Tuesday, June 27th 2017
May
2008
29

Priceless is what remains after a loved one dies

GUEST COLUMN: VICKI WOODYARD

Vicki is a spiritual teacher and writer who lives in Atlanta, GA

We have all watched the Mastercard ads where narrow slices of life are branded as “priceless.” What I’ve come to learn from those whom I’ve loved, and have died, is that what is truly Priceless is an essence that animates each of us — and which I still know in those whom I’ve “lost.”

When was the last time you looked at the truth of your being and rejoiced? Most of us look at ourselves with jaundiced, weary eyes — and look at bonded-teeth and hair-weaves with envy and a sense that we will never look “perfect.”

I remember when my young daughter was dying of cancer. She lost all of her hair to chemo at age four. Pale as a ghost and with a scar that ran down her right thigh, she did the hula for us on her unscathed leg. She had a malignant tumor in the muscle of her right one. So as she got her chemo at St. Jude’s and her father returned to work, we told her to surprise him with the hula.

That six-foot-four-inch tall man turned to mush. She knew she was dying; don’t ask me how she knew. We tried to keep it from her, but she looked at my brother one fine day and said, “You know, don’t you?”

Yes, we were all in on the conspiracy. The priceless one in her would never die, though. She would be in her thirties now, and she is one reason I still write. To celebrate the truth of our being.

In 2004, my husband also died of cancer — multiple myeloma. I became a caregiver for the second time in my life. I railed against circumstance for the four years that he fought to stay alive. One of the hardest things I ever had to hear came from a hospital chaplain: “Your husband is staying alive to take care of you,” he told me solemnly, as I sat in his office. After hearing that, I went right back to my husband’s hospital room and told him I would be all right without him.

When he died, I discovered that his essence remains, in all of its priceless wonder. When I took a vacation this spring, after many years of staying at home, he came to me in a dream the week after I got back. I felt an electronic buzz in my body as he hugged me. He spoke no words; he just let me know he was glad I was moving on.

You probably have your own memories of someone who has gone on. Let it be that way. Fighting it will never resolve your own knowing. And that knowing itself is priceless. The real can never be taken from us. The unreal never was.

Celebrate yourself any time you can. Do this by entering the silence in quiet recognition that love, which you are, can never die. Choose life in the right sense. Choose to love yourself, and then you love the universe as well. If you choose to love the universe, you will be leaving yourself out. This is a conundrum that thought itself can never solve. Let something higher show you how powerful loving yourself can be.

For an MP3 rendition of “Priceless,” listen to it live on Vicki’s website,
http://www.bobwoodyard.com/Audio.html


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5 Comments on “Priceless is what remains after a loved one dies”

  1. We hae a lot to learn from you. thank you for that lesson: 'fighting the memory of someone's loss won't help us know ourselves' I hope I never have to learn it. But I guess we all do, will all lose our parents and loved ones.

  2. Thank you for your comment. We are born to learn and if we don't, the lessons keep piling up until we face them once and for all. We cannot face them with our minds; that has never worked. We are left with the mystery. We either accept it or fight it.When we accept it, healing happens on its own.

    I could write more, but go beyond the words just to see what arises.

  3. thanks for your wonderful insights vicki...i love your line about celebrating yourself.

    we need to take the time to look at ourselves in a more positive manner and realize that one person can make a huge difference in this world. in our part of the world we are bombarded with the superficial regarding how we should look (especially for girls and women)...it's just a way to control us and get our minds off the really important issues. thanks so much for your contribution!

  4. I am going to share a powerful mantra with you. "I choose to love myself." That is an entire spiritual path. If you take but one step down it a day, you are already different from the masses.

    Sit with that today and let me know what it shows you.

  5. "The priceless one in her would never die, though. She would be in her thirties now, and she is one reason I still write. To celebrate the truth of our being."

    It is a very difficult concept, especially for us westerners, to get our ams around. Not only that we are beings *in* time and space, who come into this world, and then leave it. But also that we are a part of that "ground of being" which is beyond both time and space. Not immortal or infinite. But indeed, timeless and spaceless. And I think it would be fair to also say "priceless".

    Thanks for sharing your insights, Vicki.

    S-

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