Choices In The Afterlife


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addiction and suicide

Posted by Gretchen on August 28th, 2011

I am honored to often do readings for parents who have lost their child to overdose deaths, whether intentional or not. In the world of spirit, I often find these young people healing and many times without even the vibration of the addiction in their personality.

I am aware that the way I see the children is so different from the life they led, the pain they put the family through, the pain their early and difficult transition that often feels like utter defeat. I am often aware of the shame the family feels at the way things turned out for a child that started with the same love and support as their other children had.

It can be bewildering for these parents to grasp that, in the world of spirit, their child has shed many of the dark overlays that hid the essential being of the child as it suffered and struggled in physical. It is that beautiful core person that I see and meet often in the readings. Their child has shed the sheaths of darkness that enfolded their mind.

I care so deeply about having a positive influence with the minds of the grieving parents. I can offer parents other thoughts to think about their sons and daughters. If they wish, they can hold these different images in their mind as they trudge on the – perhaps never ending- journey of grieving.

I am so grateful for any help I can extend.

how our emotions seem to the deceased

Posted by Gretchen on August 10th, 2010

When we are sad our deceased loved ones see our emotion as a dark cloud or fog around us. Several deceased have said to me they cannot penetrate that darker emotion with their thoughts or love. In a recent meditation a deceased mother said that when her daughter thinks of her with love it is as if the sun comes out, and her day is clear and bright, then she can be close to her. Of course we can’t help how sad we feel when a loved one dies, but some of the time we can remember happy memories and think of them with love. Perhaps if we understood how close our loved ones are we would not be quite as sad.

why do the dying linger

Posted by Gretchen on June 2nd, 2010

In a recent meditation, my client’s deceased husband said that he lingered in his coma and waited until his older brother and older sister came to see him. He said that he heard their voices when he was in the womb, and was aware of their voices when he was in the coma. Sometimes watching someone linger on is hard for us living, but we cannot judge what anyone’s experience of dying is.

words of wisdom

Posted by Gretchen on May 26th, 2010

In a reading yesterday a woman said:
you can’t will something into existence
you can’t pretend something into existence
you can only LOVE something into existence
I told my living client that I was going to have to use this in my next book, but I would give her deceased grandmother credit.

When a mother dies

Posted by Gretchen on May 6th, 2010

There are two kinds of people, those who had a loving mother and those who did not. This is a learning path no matter which kind of person you are, because mother love translates into self love.
I work with living clients who have lost their beloved mothers, the kind of mothers they describe as their best friends. The kind of mothers who loved them, instilled in their children the confidence in life that comes with the security of a mother’s love. I can often tell who has grown up with a loving mother and who has not.

There is a relaxed energy around well mothered people. A sense of confidence in life, a trust of themselves. They seem to know themselves better, without second guessing without apology for their opinions. They may have learned how to be happy when they were a child, so they do not have as many monkeys on their back, emotionally. Well mothered people no doubt do not have as many problems with addiction. When an emotionally mature and self knowing woman raises a child, her love is a constant for this child. A person can then go through life feeling loved and supported emotionally.

Sometimes, that is, until the mother dies. When a client is struggling with the grief that lasts for years and years it is a sign that they have not developed the tools and techniques for self love.
I am one of the other people. My mother may have done the best she could with the emotional legacy of her childhood. My mother was so poor in the south in the depression that she did not have shoes until she was 18. She had one dress in high school that she washed each night, hung to dry and ironed each morning. I know she was ridiculed for her poverty. Mom also had to take care of her siblings because her own mother had diabetes, which was a disease not treated, or even known much about in those days. She particularly had to raise her younger sister who was born when Mom was 13.

So I think my mother was tired of taking care of people when she had us 4 kids, but it was what you did in the 50s. Everyone was having children, it was the culture of the time. Rarely did anyone know of a married couple that chose to not reproduce in the 50s.

I can’t blame her for being burned out by the time I came along. I was the youngest of 4. We had material support, a solid house, enough food, clothes and toys. But my childhood was an emotional nightmare, possibly because I was extremely sensitive to energies. I was too sensitive, my mother told me, it was like I was always watching her, judging her and finding her inadequate. Mom and I were like two trains passing in the night- our love for each other never connected.

My mom died in 2003, and I grieved her in my way. It was 4 years before I could communicate with her consciously, and even then there was still the mistrust I had always held for her in the way. I know how to change the energy of that mistrust now.

Mom’s love was in the taking care of the house, doing the laundry, cooking, making the holidays special. If the emotional energetic love was blocked in her, who could blame her, she couldn’t do what she didn’t know. I do think she developed degree of self love in her later years, based on a great spirituality. In that way we could have connected. We both loved God/Source and sang the praises of God’s creation here.
The relationship with a mother can set the tone for an entire life. My husband’s mother was mentally ill, it ran in her family. But again, in the 50s it went undiagnosed, untreated. His experience of being her child was one of constant stress. She would say that one thing was OK, even praiseworthy one day, and the next day the very same action was the worst thing that could ever happen and he would be punished for it. He grew so unsure of himself his life became as if he was an actor on a stage, always looking for clues or cues from other people at any given time to see what it was they wanted from him. He felt out of body all his life until recently and just now is able to be fully present in his body. Riding his motorcycle is one of the tools he used to draw his focus into the now.

So here my husband and I are, in our 50th decade, knowing we want the end of our life to be as joyful as possible, now that all the parents are deceased and we do not have to revisit our childhood behaviors when we are with them, that time is over. We may have 30 years now without them in our lives and now is the opportunity for us to develop self love.

I can blame so many poor choices in my life to the emotional landscape of my childhood, but like my childhood, those choices are also in the past. I am now only focused on my present and future, the time I have left in life. I think many of us at this point are tired of suffering, we now want peace, satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment and even some joy and happiness.

My path to self love, deliberately and consciously started in the mid 80s, some 25 years ago. OK I am a slow learner, but I had a lot of other mental obstacles to overcome before I could wholeheartedly love myself.

My tools for self love are revisiting painful memories, walking into these memories as a mature adult and comforting the child (me) who is suffering. Self realization of my character flaws and dark aspects so I cannot be blindsided by self destructive impulses. Yoga and Tai Chi as expressions of physical self love. Tools such as positive thinking tapes and inspirational reading material, beautiful music prayer and meditation. Our tools can change as we grow.

I work with people is active and extreme grief and the beloved one they lost to physical experience is often the person that they felt the most love from. Now that source of love is not tangible, not present in a physical way. Now a challenge to self love may occur. When I work with a client who has lost a loving mother I know they are just now beginning the path of loving themselves without the beacon of maternal love tangible and present in their life. That is the journey of the orphan, but some of us take that journey early, some of us begin this journey when Mom dies.