The Dead Never Rest

The Dead Never Rest

I am the son of a funeral director and the grandson of a funeral director. When I was only five, before I started school, my father took me down to our funeral home where he had a dead corpse on the embalming table. He said, “If you are going to be a funeral director one day you have to get used to death. The best way is to touch a dead body. I began crying and saying, “No, I do not want to.” My father had been an officer in the army, he had fought in North Africa in World War II and received two purple hearts. He was a harsh man and expected to be obeyed. Even at five I knew better than to resist him for long. I braced myself, slowly went forward and hesitantly raised my hand and touched the dead body. Until this day I wonder if what I felt was really happening, if it was physical or etheric, or just my imagination. Because  I felt a strong electric shock go from my fingers up my arm, all the way to my heart.

There were six siblings in my immediate family. My father had decided that his three boys were going to become funeral directors. This was in the 50s. My older brothers were eight and ten years older than me. They were in their teens and were quite the rock musicians and Casanovas. As my youth progressed they started coming home late in the evenings, if at all many nights. My father was a strong man, but due to one of his war wounds, his back could only support so much weight. After midnight, if my father could not get anyone else to help him, he would wake me up and I would go with him and help him pick up the bodies of the recent dead. He especially needed help in the old, three and four story tenement buildings in Lawrence, Massachusetts, which had been built to house mill workers in the late 1800’s, and had no elevators.

I would often have to strap the body on my back to get down the thin stair cases.  Then after helping Dad embalming the body, he would give me a ride home. I would shower and eat breakfast and catch the school bus. I would drowsily look at the other kids and think that none of them had to get up in the middle of the night, fetch dead bodies and embalm them before they went to school.

For most of my school years, I was an unofficial apprentice in the funeral home.  I worked other jobs like grocery clerk and being a lifeguard at the local pool. But when Dad was short of help, I would always pitch in. One night we were having a terrible New England snow storm, We used to call them North Easters, because they usually came off the ocean from the northeast. That particular night my Dad had to go retrieve a body sixty miles south of Lawrence. He called me to aks me to embalm another body while he was away. I will always remember the name – Walter Tobias. My father had picked up Walter earlier that evening and had not been able to find the time to embalm him before he had to go to pick up the second body.  I still remember the howling winds and heavy snow falling as I drove slowly to the funeral home, slipping and sliding down the narrow street.

At eleven in the evening I was in the funeral home, by myself. I had taken to smoking cigars when I embalmed, because the smell of the embalming fluid was foul smelling – almost intolerable. I went to get a match in another room. When I returned, the dead body was sitting up on the table, with a very crazed look on its face. I had seen many scary and upsetting things in my youth, in and around the funeral home, but this made me scream and I ran out of the morgue. I went into my father private office where he had his old oak desk and a couch he would sleep on when he had to stay in between late nights and early morning business. I went straight to his merogamy liquor cabinet. Here he kept his brandy and top of the line cognac.  I poured myself a glass of Dad’s cognac. It calmed my nerves and strengthened my resolve.

There was no noise coming from Walter in the morgue.  I made my decision and walked back into the morgue and up to Walter. Obviously, the coroner had pronounced Walter dead, but I knew that pronouncing someone dead had always been an inexact art. The look on Walter’s face seemed to say, “I hate you and plan to do you harm.” I tried to ignore that, and said, “You are dead right Walter?” There was no answer, so I touched Walter’s arm and it was ice cold. I felt his chest and there was no heartbeat. I slapped his face lightly, but there was no response. I checked all his vital signs and finally convinced myself that Walter really was dead.

The tradition of the wake began as a way to give a body a fighting chance to show if it was alive. But in more recent times funeral directors took the coroner’s word because the methods to prove someone dead had improved. Embalmers could usually rather quickly embalm the bodies to keep them from decomposing as they tend to do quickly. I knew there was a lazy coroner in Lawrence who sometimes did not run all the tests. Still, I was pretty convinced that Walter was undoubtedly dead. I pushed the body down. Of course I knew about Riga mortise. I had seen corpses whose fingers twitched and arms moved. But this was extreme. But I assured myself that Walter was dead and that it was just Riga mortise.

