The year of 1988 was challenging for me, earmarking several significant events. On the upside, I sold my first large painting through a New York Art Dealer to a corporate collector. But before I ever received the check, my mother suddenly passed away due to tragic and unnatural circumstances. She and I were extremely close, and I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to her. It was a shock to all of my family, and we were quite devastated. What I remember most about that year was that I grieved heavily.
|Bertie and I, Miami Beach, Florida, two years before his passing|
I was living in New York at that time, and five years into my work as a Channel. On one occasion, three people came to my home to share a channeling session. A few weeks later, one of them returned for a private appointment just for himself. His name was Lambertus Humbertus Ekkart. His friends called him Bertie. He told me later that there was something profound that happened in that session making it clear to him that he needed to come back alone. He continued to have sessions with me on a regular basis for the next 17 years.
Dutch, born in Indonesia, educated, elegant, cultured, possessing a wicked sense of humor - Bertie was a fascinating man. He performed as a ballet dancer on the stages in Paris, and in Hollywood films of the 1950's. This is what brought him to the United States. After suffering a dance related injury, he became a perfumer, and would eventually retire at the top in his field.
As many of you know, I work in a deep trance, and my own consciousness is not present when I channel. Sometimes, however, when my own guides feel that there is something relevant I need to hear (that is not of a personal nature for the client), they open the door to my consciousness so I can become aware of that one specific message. What surprised me on one occasion, was that the information I was allowed to hear was a conversation that Bertie had with Spirit. It was about an incurable illness he had just medically confirmed having. At that very moment, my Door Keeper Guide, Sonia, told me that I had a soul contract with Bertie to be with him until he took his last breath. Now you must understand how strange this sounded to me. First of all, I hardly knew him. Secondly, he was planning to leave New York and move to Miami Beach, Florida. And thirdly, it just wasn’t logical. In all the time I spent with Bertie, I never mentioned this "soul contract" with him. There was a part of me that wondered if I had made it up, so I was hesitant to mention it. Keep in mind I was new to my channeling work, and didn’t want to be inventing things.
With hindsight, I know that this "soul contract" was profoundly symbiotic. As it turned out, Bertie moved to Miami Beach sometime around 1991. What I didn’t know then was that I also was going to be moving to Miami Beach about a year after him. We ended up living no more than twenty minutes by car from one another. Bertie was not only a client, but a wonderful and supportive friend. When I relocated from New York, I was rebuilding my life from the bottom up. All I had with me was my faith in Spirit, and a few possessions. Step-by-step, Spirit assisted me during that time, and Bertie helped me in whatever way he could. I was fiercely independent, and it was difficult for me to accept his help, but I did because I needed it. It became clear that this was one of the ways that the universe was providing for me.
We developed a friendship that included cultural events, elegant lunches, and a lot of laughing at the follies of life. Bertie far exceeded what the doctors expected his life span would be. When life got difficult for him, he would often joke, "I thought I would be dead by now!" He made up his mind that he wasn’t going to die the way others with this illness had. It simply wasn’t his style. This determined man was going to meet death head-on. As the years went by, neither Bertie nor his doctors could understand why he continued to defy the statistics that said he should no longer be alive. Frequent conversations with his Spirit Teachers led eventually to an important understanding. At this juncture in his evolution, he realized the necessity to complete his soul’s work in this life-time. Bertie was adamant about finishing his incarnation-al journey, but sometimes he was weary about being alive; after all, his body was growing tired. Spirit told him, however, that he would not leave until his soul was completely ready. They further indicated that it was a great evolutionary opportunity to consciously approach death. He somehow found the courage to do so.
Even though my dear friend had already been accomplished in two careers, he engaged himself in two more rewarding endeavors. Bertie developed the ability to do automatic writing, eventually filling up volumes of notebooks. He also took up painting. He quickly became adept in both forms. With only a few basic painting classes, Bertie began to express his soul’s light and energy with surprising skill. He documented his unique journey through visual imagery and channeled wisdom. In 2000 he had an art exhibit at The (now closed) Wallflower Gallery in Miami, Florida. This was also the premier of a book that he self-published called, Love Of The Known. It consisted of his paintings and channeled writings. I was fortunate enough to have written the introduction to this book.
Although Bertie enjoyed a daily walk and swim in the ocean, the last years were particularly strenuous. Years of professional dancing caught up with him in the form of severe arthritis. Eventually, he could no longer walk with ease, paint, or even read. His body was giving way, but his Spirit was still vibrant. He would say to me, "I don’t feel my Guides anymore. There is only God now."
Bertie was adamant about having all his affairs in order. In early 2005, he wanted to make some revisions in his will. Several months later, when visiting with him, I noticed a big stack of papers nearby. I queried, "Did you finish your will?"
"Yes" he replied. I knew then that he was finally ready to let go. My visits became more frequent. I would bring black coffee and cookies from the Argentinian bakery across the street and we would sit and talk. First, on his balcony overlooking the ocean. Then he could only manage to sit in the living room. Eventually our visits were limited to the bedroom where he would remain in bed. Bertie often spoke with his Guides about how he wanted to pass from this world: laying in his own bed with the magnificent view of the warm Atlantic Ocean. He didn’t want to be alone at the moment of his passing from this world. When in session with me many times he asked his Guides, would he be surrounded by his dearest friends when he crossed over. Spirit consistently assured him it would be so. They even specified who would be there! He wanted his transition to be peaceful. He was ready to be free.
The hand of Spirit can sometimes be felt in the most subtle ways. I would drive to his apartment after completing my days’ work, to sit with him when possible. It was never known when the moment would come, and yet I knew in my heart and soul that I was "contracted" to be by his side. Finding a parking spot for my car on his well-trafficked street was another smaller, but integral challenge. And yet, every time I would head over in the final weeks, a parking spot would always be "waiting" for me. And usually in the exact same location! I knew that Spirit was coordinating everything.
When I received the call that Bertie’s condition had worsened, I rushed in my car, communicating to his Spirit as I maneuvered through rush hour traffic, found my "magic" parking spot, and came upstairs. His niece had flown in from Holland. Another friend arrived from New York. There were five of us together on that day, along with a hospice nurse. We all gathered, and calmly waited. He was in a coma by then. We put his favorite classical music on the stereo, and spread rose petals on the bed. The ocean glistened outside the bedroom window. As his breath was becoming more shallow, we surrounded Bertie, each of us touching him gently. We softly spoke, "It’s Ok to let go now."
And then he slipped out, and was gone.
A week later his ashes arrived. This time a larger group of friends gathered by the ocean that he once swam in daily. Everyone collected a handful along with some roses and silently we walked into the water, releasing his spirit back to the Everything. There weren’t any sorrowful tears, only reverence for the beauty of creation. I could feel his Spirit expanding over that ocean that he credited for keeping him going for so long. He was powerful, vibrant, happy, and free.
I had completed my soul contract to be with him when he took his last breath. All of us that were by his side at precisely the right moment knew that there was clearly a larger force that had enabled this. It also helped to heal the pain from not being with my mother when she crossed over the same year that Bertie and I met. Bertie had completed his soul’s contract, too. It was hard work at times, but he faced his challenges with humor, dignity, and wisdom.
My mother’s Spirit is most definitely with me, and Bertie is out there, too; riding the cosmic waves in a larger ocean now.
Copyright Asandra, originally published 2006