Conversations on “Deathing Life” with Susan.6

Here is another installment on my conversations with Susan as she goes through her “deathing life” with brain cancer. Susan suggested that I share these conversations with the world and it is an honour to be able to have these conversations with her as she lives this new stage in her life, sharing her insight and wisdom.

Sometimes the dates are the same on the posts as we were responding to multiple email threads, sometimes replying to different threads on the same day.

I wonder if living a life focussed on spiritual issues makes the transition to death easier in anyway – maybe it is another spiritual life transition? Here are some more of Susan’s words:


March 7, 2016 (Susan)

Dear David,

Love the photos of Corbin & Sofia. Sending them a BIG energy hug.


Yes, agreed it is challenging for staff to manage all the differing needs of palliative care, dementia care, psychiatric care, & the needs of the frail elderly.

In this facility we are all mixed in together. I believe it would be easier were the facility to have a separate palliative care section with staff given specialist training in that area. In having discussions with management they are of the same opinion.

I am slowly reading through your attachment on stewardship, & have nothing yet to add.  It is written beautifully, from the heart using knowledge & personal experience. I still have more of it to read.  I haven’t read a lot of Joseph’s part of the book that you are co-writing so will go onto that in the future.

What comes to mind right now in thinking about Stewardship is my lesson about energy & responsibility…when giving clairvoyant readings I used to put a lot of effort/energy into helping the client,  including trying to “enlighten” them. In doing this I often found myself exhausted. Ultimately my lesson was simple…it was not my work to enlighten my clients, only to deliver the messages I was instructed to give them. It was the clients own work to seek enlightenment. It was not my exhaustable energy that was needed to deliver guidance & support…all I needed to do was to be a willing conduit actively engaging with the person with right intention, a compassionate heart, & openess to the inexhaustible energy of Source. Having done this I used to find that rather than feeling depleted, I was greatly energised …on all levels.

Rising Consciousness

Rising Consciousness, Susan MacGregor

I have read about the man you mentioned who can move his eyes & lids only [Jean-Dominique Bauby, author of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly]. Remarkable person. Much more fortitude, tolerance of pain, acceptance of incapacity than myself.  Things I can’t do now are; drive, dance,  play piano, crochet, cook/bake without help, dance, walk barefoot through woods, swim, soak in the sea, stroll through parks or gardens, kayak, walk barefoot in the sand,  take full care of a pet, dress myself, shower myself, make my bed, fold or hang my clothes…. etc., etc.  Many tasks are full of difficulty. I have, as you said, needed to turn away from the physical, external plus give up much of my independence.  It’s been hard to ask for help & relinquish my high standards/preferred ways of doing things. It’s been a major loss to no longer be able to freely move when or where I wish. My fragile energy is drained every day doing basic things e.g. pulling up my pants after toileting. I find myself angry with this new body I’m in, its constant pain & limitations. I look forward to the freedom of relinquishing this tired used up lump of flesh that entraps my spirit.



On another note we recently returned from a road trip up north to my birthplace of Whangarei, first property at Hihi Beach Mangonui & childhood haunts around Kerikeri, Puketi Forest etc. Travel is very uncomfortable & excursions limited to wheelchair friendly areas. However this physical journey felt very important to me, in that I was connecting with key parts of my life then actively letting them go by saying goodbye to that area. Some people believe we leave energy imprints in places, so this was, in a sense, an opportunity to pick up pieces of myself. I had been doing some of this previously by going through photos & memories with Mahmoud, my brother, foster sister & niece. However the physical journey has made this process feel more complete.

Lastly today…I don’t find death morbid. Viewing it that way would seem to convey it is somehow dirty, repugnant, & to be avoided at all costs. The labour of death may not be pretty nor comfortable, but neither is the labour of birthing into this life.  It is merely a transition, transformative in its process.

colour my world

Colour My World, Susan MacGregor

Choosing my own coffin … it was like choosing a new car, exciting & full of anticipation.  I have nothing to lose …. I either go to oblivion, being oblivious to all further suffering or go to the home from whence I came.

Love & Bless,


March 7, 2016 (Susan)

Dear David,

I have absolutely no issues at all in your use of content from our email discussions. In fact I consider it an honour & privilege. If any of it can resonate in a helpful way for others that’s good. However my poems are different, in that I have copyright on them. Mahmoud will be their owner when I pass away.

