Category: Truth

The Holy Spirit?

Hey guys–

The Holy Spirit asked if He could get on our blog. Why would I say no?? He was such a big help to me in fighting the devil.

Here’s what he says:

“I’m not sure how I got drug into this novel, but it’s been a hoot! I’ve gotten to wear some hip clothes, play lots of golf, and drink and smoke. On the other hand, I also had an opportunity to help an Earthling, Ariadne, and help Death as she tried to save humans from the stupid devil. I’m not sure how We let someone like him survive all these years, but We did. 

What’s been the most fun? Being able to go back and forth between Heaven and Earth, and in all honesty, not being so bored. We don’t have much going on up here in Heaven. When Arnold Palmer’s spirit gets a hole in one, we all cheer and get extra drinks. Sometimes, God gets a bee in his bonnet and starts a new hobby. We just have to grit our teeth and live through it. Jesus changes his shoes a lot. One day, he’s riding his mountain bike, the next he’s at the bowling alley. We all play golf, so that’s another pair of shoes for Him, of course.

The cool thing: we all have Free Will. You, me, Death, Ariadne, and the devil, unfortunately. But without Free Will, we’d be REALLY bored. Anyway, as I said, I’ve had a good time and I hope you read Kathryn’s book, Deathlist. 

Over and out…

Signed,

H.S.

Ariadne Publicizes the Deathlist on the Internet

Hi. I’d like you to meet Ariadne. She’s the one on the lower left of the book cover. Curly red hair. Yup. And a little surprised. She’s the only character who is not a heavenly being. Or at least she’s the only non-human because the devil is not heavenly. He’s a jerk and hasn’t been in heaven in a long, long, long time. The story was that he was one of the angels but he did something so bad that he was banished from heaven. Don’t you like that word? Banished. It’s so final!

Anyway. Ariadne in the book was named after the mythological character famous for having helped Theseus escape the Minotaur by getting through the labyrinth where Theseus was being held captive. In this 21st-century story, Aridane is a website designer who helps Death with the Deathlist, and at one point actually has lunch at a very expensive restaurant with God. That was a hoot!

 

Ariadne has her faults. (Don’t we all?) She’s on a court order for AA, and she makes some mistakes along the way.  We wonder if we should trust her. But we aren’t sure if there’s anyone we can trust. Not even God, it seems.

I’d like to tell you more, but Death has set up an interview for me. Gotta run. I’ll share some Ariadne stories after I give you the whassup with the Holy Spirit. He’s the one on the right on the cover up there. Yes, he smokes. And plays golf.

They all do. And that’s part of the problem. See ya.

Large Life Lessons from a Small Stupid Splinter

When was the last time you got a splinter? I can’t remember mine, but having spent the better part of the last precious hour I didn’t think I had in trying to remove one, I was blessed with seeing the life messages it presented me.

I used to get splinters all the time when I was little and my dad called them a splinter in your “finner.” I remember mom and I would bend over the dumb thing, almost drooling with concentration.

We were both younger. I could see what I was doing without magnification. Mom celebrated these intimate moments, I think, almost as much as squeezing my blackheads. Funny what you remember.

Mom and I were both determined to remove the splinter. And we fought to wield our weapon of choice. She liked tweezers. I chose a sewing needle. Not a pin. Heavens, no. We used to burn the needle and tweezers to sterilize them back then. I wonder if they had peroxide in those days…?

So many thoughts poured through me and the parallels to our lives kept shoving through my consciousness as I pretty much bullied the thing out of my finger. Blood flooded the gouge. My glasses got fogged over with my hot breath urging the thing out but to no avail. Could I ignore it? Not a chance. It was a battle of wits. A fight to the finish. Good versus evil. My honor was at stake. I was a splinter remover of note, having removed dozens over my young, reckless childhood. Yay for reckless childhoods. Do we even allow those now?

A splinter is a metaphor for life’s challenges. Some people take them head-on, and won’t give up until they’re overcome or removed. Some people put up with them. Letting them fester and get infected. Others don’t want to take on the excruciating pain (you know it’s still in there because it hurts like hell when you touch it) of digging underneath and pushing, pulling, or sucking it out. (I was never successful at that last one). Softening. the skin by soaking.

  • Perseverance
  • Lots of light
  • Magnification
  • Focus
  • Patience
  • Correct tools
  • Eating (I’d skipped breakfast)
  • Managing Pain
  • Relief
  • Satisfaction (I got it, finally)
  • Removal of an offending problem
  • Hurry is a hazard
  • Memories of Mom and Dad
  • Carving time
  • Softening by soaking

I’m not a soften-by-soaking person. nor am I patient. I don’t usually give into little things, but alas, I was felled like Goliath by a tiny David of a sliver.  The episode is over, but its teachings helped me understand more about myself.

Let me know about your last “sliver” and what you did. OR, let me know if you’re David or Goliath. Which one do you want to be?

Love to hear from you.

How Long Have You Got?

It’s your friend Death here again for a friendly chat.

