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Cheryl Eckl
Cheryl Eckl

Maintaining the Thread of Contact

Working with a cosmic buddy system for the newly departed

man with parachute

Parachuting into a New World

In the weeks before my husband, Stephen, died, one of his favorite readings was about the process of making the transition from this world to the next. He was fascinated by life after death and eagerly worked to prepare himself for the journey.

Stephen believed that we are in death as we have been in life. So his "work" in the months and weeks before his passing was to increase what he called his "spiritual receptivity." He wanted to be in sync with that liminal state so as not to miss anything once he crossed over.

It is almost as if he saw himself parachuting into a new world. He wanted to hit the ground running and immediately begin to explore his new surroundings.

I think what Stephen was sensing was a necessary period of adjustment for the newly departed. If he was right that only the physical body gets left behind, it is easy to understand the challenge he anticipated in learning to function without it—perhaps with a new light body.

As his mental acuity waned in his final days—from a combination of cancer and pain meds—he would occasionally remark, "I can't wait to have a brain that works." He definitely looked forward to an existence without the limitations of an imperfect physical body.

In the past several years, Stephen and I have each done a lot of adjusting. I have had to find new purpose in life while frequently making micro-shifts in how I view my ongoing relationship with him. And I think he continues to go through his own changes that included at least one surprise.

I have written that Stephen didn't expect us to be in contact once he died. Although he believed that we would always be a part of each other, somehow he saw himself buzzing off to other worlds where there was no phone service back to earth. Something like that.

But it became quite evident to me throughout my first year without him that he was, indeed, very present—just on the other side of a very thin veil between worlds. My most difficult adjustment in those early days was to accept that he really was right there with me.

Looking back, I'm quite sure he attended his own memorial service. And it would seem that he also went with me on pilgrimage to Ireland during the summer of 2009.

So why am I reminiscing today? It is because I have received several e-mails from other widows who have also lost the love of their life. One strong theme in their correspondence is the desire to stay in contact with their departed soul mates. And more than a couple of them have commented that they felt as if their husbands had led them to my work.

What a lovely thought that people in heaven know what I'm doing here on earth. But of course—Stephen is on the Other Side spreading the word. And I have a feeling that he's trying to help the deceased as sincerely as I'm trying to help their survivors.

two men on mountain top

Showing Them the Ropes

In fact, I actually had the impression of Stephen leading a group for newly departed spouses, showing them the ropes, helping them to adjust. And—most of all—offering them comfort and understanding that it is possible to remain in relationship with their loved ones in a way that is nurturing to both of them.

This is not to say that either side clings to the past. On the contrary—we use the our shared history as a springboard to a new tomorrow that honors what went before, acknowledges the love that is still so very present, and respects the needs of each partner to move forward. We enter into a flexible state of consciousness that is open to collaboration but that does not clamor after it.

These days I have a strong sense of Stephen's ability to move in and out of proximity as he goes about his business on the Other Side. I don't think about him all the time—just as I'm sure he doesn't constantly have his attention on me.

woman on phone

The Connection Is Immediate

And yet, there is this ever-present heart tie. It's a bit like one of those walkie-talkie phones that immediately ring a second person at the touch of a button. The ability to connect is always there and the contact can be made in an instant. We are both free to check in when necessary, relaxing in the knowledge that once in a while is sufficient.

When we first learned that Stephen's cancer was terminal, I had a vision of our ongoing work together. I don't think this is necessarily the case for every couple. The needs of each soul are so very individual. But in the case of soul mates, or what is known as twin flames, I do believe that the mission may continue after death. That is certainly my experience with Stephen.

So I believe he works with the recently departed in a kind of cosmic buddy system—helping them to be at peace in their new circumstances, even as they grieve having left behind their own beloved partners. And my part, then, is to encourage those of you who must remain in embodiment for a season to be open to communion with your loved ones without grasping after it.

silk curtain

The Thin Veil Between Worlds

This is a contact you can't anticipate, force, or control. The receptive heart is the only power that opens the connection. Allow the love you still share to guide and guard you on your journey through grief. Allow yourself to be soul-taught. Find new meaning and growth in the knowledge that the veil between worlds is as thin as gossamer—if we remain content to flow with it as it wafts back and forth in the gentle breeze of Spirit.

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About the Author
Cheryl Eckl

Cheryl Eckl is the author of The LIGHT Process: Living on the Razor's Edge of Change.