As a part of St. John’s UCC Madeline Island’s September Series “Faces of Faith, Tales of Transformation” I did a talk about my mother. Lorna died in April 2018, but her life and death are the epitome of faith, perseverance, and self-transformation. I hope her story inspires you to remember that sometimes, when things appear to be the worst, they could be on their way to being the best.
Losing someone you love is never easy. People often ask me if, since I can talk to dead people, I still feel sad at the passing of a friend or family member, knowing they’re still alive somewhere and that I can talk to them.
Yes, of course I still go through grief. But Einstein has been teaching us how to live in the non-physical (the same state as Afterlife) while also in our bodies and to consciously prepare for death. Because I have learned to develop living relationships with my dead friends in Afterlife, perhaps my mourning doesn’t last as long as most.
It is with equal sadness and excitement today that I honor the passing of my dear friend and Conflict REVOLUTION coach Mary Catherine Kline. She left the physical on October 7, 2019 after a long dance with cancer. She is sorely missed by many.
We first met in 2008 at a group channel I was conducting in Ohio. She coincidentally sat directly to my right. Ever after when people asked her how we met, she would say that she got to sit at the “right hand of Barbara the channel almighty.” Ha ha.
Several months later, she called to invite me to play music at a spiritual retreat she was planning. After saying no three times, which she would not take for an answer, I finally gave in and flew to Florida for Sand, Sea, and Spirit. She did a presentation that was so passionate and articulate, I asked her to teach and train Conflict REVOLUTION. With a resounding yes, yes, and yes, she went on to get certified and integrate Con REV into her own healing practices and daily life.
Cathy was a master at perseverance and maintaining a positive, powerful attitude. She never shirked the difficult work of Conflict REVOLUTION. Nor did she ever back away from me when I was in need, instead happily becoming my cheerleader, coach and biggest fan.
Vivacious, with an infectious laugh that often rang out loudly at her own jokes, Cathy was generous to a fault and willing to help just about anyone. We never hesitated to call in times of need and were there for each other through thick and thin.
The Massage Cream Conflict
Cathy’s passion for Con REV was fully revealed in a conflict we went through that we dubbed The Massage Cream Conflict. She had just organized and promoted a very successful Conflict REVOLUTION workshop in Columbus. As we were divvying up the proceeds, I asked if I could buy some of her massage cream. She said she had to order it, but would bring it when she came to Corpus Christi to finish her classroom certification training. So I left her the money from my pile of cash—or so I thought.
She arrived in Corpus at the same time as Holly, my other dear friend and Con REV trainee from Portland. As they were unpacking, Cathy brought out the massage cream and told me I owed her $25. Wait! I was sure I had paid her out of my Ohio cash before I left.
She, on the other hand, distinctly remembered that I would pay for it in Texas. Trouble was, neither of us kept a record of the agreement, and we each had an entirely different memory of what took place.
I knew she wasn’t trying to rip me off, and she knew that of me. In all our other business dealings, we had meticulously signed contracts, but nothing in writing for this transaction.
After going back and forth each trying to prove ourselves right, we decided to Rev the conflict together—see how long it would take us to revolve and resolve it. Holly would be the “peace” in the middle. What a perfect spontaneous exercise for the teacher training: an active conflict between us. We named it the Massage Cream Conflict.
I quickly got to my root. The truth was, there was no record, period. Dang. I couldn’t prove that I was right, and neither could she. With no proof, we had to admit that we just didn’t know. Commit to the mystery. End of story.
As soon as I accepted that we’d never know the truth, I stopped arguing my position. My focus turned to creating a solution for the good of all. I didn’t want Cathy to pay for the cream twice, nor did I. So what was a fair resolution to this mystery?
Cathy, however, continued to argue that she was right. I kept responding with what I knew for sure—that we had no proof—and she’d reluctantly agree, but come back with more evidence she’d thought of to prove she was right. Each time she did, I’d reiterate, “We have no proof of what really happened, so let’s figure out what to do.” That was my story and I stuck to it.
Cathy eventually had her AHA moment that inspired her to stop defending her position. As soon as she did, we found our resolution: Holly had offered to buy the creme, but since we didn’t know who paid for it, we didn’t know who should get the money. So both we agreed to gift it to her as a way to resolve the conflict.
After, in her typical big-hearted way, Cathy offered me a free massage, just in case I was the one taking the loss. Not to be out-generous-ed, I gave her several CDs from my channeling series, just in case it was her loss.
What a beautiful outcome for the good of all, considering what could have happened.
The Massage Cream Conflict was a powerful lesson in “Do you want to be right, or do you want to make peace?” Had we not had examined this conflict, I would was sworn I was right and continued to perpetuate my need to prove it. Once I stopped fighting and refocused on finding a creative solution for the good of all, I changed the energy of the conflict, thereby influencing the outcome. For me, this is exactly what becoming the change looks like.
