Welcome back, my friends. Today we begin a 3-part series on Life Plans.
About 9 years ago, I was introduced to the concept that I wrote my own life plan before coming down to the Earth plane as Renee Buck. I still remember the emotional impact of that understanding—so profound, and yet it answered so many of the questions on the nature and purpose of life and death that had been gathering since childhood like dust in a dark corner of my mind.
Of course I would be the architect of my own experience! Of course I would coordinate the karmic debts or credits and particulars of my greatest life lessons! Of course I would choose certain souls for certain roles, for who knew better than I what I needed for my soul to progress toward greater enlightenment? It just made so much sense. Suddenly I was looking at every life experience in a new light. No more “Woe is me; why does this keep happening?” but rather, “What have I learned from that experience or relationship that can make me a better person? What was the point of it?” I just leaped right out of the pity party and into the classroom, which was exactly where I needed to be. Exactly where we all need to be.
Earth is a classroom. Everyone you meet is a potential teacher. Every incident is a learning opportunity. Every lesson learned is one step closer to becoming the person you’re meant to be, and a more evolved soul in the process.
This understanding allowed me to finally put to rest the idea that “God’s plan” would or could result in inexplicable hardship, horrific pain, or endless terror to any soul on Earth. As a child, I rejected the explanation of “God’s Plan” for the death of my siblings, and any other bad thing that happened in the world. I knew God to be good, not cruel, not heartless in his/her actions. Growing up, I favored the “random accident” explanation for bad things that happened, and attributed all other action to man’s free will. The concept of pre-destiny had no place in my life. With my new understanding, however, I was able to see that random accidents, free will, and “God’s Plan” by themselves, are all faulty explanations due to the limited scope of each. If this sounds like a simplistic version of the religious arguments of the Catholics and Protestant Reformers during The Reformation of the 1500’s, you’d be right. My great frustration was that no single answer was sufficient, and thus my lifelong spiritual quest beyond the limiting dogma and philosophies of Christianity.
The Spring of 2002 was the first time a Spirit Medium, Nancy Strickland, brought me a message from the Other Side. It was from my brother Merle, who died at age 14, when I was just 12—in what my family always considered a “mysterious accident.” Before I tell you the story, let me take you back in time to the circumstances leading up to Merle’s death.
We lived in a rented farmhouse at the time. The farm sat on the opposite side of a country highway from the small town of Searles, Minnesota. Merle’s 14th birthday was on August 24, 1971, and the only thing he wanted was a motorcycle. And he got it—a small blue 50cc motorbike. Mom and Dad paid for half, and Merle paid for the other half from his summer job. He was so proud of that bike and was on it every possible moment, until…
About a week after his birthday, Merle had come home from riding the paths on the nearby river bluffs. He was visibly shaken, and proceeded to tell me and my sisters about “something unseen trying to pull him over the bluff to the rocks below.” He said that at one point, he was “teetering over the edge, but fought his way back.” Merle, the daredevil of the family, was clearly spooked by the incident, and his bike sat untouched for several days.
Fast forward now to September 8th of the same year. Merle had just come home from school. It was about 4:00 pm, and he volunteered to pick up our younger brother, Jim, from the babysitter in Searles. Rather than walking into Searles from the bus stop at the end of the driveway, and walking home again, Merle decided to get his motorbike and surprise little Jim, who loved to go with Merle on rides around the farm. Merle left the house on his motorbike holding his helmet rather than wearing it, because he only had one helmet and was apparently planning to put it on young Jim. Although Merle had at least a half mile visibility in each direction before crossing the highway, he inexplicably drove his small motorbike out in front of an oncoming car going 65 mph. The driver never saw him; Merle didn’t have a chance. He died later that night of trauma to the brain.
Back to 2002: After validating Merle’s presence through an amazingly accurate description of his age, build, hair and the
blue motorbike on which he died due to “mysterious circumstances,” Nancy relayed the following message from Merle: “I know how hard it was on the family when I died. It’s always more difficult to accept the death of a child. But I want you and the family to understand that it was my choice to leave at that time. I had completed what I needed to do, and it was time for me to leave. So please, tell Mom I love her, and don’t let her hold any more guilt about it, ok?” Needless to say, I was blown away by that first contact from Merle after all those years, and any skepticism I still held for the work of the medium was washed away in a matter of moments. The only part I didn’t understand was regarding my mother’s guilt.