My team and I have been studying you humans for a long time. You. Are. Awesome. Really. We love to be working so closely with you and we know now why God created you all. You’re very entertaining. Never a dull moment with you guys. From inventions to families to wars to art and music, there is not much your kind hasn’t created. Truly. All of us in heaven love to see what each new day brings in the lives of our human friends.

We are mostly interested in the possibility that some of you are not maximizing your time on the Earth. But that begs the question:

How much time have you got? 

What if you only have a week? A month? A decade? What would you do with each of those? How could you ensure that you have fulfilled your purpose? Do you know what that is?

How much time have you got? 

Did you ever listen to a meditation on prioritization? @AndyPuddicombe’s Headspace app suggests that one way to prioritize is to imagine that this was your last day on earth. Is this the best use of your last day? He even says it sounds morbid. But it’s the truth. You do not know when your time is up. As I collect people’s souls and help them through from their mortal selves to their spiritual existence, many people lament their lack of accomplishment. “I ran out of time? Can I have a little more?” they ask. By the time I arrive, it’s too late.

How much time have you got? 

What if you knew? What would you do? Would you finish your symphony? Your painting? Your education? Be a dancer? Take the architecture course you always wanted to take? What? So, let’s say you can find out how much time you have. That won’t be done until the Deathlist is released from Heaven. It will be coming in the next few years. And. You. Will. Know.

What will you do with the time? And, will you believe it? Is the Deathlist right? Will it tell your exact death date? IF it’s wrong, (it’s not) you will have some extra time. If it’s right, you’ll feel like you should have believed it and done what God put you here to do. SO… long way of saying…

Make the most of the time while you’re here. Because for not, You don’t know how much time you’ve got. But you will soon.

Read The Deathlist, by my friend Kathryn Atkins, and you’ll know all about it.

 

 

 

I Am So Done

So’s you’ll know. I didn’t sign up to be Death.

I have NO idea how I was given this crazy job. Seriously. Beyond that, I don’t remember growing up. I don’t remember who my parents are or were. AND, I never applied for this stupid job. Who would?

Here’s the thing. We, that is my team and I, have to attend every human death. Every single one. It’s just the way it’s set up. So, we are not the ones who do the killing. NOR do we arrange it or plan it in any way. I simply help people who are slipping from one plane to the next. From conscious life to the next one. It’s all very meta, but everyone goes through it. Our job is to smooth the way. Make it easier. Help the transition. We listen. A lot. It’s supposed to be a lovely experience. We try, anyway.

But, as I said. I am SO done. It’s a thankless job. I see you staring at the screen right this very minute going, “IS SHE KIDDING?” Yes. YOU. I see you. I see everyone. I’m part of that level of people where I can read minds, know people’s thoughts, and, in general, see through to the real you. THAT’s probably the scariest part. Right!? Here’s the deal though. I don’t judge anyone. It’s not my job, and I just don’t do it. I am not in charge of that.

I’m not happy precisely because we have so many people who are, well, pretty mean to me. We get it. It’s scary, but the other thing is that the circumstances are very often messy. No details are necessary. But also, we have really bad cleanups. Cruise ship accidents. Jetliner crashes. Wars. They’re awful. We get stuck with some really ugly stuff and we haven’t had vacations since human beings began.

So… I’m just telling you now. I’m done being Death. Stay tuned, because you’re not going to believe what happens next. It’s even messier. If I told you, you might not go out and buy the book about it. The book is called The Deathlist and it’s coming soon. In the meantime, check in here and you’ll learn a little bit more about how the Deathlist came to be. How I got this job, and OMG, what the devil does to muck things up. God would never have played so much golf if he knew what the devil was going to do!

When Death Walked the Earth …

… no one recognized her.

Some people thought they saw Death walking the hallways of hospitals during the COVID 19 pandemic. No. She didn’t let people see her, number one. But also, you wouldn’t recognize her. At least, not based on what you think she would look like. She is not a hag or a snaggle tooth with witch-y hair. She’s not a skeleton in a hard hat. No. Death is drop-dead gorgeous, wears designer clothes, always, and likes to work behind the scenes. Or in front of the scenes in plain sight with complete anonymity.

She does not walk anywhere. She is a being, but not. Maybe, you might have seen a well-dressed woman in a waiting room. Or you could have seen her like a shadow in an haute couture magazine. But probably not. Most people wouldn’t know that it was she. Most people think Death looks like a skeleton or some ugly dude. Isn’t it cool to know that’s not the case?

So, not only is Death beautiful, but she’s also actually on our side.  It’s probably hard to believe but Death is really trying to help us.

You’ll learn about her in The Deathlist, my speculative fiction novel coming out soon. I am excited for you to meet her.

I Really Do Like You

I Really Do Like You

It’s hard for a lot of you humans to believe. I get it. You think I’m out to get you.

I am.

And I’m not.

As Death, I have a job to do, which is to collect souls. That said, I do not decide when you pass from here to there, nor do I choose how it happens. What I do help with is the experience of it. My role is to ease you out. Make it a peaceful transition. And, as you will find out, I really do like you.

