After a super surreal, stressful and seemingly never-ending day (and night) of travelling, eventually we found a place to rest our weary bodies and exhausted mind.
Sometime during the wee hours of the morning, my dream showed a retreat-like environment, alive and engaging with many like-minded folks. The mood was relaxed, friendly and welcoming; the atmosphere was just the right mix of gentle buzzing and chilled vibes. There were many familiar faces of friends and strangers, chatting away, playing music, interacting or just simply enjoying doing absolutely nothing.
In the midst of it all was Robert, being the perfect host, as always; smiling, engaging, interacting and welcoming people into the space. He looked peaceful, happy, eyes shining with a hint of reserved mischief that I know so well. Obviously this is Robert in his element, the natural community leader that he embodies perfectly. We exchanged a few words briefly with smiles and laughter before he wandered off into the crowd.
Upon waking up and going through my messages in the following morning, I learnt that Robert had peacefully passed away last night around 10pm in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Many messages of celebrating his life, honouring his spirit flooded the group chats and Facebook among friends from all corners of the world. Although my reaction was at first somewhat neutral (or was it numb?) to begin with, the tears came sporadically, especially whenever I remember or thought of him.
It seems that I have been mourning and preparing for his physical departure for some time now. The sadness, numbness, guilt and sense of helplessness somehow always end in deep humility and a profound sense of gratitude.
Grief is a long, slow process that requires a tremendously courageous effort in processing one’s raw, authentic emotions. Being a Counselor/Energy Healer/Wellness Therapist with a natural instinct to assist, guide and support others, I have had the privilege and experience of working and sharing unique journeys with many people from all walks of life. Yet, I found myself completely struck at just how inept I was when grief found me. How ironic it is that I could help and serve others so well, with all the love, patience, acceptance and understanding in the world, yet I cannot give the same to myself? I guess the biggest lesson here would be to learn how to love and support myself as I do for others. Without a doubt, it will continue to be a slow, humbling journey for me.
Did Robert really did pay me a visit through my dreams to say goodbye (for now, at least)? Perhaps. I am very grateful to know that his beautiful soul is resting in a peaceful place. I KNOW he will continue to live on through the countless souls touched by his generous spirit in this lifetime. In the mean time, I will continue trying my best to empower others as I do so onto myself, following in his footsteps and remarkable life story. When the moment is ripe, perhaps another meeting might occur again. I am very much looking forward to that. If our soul is ready to reconnect, I am also very glad and grateful to enable this process through my meditation and other practices. Let us allow Time, as always, to be our teacher and guide…
March 18th, 2020 Shanghai, China
To my dearest Robert and Mahel,
Once again, endless love and deep gratitude to the both of you for showing me what true love, courage, humility and strength is. Your love story is a profoundly beautiful and inspiring journey that will continue touch people’s hearts and remind us all the gifts of humanity: love, gratitude, forgiveness, acceptance, patience, sacrifice and so much more… embodying the unflinching power of the human spirit. THANK YOU BOTH SO MUCH for being in my life and allowing me to be a part of yours.
Robert, as per our last few conversations together, a deep thank you again for being a great friend over the years. I am so happy we both agree that time is irrelevant to one’s connection with another; it is the potency of presence that bonds us deeply transcending time and space. You will always be a part of me and I do hope my spirit will be a friendly companion wherever your soul travels too. You are already deeply missed. I love you.
P.S: Mahel, for the record – Robert ‘officially’ acknowledged and ‘promised’ to remember that I possess this uncanny ability to make him laugh (even when he is feeling stressed and under pressure)… Although you mean the world to him and can make him laugh (plus MUCH more of course), your humouring me with this little gem of a ‘fact’ would be greatly appreciated….. ; )