Many of us watched Ram Dass’ film, “Fierce Grace” on Super Soul Sunday, where we were introduced to a family that had carried a grief that we pray no one ever has to know. Their daughter, Rachel, had been murdered at a young age of 11. As they struggled to deal with her passing, they found comfort in a letter they had received from Ram Dass. After many requests, we wanted to share this letter in hopes that it will help other families deal with their loss. Please pass this link on to anyone who may need it.
Steve and Anita,
Rachel finished her brief work on earth, and left the stage in a manner that leaves those of us left behind with a cry of agony in our hearts, as the fragile threads of faith are dealt with so violently. Is anyone strong enough to stay conscious through such teachings as you are receiving? Probably very few. And even they would only have a whisper of equanimity and spacious peace amidst the screaming trumpets of their rage, grief, horror and desolation.
I can not assuage your pain with any words, nor should I. For your pain is Rachel’s legacy to you. Not that she or I would inflict such pain by choice, but there it is. And it must burn its purifying way to completion. You may emerge from this ordeal more dead than alive. Or something within you dies when you bear the unbearable, and it is only in that dark night of the soul that you are prepared to see as God sees, and to love as God loves.
Now is the time to let your grief find expression. No false strength. Now is the time to sit quietly and speak to Rachel, and thank her for being with you these few years, and encourage her to go on with her work knowing that you will grow in compassion and wisdom from this experience. In my heart, I know that you and she will meet again and again, and recognize the many ways in which you have known each other. And when you meet you will, in a flash, know what now it is not given to you to know: Why this had to be the way it was.
Your rational minds can never understand what has happened, but your hearts, if we can keep them open to God, will find their own intuitive way. Rachel came through you to do her work on earth, which included her manner of death. Now her soul is free, and the love that you can share with her is invulnerable to the winds of changing time and space. In that deep love, include me, too.
So much love,
A special “thank you” to the Ram Dass Tape Gallery (a non-profit community dedicated to preserving and distributing Ram Dass’ teachings) for allowing us to share Rachel’s letter. Although their letter differed slightly, we adjusted it to be word-for-word with the film. To visit their site, click here.