Two friends write to me immediately following Karl’s death.

The first message is from Carol Munro, a brilliant artist and writer, my dear friend since we were 12:

Photo credit: Carol Munro

—Carol Munro, February 2016

To stand and watch as a loved one passes from us into the divine…

The second letter comes from a friend I have known for less time. But we are close, and I have known her husband, Noel Wilson, since the early 1970s. Margaret Wilson, a gifted Australian healer, intuitive, photographer, artist and author, understands that I stood in the river with Karl and witnessed his spirit leaving his body.

Margaret sends a photograph and this passage:

Photo: Margaret Wilson

To stand and watch as a loved one passes from us into the divine

…it is a moment of opening to other…other than what has been known and accepted as daily life, forcing a greater awareness, a standing witness to life’s mystery and a larger understanding of what life is and can be. It is a cracking open to allow a sacred contact with tragedy and the divine in the one moment.

An opening is forged through the heart, as though the fire of hot steel has plunged through to change everything, demanding a letting go of what was and a learning to stand anew. We are asked to fall into the terrible reality of the now, to trust that we will find our balance and be held steady in the moments to come.

It is a change of alchemical order, from the containment of knowing into the unknowingness of life, a challenge to live life as it comes to us with life plans interrupted and all that is known evolving anew in each moment.

And yet more, as we are asked to allow the beloved to journey on from us as we let go of knowing and believe in the surety of their encounter with the divine and the principle of universal Love.

We do not know how it will be for us as our beloveds pass out of our reach. We can only trust we will find our way, negotiate new terms with life and find our balance as we learn to stand on new ground.

—Margaret Wilson, February 2016