Thriver Soup Thursday–Birthdays and the After Life

Field_of_HotepO ye judges, ye have taken Unas unto yourselves, let him eat that which ye eat, let him drink that which ye drink, let him live upon that which ye live upon, let your seat be his seat, let his power be your power, let the boat wherein he shall sail be your boat, let him net birds in Aaru, let him possess running streams in Sekhet-Hetep, and may he obtain his meat and his drink from you, O ye gods.

The Abode of the Blessed, “The Papyrus of Ani,” The Egyptian Book of the Dead


The Egyptian Book of the Dead explains the afterlife and its challenges to those souls who move into the netherworld. The judges in the Beyond are asked to bless the traveler Unas with things he will need to survive on the other side.

I cannot give my deceased son anything on the other side except continuing expressions of love. Yesterday was his 21st birthday. What to do?

I had signed up to start tai chi again with Grand Master Vince Lasorso at Whatever Works Wellness Center in Cincinnati, and our first class fell right on Brennan’s birthday, so I sent a brief message letting Vince know.

His response was perfect: “Great. What better place for you to be than at tai chi on Brennan’s birthday? I’m sure he will be happy that you’re taking care of your health. The roles have changed; he is your guide now.”

Yes, the class was a perfect start for my day. I learned a great deal about how to maintain health in my body, at the cellular level, deeper even than through the elimination of inflammation. Vince gave us two hours of fascinating teachings about the body that gives me much to ponder, along with an exercise for raising more vital energy in my body. I believe Brennan, who now is far more wise, is pleased with my choice.

Then on to my psychotherapist’s office to talk more about Brennan’s passing—to discuss how hopeless his situation had become and to express gratitude that he is no longer suffering. It is an interesting place to land after more than a year of grief. It’s sort of like my own afterlife—after life with Brennan.

I have choices in my after-life. I can victimize myself with unending grief or I can bodily experience the emotion of sorrow without thinking about it. I can refocus my thoughts on being fully present when his energy presents itself, rejoicing in his stability and the end of his suffering, and on blessing Brennan with love, enriching his experience on the Other Side.

Thriver Soup Ingredient

I think one of the worst things we can do with our grief is wish ourselves gone. This most likely is not pleasing to our loved ones. I believe those who have gone before us want what is best for us. If we can focus some energy on taking good care of ourselves, then we will have more energy for the living—including, and especially, ourselves. This energy can be used to advocate and work for those who are in similar circumstances.


  1. A. Wallis Budge, trans., The Abode of the Blessed, The Papyrus of Ani, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, 1895. Retrieved 8/25/16 from

Image: Published by James Wasserman; facsimile made by E. A. Wallis Budge; original artist unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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