It has been a little over six months since Holly passed away peacefully, bathed in the golden glow of the midday sun that filled her room and held all of us there in the quiet awe that one can only feel in the presence of the sacred.
I have experienced sacred consciousness and manifestation quite a few times, in a variety of forms: healing miracles in my own body as a boy, sacred sexual orgasm with lovers, sacred light in sessions with clients, the Red Tara Initiation I undertook in 1986 with Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche and the death transition of beloved animals into the spirit realm are a few examples. Each was amazing, each was humbling and each came and went in its own time, leaving me back in the more mundane levels of life.
The sacred light that came into presence with Holly’s passing that day seemed at first to be like all those other experiences, and even though we had experienced sacred love between us often in the last six months of her life, I was (more or less) prepared to let her go and embrace being alone. She and we had done all the emotional work over the years to prepare her to die at peace in her heart – you may remember a few posts that spoke of how she released her death wish after she was diagnosed, and that became such a profound transformation in her heart and soul over that last year – and I felt complete and whole that we had lived the path of true heart healing that defines my work and teachings.
Perhaps the most profound part of it all for me was how much in that last year I saw the emergence of her sacred inner child. Of the many goals that define the heart healing pathway I teach – such as doing your work to release your parents so that when they pass over that passing is as spiritually clean as possible for both of you – being able to awaken and express the sacred inner child is one of the deepest core goals.
It is one of those goals that takes years to accomplish. Holly and I had over 17 years of working together to liberate her inner child from shame, trauma, infantilization, betrayal, abandonment, terror and of course, death wish. To see her little kid finally glowing with deep self love in the last 6 months of her life, proud of all the work she had done to free herself, knowing that she was deeply, deeply loved and finally receiving that love to the very core of her soul – that was an incredible fulfillment demonstrating how deeply this path of heart healing really works.
So with Holly having reached that huge milestone in her soul’s journey in this life right before passing, yes, it was devastating for my little kid to lose his best friend so soon after seeing her finally emerge, but it was okay. She crossed into the light so cleanly and perfectly that the soul force of her passing that day was an embodiment of grace and blessing that was grounding and calming.
In the weeks that followed, I was expecting to let her go, but that isn’t what happened at all. I found myself going through waves of intense soul shock, primal contractions that were completely connected to Holly’s soul as she went through the transitions of releasing the thick, complex layers of her soul’s karma that we had addressed with so much commitment over the years.
The intense love that had fused us together so profoundly in that last year of her life had no intention of stopping, and I found myself engulfed inside the same kind of core healing and transmutative processes we had shared when she was here – intense grief and shock needing love and acceptance so that it could transform into an openhearted integration and become a new life force within her. Her soul still needed me to ground what had really happened here on the earth plane, and I was both witness and facilitator to her soul learning how to breathe in the light all over again, only now in the spirit realm. It felt like someone bursting up from underwater after holding their breath for too long, savoring the powerful rush of that first breath into freedom and release.
This went on for three months until I performed her memorial service at the beginning of April, and then I could feel her settling down for a while, until it came time to start up the garden that Holly had always created for us with so much love. As I cleared the yard and got everything going for the porch garden, I found her soul again reaching into me, needing me to be deeply present as I planted each flower in each pot, making the process a kind of sacred devotional ritual that kept our connection very alive in the present moment so that I would weave her deeply into my life here alone.
She was transferring so much of the ancient wisdom her soul possessed when she made her flower essences and products into me now. While it was deeply magical for my hands and heart to be doing what she had done so many times, it was so intense that it was anything but comfortable most of the time. It kept reminding me of that country song, “How can I miss you when you won’t go away?”, but I kept at it until the porch was glowing with the same love and earthly beauty that she had given us so many times.
Starting up the summer without her, feeling the rhythms in my body of all the camping trips we took all over the Eastern Sierra range, was incredibly challenging at first. I could feel her remembering those trips when we sought out the healing medicine power of the mountains, the hot springs, the big sacred fires we built at every campsite, the many transmutative rituals we performed. Again I felt huge soul waves of grief and love and light ripping through me as I began to realize how deeply committed we had been to holding sacred intention in so much of what we had done, and at first I didn’t think I could ever go on without her.
Then there came a day – June 21st, the Summer Solstice – when she guided me to go back for the first time since she had passed to one of our most sacred campsites. It really took a lot of courage, and I was shaking gently when I got out of the truck and finally touched the physical world in which we had lived so deeply. In a surrealistic moment of swirling emotions, feeling her heart there with me encouraging me, I spoke a parting intention, and realized I had only begun to let her go.
For the next week, I went on walks down at the Legacy Trail here in Truckee, fully reconnected into what our life had been while adjusting to my new life alone. One day, I felt her soul come into me with a deep force of immense love, and she shared thoughts, images and emotions with me about her soul’s ancient medicine journeys, especially her travels through the dark realms of being a deeply wounded medicine woman who played with dark light and powers. I knew how deep her healing wisdom went back in time, but she was showing me places in her I had never known were there, explaining the incredible depth of transmutation we had accomplished for her as she was releasing all of it now.
This was more intense and yet far more grounded than the most powerful psychedelic experiences I had in my 20’s. This was a luminous bridging of the the sacred realms of light into the earth plane through our heart connection, and when it was over I had to go get a bagel and coffee and watch cars drive by so I could ground myself back in the ordinary world. Later that afternoon I felt deeply called to go out for a drive around the Prosser/Boca/Stampede reservoirs, some of her favorite local stomping grounds to again reconnect with the life we had shared on the earth.
Holly came through again in a higher luminous light, and this time as I drove through the back roads of the forest she opened up every trip we had ever taken together, with all the love that had inspired them, and poured them into my heart into one complete sacred gestalt of being in the present moment, truly starting an entirely new earth walk on my own. She had created a sacred essence, just like her flower essences, fused perfectly out of every moment we had spent invoking medicine and healing in the mountains, and was releasing it into my heart to fill my soul with peace and balance, finally, without her.
Three days later, standing out in the porch garden at night, she came to me and said goodbye. Her soul had made sure that I was okay as much as she had needed me to help her breathe into her new freedom. I gently said goodbye to her as well, quietly bawling of course, but I knew that this was the beginning of her soul’s journey into the new realms of sacred light she had worked so hard to attain. Holly lives in the sacred realms now, soaring in her eagle medicine, and has bequeathed that to me somehow in ways that I know I will discover in moments of magic and inspiration.
For me, my soul sits here on the porch, surrounded by her legacy, breathing in the wonder of it all, starting my own journey anew.