Sunshine Benjamin Berger and me, 1973
This month is the 6th anniversary of my 35 year old son’s translation (death of the physical body) from a heroin overdose. Even though I had come to the understanding years before that I could lose him to addiction, that didn’t temper the heartbreak when it occurred. Only the Master could do that, and He carried me so lovingly through the experience that it is the one event that bonded me to the Path more than any other. It is no coincidence, of course, that this occurred 6 weeks after my second Initiation.
Sunny working security at the homeless shelter
I feel very blessed that Sunny and I had five months together rebuilding and celebrating our relationship after his 2½ years in prison. He lived at a homeless shelter that had a drug and alcohol program, and would come to spend Sunday afternoons to play cards and share a meal with me. He eventually got kicked out of the shelter, came to stay with me, and I put him to work around the house for about a month. Our last words to each other were, “I love you,” and that has always brought me great comfort.
As always, he had big dreams of getting his life together, going to school, putting his past and the drugs behind him. I know he truly wanted to change, and tried over and over to figure out how, but the power of addiction was more than he could overcome on his own. He had no Higher Power he could turn to, and no way to heal from the wounds of his past.
I’m deeply grateful for the Master’s presence during my son’s time in prison, and those precious five months before he went off the deep end again. I trust that He held Sunny in His hands, and made sure that his soul was delivered to the place where it would benefit the most. He certainly held me in a way that I had never known before.
Here’s the poem that came this spring as I looked back on the experience, and prepared for the anniversaries to come.
The Birth of Faith
You asked me to give You everything.
I gave You my son.
You asked me to rely on You unquestionably
as You delivered the loss.
You made sure I was
as ready as anyone could possibly be,
and then allowed Sunny to finish his story
in absolute perfection.
You taught me to trust
that You were guiding his crossing,
and helping to orchestrate his next story.
You held me
as the emotional body
moved through its shock and anguish.
You revealed to me,
and eventually I perceived,
that emotions are not who I AM.
You gave me a vision so vast
that I could comprehend
only one small fragment at a time.
When I am one with the whole of it,
I will know I am Home.
The vision healed me deeply.
It was the doorway to the next ascent,
and opened my third eye to a degree
that I still strive to live up to.
What lessons did I gain
in this tumultuous journey?
I learned that I had to choose
to rely on You,
to trust that You knew
exactly what I needed
and where I must travel.
I learned that the emotions
that had ruled my life for decades
were not a kind master.
They had led me over and over again
into mistaken conclusions
that would never bring me the happiness
I yearned for so deeply.
I learned that You
orchestrate my life in the perfection of intention
that I cannot yet do for myself.
My willingness to rely on You
I learned that no matter how great the pain–
or the joy–
that every experience is imbued
with the sole purpose
of bringing me closer to You
and my true identity.
at a remarkably profound level
that I am not my emotions,
and that refusing to live that lie any longer
is the only path
to the liberation I long for.
Sunny’s translation was a moment of truth,
that required me to surrender
the assumptions that had shaped my life.
is a deep river within
that I enter often
to honor the birth of faith.
I look back on the dark times,
and see the breathtaking power
of Your love and guidance.
If I can get through the loss of my son
by relying on You,
I know without a doubt
You will walk me through
whatever it takes
to get me Home.
The emotional body cries in relief
that the pain of its struggle
to find my way
♥ ♥ ♥