I find I can’t cope with a lot of mental “stuff” now, so often you will find I’m slow to respond.

To answer one of your questions, I have always had one foot in this world & one in the next, being clairvoyant, clairsentient & clairaudient all my life, plus experiencing lucid dreaming, premonitions, recall of some past lives, etc. Things are no different for me now.

In regards Joseph Rael’s statement “we don’t exist” I can’t agree with that totally.  Rather I take the perspective that…Energy never dies…in our true form we are light beings/having energy…we do exist but confuse our physical beingness & ego identity with our true self. Our true self, originating from the source of energy & light, doesn’t belong to us in fact, but rather to the “I am” presence, i.e. God.  Our purpose then is to return love/ light to our source. We do this by being manifestations of love & light in the world…living ethical, moral lives, & loving our source as much as we love creation plus ourselves. If we confuse only what can be seen, heard or experienced by our baser bodies, for truth, we lose sight of all of the magic & mystery in our existence & become unconscious automatons. Also I believe our soul is a combined vibratory record of all our actions, thoughts, non actions, throughout various lifetimes. Thus our soul survives each lifetime in the form of a collective memory, alongside the myriad other souls, or perhaps merged with all other souls.

When applying principles of vibration to healing, remember each word we utter has a vibratory pattern, plus a positive or negative connection in an individual’s memory. NLP teaches a lot about linguistic principles which can then be included into therapeutic groups & 1:1 therapy.

Talking more along the topic of vibration, I recall one event in which participants were called to list all items hidden beneath a cloth…several participants got many correct & one got all. How is this possible? We are sensing the energy pattern of different objects. Divine principles govern energy & light & I Believe that the divine Being I call God orchestrates these principles to various ends.  If we trespass upon these principles we suffer negative consequences.

Turning To The Light

Turning to the Light, Susan MacGregor

During one meditation I…meaning my spiritual self…passed through a tunnel toward a door. On opening the door a brilliant light was present & loud sound similar to the rushing of a strong wind. “I” immediately felt myself flying through space & time, hieroglyphs & symbols shooting past at a tremendous speed.  I have come to believe that these symbols unlock certain energies & memories. Can I remember the symbols now…no, not consciously, but I later learnt Reiki which uses various symbols in its healing, seeming to reinforce this perspective. The higher our rate of vibration, the more “light” we are. Perhaps the more light we are, the more removed we are from “ego” consciousness & the consequences of a denser reality…I consider that this was how the Buddhist healing techniques freed me from 6yrs of constant pain i.e. by raising my vibratory level.  Also Vibration from trumpets, chanting & tempered walking flattened the walls of Jericho, as recorded in the bible. So it is a two edged sword, having power to raise up & to destroy.

When I was 18yrs old the I Am informed me that there are 7x worlds above & 7x worlds below; referring to vibratory realms. Planet earth is in the middle, like the heart of the entire organism.  Earth is Jesus’s footstool, he being the divine being supplanted in earthly soil.  It is here, due to our own free will that we can increase our light quotient, or decrease it.  We influence this by our deeds, words, thoughts, plus not taking action when it is needed.

Well enough from me, I am tired, & perhaps tiring you with these thoughts too.

The very best.

From Susan

ps, Sorry didn’t mention the trumpets also when referring to Jericho.


March 11, 2016 (Susan)

Hi to all my beautiful friends & family.

I trust & hope you are all ok.

Sorry to say you may not hear much from me from now on.

Following a few lovely days away up north, upon returning to the P.Hospital I had a significant seizure.  I am now very weak & will not be able to maintain the Skype chats or emails as previous. We are trying to get to Tauranga for a few days.  To assist I am taking dexamethasone.  However that will stop on returning. I expect thereafter the seizures & strokes we were told about will take hold.

Please don’t be sad for me, I am happy to leave this disabled body & go to a place beyond the suffering & struggles of this world.  I have led a blessed life with the love of good parents, friends, family, & of course Mahmoud, a good career & lots of fun along the way.  Thank you all for the memories & support.

When I leave I will be caught in the embrace of angels with a heart full of joy.