Suddenly, there was a noise in the front room. I nearly jumped out of my own skin. It was Gene, who often helped my father around the funeral home. He told me my father had called him and was stuck on snow packed roads outside of Boston. My father had asked him to pick up another corpse and bring it over for me to embalm. This deceased person was named George Decors. I put on my coat and went out to the hearse together with Gene. We carried George into the morgue and due to the weather Gene quickly left to make it home safely.

The storm was had gotten worst. Even in the morgue I could hear the winds howling outside. I decided to embalm George first, just to let Walter settle for sure. Part of me still feared Walter might be alive, even though my rational mind knew that was impossible. I looked at Walter and that look on his face had not changed. It sent a fear filled shill down my spine.

I turned back to George and began the embalming. It used to take me about an hour to embalm a body, depending on the specific challenges. Just as I was near finishing up on George, there was movement behind me. I turned and yelled. Walter had sat up again. In my hands, I held the sharp tool used for pumping out the body fluids and pumping in the embalming fluid. I always thought it seemed like a short shiny metal spear. I seriously considered stabbing the sitting up corps in the chest. But my professionalism did not allow me to. I put the tool down, pushed the body back and I rechecked all vital signs, each one three times in every way I knew.  When I finally convinced myself over again about what I already knew, I began embalming Walter’s body. I had to work hard to adjust the expression on his face. When I finished, I washed both bodies and dressed them in the clothes their families had sent for them and placed them each in a casket.

I sat down, still shaken by Walter sitting up twice. To settle my nerves I had another glass of my Dad’s good Cognac. As I sipped it my father called and said he was about twenty miles away and that I should just go home, as he would embalm the body he had picked up on his own. I bundled up and walked to the front door, opened it and thought it is too bad a storm to drive home in. Then I walked back and looked at my father’s couch, thought about Walter and even though the roads were in terrible condition, I went out and shoved the snow away from my car and on terrible roads I made my way home. I eventually made it to our farm, which of course was across the street and down the street from large, old cemeteries. When I got home I showered and went right to bed.

I dreamed of the funeral home and about Walter and George in their caskets. Walter had the same look on his face, as when he had sat up on the embalming table. In my dream I felt the same chill down my spine. Both Walter and George talked to me. They were not happy, didn’t like me, and wanted to hurt me. Then their spirits floated out of their bodies and started flying around me. Walter kept saying, “I did not want to die. I hate you for being alive. I will kill you. It was too soon for me to die. You should not live.”

I woke up shaking and sweating even though it was cold. I had only slept a little over an hour. I had a glass of water, and told myself this was just a dream. After a while I went back to bed hoping to dream about something more soothing. But instead the dreams came back, and now there were many ghost flying around me at the funeral home. Some I recognized as bodies I had embalmed. They kept flying at me. It felt like bee bites when they howled at me. They were all trying to kill me. I felt deep fear. I kept seeing Walters face, as it was before I embalmed him. I woke up, afraid for my life. Then I thought of my father being alone with these bodies and became afraid for him too.

I went back to the funeral home filled with apprehension. My father was snoring on the couch, so I made coffee and checked the bodies. They all seemed normal.  When my father woke up, we rearranged everything for the wakes, which would probably not be too well attended the first night, due to the terrible weather. I looked at each of the three dead bodies again. I could have sworn that the third body, which my father had driven so far to pick up, had been in my dream. That deeply worried me. But they were all dead I assured myself.  Why was I so petrified?

