Five years ago, three years before I almost died, I wrote a diary titled Is There Life After Death? That's a relevant question to ask at Easter, when Christians celebrate the resurrection of their shaman. It was brought home to me in a big way this year because someone I was close to recently died?and another close friend may be about to.
As I put on my favorite necklace today, I was reminded of one of my favorite people, who died a few months ago. This necklace has a pendant that looks like a "smiley face" with two "diamond" eyes, that Whitley gave me shortly after I got out of the hospital.
This friend ran a small hotel out in the desert, a few hours drive from Los Angeles. We didn't go there often, but over the years, we got to be close friends with him anyway. This was a simple place?there was nothing to do except swim in the pool, bask in the hot tub or sit around the pool and talk with the other guests?but for some reason, we met the most interesting people there. It was kind of a secret hideaway that people told their friends about.
When Whitley and I were in California, and feeling tired and dragged out, we would automatically say, "Let's go see Steve." The last time we were at his hotel, I lost my "smiley" necklace, but Whitley got me a replacement for Christmas. When I heard about Steve's death, I thought, "I left my smile there," and in a way I have. I'll never smile and laugh with Steve again and I'll miss him.
Then we recently found out that another friend has colon cancer, which is a disease with very few?and sometimes confusing?symptoms. For the last two years, I've felt "called" to be a kind of surrogate mother to this woman's daughter, and this is probably why.
When the news anchor Katie Couric's husband died from this disease a few years ago, she began telling everyone to have a colonoscopy. Whitley and I heeded her advice and had them about five years ago and, ironically, we were already scheduled to have them again when we learned about our friend's disease. In my own small way, I'm going to pick up the Katie's torch and tell you all: HAVE A COLONOSCOPY. That's my Easter wish. It's not painful and as a friend said, "The drugs are great!" The preparation is the most onerous part of the whole thing, but it can be done. As our doctor said, "Buy a lot of magazines."
All I know about life after death is the Green Man message?which I somehow got, and for some reason, am supposed to pass along. While I'm a big fan of Jesus, I think that resurrection is something that happens IN your life, when you manage to somehow scramble to a new spiritual plane. Putting it off until after death and laying all the responsibility for your own spiritual transformation on the shoulders of a dead man, in the form of "belief," is a rather strange tradition.
I've always been wary of belief of any kind, because once you believe something, you close off your mind to other possibilities, and how can anyone make spiritual progress with a closed mind? Then people decide to defend their beliefs against other people?s beliefs that may be different, and we get the kind of religious wars that are raging all over the world right now. Surely any real spirituality couldn't condone so much senseless killing.
I'm even made nervous by people who try to assure me that they "believe" in UFOs. I know they mean well, but I don't think that UFOs are something to believe in, since this only seems to lead to arguments and disinformation. The people who have experience d UFOs and Visitors first hand are the only ones who should believe in them, and those are the people whose wisdom I listen to.
Some people have told me that, since I had the experience of almost dying, I must no longer be afraid of death, because I know that our souls live on. But I don't know really know that?all I know is that your dead mother can visit you in the guise of your dead Siamese cat. But hey, I guess that's something.
NOTE: This Diary entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.