This past Saturday, March 5th, was my daughter, Evie Rose’s, second birthday. And it was also the day my dear friend, colleague, co-teacher, & lover of life, Dr. John Waddell, passed away. What a profound reminder of the circle of life.
After spending snuggle time with Evie in the early morning, I made my way to the hospital. I was honored and blessed to be there with John as he took his final breaths and made his ascent into light alongside his beloved fiancé, Susan (AKA SARK), and an intimate circle of amazing friends. We sang and chanted, cried and laughed, until John closed his eyes and smiled the hugest smile ever. And with Susan holding him close he slipped away into the light.
It was the most peaceful, poignant, stunning death to witness.
I realized, “This is how a master ascends.”
John was a master. A master of so many things including metaphysics, adoring my best friend Susan, writing, communicating, and being one of my favorite people. He was a master at responding to his stage IV cancer diagnosis with curiosity & calm peace. And, ultimately, he was a master at surrendering in the dying process.
John believed that his health crisis was custom made just for him, like the finest Italian suit tailored to perfection.
Cancer was happening for his personal and spiritual growth. He viewed it as a mountain climb, at times he was able to enjoy the view and adventure of it all, and at other times he was weary and bruised and bloody, but he knew he would make it to his ultimate destination. When I was in the hospital one day with John I hit the record button on my phone to capture his profound thoughts and teachings about his health crisis. Listen to two minutes of pure truth here:
I will miss hearing John’s voice with his sweet German accent and rolling Rs. His text messages of love and his incredible devotion to Susan & their relationship. His relentless curiosity and enthusiasm for life. The hours upon hours of philosophizing and pondering life’s big questions and having sparring matches about words like “breakthrough” & “sacred” (John didn’t care for either and I love them both!). His generosity with his heart, wisdom and love.
The man was honestly the BEST PERSON EVER to talk to about challenges. I always left the conversation clear about the joyful solution I could create. It was jaw dropping.
Even in the midst of chemotherapy treatments I’d often walk into his hospital room and find him looking like a teenager in a dorm room, sitting cross legged on the edge of his bed, in his blue shorts and lavender t-shirt, saying ” Hi Amy!” and asking me about every little thing going on in my life. Johns’ capacity and endurance for the physical challenges of cancer and chemo (which often looked like a horror show to an outsider) was astounding.
He remained forever hopeful as he worked with doctors and healers to create a healing. He did profound spiritual and emotional work, alongside various medical treatments, and was always the optimist and vision holder. It was inspiring to watch…and sometimes excruciating too when it felt like his body wasn’t cooperating with his mind and spirit.
But lest I remember that this was happened FOR John, not TO John.
And getting to have John in my life and bearing witness to his journey happened FOR me, not TO ME. Or to any of those of us who loved him.
It really does turn out that none of us get out of here alive. So the question really does become, “What will you do with your wild and precious life?”
(Thank you, Mary Oliver.)
We all have the day that we take our last breath. I believe on that day that we are met with love and light and that angels from the other side greet us. I believe it will be beautiful.
But in the meantime let’s rise up and create a stunning life. John certainly did. He relished and savored his time here.
My wish for all of us is that we can learn from John to look at whatever challenges we’re facing, whatever problems that are arising, and decide that it’s all been custom made just for you. So that you can become who you came here to become. So you can be the kind of woman, man, human being that your soul is beckoning for you to become.
Your challenges are just for you & your growth, darling.
With devastating grief, deep love & never-ending gratitude,
P.S. If you’d like to see SARK’s amazing words about John’s passing, please visit her Facebook post HERE.
And please make sure to read SARK & John’s book, Succulent Wild Love. This book is incredible and John’s final masterpiece before his passing.