I finally got up the nerve to tell my father about the corpse sitting up twice and the terrible dreams that followed. I also told him about the threats, and the third corps being in the dream.  He said, “Michael you will see countless strange things in this profession, more than you can imagine. You just got to get used to them. The strange dreams stop after the first decade, or so. I might go to church every Sunday, but I do not believe in heaven, or hell, or ghosts. When your dead, your dead, when you are buried you have no spirit that can come back and hurt anyone, when people forget you – you no longer exist.”

I thought about this and I knew he was wrong.

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Praise for Be a Genie: Create Love, Success and Happiness. :
I am privileged to have taken a workshop with Maureen St. Germain where she taught her “Genie” material. Now I’m reading her book with to fill in more background and to refine my techniques. Her concepts and explanations are simple, fun and easy to apply, yet I can say from my own experience that they are profoundly transformative. They are working!!! I suspect many people miss this point because the material is such a delight to read. These concepts are not often taught—in fact, much of it runs counter to the fear-based thought patterns (limitation, scarcity) we traditionally internalize. That means, for most of us, there’s going to be lots of resistance. Maureen knows this and gives us practical, loving techniques to release it. She also gives useful charts of positive responses to prepare us for those snide remarks, including the ones from our own “Inner Voices.” They work because we know in our hearts that the way to create true happiness is with energies of love. Maureen explains why the universe works this way. Once we “get it,” there are no limits to where we can go and what we can do with this material. I’m still in discovery mode with it, seeing what I can create. Already my life is filling with more love, peace, joy and rock-solid confidence in my ability to achieve success “that will take my breath away (in a good way)!”
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The Tree-House Interview

The Tree-House Interview. We are trying out our new camera. We are very serious about this interview (as you might notice) on the porch, in the house we call the tree-house. Please make extra note of the akward pauses and not so professional camera-sweepings. But we’re learning. And we’re having fun with it.

 

 

We Can Overcome the Challenges of the Holidays, and Laugh and Love Especially enjoy!

The holidays! We have to handle the challenges of short days, of having relatives and friends either in our faces, or being unavailable. We may feel the pressure of fixing presents, fancy meals, and end up exhausted. For some people, however, it’s a time of the year when loneliness creeps in. You name it. This is a time when unrealistic expectations, and disappointments are far more likely to show their ugly faces than the rest of the year. We also have to deal with memories of lost ones, and the holidays we have shared with them.

How we think has a great deal to do with how we relate to each other. What if  you took this opportunity to begin playing a game in your mind? We can all take control of our thinking. This is an easy way to start – every time you have doubts, fears, insecurities, or any kind of negative thoughts, make yourself think two positive thoughts to counter the negative ones. Uncle Elmer always complains at the big meal. OK, but he also tells funny jokes and makes everyone else appreciate the meal. This is a simple, but effective way to change how you feel about yourself and others in the moment.

I just read Maureen St. Germain’s book, Be a Genie: Create Love, Success and Happiness. Was it earth shattering to me? – no. Was it life altering? – maybe a little. But still, this book came to me at just the right time, and reminded me of things I already know but sometimes forget. And it does so in a very inspiring and well written way. The first half is made up of Maureen’s unique way of explaining many tools to enhance the mind and spirit, such as creative visualization, affirmations, the power of believing, and a sort of functionable “fake it until you make it,” that really works. The second half of the book is about quantum physics, sacred geometry, and chaos theory and their role in how we can craft our lives moment to moment.

Are you are dreading the holidays, the Christmas chaos, Hanukah, Quanza, or Winter Solstice, and just feel overwhelmed and depressed by it all? What do you do? You can day dream; while you are driving, or wrapping presents, or whatever time you can find to focus your mind. You can make a picture of what you would most like to have happen in your life. Then you fill the daydream with as much details you can come up with: smells, laughter and tastes. It’s important that you never ask how your daydream will come about. Just promise yourself that you will do whatever you can to make it so. Hold what Maureen calls your movie-of-the-mind firm in your thoughts. Revisit this daydream often. In addition, you can also make a prayer with inspiration from your daydream, or create an personal altar to support your imagination. The most important thing is that you believe it can happen, desire it strongly and expect it fully to come about.

