I was saddened to hear today that Carla Hartley lost her husband Ray to cancer. Carla is a midwife, and is known in the birth world as a tireless advocate for women’s choice in birthing, for her profound trust in the process of birth, and for her commitment to teaching other women to be midwives in this spirit.

Carla and her family worked tirelessly to support Ray through his dying process, and were with him to witness his spirit’s Deliverance. There are no words to describe the pain of the loss of a beloved partner. I have been teary all day for Carla and her children, who have lost their father.

We can wax spiritual and philosophical, but that doesn’t make pain any better. The truth is that loss hurts. Yes, from the perspective of our Higher Selves it opens our hearts, creates compassion, is part of life, is just a drop in the bucket given the eternity of our souls, but in the here and now, we attached humans suffer with unimaginable heartbreak in the wake of a loved one’s death. There seems to be no way through to healing except to be with and work through that startling level of emotional pain. The vast majority of people go through it at least a couple times in their lives, but its commonality doesn’t make it any easier to cope with. I guess we just have to trust this hard core human experience of loss and the pain associated with it has purpose, and it is our job to make personal meaning of it for healing.

I am comforted to know Carla is surrounded by a huge web of love and support. She is a woman of strong faith in her spiritual convictions, and I hope this creates an island of peace within an ocean of pain.

I don’t know Carla personally, but from what I have known of her and read about her, she is an amazing, giving, kind, involved, beautiful person, and has touched many many lives. Please send her love and prayers for comfort in this challenging time.

Ray’s medical expenses were huge from what I’m gathering, and with Carla’s focus being entirely on Ray’s around-the-clock care, expenses have far exceeded income for a while. Donations through Paypal can be sent to raysfund@gmail.com to help ease the financial stress on Carla and her family at this time when they should be able to grieve in peace.