A Good Day to Die by Shaman Elizabeth Herrera “Nothing and everything cannot coexist. To believe in one is to deny the other.”— A Course in Miracles M

y grandfather was a proud man. Born in Texas, his father was Apache and mother was Spanish.

Tey toiled many years before buying a small farm in Michigan. As a child, he knew the harsh realities of migrant farming and the instability of constant relocation. He oſten joked he was the oldest kid in fiſth grade — too big to fit in the desks and the only student shaving. In his later years, he suffered from stomach cancer. Te most recent growths were aggressive, and for the first time he agreed to chemotherapy. When I learned of his condition, I

decided to shamanic journey to request a healing for him. During the journey, I did not meet the spirit guide who usually answered my healing requests. Instead, a woman with a beautiful face and long raven hair appeared, wearing a flowing black cape and riding a black horse. She motioned for me to follow her. I walked behind her through ancient catacombs. Te dark, stone tunnel was lit with torches and the walls were lined with skeletons. At the end it opened to a night sky. We journeyed through the stars until they faded from view. Te woman continued riding through the blackness, which siſted around the horse’s hooves like obsidian sand. When she stopped, we stood in what appeared to be complete and utter noth- ingness. She liſted her hand, motioning to the void around us, saying, “Tis is what your grandfather is afraid of. Tat there is nothing aſter he dies…no heaven…no aſterlife…nothing.” My grandmother had told me that my grandfather would awaken in the middle

of the night and sit in the kitchen, just to make sure he didn’t die in his sleep. Te spirit guide’s message had explained why he was afraid to die, but it was surprising because I would oſten see him reading his Bible and openly praying. I thought he held a firm conviction in the concept of heaven aſter death. A few months later, while my grandfa-

ther was staying in a nursing home to build his strength, my grandmother received a call letting her know he was ready to go home. She didn’t understand that the nurse meant heaven, and rushed there to tell him she was looking forward to his return. When she arrived, he told her that he wanted to die. He had asked God to take him that day and God had agreed. He gave my grandmother scrap pieces of paper with sentiments and instructions so she wouldn’t forget. He told her to tell everyone that he loved them. But my grandmother felt she was seeing a healthy man before her and went home to await his return. Tat aſternoon a representative from the nursing home called to let her know my grandfather had passed away. A healing is not always physical. To

me, my grandfather had been healed. He had accepted his impending death with dignity. He had come to firmly believe he would meet God and not dissolve into the nothingness he had feared. I am proud of how he faced death. It was an Apache way to die. Two years later, during a shamanic

journey, the spirit of my grandfather appeared. It was the first time since his passing that I had “seen” him, and I hap-

Message from the Spirit There is no death – only

the illusion of dying. Love continues without a body, because it was never contained in a body.

pily greeted him. He immediately began talking about my grandmother, saying how much he missed her and that he wouldn’t go without her. I then realized that my grandfather’s spirit hadn’t crossed over yet. He asked me to tell my grandmother that he loved her. I said I didn’t want to — it might upset her that I talk to “dead” people. Besides, she was always mentioning she could feel his presence anyway. But my grandfather insisted. He wanted her to hear the words, “I love you!” I wasn’t sure how my grandmother

would react to my phone call, but I kept my promise. Aſter an awkward moment when she couldn’t hear me, I shouted, “I had a vision of grandpa and he said to tell you he loves you.” She cried with joy, “I knew it! I knew he was here! I can feel him all the time. Tank you for telling me.” Several years came and went before my

grandmother had a stroke. She died the day aſter Tanksgiving. I have no doubt that my grandfather was waiting for her, and, together, they crossed to the other side.

Shaman Elizabeth Herrera is a healer and the author of Shaman Stone Soup and other books. Visit

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