I must add, too, that I do not decide where you spend your eternity. That one’s on you. If you’ve lived a good life, and the Sin Amalagator Department has collected the number of good points required for Heaven, you come here. If, on the other hand, your points are in the not-so-good categories, you’ll be sent elsewhere. It’s a precise system, and we pride ourselves on fairness and accuracy. Mostly. We’ve had very few errors. Really.

You’re wondering why I’m bothering to talk to you about this. Well, there’s this thing called the Deathlist, and I’m going to be publishing a book about it very soon. You’ll learn all about it and perhaps wonder why you’re not aware of it. First of all, the book hasn’t been released yet! Second, the Deathlist is a future event for you. For us, it’s already come and gone, because time up here  (in Heaven) is fluid.

They’re both coming soon, though. The book and the Deathlist itself. I’d be prepared. And if you’re curious, let me just say that if you are interested in knowing when you’re going to die — so you can get your ___________ (whatever it is) done before you die, you’ll want to read about the Deathlist. I’m sure of it.

~ Over and out from Death (wearing Chanel today. As usual.)

“…I Lie Awake at Night and Ask Why Me?”

Then a voice answers, “Nothing personal, your name just happened to come up.”

These TWO lines are a quote from Charles M. Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strips. 

GOOD STUFF

I had not seen this quote. It stopped me cold because it’s my question too! In the case of Charles Schulz and me, ours were, I think, questions of the things that we had received (his gift for penning and illustrating comic strips, and mine for playing the piano by ear). Or not! Because . . .

NOT-GOOD STUFF

Not-good stuff happens to us that yields the same question— and the reasons for the query change over the decades, years, and months. Heck. “Why Me?” pops into our heads as one freakin’ instant changes the positive to the negative and back again. Whiplash? Yaasss!

THE ANSWER

The answer does not change.

The voice of, I don’t know, someone, says our name just happened to come up. We can look for all kinds of philosophical hoo-haw to explain the unexplainable. But, I think it saves a lot of time to relax into the idea of chance, luck, Karma, or serendipity. Call it what you will, each can be skewed to the positive or negative. And luck, change, or Karma can change on a dime.

Life just is. We don’t know why. It. Just. Is.

Let’s keep going. Let’s see what our name comes up for today.

My Mom Confesses

My Mom Confesses

If you’re a Catholic of a certain age, you remember that in the old days, we had to confess our sins. You might have seen it in the movies, but it was what we really did. You’d go into the church and on one side there was a place where you went in a little door, knelt down in a dark room, and waited for the priest to slide the little door that separated him from you. You confessed your heinous sins to the gauzy outline of a man who looked like the pope or something. It was weird and sometimes you wondered what he had for lunch.

So what did I confess? I like, might have said a bad word. Like shoot. (I was little.) Or had a “bad” thought (like wanting to stay home from church). Or if you ate meat on Friday. Or you forgot to say your prayers one night, those were sins. For me, I didn’t have a lot to confess, but we were supposed to go at least once a month. I think more devout Catholics were supposed to go once a week. I’m not sure. Did the nuns go every day?

ANYWAY, my mom was a “convenient” Catholic. Her strategy was to find the priests that gave her the least number of Our Fathers and Hail Mary’s to say as penance and go on their day in the confessional box. She especially liked the priests who said, “Oh, that’s not a big sin, really. In fact, let’s not call it a sin this time. Try to do better next time.” Like a speeding ticket warning or something.

Sometimes, there was a substitute in the confessional, and she’d get a hard priest. “That’s terrible. Say 50 Our Father’s and 50 Hail Mary’s.” My mom felt horrible. Then he’d say, “Now, go in peace, my child.”

“Go in peace?” she might have said. “I might just go to hell if I don’t say these in time!” My mother would be a wreck. But then she didn’t have a lot to confess anyway. Just yelling at us kids for something or other. And that was okay. We probably deserved it.

It was fun seeing how my mom “interpreted” Catholicism. She was pretty practical. And I’m sure she’s in heaven now. She was a great mom, even if she thought confessing would get her into heaven. I don’t know. I’ll have to ask her if I ever get there. It will be great to see her again.

Thirty-Four Weeks

Life Balloons

We are early by six weeks. S/he (because they chose not to find out) and I are together in this. S/he and my son and his wife. We are all together, beating hearts to give strength to this new soul. To the four souls, six souls, eight, twelve, billions of souls that contributed to make this little life a life.

Birth. It must be soon. And the struggle to live begins.

We are waiting to hear. My heart beats with the baby’s. My heart murmurs, yes! Yes. YES. You can do this.

It will be stronger, we’d like to say. We will be stronger, ‘they’ say.

But dang!

Just yesterday, we did not know of this. Today we do. Today, we have a new reality. Thinks change. Then, they change again. We never know when we wake up in the morning what the day has for us. Today, it wants prayer. Beating heart prayer.

Be strong, little one.
Bring in your best self,
New as you are,
For your mom and dad.
We’re all here to help you
Be well.
Be.