The phone rang at 11.45pm on Wednesday 30 July 1997. It was a friend who lived in the same ski village as me. “Come quickly” he said. “there has been an accident, someone is hurt, bring your first aid kit’. I crossed the road and went up the path to his lodge. When I got there I saw that the lodge next-but-one to where he and his daughter lived had collapsed down the mountain!
As the State Emergency Service personnel had not arrived, the disaster area was being patrolled by the local volunteer fire brigade who were not allowing anyone on the site. And so unfolded a disaster that captured the attention of the world for some ten days!
Our small village was quickly consumed by the large contingent of SES personnel, the police and the media. It took over a week to uncover all the bodies and body parts and the lone survivor Stuart Diver. Stuart had lain trapped in a small space between two concrete slabs next to his dead wife for three days before being rescued. It was some time before it was established who had been in the lodge at the time of the slide, as many residents had guests with them and some who were usually resident in the lodge were staying elsewhere.
Until all the bodies were recovered our village was in lock-down and swarming with emergency services personnel, hangers on and the media – from local to international. A crew from one of the major TV news channels camped out side my laundry window and plugged their electrical cords through my window. It was like living in a pressure cooker as people waited to hear who would be the next body to be identified. Relationships were strained and some fell apart as people struggled to come to terms with what had happened. Some were affected physically with heart attacks and the like while others were affected emotionally. No one who was resident in the small village was untouched.
Eighteen people died, seventeen of whom were locals as one of the lodges which slid down the mountain was the Thredbo staff lodge. All but one of the locals were known to me – most being close friends. Six friends were scheduled to come to dinner with me the week after, including Mim and Mike who my friend had heard call out from the wreckage. Even after the last body was recovered from the site of the slide, the village did not get back to normal for many years.
I had post-traumatic stress disorder, which was not diagnosed until two years after the event. It took several more years of healing to fully recover from the shock and trauma of the disaster and to gain a deeper understanding of the nature and true meaning of death.
During the process of healing I gained a deeper understanding of death and how it can come to anyone at any time.
Had I had this understanding before the landslide I would have had a very different experience and most certainly not have had anything that I needed to heal from.
I had always had an interest and a knowing around reincarnation, and at times in my life I have had a sense of a place or person feeling very familiar, even though I had never been to the place or met the person before. However, I did not fully understand reincarnation until I started attending Universal Medicine events where Serge Benhayon presented about cycles, how everything in the Universe is based on cycles, and how we are much greater than our physical body. It makes sense to me that we keep coming back into a physical body to do it all again until we learn to live in harmony as a one humanity.
It also makes sense that after our spirit departs the physical body, that the physical body is then just an empty vessel with no further purpose. I could never understand why a dead body was often put on show and idolized or even just kept overnight in the family home. This seems very macabre when in truth the dead body is just that – dead!
Funerals also hold no interest for me. People often say to me that funerals are to celebrate the recently deceased, but if we celebrated a person while they were alive, our relationship with them would be complete and there would be no need for further celebrations.
Through my healing I have come to a unshakeable knowing that we are more than one life, and that over the course of our existence on this planet of life we have died several thousands of times before.
It is one of our most practiced activities and even though most people have no conscious memory of it, our bodies are familiar with the process if only we listen to them and do not resist or fight what the body innately knows what to do.
Hence, when it comes time to transport my body to the crematorium it is of no interest or matter to me how that is done so long as it is done as quickly as possible, and the simpler the better. So, why not a cardboard coffin?
Who would not be caught dead in a cardboard coffin? It is definitely the way to go for me …
Read what funeral directors have to say here.
For guidelines on cardboard coffins, caskets and the like, click here.
For more guidelines on cardboard coffins, click here.
For general guide to coffin prices, click here.
. . . Or perhaps make your own – see how here.
Anne McR., Australia