TEACHINGS OF DEATH

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This was written to comfort your loss on the true value and nature of Death.


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"It's not that I'm afraid to die," wrote American comedian Woody Allen, "I just don't want to be there when it happens." Death is the great equilizer. No matter what our station in life, no one has power over the day of his or her death.

Sooner or later, heartache comes to all of us. Each of us will walk through the valley of grief. “Broken hearts” are a fact of life. Something hurts. Deep ties have been severed. You have been wounded by your loss. Deep emotion swells up. You need to deal with it, but don’t know how . . . You know it with your mind, but your heart still pains and suffers.

It is natural to grieve. Don't hold back. Let the heart express its sadness and sorrow much as the wolf or coyote howls into the wind. I hope you will find the rest of these parts on death as expanding your awareness, comforting and healing. But above all, let the heart cry out and the tears flow until you finally reach acceptance of the death of a loved one experience, and know that it is time to move on knowing what Chief Seattle said so eloguently: "There is no death, only a change of worlds."

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Grief is a journey, a pilgrimage—something we pass through. It takes time to make the pilgrimage, because we must pass through certain stages along the way. Grief is the by-product of love. It is the Creator that touches us in so many ways to heal where it hurts. The Creator heals through time.

What we must know is that the Creator is on both sides of the grave. Death is not really death at all. It is a movement from one dimension of life with the Creator to a deeper dimension of life with the Creator. It is an awful thing to be caught in a crisis and not know how to handle it. Expect a letdown, but watch out for those guilt feelings. Don’t blame yourself. Don’t blame anybody. Guilt feelings make us look for scapegoats. We may blame it on God or someone else, or even ourselves.

When someone dies, one of our first reactions is to be angry with the Creator for taking the person from us. We feel the abandonment and are filled with sadness, sorrow, and anger. We are perplexed because we demand answers as to why this has happened. Not having any, we blame the Creator and vent our negative feelings to the Great Spirit in human frustration. We can get over our anger by remembering...

Death comes to all people, all things. Sorrow and love go hand in hand. Mourning is the by-product of love, and therefore, when someone close to you dies, it is important to pass on your loved one’s best qualities. When you lose someone you love, the best way to express your love for that person is to pass on his or her influence—to take up and live your loved one’s best qualities, keep them alive.

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When someone you love dies, remember the meaning of life; remember that life is too short for bitterness and wrong priorities. Whether we live or die, we belong to The Creator, and nothing can separate us from The Creator—not even death. Death is the entrance into a new and larger dimension of life with The Creator. All we need to know is that The Creator is there.

High Eagle Wisdom

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Often, what we need most when we are hurt is a sympathetic ear—someone who cares enough to listen, encourage, support and affirm. What people need in sorrow is a good listener.

So I say, “Tell me what happened. Let’s reminisce together about your loved one. Let’s remember together his or her best qualities.

Our duty is to find the strength and courage to meet life with steady eyes. When hurt, crying is not weakness or selfishness. It’s normal. It’s The Creator’s cleansing gift—a healthy way to express painful feelings. Remember that The Creator loves us and will bring us through the valley to the mountaintop on the other side. The Creator says to us, “In case of a sudden death, in case of a broken heart, remember that I love you . . . and I will see you through!

When we know and understand completely that out time on Earth is limited and that we have no way of knowing when it will be over, then we must live each day as if it were the only one we have.

High Eagle Wisdom

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Others and I have had the same perplexing questions that are never answered . . .

Why?
Why do good people suffer?
How do you mend a broken heart?
Does The Creator bring healing?
Why did this have to happen?
How do we handle the demoralizing experiences of life?
How do we make it through the lonesome valley of the shadow?
How do we grieve productively and suffer creatively?
How do we deal with the emotional and spiritual pain that accompanies a broken heart?
Why does The Creator permit such things to happen?
Has The Creator forsaken us?
Doesn’t The Creator care?
It’s just not fair, The Creator!

Truthfully, even the wisest person in the world cannot answer the question completely. Why? Out of frustration, we sometimes we deny the reality of the terrible thing that has happened to us; or we deny the reality of grief. These emotions need to be expressed, or they will fester within and poison our soul.

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Sometimes we also suffer because we live in a world of risky relationships. We know that almost every joy in life involves the element of risk. We love another person accepting the risk of love; accepting the risk that he or she may also die and abandon us. Should we not love for the fear of abandonment? Is the risk of loving too great for us? Is the consequence of loving too overpowering that we cannot accept the risk of suffering that accompanies the abandonment? Only we individually can ask answer for ourselves.

We are relational people. The Creator made us so that we are not merely separate, isolated individuals, but are woven together by loyalty, love, mutual need, and interdependence into homes, friendships, communities, businesses, churches and nations. This fact of ‘inescapable fellowship” is the source of our greatest joy—and our deepest hurts!