If you are resigned to these holidays being like the ones in the past, disappointments and exhaustion included – they will be. If you are dedicated to making this year’s holidays uniquely wonderful – then that is what you will manifest. Do you dare to play mind games that will bring about your heart’s desires? Use Be a Genie as a guide book to make the holidays into a success, and then to craft and unfold the life you had not dared dream of before. The Universe gives us what we expect. It is time we all started expecting the best lives we dare live. Filled with love, joy and laughter.

Seal Magic

Seal Magic

seal

In 2013, Sofia and I had planned to travel in Mexico. She had flown in from Sweden to San Diego a little early as I had to finishing up some business there.  For a little over a month we shared a house with my amazing son, Henry, and some other intense house mates. It was a good month.

Then Sofia and I moved to the beach in Tijuana. It is called Playas de Tijuana. We rented a very affordable, neat studio apartment near the beach. For six weeks, I had work which I could do half of on the Tijuana beach, and the other half I had to return to San Diego to perform. I had to get up at 3 AM to get across the border to be in time for less than a two-hour, inhuman waiting at the crossing. While I was working Sofia would write, broken up with long walks on the beach. One late afternoon I returned to find Sofia excited. Since moving there we had seen many dolphins playing just out from the beach. But this day, she had watched a big, old seal riding the waves. I got changed and we went out to see the sunset. There sunset was beautiful, there was rainbow and two dolphins leaped out of the water crossing paths in the air. Sofia said: “What the fuck! Is this some kind of a Disney movie? Those things don’t really happen like that?” Then, in the afterglow of the sunset, we saw the seal playing in the waves.

After that we saw it from time to time. It was always the same seal, only one, all alone and playing for hours in the waves. Towards the end of our stay on the Playas, I came home after sunset one night and Sofia was upset. “Michael, our seal died,” she said. “I saw it washed up on shore and when I went close it was clearly dead.” “Oh I am so sorry,” I said. Sofia said, “It was down the beach a little far from where the stores and restaurants are. But I think we need some bones from it to do a seal magic ritual. We have to do it tonight before animals, or people, or the waves take the body away. ”

We began our dark night walk down the Tijuana beach. The Playas is very safe at night – unlike Downtown Tijuana that we always avoided after dark. Families would have fires, sing and laugh on the beach until after midnight in the lights from the ocean side businesses. However, away from the businesses after dark there were drunks, drug addicts, the homeless and in general not so savory or safe characters. I was nervous, but Sofia was driven. Eventually we found the dead seal. We had brought a knife and in the dark we liberated some small bones. We brought them back briskly to our apartment and boiled them in a pot on our hot plate. The smell was terrible. Once the meat scraps and fur were boiled off we dried them.

The next night, we did a simple seal magic ritual. We sent the spirit of this seal, that had brought us so much joy, off into the astral to be free and continue to play. We asked of it and the larger seal energies to bless our fast-approaching journey across Mexico. We asked it to keep us safe, happy and playful.

When we got on a bus, to head towards our further adventures in Mexico the seal bones were with us. We had many great months of adventures traveling and exploring Mexico. Eventually Sofia had to return to Sweden. I had been offered, what at that time seemed like a dream job, in the beach town of Progresso, south in the Yucatan. So, we traveled back to the Tijuana Playas for our last three days together in Mexico, before Sofia had to get on a plane, and I was going to drive back to Progresso in my old truck. Spending those days in Tijuana Playas seemed like a a fitting end to our trip. We walked the beach and reminisced and sayed good bye, not knowing when or even how we would reunite. The third morning as we walked down the beach not far from where we had found the seals corps, an amazing thing happen. A baby seal was playing on the waves. But more than that it came up on the beach waddled towards us, looked right at us and waddled back into the waves. We could not believe it. We knew our seal ceremony had helped our journey to be safe, fun and playful, but this proved to us just how powerful our seal magic ceremony had been.

