Around the age of five is the first memory I have of someone dying. It was a tumultuous combination of tremendous loss and the oddity that something greater had occurred — both a miracle and a tragedy. I would never see this person again during my lifetime — the beginning of a life of questions. As the paramedics took him out of the house that night, I asked my Mother a question. Vovô (Portuguese for Grandfather) isn’t coming back, is he?

So many bright lights have gone out during our lifetime. Transitioned. And though my personal belief about death is that it is a transition, a transformation of energy into a greater realm, into the palm of the Great Mystery — it is my grief and feeling of loss, like yours — that continue to ask the questions.

Our friends, and lovers, and family, and pets and children and leaders — leave us. It’s unavoidable. Their new journey sends us on ours, leaving us with new questions — and pain and joy and vulnerability. Our legacies connect us together. Our story yields the unfolding expression of The Divine Light.

During a five month period in December 2013 into April 2014, four very special people in my life died. They were my friends, my family, my confidents, my supporters, and my teachers. Each held a unique place in my heart and in my life. They still do and always will. Each with a story to be told, but that will be another article.

Those losses were like a thousand threads of silk torn from the fabric of my heart. Yet, as our human connection was disconnected, our spiritual bond grew. I feel surprisingly closer to each one of them. I often hear phrases, and words — their wisdom — many times in their own voices, guiding me. They are speaking somehow, through a sort of dream-like state of existence, in signs and signals, alerting me in unexplainable ways to pay attention to the little things in life. I feel peace.

Death isn’t always in human form, sometimes it is the death of our job, the end of our money, or the end of a year. Each a gift beckoning our hearts to open, our ears to listen, then tell each other’s story through our own story — a light does shine.

The moral of this article is that endings are beginnings, that in our suffering great and at times unbearable losses, it is often in our quietude that we discover infinite wisdom and unbroken bonds.

So — my experience has shown me that in listening deeply we are well-guided to make better choices. Choices that cultivate our love and compassion. Choices that redefine our future with purpose. Choices to live our best life in a world — cooperative and co-existing.

Originally published at on January 4, 2016.

Originally published at