Friday, September 22nd 2017

Ask a Guru: “In mourning, how do I detach?”

A transgender male grieves his brother by embarking on the Ride to Conquer Cancer, and seeks ways to let go of his family grievances


Chase Cameron

“Ask a Guru” matches your needs and questions with one of the professional practitioners in the Soul’s Code community:

BY CHASE CAMERON — On November 27th, 2009, 3:50 p.m., at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital, Gerald Wayne Mori died of leukemia.  He was 45 years old and he was my younger brother and only sibling.

During the last several years of his life we had grown so close, and I came to know him as more than just the successful family favorite. I came to know Jerry as a big man with a huge heart, a wicked sense of humor and a deep love for his friends.

He knew I was going to participate in The 2010 Toronto Ride to Conquer Cancer (to Niagara Falls, ON), and do the 200 miles in a weekend version, not the 100 kilometers. He said he wouldn’t miss it for the world. I watched his home and cat Petrina for five weeks in May/June 2009 while he was at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.

I do not drive, and the friend of his who was to take me to see him never did. Key family members did all they could, emotionally and physically, to keep me from my brother, and I didn’t see him until the day before he died.

By this time a “friend” had completely taken over legally in all matters concerning Jerry. I was made nothing. Again. On the day before he died Jerry and I had a great four hours together. He said that he was sorry for giving me a hard time about becoming his brother when I’d been his sister for 43 years first (I’ve been a trans-gender male for the past three years).

ride-to-conquer1He loved me. I was able to make peace with him.  No one took me to the hospital the next day and he died then, with people who didn’t care. I was not told where he was buried, and was not allowed to speak at his funeral. I found out his resting place from a complete stranger three months after the burial.

I had told him I’d do “The Ride to Conquer Cancer” and I am.  June 12-13 I’ll be riding 200 miles/321.9 km in for cancer research. I’m a team of one: JERRY’S LEGACY.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer means everything to me.  My family and friends aren’t donating to the ride. If I don’t make a certain minimum ($2,500 and I set an extra $500 for Jerry, for a total of $3,000,) I will not be able to ride, to keep my promise.

It feels like family and friends are doing all they can to hurt me, but really they are punishing cancer victims and spitting on Jerry’s grave.

I’ve spent money printing cards and donation forms and people won’t take them. I approached my church. Nothing. Family. No. Knocked on doors.

I was chased off a mall lot as a panhandler! I was merely handing out the cards and forms, not taking money. I am doing YouTube videos under MrChaseCameron. I’m still a thousand short of minimum. . .$1,450 short of my real goal.

Chase’s question:

I need to know this; I’m learning to detach and let go, but how do I REALLY do this. I’m faking it right now but in order to heal and move on, aside from doing this cancer ride, I need to let go. It hurts and I need advice. I WILL listen.

Soul’s Code guru David Rickey responds:

davidIt is clear you are in a lot of pain because your family does not accept you as you are.  The question back is: “Do you really need their acceptance?” By holding on to the need for their acceptance, you are giving away your power to them. That power is what is, among other things, enabling you to do this marathon ride in Jerry’s honor and memory.

You have had the power to make an important decision for yourself, to recreate your body to conform to your inner sense of who you are, despite the social and familial disapproval you have certainly faced. That is great strength. I believe that if you truly shift your focus toward riding to conquer cancer, rather then spending much of your energy resenting the rejection you have experienced, you will be much more likely to succeed.

You cannot make others love or accept you. You clearly had a good and warm connection with your brother. And that counts for a lot. Your family suffers because they do not have the privilege of knowing the compassionate person that you are. Pray for them and hold them with love in your heart. It may not change them, but it will detoxify the emotions in you that weakens you.

Although “revenge” isn’t a real option, I like the expression “Living well is the best revenge.” Your continuing to move forward with your life, not being determined by whether your family accepts you, or even whether the “world” provides you with the means to make this ride, — that will be your best contribution to the evolution of the planet, and indeed, the conquering of disease.

Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see.” Fully accept who you are, and live boldly in that acceptance. Your family will either benefit from your bold self-affirmation, or they won’t. That’s their work. But you will radiate a much more vital energy to the world around you when you live from within your deepest core of truth regardless of how the world treats you.

Blessings on your journey!

Father David Rickey is rector at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in San Francisco.

Please note that the advice in this column does not replace accessing on-going, face-to-face counseling services from a licensed healthcare practitioner.

Readers can submit a problem or concern which will be answered by one of the practitioners affiliated with Soul’s Code.  Submit your question to  Please keep your submission to a maximum of 350 words.  Submissions may be edited for length.

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7 Comments on “Ask a Guru: “In mourning, how do I detach?””

  1. Thanks Father Rickey!
    You are of course correct. It's furthering the negativity to try to seek love and support where it, I now see, isn't possible. I love that you're an Episcopalian priest. I had an Anglican priest here in Canada turn on me and she actually left the Church over same sex issues, and told me I am embracing the darkness.
    Your kind words just mended a spiritual wound I didn't realize I had over that. Thank you for that.

