I got an email this morning telling me that a friend in Oregon had just passed away.

It wasn't a surprise. I knew that Bethany's loving husband, Michael, and devoted friends had been steadfastly caring for her, mostly at home, since her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer two months ago. The diagnosis had come too late for treatment.

At the time I heard about the cancer, I had mostly lost touch with Bethany. We hadn't talked or seen each other in years, but I knew she and Michael had moved from my tiny town in California to a tinier town in Oregon, one I had noticed on the map but never visited.

Then one weekend two months ago, I was thinking of her as I packed for a camping vacation I was about to take in Oregon, not far from her town.

My plan was that after driving all day--and before pitching my tent in the forested, high mountain terrain I love so much--I would be spending the first night in comparative luxury. I had been promised a comfy bed in the guest house of the Oregonian sister and brother-in-law of a woman I had come to know here by walking our dogs in the same park most mornings.

I was thinking about Bethany because the couple I would be staying with just happened to live in her town. As I searched for tent poles and my down jacket, I wondered if I should phone her about maybe getting together when I arrived the next day.

But I didn't have to make the decision. As I was about to find out how much of my camping gear could safely be forced into my car, the phone rang. It was Michael calling with the news of Bethany's diagnosis.

"Tell her I'll be there tomorrow," I said, "I'm almost packed."

I explained to Michael about my vacation, and we were both awestruck at the synchronicity: We hadn't spoken in years, and I had never been to their town, but I was scheduled to arrive the next day. As we kept talking we also discovered that from walking their dog at the park in their town, they knew the couple I would be staying with.

Such a small world. It makes you stop and think.

Just how connected are we?

Is it possible to ever really "lose touch" with anyone?

Do our lives move in hidden orchestration with everyone in our past, present, and future?

Do our lives move in hidden orchestration with everyone and everything, everywhere, known to us and unknown??

When I got there, Bethany was beautiful, radiant, and very weak. I curled next to her on the couch, eagerly listening to anything and everything she wanted to say. She told me of the shock of being diagnosed only days earlier and spoke in positive, optimistic terms about a future that included healing.

But through it all, I could hear in her voice that her energy was already in retreat, as though deep within she was packing for a trip, too.

On my way back from camping, I stopped to see Bethany again. This time she lay in bed while her friend, Louise, and I talked quietly with her and then did some gentle, healing sound. Louise toned with beautiful, glass Tibetan bowls while I toned with my voice. It was lovely.

And yes, there definitely was healing in Bethany's future.

Her town rallied and held benefits for her, and two Bed & Breakfasts hosted her out-of-town family and friends for free. "They're doing it for me!" she softly exclaimed, her eyes shining. "People I don't even know are helping. For me."

She said again and again she felt thoroughly loved.

Michael and the caregiver friends and family who were ever present with her spoke of the love and beauty that Bethany was in those last weeks. Even through her pain and nausea, Bethany expanded into love as she prepared for her journey to her next realm.

And even knowing that her journey would bring a great loss to them, those close by expanded into love with her.

By comparison, most of us go through our days with whatever level of awareness we have settled into. From one day to the next, we more or less want the same things and react the same ways: The same things make us feel good, and the same things make us feel bad.

The people, places and events change, but the basic template remains.

What if, instead, every day we remember that any event can be a healing event, any moment a healing moment, expanding us into love?

It makes you stop and think.

With love,

November 14, 2009

Author's Bio: 

Martia Nelson is an author, life coach, and spiritual mentor who helps people be happier and more fulfilled.

Martia's prosperity program "Living in the Flow of Money: How to Find Unshakeable Wealth & Flood Your Life with Inner & Outer Riches" changes your money mindset so you can attract a flood of wealth and happiness.

Her book, "Coming Home: The Return to True Self," is praised by best selling authors Deepak Chopra and Shakti Gawain. It gives readers a deep understanding of their innate goodness and reveals easy techniques for opening to the unconditional love, joy, wisdom, self-compassion, creativity, meaning, and purpose that true self restores to their lives.

Martia has been on the leading edge of developing and teaching techniques for opening to true self for 25 years. She has a gift for showing people how to stop rejecting themselves by cradling their ego in the unlimitedly loving arms of true self (spirit).

Get your free chapter of "Coming Home" and free mp3 download at MartiaNelson.com.