Love you always,

Susan xx


Love, XX, Susan MacGregor

[Susan had sent this email, but then some days later began emailing again]


March 18, 2016 (David)

Hi Susan, your thoughts are never tiring to me, always fresh and vibrant. Thanks for sending these details about your spiritual and mystical experiences in life.

I haven’t posted anything yet.

Do you have photo I could include on the blog? Or a suggestion for an image and I’ll find something on the internet.

In the second book Joseph Rael and I are working on, we will focus on how to develop a vibrational or visionary sense, another way of perceiving ourselves and the world. I am looking forward to delving deeper into that. I am also planning a book on Carl Jung and Philip K. Dick’s visions that keeps getting put off. Thank you for sharing your experience of the tunnel of hieroglyphics.

So much of what you say about vibration makes so much sense. Joseph speaks a lot about vibration and called his classic book, Being & Vibration. Physics, too, seems to be moving toward a view of matter as energy and vibration, rather than the solid objects that we perceive as a “table” a “chair.”

Finger Paintings Joseph

Joseph Rael, by Susan MacGregor

I better get working on the talks I am going to be doing in Grand Junction, Colorado in a couple weeks.




March 18, 2016 (David)

Hi Susan,

Your journey to your roots sounds very important. My last month in New Zealand I took a road trip by myself and went up to Cape Reinga and stopped through Mangonui and Hihi Beach, a beautiful area.


Cape Reinga


Thank you for your thoughts on Stewardship and for sharing how beautiful your journey is even with all the loss and disability. In your writing I only sense the liveliness of your spirit and not any of the limitations of your body. I like how you describe being a conduit or channel to Source. That is such a sweet feeling to have that flow through.

With the book, I have been contacting people for possible endorsement blurbs on the book. So far I have had a lot of excitement from people.

We had a guest at our Whole Health Class that we run for veterans, this week. Mike Lee, who is from the plains tribes and is an elder of the American Lake VA Sweat Lodge, spoke with us. He did a ceremony in which we turned off the lights and sat facing outward in a circle, with our backs to each other, and then he sang a couple songs and kept time on his drum. It was very moving. He said that our bodies are made of the body of Mother Earth and they are not our own, our spirit moves through them for a while. We breathe in at the start of life and we breathe out at the end of life. It is all just one big breath, moving through some earth, and there really is no such thing as death as the breath and spirit never die. It was very beautiful.

Here are some pictures from my trip to Northland, New Zealand…


Cape Reinga Light House



Meeting of Tasman Sea (left) and Pacific Ocean (right) off of northernmost point of New Zealand, Cape Reinga

Beautiful day here, today, clear, we can see the Olympic mountain range, covered with snow, to the West, and the Cascade Range to the East, not as tall, but also with snow, and to the south the massive bulk of Mt Rainer, a vast snow-covered peak.

My heart and thoughts and prayers are with you,




March 18 2016 (Susan)

Hi David,

Thank you for the photos. You looked very relaxed in the caravan, with hot drink in hand…that’s the life eh?


Having only now read your email the things that come to mind as a picture for the blog could be based on what has been shared…perhaps something with swirling patterns of coloured light, transposed with transparent images of symbols, angels or such.

Kopacz 02

Untitled, David Kopacz, 2013

Speaking more of vibration, I have wondered if we ourselves actively influence vibratory patterns when having visions so that the vision suits a frame of reference that we are familiar with being merely representational, rather than actual, in its appearance. As typically we would not visually perceive vibration itself, & the mind has a tendency to want to organise sensory stimulus into orderly patterns that are familiar. This could be at work in psychosis as well, with the visual hallucinations matching an internal vibratory state & using images that represent that state for the person.

When seeing angels ascending staircases this occurred to me.

Flying High

Flying High, Susan MacGregor

In Whangarei one of the Senior Psychiatrists was Sufi, we talked about Sufism & my interest became piqued.  Knowing me somewhat he would refer clients to my caseload, as a Mental Health Rehabilitation Therapist, who were reluctant to be treated medically due to the belief they were psychic, not unwell.

