Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

Underestimating Who is There

Today I started out to write about the wonderful, mystical people who don’t process information just like everyone else.  Often our world doesn’t appreciate them and can even call them crazy and fill them with drugs.  I’ve known (and know) several, all of whom possessed deep, unique intelligence but were most important for their huge, loving hearts.  They were particularly bright stars in my universe.

This week one who enriched my life left physical existence—not necessarily of her own accord, but because of a horrific car accident.  And so, here I am writing about death and loss and what comes after—plus what it means to be.Jilly2014

I once apologized to Jilly Gwin for underestimating her.  She liked that.  People underestimated her a lot because she didn’t fit common expectations.  Her life was crowded with sharp edges and dark shadows, but a teacher had once convinced her she was worthwhile.  (Yes, that’s the kind of magic we should be paying teachers to perform.)  And so, Jilly wandered through her life, looking for love and enlightenment.  She was determined to help, although her efforts weren’t always appreciated, and she was often used.  If someone loved her, she would forgive anything.

Luckily for me, I was reading DYING TO BE ME when I received the news about Jilly.  DYING TO BE ME is an autobiographical account by a young woman who was born into a Hindu Indian family, raised by a Chinese nanny in Hong Kong, and educated in British Christian schools.  She wasn’t a “normal” Indian woman in that she wanted more than to obediently create nice meals for a husband and children.  Eventually, she was introduced to a young Indian man whose background was roughly as diverse as her own—a man who felt like her soul match, and they married in joy.

Anita Moorjani suffered from two damaging fears: displeasing those she loved and cancer.  Her book relays her experience as she descended into a terminal state and left her failing body on a hospital bed.  She expanded beyond her physical self and realized she could choose to leave her body permanently.  She explains her near death experience (NDE) in detailed but clear, simple terms—devoid of sentimentality or any religious agenda.  She didn’t want to return to this life (a reality her doctors described as a miracle), but she did in order to share the insights she had gained.

The main insight Moorjani shares in her book is that each of us is a piece of the love that is the driving force of our universe.  When we truly love and express our authentic selves, we’re free to send unconditional love out to those around us.  When I read about Moorjani’s experience, I knew Jilly had worked hard to comprehend the bright light she could feel within herself.  I knew she had found the unconditional love she had always believed awaited her.

Jilly helped me write my novel Death Lost Dominion—reading and re-reading, making suggestions, encouraging.  It’s a book written from deep within me, and it made me “come out” as a more dimensional, controversial person than I had previously chosen to reveal.  In her way, Jilly reminded me to be myself.  If Moorjani’s understanding is accurate, Jilly may have helped save my life.  I repaid her by loving her—just the way she is.

“One minute she was there, a sigh, and she was gone.  A body lay in her place.  Instantly the world inside the apartment flew off-balance, one soul removed.”

                                                                                                      (Death Lost Dominion)

6 comments on “Underestimating Who is There

  1. Frances Sullivan
    October 31, 2015

    Beautiful. Every single word. Thank you.

    November 1, 2015

    Just beautiful…I dare bet that Jilly is more than pleased right now Annelies

  3. Chelo Diaz-Ludden
    November 7, 2015

    I’m sorry I did get a chance to know her better.

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