2011-01-14 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

There Is No Death; Merely Change
By Dr. Nancy Gahles

DR. NANCY GAHLES DR. NANCY GAHLES It is time to wrap our minds around this concept once and for all. It is time to accept the idea of change as a part of Life.

Nature, our Mother, demonstrates daily, through daybreak and nightfall that change.

Time, marked by watches and calendars, heralds the movement forward of seconds, minutes, hours and days.

All manner of Life moves forward in its own way.

Seasons change from hot to cold. Flowers bloom and die. Is it death?... or merely change? Surely, they bloom again. In their own time. In the next season.

So, we too, are a living, breathing part of this grand orchestration of Life. Each one of us is born, blooms, produces fruit and then, apparently, dies.

I write this column today in memory of a beautiful flower whose bloom has faded. Ann Reinhardt passed this week to her next Life. Ann was a very private person who never wanted to be the center of attention, let alone the subject of a newspaper article! Ann, forgive me, but, your Life deserves celebration. A quiet beauty, wearing that red coat and pushing the ubiquitous baby carriage, Ann could always be seen traveling the well worn path to and from P.S. 114. Our boys went to school together and grew into a tight knit brotherhood that continues now through college. They never grew apart, they grew up together. The Reinhardt boys are your produce, Ann. They are a perfect reflection of your beauty, kindness, generosity and gracious good manners. I remember John would come to a sleep over bearing a box of cookies or cake. After his high school graduation, I received an honest-to-Goodness hand written Thank You note with an opening, body and closure describing my gift and how it would be used. It made my Mother’s heart proud. I received the same type of note after your birthday party this summer, Ann. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,“ the saying goes. Your Earthly Garden of Delights is ripe with your children. Each and every one of them, a precious and unique tribute to you. I am afraid that you can’t hide your Light under a bushel basket. And, as you would prefer, you don’t have to have the focus on you. Your family, Greg, Michael, John, Ann and Megan, will continue to shine the Light for you. Well done, my friend. I am proud to have known you.

In tribute to you, I wrote this for your family, Ann:

Let Life go on.
In my own way
As I’ve always lived.
Fully Present.
Fully conscious of you
And your needs.
The outer appearance of
My Life has changed.
Not my Heart
Not my Soul.
These are Eternal.

You, my children,
are the Breath of my Breath,
The Heart of my Heart,
The Soul of my Soul.
We can never be separated.
Born of Love,
Nurtured with Love,
The essence of Life.
There is no death;
Merely change.
My embrace is wider,
My reach is broader,
My Love is deeper.
Surrender to the concept
Of change
To Universal Consciousness.
I am always present.
-- Nancy Gahles

Ann’s passing was a turbulent one. As I am fond of saying, “To be a woman is not for the faint of heart!” She was a woman of extraordinary courage and faith. Be assured she made it home safely. I hope this reading from Bishop Brent lifts our spirits to hers:

I am standing upon that foreshore, a ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, “There! She’s gone!”

“Gone where?” “Gone from my sight, that’s all,“ she is just as large in mast and spar and hull as ever she was when she left my side; just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at that moment when someone at my side says, “There! She’s gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!” And that is dying.

May the Blessings Be!

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