Are there Really Ghouls? Can They Be communicated with and Even Helped?

 

What are ghouls?

ghouls-1

A ghoul is defined by Wikipedia as a monster or evil spirit. The word first appeared in writing in Arabic mythology. Ghouls are often associated with graveyards and with consuming human flesh. In Arabic mythology ghouls are also described as shape shifting demons that can assume the guise of an animal. They lure unwary people into the wastelands, or abandoned places, to slay and devour them. They are also said to prey on young children, and sickly people. They drink blood, steals coins, make people sick, and make crops fail.

The term was first used in English literature in 1786, in William Beckford’s Orientalist novel Vathek, in which describes the ghūl of Arabic folklore. In modern fiction, the term has often been used for a certain kind of undead monsters. The 2012 movie Ghoul brought them into mass awareness as did the anime 2014 TV series Tokyo Ghoul.

I recently began to wonder about ghouls? I had never given them much thought previously. Magic workers and many others have known of them, but few have written about them, apart from describing them as folklore scary figures, or as simply as evil beings. So, I went into trance and opened up to them. What I was told varied much from the Wikipedia information, I had taken part of and re-quoted above. It made me wonder over the following questions: What if after-death souls have countless choices of how to progress? What if we don’t all go to heaven, or hell, or to the light? What if we are not even supposed to go to heaven, or hell, or to the light? What if ghouls have existed as long as humans have existed? What if people, who are in certain ways ignorant, and filled with hate and self-loathing, are likely to choose to stay around the places of their old lives, and bother and trip up people they hated or feared? What if doing this causes their spirits to shatter and the pieces to become less connected, turning into pieces of ill meaning energy?

Some ghouls I felt want a new chance to be reunited with their whole beings, given a less fear ridden, less hate filled spirit work. They need new missions to work towards being rehabilitated. They need to be realigned so they might go on to have a more positive, evolutionary based existence. I am not dancing with evil or Satan or the Devil here.  I feel we have to totally discard our organized religious brainwashing to be effective magic workers. I feel that there are many badly-spoken-of entities who need our help. We can choose to help them just because they exist and want a better existence. I think this is a spiritual task that I will work with to help these hungry ghosts. Maybe some of you want to meditate on them and see if you would like to help them as well. I now believe strongly, I might say know, that ghouls exist for real.

 

Death and the Holidays of Winter

My editorial for the December issue of The Echo World. About losing your loved ones in the time of Holidays. And honoring their memories. May their’s and all of our inner lights shine bright!

christmas-trees

Death and the Holidays of Winter 
Lenard Cohen just died as I write this. He sang all my life of deep love and feelings. I recently lost my brother Dan, one of my two older brothers. Four years ago, one of my three sisters, Patricia, died at 65. As we bring this issue together my older sister, Nancy has died. She was in hospice for five weeks and it was a difficult death. This is the season of the birth of the new year, and new energies. It is the time when the snow and cold come to much of the norther hemisphere. And still a time to be merry and let old offenses be forgiven.

I am sad as I write this. I have loved and laughed often with those who have passed. Those who knew me and my life’s ins and outs, ups and downs, have left the material world. I have the memories. I visit them on the astral and we talk. But it is not the same as the talking on the phone, texting or emailing, or the same as the possibility ofgetting together again.

The leaves have been falling and we have been lighting fires in our “tree house,” as we call our cabin, to stay warm at night. It feels that many ancestor’s ghosts are lining up to visit us and share the lost wisdom of their lives.

I think back to my childhood, my father was a funeral director, just as my grandfather was a funeral director. My father bought and sold horses and ponies on the side. Each of us six kids had our own horse. On a sunny weekend, we would all ride together in the winters snow.