I called my mother on the phone later that day and relayed the amazing message from Merle. I asked her if she felt guilt about it, and why, and Mom immediately broke into tears and explained her anguish over his death. She had fought our father for months on the decision to allow Merle a motorbike, because he was so accident prone. Indeed, less than a year earlier he’d nearly killed himself in a snowmobile accident. Regardless, with Dad and Merle both putting on the pressure, she finally gave in, and Merle got the bike. She described how she used to say to herself over and over again after his death, “If only I’d held out. If only I’d refused that bike, he’d still be with us.” We cried together on the phone. To know that my mother held that guilt for all those years was a tragedy in itself. But through Merle’s loving message, a tremendous healing was made possible, and the decades-long burden was relieved. All my mother needed to understand was that it was Merle’s choice, or perhaps more accurately said, the choice of Merle’s Soul to die at that time, in that way. She had simply acted according to plan, her plan, and undoubtedly according to her sacred contract with Merle before they both began their lives on Earth.
We, as individuals, choose the circumstances of our birth, our life here, and our deaths (with some exceptions). God, however defined, provides us this amazing Earth, rich in resources and opportunities—all that we need to survive. God also enables us with Free Will, which is always with us, on Earth and on the Other Side.
I recently received an email from Diane, a client of mine, who told me the story of her beloved Charles, which again clearly articulates the Soul’s choice as to when and how death on Earth, and rebirth on the Other Side, will occur. Charles was clearly a very spiritual man. During his life, he studied Eastern philosophies, pursued martial arts, understood what Karma was all about, and took good care of himself.
On the morning of 9/11, at the very moment that the towers were being toppled, Charles was undergoing triple by-pass heart surgery just 20 miles away. He suffered from a condition that clogged his arteries with cholesterol at rates much higher than in the average person. In the recovery room, after the surgery, he died due a reaction to the anesthesia. Charles saw himself rising out of his body. He heard what the doctors and nurses were saying to each other. As he turned away from them, he saw a beautiful white light, and moved instinctively toward it. Greeting him there in the light, was his mother who’d passed into Spirit the year before. She said to him, “Charles, it’s not your time yet. You need to go back.” And so, always the obedient son, he turned back to his body, and before he knew it, was waking up to see a nurse in the recovery room. He would live to tell the story of his near-death experience, and to understand that his Mother was alive in Spirit and still watching out for him.
You see, it wasn’t Charles’ time. He had more to accomplish in this lifetime on Earth. He would pass into Spirit according to plan, and dying on 9/11 in a hospital recovery room was not the plan.
A few years later, Charles was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He refused surgery until he’d exhausted every other possible means of healing. He did his own research and discovered the positive connection between the acidic body and cancer growth. Charles worked very hard at modifying his diet to include plenty of alkaline foods (like fresh vegetables and fruits, salads, fish, alkaline grains, etc.) He cut back on acidic foods (like red meats, dairy, sugars and simple starches) to enhance the alkalinity. In time, his body tissue became slightly alkaline, which is the state of being that we all need to attain in order to stay healthy—a state in which most cancers cannot thrive. His now alkaline body refused to let the cancer grow, and in time, he starved the cancer that was already there. At his next checkup, only the doctors were surprised to find that cancer was gone. Charles was not going to die of prostate cancer. It wasn’t the plan. Rather, the plan called for learning how to cure his cancer, and in doing so to inspire and motivate others who suffer from the disease.
Shortly after the cancer free diagnosis, Charles said to Diane, “I knew I wouldn’t die of cancer. If anything kills me, it will be my heart.” Charles was correct about that: within months, he died of a massive heart attack. It reads like a Greek tragedy: Just in the wake of victory, the hero is slain. Tragic indeed, and my heart goes out to all those who knew him and loved him, and miss him still here on the Earth plane. Such a beautiful Spirit he is! (I know this because he came through during a reading earlier this week, and I experienced his loving energy.)
But again, what can we take from this story? When it’s our time, it’s our time, and when it’s not, it’s not. We take some comfort in knowing, however, that it will be according to our own plan, and according to our agreements with others to depart at a particular point in time, in a particular manner. In each death, there is a learning opportunity for those left behind. Sometimes, as in my case, a lifelong spiritual quest is born. For some, it’s a wake-up call to live the life we’re meant to, to repair existing relationships before it’s too late, or simply to take better care of ourselves. For many, it’s a renewal of the understanding that life goes on and that love is eternal.
What have you learned about yourself in the wake of a loved one’s death? And have you put that learning to good use?
Are there exceptions to this rule? Do we always die as we planned? There are exceptions, because free will exists for everyone. We can’t always control the actions of others, and not everyone stays on the life path they set for themselves. But this, my friends, is a discussion for another day.
Do you have an experience to share, that sheds light on this topic? If so, please do so in the comment box below. And thanks for sharing!
In Love and Light ~ Renee Buck
Stay tuned for Life Plan: Part II — Soul Agreements and Karma