A friend sent this blurb she picked up on Facebook: “January was a tough year, but we made it through!” Another friend called January “fierce, ferocious, fast and furious”. But we’re done with that. We’re done cleaning up and releasing 2019. Now we’re in 2020, a new month and a new energy. The ride of the year is ramping up.

Did anyone notice what a special day yesterday was? Sunday, February 2 wasn’t just Superbowl LIV (won by the Kansas City Chiefs – so congrats Chiefs and Chiefs’ fans), or the Wiccan/Pagan Holy Day of Imbolc signifying the midpoint between Winter Solstice and Vernal Equinox and the beginning of light returning to the Northern Hemisphere, or the Christian festival of Candlemas, again bringing light back to the world from the Dark Days of winter, or America’s Groundhog Day which this year predicted an early spring…

…it was a rare palindrome day (in this case not letters but the date being the same forward and backward). February 2, 2020 is 02/02/2020. This hasn’t happened in 909 years. The last time we had a date without the number “1” in it was eleven years ago. Our next palindrome day is 101 years out (12/12/2121). It’s another one of those signs that this year is so very special. Hope everyone had a good day no matter what you were doing, and dives into this year and all its possibilities with commitment and “Let Go, Let God/dess”. It can be wonderful if we let it.


There have been a lot of questions about the death of Kobe Bryant and his teenage daughter, Gianna, just a little over a week ago on January 26 from a helicopter crash. It shocked and saddened everyone, affecting us all deeply…more deeply than many expected. Grief overwhelmed us as if we knew him personally. The biggest question wasn’t “what happened to the helicopter”, but “why?” It felt so wrong!

This man was young (in a standard, expected life span), his daughter was young. He was vital and successful and influential in the best way possible. His daughter was made of light, strength and possibility. They both had so much left to do with their lives. It didn’t seem fair. From the way most organized religions consider death, it wasn’t fair. But if we look at it from a different perspective, it can make sense.

This is what I have discovered and believe based on my spiritual practice, understanding karma and thirty years of connecting with my clients’ passed loved ones in readings, and on my personal experiences with death. It is a broader and deeper understanding of death than I was taught growing up in the Christian faith. It makes more sense to me than those teachings and gives me peace. By sharing what I’ve learned with those who are in grief, I believe I have helped them.

To me, death is not an ending, as I believe in the birth-life-death-rebirth cycle also known as reincarnation. Many believe in that. But it doesn’t explain why something like the sudden, unexpected death of Kobe Bryant happens. It does if we look at all the levels involved, which can give us understanding. And that helps with our grief.

Even though we are not conscious of it, as we choose our life before we reincarnate into it, we also choose our death. It is not helpful for us to remember that when we are physical so we don’t. The manner of the death completes a karmic path. Just as cancer is the Great Karmic Leveler – the intensity of the suffering, pain and fear pays back multiple karmic “wrongs” done in past lives (or clears the “bad” karma of a loved one who is unable to do it for themselves) – so is unexpected death, especially if it’s violent or happens to someone who is young.

As an example: if, in other lives, we have been cruel or mean or bad because that was our path, and/or we had negative reactions to circumstances that we’d wanted to handle differently, and/or we caused a lot of pain for ourselves and others, and/or we did a lot of damage, we can wrap that all up into one hard death that cleans our slate.

It isn’t just our negative past actions that are cleaned up, it’s also healing negative actions that have happened to us, such as trauma from war or a life in poverty. It can include paying back karmic debts like leaving a wife behind to participate in a noble war and getting killed (which left her with a difficult life of surviving emotionally and physically). We’ve all had those kind of lives, whether or not we feel connected to them in this life. Having to leave loved ones behind, knowing the level of devastation and grief they will feel, is part of it.

In this lifetime of being able to complete, heal and pay back much more karma than in any other, this kind of death has more meaning and offers a new arc of success and learning as we incarnate the next time. It’s like taking a ten-lifetimes-worth master class final exam, passing it and graduating into new awareness and a new journey. No more going back over stuff to make sure we got it. We can move on.

Kobe Bryant may not have been mean or destructive in other lifetimes, but know there is a personal-growth reason he died at this time in the way he did. Just as the success he had and how hard he worked for it and how he chose to positively influence and affect others with his fame was part of that personal growth.

But events like the death of someone as well known and loved as Kobe Bryant have other levels to them. I believe his death also came at a time when we all needed a reason to mourn much more than a single person’s passing. There is so much fear in us right now, fear of the change we are experiencing now, and so much fear of running full speed ahead into the unknown that we needed an outlet. Most of us aren’t consciously aware of that fear yet we still feel it.

Perhaps the entire world did not know of or follow Kobe Bryant’s career, but those who did – all over the world – grieved hard and are still grieving. The intensity of that grief is also the grief we are feeling as we end a way of life we’ve known for 2,000 years. In completing a karmic journey for himself, he also gave the world the ability to come together and share and release. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that his death came at this time, for him or for us.

When I reached out to him after he passed, I found his soul was at peace, and so was his daughter’s. There was an advanced understanding in them that the shock and grief their deaths caused would be hard on everyone, especially family and friends, but that it was for a higher purpose – for them and us. Except for their sorrow for how loved ones would take their deaths, they were at peace.

If those they left behind knew how much this accomplished for both of them on their lifetimes journey, and what their passing gave us, I hope they would not be angry or resentful or fearful of the unanswered “Why?” They would feel the loss, but knowing those two souls were on a higher path might give them some comfort.

I offer this with love and gratitude…


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