When my siblings became too overwhelming I would take my pony and my dog and strike out on my own, through the woods and snow. I think of my second-grade teacher, Lottie, who taught me how to talk after an injury to my jaw, and then became a lifelong mentor. When she died I felt the loss was difficult to manage. I think back to my college friend Gene. He had returned from the Vietnam war with bad post-traumatic stress. We would go winter camping together with my great lifelong friend David. I think of how the camping cured Gene. How Gene taught me of Tai Chi, healthy eating and Asian magic. I remember how my phone rang while I was in Puerto Rico even though the cell phone never worked at any other point I was there, and David told me to call Gene because he was in the hospital and dying. Gene and I had a perfect good bye talk. He was dead the next morning.

Then thirteen and twelve years ago respectively my father and my mother died. After each of their deaths, I sat on my couch for a week and drank brandy and cried and spoke to ghosts.

Now they are all gone, as are many other close friends and relatives. Now it is winter in Central Virginia and I am sad. I live with my wonderful wife, Sofia, and we have two fun businesses. The Echo World touches thousands of lives each month. I have an older brother and a younger sister still alive. I have two great, adult children who are doing well on their own. I love them all dearly and they all love me. I have many loyal and special friends scattered all over the globe, and now especially in Virginia. I have so much to celebrate and be thankful for even as the cold winds blow.

I think of winter, about the holidays and of being merry … and I will be. Even now I am, in a melancholy depressed way. But winter is winter. The deer all have darker this year. Will it be a colder, stormier winter than we have had for a while? What matters in our lives? I think it is how much we love and are loved? How much we laugh and have laughed? What we make important. I plan to be get through these sadness and loss. I plan to be better for the enriching heart felt losses, and I urge us all to have the happiest holidays and most love filled winter we can. Let us give thanks – for everything.

Michael Peter Langevin, December issue of The Echo World.

Spraying Chemicals on the Native American Protestors

willie-and-neal-young-at willie-and-standing-rick

Willie Nelson, Neal Young and Willie’s family are protesting with Standing Rock. A North Dakota Sheriff  was quoted as saying: “We can use what ever force is necessary to maintain peace.” It is reported that after midnight chemicals have been spread on the protesters encampments, by un-lit crop dusting planes. I have written to Obama and The Governor of North Dakota we must make our voices heard people rights over corporate profits.

Rock Lip – An Other Dimensional New Friend

rock-lip

It was a typical night on the porch, at that point in our lives, for Sofia and I. We had been married in Virginia for almost two years. We had operated our Social Media and Public Relations company – LangevinAxelsson Marketing – for a bit over two years. We had owned and published The Echo World for six months. We owned no TV and seldom watched movies. We would often turn off our phones and computers between six and nine at night. Then we would sit on our porch overlooking our garden and field, among our many, many coleus plants near our altar. We would sip cheap Pinot Grigio wine or Rum tea, depending on our mood and events. We would discuss the day, our social media clients, The Echo World and our progress with everything. We would usually follow these conversations by doing some form of ceremony or magic.

However, this night was odder then many – and we have had many odd evenings. When we switched to magic this night, I quickly began feeling differently possessed. I told Sofia, “I feel like a small, intelligent mountain.” She asked me if my front lip felt big and as if it was made of rock. Yes, it did feel that way to me. I also felt as if I moved very slowly and communicated very differently than usual. This being took my consciousness over in slow layers. I told Sofia, “Now, I look like a large rock Armadillo.”

“To communicate with Michael,” I/it began to speak, “I must access the place in his brain where he forms words and use this differently. I live in a dimension so unlike Earth, that you two cannot conceive of it fully. To describe it best I can, it is a foggy place with countless islands floating in air they are connected by ribbons of matter. I travel, these ribbons, from one island to another doing good, teaching and helping other beings in need. You might call what I do shamanism, witchcraft or magic. Not because I am noble, but because the beings I help, appreciate and admire me, and their lives are usually better because I help. That makes me feel good. I believe that I am enhancing my dimension one island at a time for fun and to keep me pleasantly entertained.

