I had just landed after being in India for 30 days for my 30th birthday. I felt so good about everything. I gained enormous clarity on various aspects of my life, and had experiences that I would never forget. And on the last day of my trip, I sat watching the sun rise behind the trees, with my coffee in hand, thanking God for the beautiful life he had given me. I felt a wave of peace and gratitude come over me as I said goodbye to the place that felt like home for a whole month.
I literally had just stepped off the ramp from the airplane and as my phone got recalibrated to my home territory it began to vibrate continuously as the texts and notifications poured in. I listened to my voicemails first.
There was a message from an unknown number. I hit the play button, and listened to it as I walked briskly towards customs, excited to see my mom and sister who were picking me up from the airport. The lady on the voicemail said she was from an investigator's office in Nevada looking for family members of Vincent Posa. Nevada? My immediate thought was that maybe my dad gambled just a little too much in Vegas and got in trouble for something. But as I headed towards customs, I started to worry. I texted my family asking, "When's the last time you spoke to Dad?" One of my sisters responded, "The day before yesterday, why?" I called the number again, but the customs officer told me I had to get off my phone so I told the woman I'd call her back.
I got through customs super fast and headed to baggage claim excited to tell my mom and sister that I would be out shortly. As I watched the conveyor belt start moving I realized that I had almost forgotten to call the number back. The lady answered again. She asked if I was Danielle Posa. I said yes. She asked, "Are you the daughter of Vincent Posa?" I said "yes." My heart began to race in my chest as I could hear the tone of her voice becoming significantly more sympathetic. The speed of my words began to match the speed of my heartbeat. "Is everything okay? Did something happen to him?"
"I'm afraid I have some bad news." (I couldn't believe they use the exact same words as in all the movies I had seen. And I knew what was coming.)
"Your father was in a motorcycle accident last night, and I'm afraid he passed away. I'm so so sorry."
"He what?" I thought maybe I had heard her incorrectly.
"He died." She reiterated.
"My dad died?"
"Yes. I'm so sorry."
I buckled over. Tears bursted out of my face. Panic and a sharp pain in my chest took over as she continued to give me the details -- knowing that she needed to say it all at once and avoid dragging out the process. As I cried hysterically in the midst of all of the people still waiting for their luggage, I tried to listen to what she was saying.
I walked over to the nearest chair, without my bags, as they had not yet even emerged through the opening in the wall. I clung to the phone as the woman on the other end of the line kept saying how sorry she was. She kept calling me sweetie and somehow I felt I was talking to a relative and not a stranger, as now she was a part of my life that would be with me forever. I could barely breathe. I sat curled up in a ball on the seat like a child, asking her more questions between hysterics -- wanting to know how this could have happened. "This can't be real." I kept saying to her. I couldn't see anything around me. Airport officials came up to me asking if I was okay and their faces were just a blur.
"My dad died." I said with my eyes closed. I couldn't believe the words were coming out of my mouth.
They offered to find my bags on the conveyor belt and came over with a wheel chair since I could hardly stand up.
I was still talking to the woman stranger on the phone when I got another call. It was my Mom beeping in because she was waiting for me outside in the car. She had not yet heard the news. No one had. I happened to be the first one to call the Coroner's Office back...
As they pushed me toward the car, I felt like I was moving in slow motion watching someone else's life unfold. My mom and sister began to panic when they saw me.
Christina asked, "Is it Dad?" She remembered the text I had sent earlier asking about him.
I nodded, barely able to break the news to her. She broke down and sat on the curb with her face in her hands.
We called my sister in Costa Rica, and then my other sister in Florida having to repeat the same phrase several times... "Dad died."
We sat there in the car for 20 minutes outside the airport unable to move.
It was the worst day of my life.
It's been 3 weeks since his death and there is a new sadness that lives inside of me that feels like it will never fade away. It's as if my being has been permanently changed. The cells of my body are different. My organs feel different. And my heart physically aches inside of my chest.
But then I remind myself that this is now my life.
I used to ALWAYS tell my dad that "everything happens for a reason." I'd mostly say it when he was feeling regretful, felt he made a mistake, or that he should have done things differently. I wanted him to know that there were no mistakes, and nothing to regret... because I believed there was some kind of divine arrangement for everything.
So as I sit here writing this on yet another flight, in the midst of the clouds, perhaps closest to the heavens, I feel him reminding me of what I once preached to him.
I know that he wants me to find the silver lining. He wants me to be open to the signs, and receptive to his messages.
He wants me to be fully present. To experience myself at a higher level -- the non-physical, non-local level -- so that I can be where he is. So that I can still be with him.
Because if there is one thing that can almost force us to raise our consciousness, to realize ourselves as "spiritual beings having a human experience" (as opposed to the other way around), it's the death of a loved one. It makes me want to explore this part of our existence. It makes me want to tap into the inexplicable domain of the universe... because I need to talk to my dad. I need him to talk to me. I need to feel his presence. I need to know that I can still let him know how much I love him and to tell him how good of a job he did as my father. I need to be able to channel him, to download his wisdom, and to know how he would like me to proceed.
My dad has now become the catalyst for my spiritual development.
I think that my dad felt that his job was done on the "physical plane." He has taught me and all of my sisters how to be self-sufficient in so many ways. Our lives with him have been filled up with unique memories and experiences that will never die. His purpose as a father on earth was complete. And I think that somehow he knew that by being amongst the stars, and in the breeze... he would be able to guide us on an entirely new level.
He is telling me that I need to listen more intently, open my eyes even wider, pay closer attention, be better, love harder, grow faster, and live fuller. He is telling me that there is so much more of myself to explore that lives beyond the boundaries of my physical presence.
So I will do all of that, be all of that, and see this as the beginning of a new life, a new journey. I will look at this as an intervention... something that will open me up to new experiences, and miraculous discoveries that I never knew were in store for me
And during those moments when I'm missing him the most, that's when I will remind myself that it's just him knocking on the door of my soul, waiting to deliver a message.