Time, and Answers

WE BEGIN, as mortals on Earth, with a million questions.

By the time we’re four or five years into our beliefs here, we know there are answers and we intend to find them.  And sure enough, by the time we’ve spent a few decades here, watched blessings that we thought were disasters when they happened, we have some answers that work for us.

Comes a time when we have so many answers that there’s hardly a question we haven’t resolved and we sail easily through the deep waters that once were reefs and shoals of unsolved mysteries.

Troubles are events for us, we don’t have to worry about what used to be the tests, to be the problems for us to solve.  By the time difficult times arrive, we’ve already got matched answers trotting four abreast.

But all these answers!  Can we share them with those few who might be interested?

Can we list a problem that seemed to be impossible when we met it, and that’s now a quiet gentle answer?

I don’t know, but I’ll try:

My daughter was a beautiful teenager.  Years ago, there was an accident on a snowy windy night, another car left its lane and hit her automobile in a head-on collision.   Minutes before, for no reason, my daughter had unfastened her seat belt.  With the crash, she was killed almost instantly.

What were the odds, that two women in the other car would lose control in the snow and the wind and the dark at just the second that my daughter’s car was traveling straight and level in the other lane?  Every other person survived the crash.

So rare, the odds, that they’re was no chance of it happening.  One in millions of possibilities…what could have told her to unlatch her seat belt and shoulder harness, at exactly the moment she did?

Is there any way to explain this thing we called a winter accident?  I thought no, there’s no possibility.

Not long after the crash though, my other daughter, her dearest friend, began receiving messages from her sister.  She told us that her sister is happy and busy in her afterlife, that she loves being a help to young girls who have come over swiftly, who might be puzzled about what has happened and what lessons it offered for her friends and family.

How could she have understood the mission that she chose, I thought, if she had not died as she did, in the snow and the wind and the night?  Had she lived a long uneventful life, could she have felt the way other young women feel, ending a lifetime early?

This story may mean nothing to some readers.  Others will find a different explanation for the event: it was not a choice that we can make; it was God’s will; it was bad luck.

And yet, for me, and I think for my daughters, their answer changes the shadows that darkened that night.  Their answer brought light, just as we hoped it could bring, to every one of our lives.

24 thoughts on “Time, and Answers

  1. I was very interested in hearing your story. It reminds me to never take death in vain….how honoring it is to your teenage daughter to know that you have received a message/lesson/understanding from that event and have shared it with others like us here.

  2. You writing this and putting up here was really good timing for me right now. One of my fellow teachers at school took her own life about a week ago and everyone — even her best friend of 20 plus years, her fiance and her two young-adult children — knew she had problems she was facing but did not see this coming at all, As the people who knew her have been talking together and trying to find the answers to why she did this, we have discovered a lot of things both about her and about each other — and even about ourselves.


  3. Wonderful topic.

    A loved one chooses a relatively different life from social norms and die young to give us a life lesson in the here-now?.

    In the decade of the seventies the human brain and the human being was treated like a machine for experimentation. My older brother was one of them and was treated with all drugs and electro-shocks.

    His spirit, days before leaving his worn body, says goodbye to me with tears in his eyes, turns around and leaves.

    His spirit has been a guardian angel for watching over me not to fall into excesses?.

    Today I think yes, and here I am with Richard Bach sharing his wonderful ideas of unity and love.

  4. I understand this one so well, probably due in large part to your books over the years, partly from personal experience. Though I don’t have kids, I’ve naturally experienced what I might otherwise call losses but which seem more like everything working out as it should.

    I think those guardian angels are always whispering to us, whether we recognize it or not, always guiding. And maybe that’s why we sometimes make choices which seem to make little sense at the time. But I always come back to wondering why we’re programmed to look at such things as tragedies. “The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy…”

  5. I have always struggled with the idea that our lives have a plan, that our futures are pre-ordained. Obviously, the choices we make shape our lives. Even seemingly insignificant decisions like momentarily unbuckling a seatbelt end up being significant events in our lives. Was your daughter “destined” to unbuckle her belt that night? I don’t think so. I don’t think she died to give her sister answers, or to fulfill her destiny to be an ambassador for lost souls. Perhaps to teach the lesson that we can be brought to understanding, purpose and light by even the smallest of decisions that we make.

