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I have sat for hours wondering about the cycle that our lives go through — the many lifetimes we experience in this lifetime. Who we have been and who we have become.

As is sit on the front steps, I follow the squirrels chasing around gathering nuts and seeds. Some are now quite plump. I guess the peanuts I had been feeding them have helped. My attention, though, has been on the trees: how some leaves change early, and some change later. Right now, the last of the leaves have fallen and I ponder how this has related to death.

My cousin passed recently, unexpectedly from a fall. Brain damage went undetected for a few days, then she just was gone. I knew when she passed. Several dragonflies floated onto my face. A connection was gone. How hard it is to have a friend or family member disappear from your life. Tears form and a heartache grows within me.

Over the year, she and I talked about spirituality and her intuition. It runs in our family. She was so eager to learn about chakras and auras and being a little psychic. We spent hours and hours on the phone, and different topics — including death — seemed to come up often, along with family matters that we shared.

I am a self-professing Spiritual Being, and life as we know it is just an existence to be a physical vessel for the Soul. We shared our experiences in learning and offered thoughts on our lives — where we go, what we do and what decisions we’ve made to get where we are.

Grief isn’t always about loss of a loved one. There is always a hidden gift. Sometimes we need to look very deep inside ourselves to find the gift, but it is there.

At the memorial service for my cousin, I listened to the pastors recall personal moments they shared with her. She was truly a seeker with regard to her beliefs. I listened to her children share their grief in letters they had written to her to say goodbye. When they finished, others were invited to share. The silence contained the fears of people, afraid to speak from their hearts. I stood up and said to the gathering, “We are not here to mourn for the loss of a mother, cousin or friend. We are here to celebrate her life. Her caring and accomplishments expressed who she was and we take this time to honor her. We all have memories that are special to us, and to us only. They are each a piece of her Soul that will live within us. We carry her with us as we do with all those who we know have passed before us.”

I know she is still with me. I sense her laughter in my ear, her smile in my heart. It seems to clarify the day. I step forward into my life, holding her closer than before. I don’t have to call — I just have to smile.

The sun’s passion for us here in the Midwest gets hidden by the late-season changes. Temperature drops, cool winds, fall rain and a wink of snow hits us in October and November. I just heard the other day that when the sun sets at 5 p.m., it will be 67 days before it sets at that time again. Ouch.

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John Peterson, aka Psy-Guy, is a Soul Messenger, Psychic and Hypnotherapist.

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