Archive for Soul-mates Posts

 Do You Believe in Soul Mates?

 

“Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.”

– Stephen King, On Writing

What if your dream was handed to you on the same platter as your soul mate’s life?

Not all fairy tales have happy endings…but perhaps the best ones aren’t meant to? Maybe true love is also tough love?

Here’s a little story for you…

Please click here to watch a 2-min video.

“We must own our true stories. In doing so, we begin again to belong to the world in the way only we can. The door to soul opens.”

– Bill Plotkin, Soulcraft; Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and the Psyche

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the door sill where the two worlds touch. 

The door is round and open. 

Don’t go back to sleep.”

– Rumi

About A Widow’s Awakening

With over 2000 copies soldA Widow’s Awakening is touching the heart and soul of readers. This extraordinary story is a candid portrayal of Maryanne’s journey through the first year of grief after the on-duty death of her police officer husband. Engaging, powerful and heart-wrenching, this book captures the immense difficulty of accepting the unacceptable while learning to transform loss into positive change.

What Readers Are Saying…

“I started reading A Widow’s Awakening on Sunday and finished it Monday. The first third of your book touched me in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I cried so hard, my eyes became swollen; the pain was so real. I haven’t cried that hard in a long, long time. The grief you expressed was so real to me, as I experienced my own grief in a similar way. Reading your book has been healing for me.” 

– Cristy

“What an incredibly powerful and moving book! Although I had tears in my eyes as I read each page, I think your messages are uplifting and are so important in challenging the human spirit to make our lives mean something meaningful in this world, by helping others and doing something more for society. It is so cleverly written and thought provoking. I haven’t enjoyed a book this much since I taught classic literature to high school students a few years ago.”

– Sarah

“WOW! As soon as I read the first line, I couldn’t put the book down. The truth on soul-mates, hope, after-life, happiness, sadness…you definitely told your tale as it is. I can’t stop talking about this book. I’m glad you shared your story with us.”

– Parveen

For additional reader testimonials, please click here.

About Maryanne Pope

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. She is the executive producer of the documentary, Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. Maryanne lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

About Pink Gazelle Productions Inc.

PGP creates entertaining and authentic works that inspire and challenge people to effect positive change in themselves and the world around them. From books, plays, films and e-mail campaigns to greeting cards and inspirational quote cards, PGP products encourage and challenge people to reach their highest potential. The company was started in 2002 by Maryanne Pope. Please visit pinkgazelle.com for details.

About the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund

The JPMF is a registered Canadian charity that was started after the on-duty death of Cst John Petropoulos of the Calgary Police Service. John was investigating a break and enter complaint at a warehouse when he fell to his death after stepping through an unmarked false ceiling. There was no safety railing in place to warn him – or anyone else – of the danger. The JPMF raises public awareness about why and how to ensure workplaces and roads are safe for everyone, including emergency responders. For further information or to view the safety videos, please visit jpmf.ca.

This is the fifth blog in the Life After Loss series:

What Are We Doing Here? A Discussion of Destiny, Fate & Divine Plan

 

“Our authentic calling, our true work in this world, becomes an outgrowth of our lives. Our work can transform and transcend whatever traumas we survive, turning them into something useful for ourselves and, we hope, for others.”

– Louise DeSalvo, Virginia Woolf scholar

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, both destiny and fate mean “a predetermined state or end.” Fate implies an inevitable and usually an adverse outcome. Whereas destiny implies something foreordained and often suggests a great or noble course or end.

In other words, both fate and destiny infer that some sort of predetermination exits.

As for who or what or where that predetermined outcome originated from? Well, I suspect that answer depends on whatever belief system you happen to be most aligned with.

Regardless of what you believe and/or have personally experienced in life, the idea that our souls are here on earth to fulfill some sort of purpose can be either reassuring (especially if we feel we’re on the “right” track) or unsettling (if we are feeling rather lost and off-track).

Or, if we are of the belief that this whole exercise is just one big chaotic crapshoot that is simply unfolding at random, then although we may not believe in any sort of predetermined plan or individual purpose, that doesn’t necessarily mean our lives don’t have meaning. Rather, our lives may have the meaning we assign to them – versus some larger force.

However, just as I discovered with exploring the possibility of life after death, it wasn’t until after I lost someone very dear to me that I suddenly became VERY interested in whether or not he still existed, in some capacity, after the death of his body.

I suspect it’s the same with destiny, fate and the possibility of our souls having some sort of higher purpose for being here: we may not really think too much about it, until we are forced to…until it really matters.

In my experience, life after a significant loss is when life’s big questions come bubbling to the surface.  