  6. Hello, Richard.
    I find myself confused, trying to go on with this message. I’ve been carrying it with me for like four or five years now. Sometimes I would go over to my open window, stare at the sky and try to reach out to you to make you feel my gratefulness. How awkward is that? I also thougth of sending you a post card, saying something short and simple. Something like “Hello, Richard. Thank you. P.S. Could you send me that kartoffelkuchen recipe from your grandmother? Best wishes…”
    I guess my message turns out to be not so short after all.
    So thank you. For making me feel connected to something. To everything.
    Sincerely yours (and a bit embarrassed),

  7. My philosophy is that the Universe always knows what it’s doing. Quite often I don’t understand it, but on some level I accept that there are greater machinations that I could possibly conceive of, at least as this wee human being here on this wee planet in this vast consciousness that I am one with, again in ways that I don’t truly fathom …..

    Thanks for sharing this bittersweet, yet ultimately inspirational story, Richard.

  8. Richard,

    Your piece reminds me of the question: What is Real? Asked by the Rabbit in The Velveteen Rabbit written by Margery Williams and what the Skin Horse teaches the Rabbit. <3

  9. Most of us need to make sense of things. I believe now truth doesn’t matter anymore. I wonder if there is such thing as truth. I doubt it. Our beliefs shape our universe, and your daughters’ beautiful beliefs shaped theirs. Yours shape yours, mine shape mine. I believe she had chosen her path, and thus it is so to me. Others won`t. And thus it is so for them. It doesn’t make any difference, just to the believer. We can choose our beliefs, can’t we? I used to believe as a child I would communicate with you one day. And here I am, for it was my belief. All truths are real, none is. I try to choose the ones that make me happy and make me feel Love. Your story is my kind of story. Your truth is similar to my truth. There is Love in it. You spread Love with every word. Beautiful, really. Thank you for sharing it. You touched my heart, as you always do.

  10. Thank you for sharing these events with us. I am certain that life fills the universe, and our role on the physical plane is to “widen our mental horizons” and learn! Having flown military (incl. F84’s…) and Airline, as well as private airplanes, i remember many instances when I sat back and was stunned by something I had said, or done or switched, which later proved the right thing to have done exactly then.
    My son had a phsae where he proved to us parents that he was absolutely certain what color the next car would have, coming around a corner. He would always stand excatly where the next elevator would arrive in highrise buildings… So much – and yet there is no real “handle”, it seems. Best of luck and insights for you! Thank you again. John

  11. Thanks, Richard, for sharing this: “Not long after the crash though, my other daughter, her dearest friend, began receiving messages from her sister. She told us that her sister is happy and busy in her afterlife, that she loves being a help to young girls who have come over swiftly, who might be puzzled about what has happened and what lessons it offered for her friends and family.”

    In your conversation with your guardian angel in the blog below, you express feelings of loneliness, but feelings can be valuable messages and loneliness can be the capacity of love needing to be expressed. You do in fact express a lot of love in your writing so you are connected to ALL LOVE as your daughters are experiencing. Wherever and whenever we can express a little love, we are touching the Wholeness of Love, one of the great values of our sequential time-space experience that teaches us the many facets of LOVE which is our SOURCE expressing through, with and in us.

  12. Yes!
    Looking at disasters to find the hidden blessing. What fun!

    I coined a word for such things. obstatunities = obstacle + opportunities

    If it’s the biggest obstatunity of your life so far it is your obstatunami = obstacle + opportunity + tsunami

    pronounced: obsta two nami

    It needs to be “two” not “su” because the “two” is the only part of opportunity left in there and that’s a crucial bit.

  13. Dear Richard,

    Sometimes we need something that causes our heart to break before we can learn how to truly love. That is the message I have from your story, and tears mist my eyes as I write this.

    Bless you for sharing your stories for they have the power to change many lives.

