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A Rose Is Still A Rose

“Death teaches us not to place our reliance on the flesh but on God. Therefore, death is a friend. We should not grieve unduly about the passing of our loved ones. It is selfish to desire that they always remain near us for our pleasure and comfort. Rather, rejoice that they have been summoned to advance toward soul freedom in the new and better environment of an astral world.” Paramahansa Yogananda

Recently many of my close friends have had the experience of saying goodbye to a parent as they exited their human bodies. Having helped many through the grief process, I observed the differences in the responses of these most recent occurrences. While it is difficult for any of us to let go of a parent, we all are aware that it is something we will be faced with in our life. Whether it comes on suddenly or as a result of illness, it is hard to prepare for that letting go process. I was remembering the last close person in my life that I had said goodbye to. His name was Anthony aka Mr. T, and he was bigger than life in my world. We had an instant connection when we met and he would tease me in his New York accent if I were to complain about traffic (duh, New Yorker), the weather (yeah 70 was cold) and wanting to sleep instead of staying up all night partying when we would go away for dart tournaments. I remember him knocking on my hotel room door at 2 in the morning looking for somebody to accompany him at the swimming pool. We laughed until our bellies hurt. I celebrated with him when he fell in love. And then one day after a long bout of illness I got the phone call. Just like that he was gone. He was well-known and extremely loved by so many. I was inconsolable. This was my buddy, my mentor, my friend, my wind beneath my wings. I did not handle it well even though I was trained to help others go through grief. When death touches us personally – or any loss for that matter – what we have learned steps aside as our emotions come to the surface.

I was reading the words I quoted from one of my teachers and guides, Yogananda, regarding death. I’m not sure I would have been comforted by them at the time I was grieving for Mr. T. I only knew that I had a hole inside of me and I had to learn to live with it being there. I watch my friends who are going through the grief process currently. I just want to hold them, to tell them it’s okay to feel the pain, to cry, to yell, to get angry. And it is. Whatever way your grief expresses itself, there are no shoulda’s. Allow yourself to experience your feelings. Be unapologetic in how you deal with your grief. If you want to cry, cry. If you choose to celebrate by having a beer at their favorite bar or bowling alley, then do so. If you’re doing something just because “that’s what everyone expects” then you really are not doing yourself any favors and you certainly are not honoring your loved one or yourself. Yes, I cried when Mr. T died. Yes, I got angry and yes I got sad. And after that the laughter came as I remembered the true him, not his physical body.

Angels, this human experience can be so trying at times, especially when we deal with loss and suffering. What is your guidance and wisdom about this?

Dear Ones, we invite you to think of a beautiful rose. It brings you great pleasure to watch it grow from a bud to a full blossomed plant, does it not? Do you grieve when the plant withers and dies or do you honor it for what it brought to you in its beauty? In your lifetime you will encounter many such roses in the form of your loved ones. If you look at them as only the body suit they inhabit then you are seeing only the rose blossom. There is much more to a rose than that. The roots go deep into the ground and the bush it inhabits, its sustaining life force, does not die with the rose but continues to produce beauty even after the rose itself is gone. Your loved one brought an essence into your world, a beautiful fragrance that you can remember long after they are gone. It can continue to bring you joy through memories and legacies – their soul footprint.

Dear Ones, the separation of the soul from the body is something all humans must go through. Your knowledge of this does not diminish the pain you feel when it happens, however. We say to you, grieve for the fact that you can no longer sit with, hold, listen to and experience your loved one in the way you were accustomed to. Honor your feelings as that is the human response. When you are ready, you will begin to understand fully that, as Master Yogananda teaches, “they have been summoned to advance toward soul freedom” and you can rejoice for them. Some of you get this immediately and the hurt and pain of the loss are miniscule compared to your celebration of them entering a higher plane of consciousness and moving forward to their spirit self. Death is not the end, Dear Ones. It is a new beginning and thus the cycle of life continues – birth, death and rebirth.

Mr. T, I know you are smiling as you watch me remembering you. I miss you buddy and the rose I carried with me all these years that came from your funeral was left in the ground at a land blessing. The essence, however, stays with me in my heart. Thank you, Dear Angels, for this insight.

Friends, if you or a loved one are going through the grief process, know that you are not alone. I encourage you to be gentle with yourself, to express those emotions that bubble up and to please reach out. If there is any way I can help you in your time of grieving, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Teri Angel is an angelspeaker – one who receives and delivers messages from the Divine. She is an author, teacher, peaceful warrior and creator of the movement Peas For Peace as part of the Peace On Earth Tour, a movement of loving our Mama Gaia. You can contact her at or visit the website for more information about how you can be involved in the movement and mission to bring in more peace, love and joy to our planet.

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