You two came to my attention because you are radiating a certain, special form of spiritual light. I have never experienced this from alien beings before. It is somewhat similar to what I radiate. You are having fun with your social media, public relations, writing and your magazine. You are helping, teaching and inspiring others. You are magical rebels, and you send out wide strong vibrations.  I thought, I never have been to any planet before and this being seems easy to occupy, so I will have a little adventure. Your Earth, is extremely weird to me. In my dimension, we do not speak, or write words, or use langue. We do not use telepathy either. When I wish to communicate, I grow a new and different appendage and use it to paint a picture in the air to communicate what I wish others to know. When I am done my appendage melts away. The picture endures as long as it serves a purpose. Then it dissolves. I am painting these pictures in Michael’s speech center and he is speaking words that come closest to explaining what I paint.

I offer a gift for you two. I have my home one of the floating island. I live on it alone. I return to it to rest, recharge, relax, and regain perspective. However usually when I get back to it after my journeys it has been taken over by what you would describe as not-to-smart irritating, flying, green insect/bat beings. I have to scare them off and clean up their poop and other messes off my island. Only then can I comfortable relax and recharge there again. This situation is similar your personal worries and insecurities. You must make time to recharge and relax enjoy and laugh. You cannot let your green insect’s /bat’s thoughts stop you. I have to go now; I can return maybe, if you call me again. You may call me Rock Lip, it is not my real name, but I may respond to your call. Remember the work we do is important. You together are sending out big, positive, magical energy waves. Don’t ever doubt that. Always have fun and laugh first, that makes the work good.”

Then, I, Michael, was me again. Sofia and I sipped some more wine and tried to understand and digest for a long time what that all meant. I am not sure we have figured it out yet, but it was fun to experience and write about.

My Sister Nancy Has Died

My Brother Dan died eight weeks ago, and now my sister Nancy has passed. I am a bit off balance, to say the least. I not only believe, but know, that they are both in a better place, and are much happier now than before their death. But I am left with two more big holes in my life, where loving family had once been. I can visit them on the astral, but I can’t call, text, email or visit them in the physical world any more. They are not around to reminisce about our childhood days. Like when there was a bully who lived down the street and he kept picking on me when I got off the school bus to go home and my older sister Nancy decided to meet me at the bus stop one day and beat him up for me. Or, how I never cared much what I wore for clothes as a kid in grammar school. But when I started in junior high school, my sister Nancy sat me down and said: “Look, if you want to be really popular, you and I are going to start buying your clothes together. That year I won the prize for the best dressed kid in the class and the next year I was elected class president. After that I went back to wearing ripped jeans and army surplus cloths.

When Nancy moved to Maine and my boy scout troop was caught in a blizzard while camping out in New Hampshire, I called her up, and we all drove to her house instead of going home and stayed in her living room while the blizzard snowed us in. When Nancy moved to California, I and a friend, both of us still in high school, hitch hiked to from Boston to California to visit her and her husband.  Nancy worked for me at Magical Blend Magazine for a while in the 80’s when she split with her husband and moved to San Francisco. She became deeply involved in the New Age and spiritual teachings and we would discuss them late into the night. The stories go on and on.

But as the years went by Nancy got sick and could not work anymore. A few  months ago things got worst. She had a rare cancer in her intestine, liver, and kidneys and the doctors told her she had two weeks to live. My saintly and dedicated younger sister Elizabeth took a leave of absence from her work to care for her. Nancy would not let any other extended family members come to help. She would only allow Elizabeth and the hospice workers to be near her in the end. We communicated mostly by email and text. At this point talking was hard for her. Six difficult weeks later, Nancy died in her sleep. I will always be grateful for all the memories I have of Nancy and for now I am working to not to let my sadness or depression ruin my day to day existence.  Bless you Nancy and enjoy your new existance.