My approach here was based on having a foot in each camp i.e. I informed the client that I do believe in illness including illnesses of the neurological functions of the brain, but I also believed in Psychics & knew some personally.  In CBT fashion I then invited the client to “scientifically” approach the questions of … am I Psychic or am I unwell, or am I a bit of both? Using DSM we would list on one side of a whiteboard diagnostic criteria, on the other side the phenomenon experiences of what we collectively knew about psychics, drawing from our personal experiences as well as what we had read or found out from others. We then ticked or crossed off items from each list to see what was left. In the few cases I worked with in this manner we typically ended up with some items from each list. The client was then asked to return to the three choices at the start to hypothesize where they might sit along a continuum. End result being the client usually concluded they had a little illness & accepted orthodox treatment knowing that if they wished to do a “planned” withdrawal from meds I would support them in that. With this input they were typically offered much less in the way of medications as they were able to express more clearly to their Psychiatrist only the DSM symptoms they were having & had lost their fears re other phenomenon, having talked these through & being given some “alternative” strategies to manage these if they wished….I hope this illustrates one way mental health workers could include a more wholistic paradigm into mental health diagnosis.

In personal experience with visions, voices, sensations one thing has remained clearly differentiated compared to DSM, i.e. I have never lost awareness of who I am, what is me, what is other, what is  “real” what is vision or other experience…. in other words my ego boundaries have remained intact, no psychotic break has occurred. Only once have I been in a situation where I felt controlled by something not me. This happened when I was learning about “channeling”. However I established control again via focusing my mind on a particular piece of music. I never liked “channeling, & never did it again.

Well seems each time you send me something it brings to mind something else. You are definitely a positive catalyst in my life. Thank you.

With best wishes for your continued development of new ways for “being” in healthcare.

Love from,

Susan MacGregor

The Chalice & The Rose 9f33d6b1-48d2-4b30-88ce-dd048adfe60f (1)

The Chalice and the Rose, Susan MacGregor


Conversations with Susan.5

Susan MacGregor and I have been continuing our email correspondence and she has been updating me on her process of “deathing life” as she lives with her brain cancer and copes with the changes that brings.

Susan has encouraged me to share her thoughts and words and paintings with others as she continues to grow and change in this “deathing life” process.

These are some of our conversations from February and March and I will include some of Susan’s recent artwork.

Rising Consciousness

Rising Consciousness, Susan MacGregor


2/26/16 (David)

Hi Susan, thank you for such beautiful, heart-felt writing. I will draw upon it as I put together these 11 hours of talks to patients, family members and staff around end-of-life decisions and hospice. What can we call it instead of “end-of-life?” I like your term “deathing life.” I have a working title of “Holistic Decision-making Across the Lifespan,” but I am writing about holistic decision-making and death or deathing life. I don’t like the phrase “end of life” so much, as it doesn’t sound active enough.

Can you open a PowerPoint on your computer? I will send you a drafts of the lectures if you are interested….

I am interested in developing something around “death stewardship,” or the dying process as a form of initiation in which the role of family and staff is to support the active, transformative initiation of person in the deathing life phase.

What you have written is so beautiful and full of wisdom. If you would like a public speaking space, I think your words would be an honor to my blog, Being Fully Human, if you would care to have me post them. I don’t want to exploit your deathing life, but I wouldn’t mind mining your wisdom and sharing with others what you would like to share.

Thank you for the gift of yourself!

2/26/16 (Susan)

Dear David,

Thank you again for your appreciation & support.

I am not sure about power point as am using a tablet. Computer is at home but don’t go home much.

I would feel honoured for you to use any of what I send in whatever way you think appropriate. Perhaps if you will bear with me I will write more….

I feel the term “deathing” life conveys a more active involvement in the tasks & processes of leaving this world than other more commonly used terms. And it is also meant to convey that I am still very much living.

