When my father died, I gave his eulogy. It started as a journey in my sleepless mind as he was passing. I began thinking of all the things I could say about him. Random images of experiences with him, stories about him and flashes of memory floated through my semi-conscious sleep state. The mourning set in, the deep sadness. I was wracked with sobs as the depth of my loss hit me like a powerful gust of wind knocking me off my footing.
In classic fashion the next part of the journey was to follow memory lane though a jumbled mishmash of photos – how do I make sense of this man through the memories evoked by all these images. So many feelings, experiences, lessons, disappointments, and triumphs that made up the complexity of his life and mine. My own journey, at times intricately entwined with his were the only real truths I knew about him. I began to see the many moments of his life that were completely separate from mine, pockets of mystery in his life that made him the complex, powerful, charming man, that were never to be unraveled, just glimpsed through comments, and stories of others who knew those pockets of wisdom.
My father had Natural Number 8, as a girl I didn’t understand the difference in how he approached life and how I did. As I reflect back now I see the overriding impulse in my early years was to avoid disappointing my Dad. Disappointment for people of Natural Number 8 can trigger many other emotions that express outwardly as strong disapproval. As the receiver of the energy of that disappointment I learned the best thing was to always do my best, and at that age my best was defined as not disappointing my Dad.
In the middle of this journey eulogizing Dad, his writing surfaced, images and words that he had documented throughout his life, revealing parts of his personal struggle, his search for meaning, his views on the world and his family. Again, more insight into the complexity, magic and mystery of my father. Some of it I knew was there, through the energetic dissatisfaction, struggle and drive, the things that came through in action and incitement. “Sue, you must become something of merit, of value.” Some of it came through him in his moments of struggle against life. Some came through in the moments of vulnerability – places where he thought he had failed, but had actually crossed to a new level of awareness.
When I discovered my Natural Number 6 in 2002, and then had my father Identified in 2003, it shifted everything in our relationship. I began to understand where he came from, what his action meant, and how I could be myself independently from him and still have his support. In my mid-thirties I chose a different road, my own road, and he was able to support it without disappointment.
As I crafted my discoveries for the Eulogy into sequence as best I could to understand the key changing points in his life, I began to uncover the significant events that created this powerful and gentle, crazy and brilliant, loving and aloof, man. How I had wanted him to love me when I was young! I realized how deeply he did love me now that I am here at this moment.
So what are the life lessons I take from this incredible journey through the life and death of James Van Horn?
- Our lives are so much more complex, and we are so much more powerful and beautiful than we realize. No single person can ever understand the wholeness of us – that is something only we can do for ourselves. Learning a person’s Natural Number can open you to their gifts, allow you to honor their being and connect more deeply
- Our spirits are huge, immense beings of floating sparkly beautiful energy – it is only in the space of where our energies connect that we can know the essence of another person. This is the most pure and magical experience possible for us as human beings. My Body of 9 practices have shown me how to use my body to be with others at this spirit level. I feel honored to be able to know my Dad at this level
- I think this is what presence is – being so connected to your spiritual body through your physical body that you can feel the spiritual body of another through their body. There are many definitions of Presence. Each Natural Number has a different sense of what the state of presence is – 9 versions. For my Dad it was being fully aware of what his body was telling him. When I was a little girl he would walk me through a meditation that involved starting at the toes and working through all parts of the body up to the head focusing intently on each part of the body. As a Natural Number 6 this drove me nuts, but it did make me more aware of my body. For me as a Natural Number 6, I live in the present moment, especially when activated. The physical act of creating the activation of my own or another Natural Number in my body creates a new sensation of presence and awareness – each accessing a different and unique state.
These moments of spirit level connection are fleeting. I think we all long to experience the majesty of who we are in this state. So much of day-to-day life blinds us from this possibility, obscuring the path toward deep connection.
I forgive you Dad for all the things that you did to obscure this path and thank you for all the things you did to open me to see it, feel it and know its relevance and importance. We are here, spirit embodied, with the possibility to create magic and explore the realm of the spiritual through the physical. To look upon this life as a miraculous opportunity to explore enables us to hold our perspective open and clear enough to be able to see newness, beauty, magic. Everything about our human experience is an exploration. Thank you, Dad for opening my eyes to the possibility of the freedom that comes when my spirit leads, the freedom to see and escape from unspoken and unnamed contracts and beliefs, the freedom to feel and experience life, and not to be a prisoner of it.
I realized that I have been holding onto our physical relationship, how I knew you in the physical world. This death, dying and eulogizing process has lead me to begin to know you as a cosmic spiritual being. I can now have a relationship from my spirit to yours. I mourn the physical, the hugs, the touch of your hand, the words of love and support. I cherish our new relationship where our souls are truly one, touching through the energy of spirit, this I will never lose. It can be obscured, but not lost. I will love you forever.
James Van Horn (November 20, 1931 – March 20, 2019). My father passed on the Spring Equinox as winter left us and spring began, how fitting, completely aligned with the natural rhythms of nature, creating space for new creation. He knew his body was ready to be done and went out with beauty and honor.
By Susan Fisher