    I also enjoyed reading all the replies that show how important this business of sharing is.

  14. Wonderful to find that you, Richard, are still producing such beautiful and inspirational thoughts. Thanks are not enough response to acknowledge the profound help your work has been to me for,I’m guessing,30 odd years.
    The Messiah’s Handbook in particular,,when used prayerfully, never fails to clarify and guide in times of (imagined) crisis.
    Here’s hoping we’ll have the joy of many more ouf your thoughts –or is that greedy? Toml

  15. Thank you for this post and for again being willing to share your personal, deeply held answers, … as well as questions. I first discovered your books about thirty years ago at a time in my life when the answers I had acquired during my younger years and believed to be “real” no longer functioned for me in any respect. Your words were some of the valued resources that led me through the on going development of a more sustainable and joyful expression of my life. Ten years after, through the death of my youngest son, still a teenager, their truth remained a touchstone. May your thoughts continue to evolve and, … expressed …, bring clarity and joy to you as well as your many readers.

  16. Richard,

    Living, Richard, is just that, and ‘That’ is living, as we have come to know it, in my experience.

    However, we are all here, and now, whether we are enjoying it, or not, remains QED

    Patrick ^_^

  17. Hi Richard,

    Thank you for sharing that.

    I have many of the same wanderings. In fact, our attitude to death has always puzzled me. I don’t mean our reactions to death, especially of a loved one, but that we consider life better than the alternative; that no matter what we think death is, we seem both individually and collectively to fight it off. Pathologically so.

    I’m overly aware of this because – somewhere around the age of 9 or 10 – I entered a period where I wanted very badly to ‘go home’, and felt this ‘home’ to be on the other side of death in exactly the same way as I felt it had been on the other side of birth. Since then I have always felt that here, life, was somewhere I was choosing to be – as in Shakespear’s “To be or not to be” question.

    The feeling I had back then has never gone away, and what I got from that early and ongoing experience (that life is a choice) has become a fascination with what it is that is making that choice? Our surface mind, the part of us we call consciousness, often does not want to be here, and often (about three times a minute, globally speaking) wants to not be here badly enough to make its owner try to kill themselves. And yet, if it fails, we often change our minds and carry on. So something, something deeper and more silent I suspect, really wants to live. I don’t believe this is a higher being like a God, nor do I think it is merely the ‘fight for life’ driving force of Mother Nature. But I suspect it is something in between.

    I suspect that we are something that is growing, something that is learning and evolving. That we are doing it both collectively and individually. Like a choir. That within this physical realm we explore some things, and in the other, so called spiritual realms, we explore other things. Perhaps we cling to life because we have developed an actual pathology to help us stick at what is often a very hard thing to do, or perhaps it is because this ‘thing’ that we are grows the most here, and so feels more alive, and that holds it to it. I don’t know, and don’t expect to. But I do sense that it nods towards why we grieve when we lose a loved one to that other world, that it is because we feel more distance from that thing, that whole which we are, and thus a little bit more lonely.

    Either way, it has always felt good to me to remember that life is a choice. We may not know why we make it each day, and we certainly make all sorts of unlikely rationales to comfort ourselves in that choice, but I do think it helps to know it is one. And that ‘we’ (the bit that is making it) is not alone. That it is this bit that connects us all – whatever choice we make, and wherever we and our loved ones are.

  18. I had a friend who planned to leave the world just the way your daughter did, in an accident. Her decision was a conscious one,and it brought her into a different level of communication with her guides or whatever we’d call them. They told her she would be lifted out of her body before the impact and would be with them. We both believed that.

    • Just reading _Closer to the Light._ Many young people have had NDEs. No longer a question, they really happened.

      • I have a dog-eared copy of Closer to the Light that was given to me by a friend many years ago. Of all the books I’ve read on the afterlife, that is the one that stayed with me, and gives me assurance that there is a life beyond what we know here. Many of the children in that book were too young to have been influenced by any particular religion or preconceived notion of the afterlife, and yet, their stories were all so similar. I’m glad the book found its way to you as well.

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