In the past several years, Cathy experienced some profound losses. Her precious 10-year-old granddaughter was diagnosed with brain cancer. Shortly after that, she, too, was diagnosed with cancer. Later, she discovered one of her friends after they committed suicide by hanging.
Cathy weighed the decision about treatment heavily. Having lost many family members to cancer, she knew what happened with chemotherapy. Plus she knew if she were to undergo chemo while her granddaughter was also going through it, she wouldn’t have the energy to be there for her, and that meant more to her than her own life. So she underwent an operation, but passed on the chemo and radiation in order to be fully present with her granddaughter as she went through her ordeal.
Due to conflicts with the family, Cathy was not able to see her for the last six months of her life. That broke her heart, for so many reasons. Shortly after her granddaughter passed, she found her friend, hanging in a barn. She started to get sicker and eventually found out her cancer had spread to her liver. That was when she started on chemo, which she did off and on for the next few years.
Last Spring I got a message from her. She was in the hospital being treated for the ravaged mess she had become. Nothing was helping. She had finally reached the end of her rope, weeping and sobbing and in massive pain, as sick as she’d ever been.
I offered to come to Ohio. If we couldn’t manage her condition, I assured her I would be there to help her take the next steps towards the end of life.
When I arrived in Columbus, we went to the doctor, who suggested more chemo. She refused to put herself through that again and asked for other options. His only other suggestion was hospice.
She decided to take her healing into her own hands. At first, she made a valiant effort. She got her medical marijuana card, and I started cleaning out her pantry and preparing to cook her healing foods. But after only one day, she was exhausted and came to the conclusion that she was ready to prepare to die.
In that surreal moment, sitting in her living room looking at each other silently, sadly, both of us at a loss, something shifted. Later, my friend Lily would call it “transcendence.” Whatever it was, as soon as she released the struggle to live and took steps to prepare to die, the universe seemed to leap into action and support her.
It began when she was telling me about her family. When she mentioned her younger brother, immediately the phone rang, and it was him. Since she talked to him only a few times a year, this was unusual.
We began to discuss how to connect with hospice. At that moment, the phone rang and it was the nurse from the doctors office, the one we needed to speak to about that.
In another truly eerie moment, out of the blue I received a text from Amy, a psychic who had given me a reading with my mother after she died. I had not heard from her in almost a year. That day at Cathy’s, she texted to say she was getting a message from my mom to tell me that we were doing all the right things and that we had a lot of support from the other side. Amy had no idea where I was or what was going on! In essence, I got a text from my mother from Afterlife assuring me that we were on the right track.
People would call as soon as we mentioned their name. Cathy’s apartment filled with the comings and goings of visitors, friends and family as they all came to love her.
I flew back and forth to Columbus three times. We shared so much during those weeks. One night was just her raging and weeping for hours. Other days we laughed so hard our sides ached. She was meticulous in tending to the details of the end of her life: making sure her three kids and three grandkids were prepared, giving away her possessions to people she loved, closing out accounts, making plans for her care.
The hospice team was incredible, bringing her back to life with their loving care and precise medications. Seeing her released from the misery of trying to be healed, to being made to feel comfortable and out of pain was like night and day.
Cathy had one last reading from me. Her last question is very telling of what her attitude was in life:
When I left for the last time in July, she was doing so well she even drove me to the airport. But after, she slowly started to fade, sleeping more and more, losing mental clarity, eventually switching over to morphine in the end.
I was not with her when she passed peacefully with family and friends at her side. But spending time with her at the end of her life was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. When I was with her, the synchronicity was breathtaking and the love of friends and family profound and inspiring. When I was away from her, I longed to be in her living room, in that state of transcendence. It was hard to care about the regular events of life as I experienced her impending death—death that will come for us all someday.
I’ve seen her in Afterlife, as vibrant and tenacious as she was in the physical, her trademark laugh ringing through the ethers. She’s riding along with me on my gravitational wave, in her joyful state, reunited with friends and family and especially with her beloved granddaughter.
It’s only been recently, however, that she has been showing up in readings, with specific messages about her experiences. And just like in life, she has a lot to say!
Cathy attended most every one of our call-in group channeling sessions since I started doing them in 2009. This next session is the first one since her passing. Even though she’s not here physically, we talked about this very day in the last weeks of her life. She is indeed at the table with the Party. I am excited to see what she has to say.
Cathy Kline, I love you so much and miss you like crazy. I’m looking forward to this new relationship from Afterlife. I hope you continue to teach me from there, like how you taught me in life to commit to the mystery, gracefully face death, and live and die in peace and dignity.
Save me a seat.
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Sunday, December 29, 2019