I hope this message finds you in good health, happiness and holiday cheer. Let this be a warning to you: this message is in-depth and about the depth of the death process. I feel it important enough to share with you my story on these past four months with the hopes and prayers that some golden nuggets will warm your heart and open your spiritual eyes on the process of conscious dying.
Also, a the secular New Year approaches, I hope and pray you are continuing on an empowered path of profits, passion and purpose.
Four months ago, I returned to South Florida as I knew it was time to leave California and to help my father return to Gods resting heart in the world to come was my guiding choice.
The Tree of Life between dad and I were bound by energy unseen and unknown to others and after my divorce 10 years ago, there were times I had confused the love from father versus the love from my former spouse. I spent the greater part of the last 10 years dissolving illusion around the two and helped a great many people do this same as I went through my own healing.
During dads last months, our dialogue was fueled by loving presence and we had the great fortune to feel love unconditional with each passing day. Not everybody prepares the way I do as we all have our different needs in the Tree of Life.
When I arrived here on September 1st, I knew the process of his final days would take three months to get all the family at peace with his passing, because he would turn 88 (double infinity) on November 30th.
With all my heart and will, I am sharing the major parts that were revealed to me. Just as I coach others I do unto myself. The first month we define, the second we design and the third we align. The fourth month is for refinement and we are still in this experience as I write. (see below)
The first month we “defined” his spiritual truth… He spent the entire High Holidays in the hospital and the rehab facility and showed us that he was not going to bounce back this time.
The second month we “designed” his plan for round the clock caregivers, including mom and myself. I had been living next door in the “snowbird” neighbor’s condo (might I add was a very convenient situation). I witnessed the surrender of dad honoring the process of letting go of his body even though others rallied for his rebound.
The third month dad “aligned” to tell our family he was ready to say goodbye in the most divine way and by the end of the month, on Nov. 30th (dads 88th birthday) he summoned his children to his side to share his last thoughts as it was becoming too hard to speak.
The beauty of the 4th month, (which is still in process) was that dad “refined” his travels home to Gods heart with the presence of his entire family, cousins, nieces, nephews and grand nieces & all grandchildren included. Hospice was called in for comfort support and dad lived 5 more days and passed the night before Channukah, the festival of Miracles.
Hospice had been called in to make dad comfortable, something I had been praying for and during the next 5 nights, through prayer and energy work to his body, I helped dad call upon his spirit guides as I called upon the Arch Angels and Shechinah to provide dads soul an easier flight home through the crown of his head. The crown holds the key to greater light and as death occurs, some people are clinging in their heart for another day with the survivors and this confuses the soul as well as the survivors on it’s journey home. I also weaved the magic of stones into the vision as dad’s love of Geology and my knack for crystal healing was in sync. I could feel the shifts of his organs the last two night between the hours of 1am-4am.
On Friday afternoon, prior to dad’s departure Saturday night (Motzei Shabbos) my religious daughter and son-in-law cooked 4 Shabbos meals for 15+ family members. They do this every week as my daughter has a great job with NCSY in New Jersey. We made Kiddush & Challah blessings Friday night & Shabbos day & had all the family present for Havdallah. After Havdallah I’d asked for the Hospice Musical Therapist to sing with us to Dad for his ascent was rapidly approaching. We sang, cried, talked, laughed, hugged and all was witness to dads “final breath” within an hour of the music finale. For me the last 3 minutes of dads life were in deep meditation as the family sat quietly around him. I could feel the waves of his energy flow through my body as I held my arms in the air. A moment prior to his final breath, my breaths were labored for about 10 seconds and I knew his soul journey out of the body was in motion.
As I sit here and reflect, I am feeling the WOW of Gods precious will and my own abilities to work along side him as a Death Doula. I’ve learned a lot about honoring life inside the dying process and it is one of my very special (not so secret) interests.
Dad brought us into the world of love and he had very little needs of his own. It was his final request for us to witness him, to love him and to be silent for him to have his moment of humility before his flight to Gods graceful home above. His life was fueled with profits, passion and purpose. A large loving family proved to be very profitable, a passion for detective work and a purpose of bringing harmony to the world (both in the home and heart and on the streets of Miami Beach).
I knew there was still some devotional work to do for dad was going to be judged by the only judge there is.
