of loss.  He talks about things we should think about if we’re experiencing grief now or in the future.  I’ve reprinted it below.

My Aunt Monk died last week. She was an Episcopalian preachers wife, and a loving light for all who knew her. And, yes, I am sad. My experience of truly knowing that consciousness is eternal does not make me immune to the human emotion of loss. Indeed, when a loved one dies, it is our loss on this side of the veil. I miss the tangible presence of her, the laughter and love, even the routine of life as she fulfilled her place on this earth so vividlyso alive.

Grief. It stops us in our tracks. But, it also hands us the opportunity, even demands, that we breathe, pay attention, and live in the present moment, appreciating everyone around us and all the beauty great and small. Living in this moment does not allow us to avoid reality, which is often our first instinct when dealing with bad news, whether the deep sorrow of death or a disappointment on the job or in a relationship. Would that we could be asleep and awaken from this bad dreamnot return to the sad reality of loss. But so it is, and it is universal. We have all felt loss, or will endure it at some time in our lives.

So, how do we move forward? First, honor the one who has crossed over, in whatever way is most fitting. For some, that might be sitting with the body for a period of time as the spirit makes its way onward. For others, it may be hosting a party to celebrate the remembrance of good times together. For one group of friends last week, it was leading the entire funeral procession through the drive-thru window at Burger King! And, in some traditions, it may be through wearing black for a full year after a family member dies. All these activities join friends and family together in shared acts of Love, and thats a great parting gift from our beloved. Good grief?

As time passes, for me, the awareness that consciousness (as soul, or spirit) survives bodily death gives me a sense of peace and comfort, and gives me the courage to offer sincere words of hope to others. In addition, having a daily practice of meditation or prayer renews my energy as it reconnects me to Source, or the Core. And, there is no substitute for the time-honored practices of expressing gratitude and giving of ourselves to others. Even the smallest expression or thought of gratitude can shift our energetic system and open a window into our soul. Even one act of doing something for someone else connects us, expands us and reminds us of how we are all interconnected, all part of a larger field of Love.

I hope you will pause to honor, feel, thank and love those around you when grief visits you next. I know there will be times in my life over the coming weeks when the busy-ness of travel and a packed schedule suddenly stops for a moment, and I will remember my loss; and I know that sadness, or grief, may hit me unexpectedly when I least expect it, just when I think Im over it. At that moment, I will sit with the feeling and invite the power of unconditional love to lead me into gratitude again, to remember what I now know about that beautiful place where my Lost loved ones now reside, and to feel connected through time and space to all those with whom I am honored to share love. 

I want to thank all of you for your continued messages of love and appreciation — know that I am trying to respond as efficiently as I can (though I am quite behind!). Please be patient if you have sent me something – I will try to get back to you. 

I am humbled by the effect my story has had on so many. I invite you to walk through your times of grieving knowing we are all always connected. 

With Love, 

Eben

Eben Alexander, MD
Lynchburg, VA
February 2, 2013

 

Rich Martini, filmmaker, shares videos from 2 past talks in September 2012

Rich Martini, filmmaker of the documentary Flipside: A Journey to the Afterlife, and our speaker from December 8th, has sent his holiday greetings along with links to his talk at Virginia Beach Friends of IANDS on 9/1/12 and his 30 minute talk at Fellowship of the Inner Light on 9/2/12.  And if that’s not enough, he’s included a Christmas card  from his family!

Virginia Beach talk:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUSlMZQP7_E

Fellowship of the Inner Light

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eawb8qVoWE8

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Guest Speaker Richard Martini, Filmmaker of Afterlife Documentary

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Do you have questions about an afterlife?
Do we really plan and choose the people and circumstances for our next life?
When does the soul enter our body?

Richard Martini, author and award winning filmmaker, will talk about his most recent book and documentary of the same name, “Flipside: A Journey Into the Afterlife.”  They’re based on new evidence for life after death, via the “life between lives,” where we reportedly return to find our loved ones, soul mates and spiritual teachers, that life choices appear to be made in advance, and why souls choose difficult lives. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012
1:00pm – 4:00 pm

$10 donation encouraged, but no one is turned away.

OUR PURPOSE
We meet to talk about and share near-death experiences, questions about death and dying, and the latest information from NDE research.  IANDS groups such as ours can be found in communities around the world.

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST
Send your request with first and last names, and email address to robin@robinbarr.com, or call Robin at (949) 855-1102.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR OUR NEXT MEETING, JANUARY 12, 2013
Guest speaker will be Luis Minero from the International Academy of Consciousness (an international non-profit organization that studies consciousness with a focus on the out-of-body-experience), will speak on “Out-of-Body Experiences, the NDE, and Personal Development”.

A Montessori School Teacher and NDE Experiencer to Speak Nov 10, 2012

In 1974, Anne Perrah was given the gift of an NDE. An incredible feeling of well-being and unconditional love came over her so powerful that, to this day, she has never feared death.  She had never heard of a “near-death experience” at that time and had no one to talk to about her experience for many years. Yet, her own spiritual journey changed dramatically as a result of her NDE. When her stepmother died, Anne’s own lack of fear about death allowed for her to help her stepmother to pass over more peacefully.  Eleven years later, tragedy struck when Anne’s 22-year old daughter died in a fire. Anne was able to use what she learned from her own NDE to help her get through that spiritually challenging time.  She will share her story with us in greater detail and answer questions afterwards.

We won’t be providing snacks at future meetings

We need to save some shekels for administrative costs of holding our meetings. There’s no obligation to do so,  but anyone wanting to to bring in a snack to share will immediately become everyone’s best friend!  Also fine to bring in a snack, or lunch, for yourself to eat during meeting.