I think this is partly because searching for, and perhaps finding, a higher meaning in the wake of a tragedy helps make whatever anguish we may be experiencing a bit more…palatable.

Do you believe in the idea that a “Divine Plan” exists for each of us?

God knows (sorry for the pun) I heard that whispered in my ear enough times in the days and weeks following John’s death. And quite frankly, that particular platitude offered me little in the way of solace. Instead, I was tempted to wind up and punch the person in the nose.

Why?

Because I found it presumptuous that people would tell me that John’s sudden – and easily preventable – death was part of some greater plan schemed up by a God who may or may not even exist…and as such, I best accept it.

To me, the concept reeked of apathy, especially when I realized that this “Divine Plan” is not something any of us mere mortals get to know. Rather, it’s supposed to be enough that a plan exists, so no further questions necessary.

But what is the point of God having some grand plan if no one knows what it IS? 

I guess that’s where faith come in.

However, perhaps because I had so many people telling me that God had a plan for me and John, I began to think they may be right. So what did I do? Why, I tried to figure out The Plan – or at least, our tiny parts of it.

I didn’t meet with much success 🙂

But now that nearly 17 years have passed since John’s death, I have the liberty of seeing things far more objectively than I did in those early days. And I cannot deny the possibility that there could be some sort of plan at work. Or maybe it’s just the way I choose to frame the situation?

Here are a few facts to our story:

1.) John and I used to argue about my procrastination as a writer. I had read Virginia Woolf’s book, A Room of One’s Own, multiple times. Woolf maintained that in order for women to write fiction well, they needed a room of their own and a secure income. John thought that was ridiculous. He figured motivation and me sitting down to actually do some writing was far more important.

2.) The day before John died, we had one last argument about me not writing and I told him how scared I was of waking up 20 years later and still not have finished writing a book. He looked at me and said, “You’re probably right about that…just as long as you know that will have been your choice.”

3.) Because John died in the line of duty and we had mortgage insurance, I was entitled to receive exactly what Virginia Woolf had proposed: a secure income for the rest of my life and an entire house – paid off in full at 32 – in which to write.

4.) Two weeks later, I started writing what would become my book, A Widow’s Awakening. It was published 8 years later…well under the 20-year time limit 🙁

5.) A few years after his death, for some unknown reason, I took a playwriting course. My very first play script was entitled, Saviour, and it’s about John dying of his brain injury – with none other than Virginia Woolf as his spirit guide.

And then there’s the workplace safety initiatives of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If John hadn’t died as the result of a preventable fall at an unsafe workplace, the JPMF wouldn’t exist – and I certainly wouldn’t be an advocate for safety.

So DO I believe in destiny, fate and/or some sort of Divine Plan?

Honestly, I don’t know WHAT I believe in. But I do believe there are far larger forces at play in our lives and our job is to get up each and every day and do our very best at whatever is in front of us…and everything else just seems to fall into place. Eventually.

“God does not die on the day we cease to believe in a personal deity. But we die on the day when our lives cease to be illuminated by the steady radiance of wonder renewed daily, the source of which is beyond all reason.”

Dag Hammarskjold, former UN Secretary-General

I would love to hear your thoughts on fate, destiny and/or a Divine Plan. Do you think your soul is here to fulfill a certain destiny?

For further info about the Life After Loss blog series, please click here.

Here is the link to subscribe to receive the Life After Loss blogs – as well as to read the blogs posted thus far in the series.

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.

published in A Widow's Awakening Book, Death, Life After Loss, Soul-mates, Souls, Spirituality, Widowhood by Maryanne | February 14, 2017 | 2 Comments

This is the fourth blog in the Life After Loss series:

Soul Survival – Do You Believe in Life After Death?

 

“It’s amazing, Molly…the love inside, you take it with you.”

– Patrick Swazye’s character, Sam, to Demi Moore’s character, Molly, in Ghost

Do you believe in some sort of life after death?

C.S. Lewis once said that he never had any doubts about people surviving death, but when his wife died, he was no longer certain. Why? Because it was so important to him that she be living.

When it comes to the belief in the possibility of some sort of life after death – i.e. the soul/spirit/essence/consciousness of a deceased person living on in some capacity after the death of their body – C.S. Lewis expressed it this way (as told by Anthony de Mello in his book, Awareness; The Perils and Opportunities of Reality):

It’s like a rope. Someone says to you, ‘Would this bear the weight of a hundred twenty pounds?’

You answer, ‘Yes.’

‘Well, we’re going to let down your best friend on this rope.’

Then you say, ‘Wait a minute, let me test that rope again.’

You’re not so sure now.