The uncertainty of life points up what this should teach us. We know that almost every joy in life involves the element of risk. If I choose to love you, I am running the risk that you may reject me and break my heart, but love is worth the risk.

If you make a new friend, you run the risk that your friend may be false to you; but friendship is worth the risk.

If you have children, you run the risk that they may cause you heartache and sleepless nights; but children are worth the risk.

Risky relationships are woven into the very fabric of life. The more deeply we love, the more deeply we can be hurt. Much of the suffering in our world comes from these risky relationships between persons and groups and nations. And yes, we would not want to miss out on the joys of love because we are afraid of being hurt. It’s worth risk!

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We suffer because we live in a world that gives us freedom of choice. The Creator did not make us helpless puppets, dangling from strings. The Creator gave us free will—freedom to choose our own way. Sometimes we make wrong choices, bringing suffering on others and ourselves.

Our greatest gift in life is the gift of freedom, and my, how we have misused it! So much of the suffering in the world comes from the ignorant or wicked or confused or selfish misuse of our freedom, our free will.

We are not alone. The Creator is with us, enabling us to suffer creatively; enabling us to turn our defeats into victories and our sorrows into triumphs. We can trust The Creator. We don’t have to be afraid because nothing can separate us from The Creator and The Creator’s love.

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Grace is undeserved love. It is a gift freely given.
Grace is unconditional love. True love has no conditions, no strings attached.
Grace is love that will not waver, love that will not bend.
Grace is love that says,
“There is nothing and no one in all the world that can stop me from loving you.”
Grace is unending love.
Grace is unselfish love.
Grace is only self-giving love.
Grace is the unmerited love and favor of The Creator toward man.
Grace—the loving arms that are always available.

It is The Creator’s gracious love that supports us when we have nowhere else to turn.
It is The Creator’s incredible grace that sustains us when we are at the end of our rope, and have lost all hope.
It is The Creator’s grace that, in time, can bring the healing we so desperately need when our hearts are crushed.

Yes, grief hurts, but grace heals. When death or broken hearts from broken relationships with those we love or have loved confront us, the secret of life is how to use our circumstances rather than be paralyzed by them. We don’t have to be victims of our pride. To live, to really live, we have to die to some things, and one of the things we have to die to is ride. Only then can we be reborn as The Creator’s servants. Pride keeps us from grace.

We don’t have to be victims of our circumstances. We don’t have to be imprisoned or enslaved by any situation. We can, with the help of The Creator, rise above adversity. We don’t have to be victims of death. When death comes, we have The Creator who is the Lord of the living and the dead; The Creator who is on both sides of the grave; The Creator who is our best friend. When we believe it, it sets us free. It resurrects us. It raises us above our circumstances, above our pride, and yes, even above and beyond death.

If you remember only a few things after reading this message on death, it is my hope that this will always be remembered: Never, NEVER, take your loved ones for granted that they will always be there. They may not. So live as if this is the last day of their lives . . . or YOUR LIFE! Tell them and show them your love, and always be reminded that the two letters in the middle of the word "life" are "if". Life is no guarantee.

Don't be remiss for someone close to die and you didn't take the opportunity beforehand to express your love to them. Do not live with this kind of regret as it may haunt you the rest of your life. Live as if it is the last day, the last hour of your life. And may you be at peace and comforted in love and your acceptance of this major life event: death. Should we not celebrate death just as we are joyous and celebrate birth?

I AM STANDING UPON THE SEASHORE.
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.
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 is gone!"
"Gone where?"
"Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and she is just as able to bear her
load of living freight
to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her."

And just at the moment when someone at my side says:
"There, she is 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 . . .

[Author is an unknown Episcopalian priest]

J.C. High Eagle's Personal Message . . .

"One moment we are filled with life,
the next moment we are not,
and we know not when or where.
So we strive to live to make our mark
in the annuals of time.

For whatever difference we have made,
let us not judge the difference;
but only acknowledge that we have
surely lived."

And now,
May the Great Spirit give you strength to face the wrong things,
May the Great Spirit bless you always,
May the Great Spiri6t help you to reap the abundant harvest of love,
May the music of life come to you,
May the dark give you nothing to fear,
May the sun shine warmly upon you,

May the Great Master-of-all-high-places, the One of many names,
touch you with a breath that keeps you strong for all the days to come.
May you feel the joy of stillness,
May you wander with Mother Earth as your friend
and never feel abandoned by your loss
for you are never alone.

May you find the treasure of twilight
enriched by the Creator's love and passion for you,
May only good favor and generosity touch you,
It is only what you deserve. . .

Many blessings to you, my friend! And may your life be long as the evergreen and the sequoyah tree, and as wise as the owl that perches among them.

These are some of the Teachings of DEATH uncovered in my journey path. So live, too, your life in a way that you may discover the rest! Keep in harmony with the seasons and remember all you have learned. Aho! . . . I have spoken.

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