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I came across this performance as I was looking for some enlightened views on breaking down the stereotypes that black people face in our country.
If you would like to follow Ernestine, this is her website
I remember my first argument in defense of race. I was 12 and my big scary racist step-dad was probably in his late 30’s or early 40’s. I did not allow his remarks to go un-chatised. I have believed my entire life that we are all humans and I will stand against using race as a tool to divide us.
What I would like to highlight and speak out about is that black people have a completely different experience on a daily basis than whites do in this country. It is not one that a white person would enjoy experiencing. But, many of us will ignore it because we are not truly aware and it is not happening to us or the people we love. In being unaware, a lot of folks will choose to say things like, “slavery was abolished over 100 years ago” as if the next day all rights and dignities were restored to black people and they could fully participate in our democracy and in the privileges the rest of us have.
As long as a majority of us refuse to acknowledge that even to this day in our country blacks are subjected to a different set of rules and privileges than whites are, we will be divided by race no matter how small or large the breach is between individuals.
After my son Levi died I was understandably devastated. As I watched other people begin to go back to their normal lives I got angry and sad. I just wanted to scream, “My son is gone! How can you just go about your day?” After […]
I can never explain to you the devastation I felt when my son Levi left this world. And, that’s not what I intend to talk about today. I have a different message to share with you, and I hope it helps you with a loss that you might be suffering through.
Levi has been able to communicate with me and his sister and friends, but before you write me off as as a kook, read just a little more and check out this Ted Talk by Dr. Christopher Kerr or this one by Dr. Thomas Fleishmann and this one by death researcher Martha Atkins. You may be quite surprised, and then you might be touched with a new understanding and belief that there is life after death.
The first time that I knew he was present was very soon after he left. I was sitting on the couch, crying, texting a friend, feeling absolutely decimated. The table was full of the plants and flowers that had been sent, my laptop, some dishes etc. The point is that the table was covered with stuff. I had been holding a white stone that a friend had given me after he passed and then I just set it on the edge of the table and said, “Levi, if you are here I need you to move this stone”. I went back to texting my friend. Then, Levi’s cat who was asleep on the back of the couch, woke up came down and stretched her two front paws across to the coffee table and knocked the white stone onto the floor. She then jumped to the floor and just moved it back and forth.
Yeah, I hear you. That’s a great coincidence. Well, she has never done anything like it before or since. She just doesn’t play with things… or people.
I started to cry harder in that moment, just knowing he really was there. It illuminated the truth that he was gone from this world.
Over the last 4 years there have been many many messages and I will share them with you too, but for now I want to share a message that came through recently. It has helped me turn the corner on this grief. And, while I still hurt, I can feel a release knowing that all these messages over the years are real, that there is another existence and that he is very happy where he is.
I was driving home one night and hurting over him. I said out loud, “Levi, if I truly knew you were happy, I could do this better”. The next day his friend Melissa called me and said, “I had a dream that Levi and Shiloh (another of their friends on the other side) came to visit me. We were all riding seahorses. But, right before Levi was going to go back, I saw his face so clear and he was so happy, I can’t even describe how happy he looked. It’s not like anything we experience here.
No one knew what I had said to Levi in the car the night before. So, true to my word I am consciously choosing to do this life better, to handle the grief better and to allow myself to be present to the experiences I am still supposed to have in this lifetime.
This message had a profound effect on my state within this grief. I knew in that moment that the messages I have been receiving are real. He exists in that other space and he is happy. I can feel myself releasing a lot of the suffering I have been doing. It will always hurt that he left this world but there is a difference between hurting and suffering. I can now hurt for the loss of his physical presence and still be present to all the life I am supposed to experience still.
Knowing he exists, knowing he knows how I feel, knowing he wants me to finish this life has made me acutely aware of the work that needs to be done to help others who are still suffering in the loss of their loved ones.
Currently I am working on a book, speaker series and a membership website to help people make peace with their loved one’s transition to that other space. Please let me know if you have any stories to share, ideas about how people can deal with their loss or questions for how you can better deal with a loss.