Give Respect to Loved Ones While they are HERE

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When someone we have loved passes over the first thing we think of is the funeral. That old costly way that family, friends, loved ones, and not-so-loved ones show up to grieve their passing. For those of us who have had very close loved ones unexpectedly pass away it is a terrible last memory to have. I can’t even say how much I wish I did not have to see the lowering of my children’s caskets into the ground. The vision haunts me and the somberness of the moment just about traumatizes me.

The one thing that echos in my mind when I think of my crossed-over loved ones is they are still alive. They are just in another form without this clunky body to carry around with all of its earthly burdens. I’m willing to bet if we could just sit and ask how they are, they would say they are happy. If we were to ask them about the old funeral ritual I’m just about sure they will not be all that impressed by those who thought paying respect to them was meaningful after they left their bodies.

I shake my head when I think of the family arguments, and issues with so-called friends. Then there is the torment that happens after someone passes and people struggle with their funeral attendance. People get hurt because they can’t go, feel guilty when they don’t go, and others get upset when they do go. It’s all so ridiculous when I think about it. More issues are made about funerals than people need to create.

I have a better idea. Why not honor the people we love while they are here? As long as they know, and have known, we have loved them isn’t that what truly matters? Saying goodbye is not easy. I said goodbye to my daughter long before she was lowered into the ground. I did it in my heart. I know she felt it because love NEVER dies. Can we even imagine if I had not gone to my own daughter’s funeral? Of course, I felt I had to go. Society makes me feel that way. In all honesty, I would have been much better off without those last images in my mind. They cause me more grief than her passing. In all honesty, I could have done without the “sermon” given by an unknown pastor who never knew my daughter and could not possibly memorialize her. It was the same with my son. The more important issue is that they knew I loved them. My mother knew I loved her. I still love them! I always will.

Love the people who are here in body NOW. If you can’t see them then TELL them! Life always has a flow of its own and we can’t be all places at all times. Technology gives us the wonderful opportunity to give our loved ones those last “I love yous” we so long to give. Even without them, love already “knows”.

It’s just about insane to get all “butt hurt” because of funeral issues. As long as we know, and our loved ones knew. that love was there it’s all that has ever mattered. They live on. We don’t have to believe that but I do. I’m sure they can do without bickering over property left behind. who attends the funeral and whose presence is wanted or not. So leave the guilt behind. If you know in your heart the feelings that were there, then that is all that is important.

As for me; I think I will skip the funeral arrangements. My parents did the same. They were both cremated with no big funeral issue. Frankly, I adore them for that. I don’t see how gathering with people to cry would have made it all that better. I am skipping that part. I will be smiling in my new form, knowing those who loved me cared enough to respect me while I am HERE and not in a ritual where I am lowered into the ground and everyone has to watch.

Agree with me or not. It’s ok.

Loving you from here,

Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry

Book and anxiety, depression, or grief session with me. See more information at JenineMarie.com

My Dream of the Experience of Intubation

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Back in August of this year, my daughter Christina had to be intubated. She had a cardiac arrest due to a heart infection. She also had Covid 19. She was unable to speak to us because she was sedated so she would not pull out her breathing tube. Every time she tried to breathe on her own, she would code and come close to dying, so it was so important she had the tube in her to help her breathe.

I wondered how necessary the intubation process was in the beginning and if it just made things worse. I don’t know if I will ever completely have that answer, but a dream I had, gave me a very vivid look at what intubation felt like for my daughter. When I was working on my doctoral dissertation, my subject matter was about dream interpretation and the work of Carl Jung. Carl Jung used archetypes to interpret dreams that served as symbolism for what a dream might mean now in a subject’s life. I did not need the use of interpretation. My dream of intubation was very clear, easy to remember, and extremely detailed. I’m going to detail it here because I am sure I’m not the only one who would like to know what my dying daughter might have experienced.

In my dream, I was lying on a table. My vision was blurred, and there were people all around me with blue gowns on and some with white. I remember feeling like my eyes were tearing up. It’s like I wanted to sneeze, but no way could a sneeze happen. My mouth was open, and my throat was highly blocked and dry. I saw a vision of a toilet paper roll and heard my daughter’s voice. She said, “The tube feels like a dry toilet paper roll stuffed down the throat.” I saw and heard her very clearly.

I remember trying to swallow and wanted to take it out. The feeling was very uncomfortable. The people around me were talking about putting something else down my throat. I am assuming a ventilator to help my lungs expand and breathe for me. I wanted to shake my head “no” and could feel my eyes tearing up as they discussed more ventilation. I “knew” inside that I would not be coming back to the world as I was before.

