“I ordered the pepperoni and onion pizza,” said my husband a few weeks prior to his passing and after one of his longer and longer rests in his big armchair. “I saw myself at this place called the Gateway Café. I was told that it’s the place where all beings hang out to choose where they’re going to go and who they’re going to be their next time around as humans. You get to decide your next lifetime just like ordering off a menu.”
“Wow,” I said. “But I’m thinking coming back might not be a choice I’d make. I mean, it’s been pretty rocky this time.”
“Exactly,” he said. “They told me we’re really all vacationing angels—spirit that wants to experience being human. As energetic beings, the idea of being human, mortal beings in biodegradable human suits with all the magnificent senses we enjoy, it feels like a vacation.”
I thought about it. Here my husband is dying and talking about how being human is supposed to feel like a vacation. Although I dutifully jotted down a few notes in the notebook we were keeping of his ideas, the only thing I heard in my head was, “If this were really a vacation, we’d both be having a lot more fun—and, oh, BTW, you wouldn’t be dying.”
I kept that part to myself.
12 Years Later
There was a lot of grieving from then to now. A lot of life and living packed into what felt like at first more like an endlessly scorched spiritual terrain until the rains came and there was verdant abundance once again. I’ve learned about living alone and living without a partner. I’ve experienced the massive benefits of self-discovery through meditation. But most importantly, I’ve learned what it truly means to live as a “vacationing angel.”
This philosophy has stood by me through thick and thin since Randy’s passing. Sure, it took a while. “Vacation” isn’t usually the first word you think of when someone dies and you can barely climb out of bed every day. Yet, with his ongoing prodding and poking, and my continued efforts at listening to him from the other side of the veil, the message began to make more and more sense.
Here’s the way my reasoning went.
For many years the only real thoughts swimming around in my head sounded like this: “What’s the point? What’s the purpose of being human? What’s MY purpose for being here?” Not reassured by the obvious dearth of answers, I continued along a path where nothing--nothing—made any sense. It wasn’t until I began reading books like Conversations with God that my eyes opened. Suddenly, there was another option for looking at life, death, and being-ness. Another option for living with purpose that included more than a decision about which career path to follow.
Embracing (remembering, one might say) the idea that we have all made our contracts before we live our first, second, or thousandth human lifetime opened the door to a whole new world. If I agreed to the contracts with my mother, my father, my sisters, my friends, then how could I be angry at them or disappointed in them or blame them for anything?
My contract = My responsibility. It’s as simple as that. Navigating that lifetime’s contract, however, can be pretty darn challenging because we tend to get stuck in the “why” of it all.
If I accept that we are all one energetically, which I do, then when we “die,” we simply take on a different energetic frequency and state, the way heated water turns to steam. We’re still here, but in a different form. I have always believed that when we’re in that different form—in the non-physical—so, why not imagine we’re somewhere like the Gateway Café? Some place where we have and hold an awareness that goes beyond the physical and yet offers us an outline for the physical world we choose? Some place where we have and hold a sense of selflessness along with self-full-ness that propels us to enter the physical realm for another lifetime?
“I am a Vacationing Angel, spirit in human form.
I chose to be here.
I will make the most of it while I’m here.”