Strong Loving Arms Enfold Me Each Day

Strong, Loving Arms Enfold Me Each Day, Susan MacGregor

I have found the love & support of others key to my being able to move onto the life inventory work mentioned previously, i.e.  the non critical, non judgemental acceptance of my life as a whole. I haven’t experienced all of the classical stages of dying as described by Elizabeth Kubler Ross, whether that’s due to my spiritual beliefs or other factors I’m not sure. There has been no anger, no “why me”, no bargaining…so I think it would be false to believe everyone follows that path exactly. There has been sadness, letting go, cherishing, & communing, in a very rich meaningful way. I am approaching my death willing to accept it as a transitional stage of life, & as a part of my life that I can still be actively involved in.  The ability to self reflect has been a great bonus, & I believe would be a useful skill for anyone to have. Mindfulness has been a useful tool & having alone time has been essential. I’ve found I have no interest in establishing new bonds, although this still happens naturally. Rather, existing bonds have been my focus & there has been a “turning inward” away from the world. Sometimes this has been hard for Rest Home staff to accept, as their focus is more on maintaining an active, engaged life as people age. Their desire has been to fill my hours up with activities, which I have resisted. Other helpful tasks have involved completing an Advanced Directive, detailing how I would like to be cared for & where I wish to die, plus meeting with a Funeral Director to discuss my wishes (plus inform Mahmoud of what to expect, as there is no embalming of the body etc. in his culture). I have engaged Hospice Services into a “shared care” relationship with the Rest Home Facility as they are the experts in care of the dying. I have chosen my last piece of furniture, i.e. my coffin, where I wish to be buried, & Mahmoud & I have chosen a headstone/a double one. All these things done I am now enjoying the time I have seeing friends, family, having outings & doing short trips in NZ. So that is my life until I am “returned to sender”.

All the very best to you & family.

God Bless,


3/1/16 (Susan)

Dear David,

I have been reading through the attachments you sent when energy allows. I am finding your writing enjoyable, cohesive & easy to read. I am still reading through Joseph’s writings.

So good to hear mention of Joseph Campbell, one of my “heroes” in developing my thinking about spiritual matters.  And Martin Buber still rings clearly in my mind from Psychotherapist training. Some of what you speak of reminds me of the concept of the Adam Kadmon within the Kabbalah & gnostic or Pauline Christianity. I certainly relate to the perspective that all is vibration. In fact this reality made it possible for me to be healed via a Buddhist sound technique taught to me at a healing retreat by Chris .This technique enabled me to move beyond 6yrs of constant pain, which I was experiencing due to a ruptured c5 disc. On day 2 of this week long retreat all pain dissappeared, & though subsequent x rays show the old injury still exists with narrowing between the discs, I have never returned to that daily, debilitating pain. Also as a result of the work we did on this retreat I entered such a heightened sensitivity that I experienced the “oneness” you talk about, including hearing the sound that “everything” makes. This retreat spoke directly to my heart, enabling me to release the feelings of longing & sadness I had internalised, engendered by my belief that I was “separated” from God.

Breath travels through matter, creating movement which creates sound. Sound alters vibration & structural patterning. Years ago I experimented with the music of Geoff Clarkson, a Kiwi musician who composes music to aid meditation, relaxation etc. I was Matron of a Rest Home at the time, & found my residents were often fractious, having petty squabbles & altercations. Playing Geoff’s original soundtrack of “Butterfly” via the paged music system had such a profound effect on staff & residents that I later incorporated his CDs & live music sessions with him into my work in Psychosocial & Inpatient rehabilitation.

In looking at memory & PTSD I am reminded of my training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which was a 1yr elective at Psychotherapy school. I found a combination of CBT & NLP more effective than CBT alone in getting results with anxiety sufferers.

It gives me joy to read how you are incorporating a peaceful approach towards talking about war & the development of war consciousness. Through Kriya Yoga I was benefited by learning that the way to protest for change is by creating more balance of peaceful, proactive, or positive energy. This is to counterbalance the energy of anger, hate, violence, already in the world.  Some of the early “circle dancing” I did, missed this point, with facilitators propagating, “express you anger into the dance”, with no modifying expression to follow.

With discussion of the four directions I am reminded of four Archangels; Michael, Raphael, Uriel, & Gabriel.  These vibratory emanations speak to the Mastery of the colour/sound/movement components you mention.   I am currently wondering how I can use knowledge about suffering for myself, regarding my physical disability. Though the cancer hasn’t thrown me, the disability has. I am certainly not at peace with that. The only thing I can be grateful to it for, is that it is making it easier to let go of this existence.

Flying High

Flying High, Susan MacGregor

As you can see, your writings have moved me to recall these moments within my own life, & some of the rich teachings I have been privileged to discover. Thank you for that.

All the very best, may your work be blessed to produce the results you want.

Kind regards, Susan MacGregor