So after dad was taken to the Funeral Home, it was my strong feeling that he needed to have a Shomer and Tahara. I had some experience with this years ago when Orthodox and I knew dads parents were Orthodox and could feel their souls beaming light unto him as this took place. Prior to the Funeral I dressed dad one final time before the coffin was shut. The Funeral Service was held in Tamarac and I discovered I still had the knack to pull together a lovely simple yet soul stirring Eulogy.
The procession to the Cemetery was led by numerous Miami Beach Police motor vehicles. They stopped all traffic for us and it rained like crazy during the burial. Nobody cared because we all cared enough to share Gods bittersweet tears of dad’s life. Not to mention the fact that, thankfully, our Limousines came with good umbrellas.
My Shiva candle stayed lit for 7 days, all during Channukah and we are still in the Shloshim period until January 5th. Shloshim is a 30 day period normally observed by the observant, with various mourning rules. The rule I hold is simply… to be with the tenderness.
A few days ago I moved in with mom and we are supporting each other in tenderness and love. When I arrived here on September 1st, I told dad I would take care of mom and in the process, I am taking care of myself too.
I’m not sure what the future holds, taking it one day at a time. I did apply for one job just two days after the Shiva candle went out and should it be Gods will for me to get it, I hope to integrate back into the work force with profits, passion and purpose on my lips and in my heart. We shall see…
If you’ve gotten this far, thank you very much for witnessing this part of my life. Please excuse my typos (if any) as my eyes are seeing through the tears of a new dawn.
Read Bert Bernstein’s Obituary here
If you desire to donate in his name, please do so through his charity of choice: Slyvester Cancer Center.
In case you’re interested!
Bert Bernstein’s Eulogy by Melinda Bernstein
Thank you all for being with us today. I know that many of you traveled far to be here & your presence is genuinely treasured.
Dad treasured each of you in his and his cup overflows from the treasures we all shared.
“Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech HaOlam Dayan HaEmet,”
Blessed are you God, King of the world, the Righteous Judge are spoken by those most affected by the loss: children, parents, spouses and siblings.
8 days ago, dad turned 88 years old. The number 8 signifies many great things, one of which is infinity. Dad’s infinite soul lives on.
Just as we are celebrating the miracle of Chanukkah for 8 days, we also celebrate dad’s light and mourn missing him in our physical presence.
Each night of Channukah lighting has a unique meaning. The Third candle (which we light tonight) is the candle of the Family. And we pray for the ability to guide and educate our children, just as dad has done for us.
And so the tree of life & knowledge continues to grow and expand us.
Because God created the world in 7 days and 7 symbolizes the nature of perfect order, eight symbolizes that which is beyond nature and beyond perfect order. Dad was and is beyond in his order of life.
Dad had a Roadmap for which he lived his life and he defined a life of unconditional love, designed it harmoniously and aligned devotedly with his mission as husband and father, trusted friend and dedicated servant to keeping others safe.
Dad & I shared the love of gems as well as figuring people out intuitively. Dad was and still is a true gem of a man & I am proud to be his daughter.
During Dads Roadmap of Life, he took pride in
Being responsible for his actions and matched them to his words.
He was good at listening to others and welcomed people of all faiths into his heart. Dad was always aware and intuitive & it was a real treat to experience the wisdom of his neshama, his soul.
Dad was determined & disciplined & dealt with the mystery of life, methodically and with discernment. Especially at work!
Dad manifested what he needed with great kavannah, with intention to fulfill his life’s purpose, which is now complete.
Dad allowed his loved ones the space to be themselves but not those who broke the law on MB. J
Dad practiced patience and loved peace and we can feel his holiness, his kedusha still…. When we choose to.
I love you dad, I honor you, feel you and bless you on your way.
In dad’s last week of life, he was held in the hearts of his family. He waited for the immediate family to be present as he surrendered his will to be with Gods heart in the afterlife.
On his last day of life, this past shabbos, dad was held in safety with the family (even his friend in need, Dr. Nochimson was present) as dad exhaled his last breath, which happened after the family sat quietly around him Saturday night.
May the one and only judge be as kind to dads Neshama as dad was to all of us.
“Just as the dust returns to the earth, so too shall dad’s spirit return to G-d who gave it.” And do it is written and so it will be.