I stopped thinking about it in my dream. Why even consider the situation? It was already determined what the outcome was going to be. My heart felt like it was broken inside and out, but then there was an awakening. I woke from what felt like a dream and into a place of peace and light. The light was so bright I could no longer see the people around me. Suddenly, I felt like I could breathe independently, although my situation had physically not changed. I believe I was no longer in my body and just watching.

I know this is a scenario that is repeatedly replayed when people feel they have died and come back to life to talk about it. The death they are speaking about is not death but a transition to a new form of life. My daughter did not come back to physical life, but she is also not dead. When dreams are as real and vivid as mine was, we can be assured it was a real experience for the purpose of “knowing.

For the second time, I woke up, and my head was back with my mouth completely open. The first time was during a meditation that left me awakening the same way. I believe my daughter wanted me to know how she felt in the hospital and how she is feeling now. I know this sounds far-fetched to some people, but those who have transitioned into spirit can communicate to us through dreams. I am very meditative and receptive, so I know my dream was a real message from her, and I can be assured she is fine after her difficult experience.

Our dreams can send us clear messages from those in spirit. If they are actual messages, they are as I described. The vision will be clear, descriptive, and easy to remember. If the dream is filled with symbolism, it becomes like a treasure to be excavated and interpreted. So many messages and a lot of healing can come from our dreams. All we need to do is ask for them, pay attention to them, and interpret what we remember of them. They reach us with surprises from a realm we often go through life not acknowledging. We should, though. It is a realm of love and beauty ready to give us messages and wisdom we are aching to receive.

Loving you from here,

Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, Ph.D.

JenineMarie.com

Are You Privately Living With Regrets?

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Every time this year, when a new year is approaching, we tend to think about resolutions. Either we want to lose weight, make more money, spend less, or travel more. It can be just about anything. Sometimes they are the very same resolutions we made last year only to find we fell very short of accomplishing what our goals were or are.

As I pondered the upcoming New Year and what I really want it to look like, some very unexpected thoughts entered into me. It was like I took a time travel back to when I cared for those much older than I; most of them dying. I recalled working on my doctoral dissertation on dream interpretation as well. Part of the dissertation was dedicated to dreams and also desires by those who were sick and dying. I know this could sound like I am approaching a morbid subject but actually I’m not, so stick with me.

Thinking about both my experiences ,and also my research, I began to remember vividly some of the things that were expressed as people were getting ready to enter into their next phase of living outside of the body. I’m convinced our spirit is alive and never ever dies, just as God is alive. Whatever your thoughts on this is beside the point. Let me move on. As I closed my eyes, my thoughts were filled with statements of regret that I heard over and over again. Some of them in person, some I heard of, and some I studied. Most were all the same. I’m going to list some of them here:

  1. I wish I took better care of myself while I had the chance.
  2. I should have told her/him “I love you” but was either afraid or negligent.
  3. I never realized just how fast time would go and I should have taken more time for what is really important.
  4. The office should not have been my top priority.
  5. My spiritual/devotional life could have been better and stronger.
  6. I could have made the choice to be more kind in circumstances and now I can’t change the aftershock.
  7. I should have considered my choices just a little more before I made them. I might have made a different choice had I thought things through more.
  8. I wish I had spent more time with my family instead of being busy, I could have been busy with them.
  9. Why didn’t I say, “I am sorry”? It could have healed the issue but my pride was in the way.
  10. I never took the time to enjoy the beauty of this earth. My mind and actions were always on things that really don’t matter now.

Maybe you can think of some for yourself. Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that today is the last day of your life. What would you greatly regret if you were leaving this earth today? Now, remember, you have time today, tonight, and hopefully tomorrow. Who needs to know you love them? What are you sorry for but have never expressed it to someone? Where have you always wanted to go? Who is the most important person to you and have you neglected them? Who has been there for you every single time but you never seem to say, “Thank you”.

If you were leaving your body tonight, think about it, would you have some regrets? I have watched tears falling down the faces of elderly people and some younger, while stating, “I never saw the Grand Canyon.” “I should have taken better care of myself because I might have more time with my loved ones had I done that.” “I wish I had not caused _______ so much pain and never healed it with them.”

This upcoming New Year as you consider your resolutions, maybe also consider if you have been silently living with regrets. They tend to come to the surface when faced with our mortality. Let them come now, with tears, with healing, and then with action. Don’t live another day with what you might regret tomorrow. Live in love, but love yourself first by honoring what is right, what is honest, what is your heart’s desire, and what love speaks to your heart. Then thank yourself. You are worth it.

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry, PhD