In other words, before we lose someone near and dear to us, the possibility of some sort of afterlife may not be that important. In theory, we may or may not believe it.

Sure, it’s an interesting concept to think about, read about, watch movies and plays about, and discuss – but if all our loved ones are still right here with us, then what happens after they die isn’t usually too high on our radar of stuff to worry about.

But when we do LOSE a loved one, boy oh boy…now we’re concerned! I mean, where the heck did they – the essence of them – go?

Or is dead really…dead? When the body dies, is that really the end?

If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, then perhaps you may have found yourself asking these types of questions.

I certainly did after John died.

But here’s the thing: what I experienced right after his death is, in retrospect, pretty incredible in terms of evidence to support the possibility that something lives on after the death of our bodies.

As I mentioned in an earlier Life After Loss blog, I was able to spend the last day of John’s life with him in the ICU, holding his hand and comforting him as best I could as the medical team prepared his body for organ removal.

As for what happened next, here’s an excerpt from A Widow’s Awakening (I am “Adri” and John is “Sam”):

Just after midnight, an operating room becomes available. I watch as a group of nurses and technicians prepare Sam’s body for the transfer. One person temporarily detaches him from the respirator while another manually forces air into his lungs though a device that looks like a plunger. I want to scream. He’s leaving me and there’s not a goddamn thing I can do about it.

They wheel Sam out of his room and down the hall. I follow behind, right into the OR. When I turn around and see that several family members have followed us in, I scream at them instead: “Get out! Leave us alone!”

The medical personnel stare at me. But my crew of supporters high-tail it out of the operating room. I walk up to Sam, lean over and kiss him on the lips. “I love you.”

Then I take a deep breath, give him one last wave, turn around and walk out into the hallway full of family and friends.

But then an amazing thing happened. I awoke the next morning at 5:30 to see a large reddish orange light framing my entire bedroom window. When the organ removal coordinator called me a few hours later to update me on which of John’s organs were able to be donated (heart, kidneys and pancreatic islets), I asked her if she knew what time John’s heart was removed.

I could hear her flipping through her notes on the other end of the line.

“Here it is,” she says. “His heart was removed at 5:30 this morning.”

Wow!

I actually saw that red light two more times in the months following John’s death: once in my bedroom again – but hovering on the night stand right beside my head, which freaked me out.

But then, as the years passed, I no longer saw the light as red. Rather, I saw a white light.

In fact, it wasn’t even me who saw the white light one night above my head about three years after John’s death. I was a rustic retreat in Bragg Creek and there were several women staying in a room with bunk beds. I had slept in a top bunk bed and when I woke up the next morning, the woman in the lower bunk bed, diagonal to me, asked me how I’d slept.

“Fine,” I said.

“Oh,” she said. “Well, I woke up in the middle of the night and saw the reading light above your head was on, so I figured you couldn’t sleep.”

Puzzled, I looked above my head then back at the woman.

“There’s no reading light up here,” I said.

“Well,” was her reply, “there was some sort of white light above your head in the middle of the night.”

In light of all I experienced since John’s death, I strongly suspect something does live on after the death of our bodies. The fact that it is often some sort of light that’s seen, after the death of a person, is interesting.

In John’s case, it makes sense that his light was red at first because I highly doubt his soul was at peace, after being taken so suddenly in the prime of life.

Whereas, as time passed, I think his soul did find peace with his sudden death, which perhaps explains why it later appeared as a white light.

“Your soul is that part of you that is immortal,” writes Gary Zukov, in his book, The Seat of the Soul. “Love is the energy of the soul…but love is not a passive state. It is an active force. It is the force of the soul. Love does more than bring peace where there is conflict…it brings Light.”

I watched the movie, Ghost, the other night. I hadn’t seen it in years. This time, however, I didn’t find it heart-breakingly sad.

Rather, I was intrigued by the way the film tackled the subject matter of life after death…and found much of what the characters experienced weirdly similar to what I have personally experienced over the years – and not just the white light at the end, when Patrick Swazye’s soul was finally at peace and able to move on.

The film also touched upon the idea that animals can see or sense the soul of a departed person, as well as the possibility that the soul of a departed person can temporarily exist in a living person for the purpose of communicating something important to a loved one (Whoopi Goldberg was fabulous as the medium!).

But those are subject matters to perhaps tackle in future blogs…

What is your experience with and/or belief about life after death? Do you think the soul lives on, in some way, after the death of the body?

For further info about the Life After Loss blog series, please click here.

Here is the link to subscribe to receive the Life After Loss blogs – as well as to read the blogs posted thus far in the series.

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.