My Grandmother's Message

This short vignette offers an unexpected teaching from my grandmother.

When my grandmother was in her early eighties, she fell and broke her hip. She lay alone in her apartment for some hours, until her next-door neighbor, the one she had always disliked, suspected something amiss, entered the apartment, and called an ambulance.

Now Grandma was in a nursing home. She had had a stroke. I flew to Detroit to see her for the last time.

It was cold and snowing. My father, on a previous visit, had left Grandma's old Pontiac at a Comfort Inn near the airport. Fighting the blizzard, I put the frozen keys in the lock and drove her car to the nursing home.

The view of my Grandma from staffpersons at the home was very distorted and disrespectful. They saw her as noncompliant, particularly with regard to food--completely missing that she kept kosher and would refuse to eat the shrimp and other 'treife' they put before her.

When I saw her she was lying very still on the bed. She read my t-shirt out-loud. It was a Gary Larson cartoon showing a group of early vegetarians returning from the hunt with a giant carrot slung over their shoulders. Then she said, "I guess I had a stroke."

Where were my healing abilities? What could I possibly do to benefit Grandma? I sat there, in disbelief

I wheeled Granda out to the social hall.

"Perhaps looking at the trees will cheer her up," the nurse had said. But Grandma's head drooped down, as though she had lost not only motor control, but also the will to hold up her head. She was, I sensed, already gone: living out the twilight between life and death in a body that no longer served, and with a mind perhaps roaming between the two worlds.

I loved her and felt that love.

My next visit to Detroit was for the funeral. This was a family trip. When I arrived at the airport in Detroit, looking up the escalator after picking up our luggage, I began to notice a yellow glow around people's shoulders. I thought it was the lighting.

"What's that yellow light?" I asked a family member.

"It's nothing," my family member relied. "It's your imagination."

But the light continued as I left the airport. Here's my interpretation of that light, which I see to this day when I focus in on it. I was seeing the mental, or third, level of the auric field. In some individuals, the color was bright and strong, and the third level was expanded; others had a dull or thin layer.

I read about the third level of the universal energy field from my teacher, Barbara Brennan. Brennan's father had died in the middle of the first workshop I took with her. At the time, I admired Barbara's ability to fully share her feelings with a safe circle of strangers. She could achieve intimacy with a group, without sacrificing her own boundaries. She had enough strength to allow herself to be hugely vulnerable, to show her vulnerabilities and in this way present a doorway to our own.

Barbara had told the participants that when a person first dies, they feed soul information to a person they dearly love. A clairvoyant can see the energy feeding in to the living individual's auric field.

I now understand that my grandmother was opening my vision to dimensions of non-physical reality, as we descended the escalator from the baggage claim in the Detroit airport on our way to her funeral.