    I will focus more on the ride and in surrounding myself with positive people. I will learn to let the "how can you be disabled and ride 200 miles" comments go. And I HAVE started to pray for those who insult or slander me. I can admit I have a lot of work to do on things.
    Be the change you want to see. Ghandi? I love this. And I will embrace that and try to move forward.

    God, in whatever form, is truly good. Last night one guy said I should be working since I can clearly ride a bike. Then two people offered aid in garnering support for the cancer ride. The good bracketed and then made invisible the bad, or negative. I find nature spiritual and between being bashed as trans and all the rest, that's the sort of thing that restores my balance, emotionally and spiritually.
    And my kids call me Grandpa. My brother teased me with Chase, Spaz the Ironman. I used to crash a great deal. Literally.

    Thanks Father and I'll work on living your advice.
    Chase-Becoming the Change I want to see.

  2. You're quite welcome. Life is a kick, always in the adventurous way and sometimes in the butt! It gives us the lessons we need to learn and seemingly rewards us as we begin to open to the learning. Keep on riding!


  3. Chase,
    in all the time I have had the pleasure of knowing you, you have been honourable, respectful and extremely funny.. DON'T LET ANYONE STEAL THOSE THINGS FROM YOU! You may not be how others want you to be.. But God sees past all that to who you really are.. Beautiful, created by Him and his handiwork. He loves you and will work through you.. Even when it gets rough and hard.. God's got it.. Trust me I know. I am going through a "God Makeover" right now.. Let Him do the Work and see what happens..


    Michael Lardie

  4. Wonderful information, and thank you for your honesty. This past two years we lost a brother, and young uncle to cancer, and I noticed in the grief, and empathy, I also felt a sense of guilt that I moved miles away from family, yet i love them greatly. And kind of get down on myself for not accomplishing all my goals yet, and the sacrifice that moving away took me away from time with loved ones, and sometimes feel lonely, and guilt.

    Plus my dear only child i love so much is in prison, and that has been heart breaking, yet I know he is a good person, yet a few comments that have been made toward judging him, and I got upset at a few brothers that seemed to forget that they too have done stuff, and if they would have been caught, or in today's laws would have landed them in prison, so don't tell me about tough love, as my son is paying his dues. As his mom I will always love him, pray for him, and know he's a great gift to me, and a good person.

    Yet some of the pain of bad stuff that even happen to me, and I have only had to find forgiveness, yet some of these people never had to do time for bad stuff too. My own Mother too who was angry a lot, and use to put me down, even as an adult, and other crap, but she wants to act nice, or act like she was doing right by her abuse but never admits to the fact that she was so wrong in ways she treated me my whole life?

    I want to love and forgive her, but I find I just don't want to talk to her much, or email much, and why do I feel gulity for even feeling like this? I love God very much, and know I'm not perfect, yet I'm really having a challenge to understand what I am suppose to feel like when I forgive? How can I feel i have let go when I still feel pain around some past events in my life, and wonder how these have affected my son? I know I am a good mom, and was never abusive, yet he landed in prison. Oh sometimes life , and living a Spiritual path is confussing. Can you help with some insight to free me, as I so want to still have a joyful, good life, yet having problems moving forward with some issues?

  5. Dear Renee, There are a number of issues in your comment - perhaps needing a whole article. But here are a few thoughts. When people judge others they are coming from their own place of awareness that is caught up in their own story. We can't change them. We can only work on ourself and pray for them (surrounding them with loving/healing energy that may support their growth).
    Living a spiritual path doesn't prevent us from experiencing life. Instead, the experience is the teacher to help us grow.

    Forgiving others is "merely" recognizing that their actions only affect our thoughts, not our deeper reality. And, those experiences are in the past. They don't exist now. Letting go of the past is all that it takes. What happened isn't happening now, so there is no reason to hold onto it. The feeling is simply a lightness because we are no longer carrying heavy memories. The pain you feel is around memories of something. It isn't happening now.

    I think it is helpful, here, to understand Guilt in the context of the loneliness you feel. What we have learned to call guilt is actually the feeling of separation. In that separation, we feel unloved and then remember things that help us to make a story about why we are unloved. - We can all pull into consciousness events that can "justify" the belief that we are unloved. I ask my clients, when they say they fell guilty, "What are you actually guilty of?" and usually the answer is about not living up to some expectation of others, either real or imagined. So the "guilt" isn't related to a real action but to some belief about what we are supposed to be.

    I hope this helps a little. It may be better if I write a whole article on some of what you ask, but this is a fairly immediate response.

    David Rickey

  6. Thank you, and the information does help. I will shift my thoughts, and once and for all be free. When the thoughts come up I will give them love, and compassion toward myself and others. I know I spoke of a lot, and I'm sure by the sharing others may hopefully benefit too. Thank you.
    Oh, one question on Trust? Can we trust others after forgiveness? Guess that's a big question too? May depend on the situation, huh? Thank you!

  7. It sometimes takes time to trust others after forgiveness. I assume you mean trusting the person you have forgiven. The key is not letting the memory cloud your present perception. Trusting another comes from seeing if their actions are trustworthy. There are some people who are not trustable, and that becomes evident either directly from experience or from what is sometimes called a "gut feeling". But these "gut feelings" can sometimes be clouded by either memories or desires. Trying to stay in the present and notice, "objectively", their present behavior.

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