Leaving the body

Last night, 1st December,  my dear, darling husband left his body peacefully at 8.19pm.  I say left his body because it became very obvious that there was no longer an inhabitant in that body at that time.  One minute he was there, the next minute, gone.  And that is death. That moment.

River had earlier quoted his partner Amanda (whom he had tended while she had leukaemia) as saying ‘Death takes a moment. Until then, I am living’.  And it is so true.

My dear, sweet man struggled in the last few days of being in the body. I have to say ‘the’ body instead of ‘his’ body because it sounds weird now to refer to him as having a body when it was so clear that the body was just the packaging for his spirit. Who Philip is was simply flowing through that particular form for that particular time. Now he is elsewhere but very close. Can I feel him?  I feel immensely loved, immensely. So, yes, I think I can say I feel him.

In fact,  I could not look at what had been him in that familiar, dear form for much longer after he had died.  River had reminded me that in Buddhism they speak of the spirit floating upwards in to the room, and when I turned my eyes towards the ceiling, it felt so much better – to address my love where he really was, and not in the discarded body.

I will write more about his journey of the last few days, which has been a remarkable one on many levels (what else might I have expected from such a remarkable man?), but I just wanted to share this, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love and support for him and for me.

This photo was taken in October, when our friends Barbara and Michael were visiting from Los Angeles.



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61 Responses to Leaving the body

  1. Alastair says:

    You have written very beautifully about this Jane. I am very sorry that Philip has gone and that his body gave him such a difficult time. I will see you soon.

  2. joanna says:

    Dear Jane, I read this this morning with tears and then a smile at the lovely photo. Bless you dear one. Love and a huge hug for you. x Joanna

  3. Tree says:

    Strength courage tenacity and deep consistent love. These have been so present throughout the process Jane. You have been pivotal and you have drawn us to you like bees to a flower. Love has been at the centre and love generates more love…..deep gratitude for all you have given and for Philip’s life
    So much love
    Tree xx

  4. tom kelly says:

    Oh Jane, it is so moving to listen to your words, to feel your attitude, responsiveness and sense your role in his life all of which seem so beautiful and how you both admirably evolved as i think back to your wedding day circa 20 years ago. I agree that he is a remarkable man. I had a small experience of it last night. In this past I have prayed for or tuned into a few people immediately after their deaths but last night stood out. In the past i’ve had a familiar feeling of peace but last night was much more aware of an inner light and presence. Of course one hope it is the ‘light’ but i had such a strong sense of the light of Philip’s consciousness and presence opening himself to the next stage of his journey. One of his most admirable qualities in my experience is his willingness to face what is. So i sensed or imagined him having a remarkable first encounter with something he had thought about a great deal in his life: Where is this heading? What is it ultimately about? etc. And if i have any grasp of these subtle dimensions (and hesitate in assuming too much) my impression is he is having a splendid time. And I feel a sense of his and your beauty and the naturalness of what is. love Tom

  5. Kate says:

    Dearest Jane, you are both remarkable…. I have been very sad this morning without knowing why, and Philip has been in my thoughts, so now as I read your blog entry, it makes sense to me. Whilst the physical journey hasn’t felt grace-filled, the emotional and spiritual journey you have shared together through this challenge feels enormously filled with grace. And I wish for you, a continuing flow of love, grace and gentleness. Love Kate

  6. Barbara says:

    Philip’s impeccable timing! Love, love, love dear Jane.

  7. Carin says:

    Dearest Jane, how sad but how beautifully written. Now he is free, without pain. I will hold his beautiful smile in my heart. The thoughts are shifting to how to best help you with your transition. Love and hugs.

  8. Alex says:

    Sending you both love, warmth and consciousness for both your journeys. Two beautiful, remarkable people – with love, Alex

  9. Lindy Gibbon says:

    Dear Jane,
    Philip’s story touched me immensely when I heard him at the Conscious Medicine conference earlier this year and I was so glad that he came to us at the ‘Hotel of Love’ . I know you will be cherished and cared for as will dear Philip to help on his onward journey. I am fond of Kahlil Gibran’s words “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart and you will see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” May they comfort you now. Love and Blessings, Lindy

  10. Sylvia Black says:

    Precious Jane, and precious Philip,

    I know you are aware of these words Philip, so I address you both,

    May you both be blessed by the extraordinary experience of these last few months. By sharing your journey, your vulnerability, your love and ultimately your death with so many, you have allowed it to have a huge impact. It is said that a soul chooses it’s passing very carefully, in order to make the biggest ‘difference’ How wise and courageous you have both been. My heart goes out to you Jane. I have such admiration and respect for all that you are. Goodness shines through you and is an enormous inspiration. May you be held in the palm of God’s hand right now, and relax into the love that is pouring out to you from all of us and of course from your beloved man. As you say, he is just in the next room.

    Thank you Philip for allowing me into your world, and thank you for the joy of your life!

    Blessings and enfolding love,
    Sylvia xxx

  11. Jan Fairley says:

    what a sad sad day – and what a heroic example – last week a colleague died in an airport- on his way between UK and USA – on his own – for a time no one knew what had become of him – what a difficult thing death is in its many forms – Philip had such a remarkable attitude to life – and death – may peace be with him and transcendency – bathed in light – what an example of true human integrity about who we are and the way we live and engage with that joy of living – love to the family at this sad sad time

  12. Lisa Mead says:

    In remembrance of Philip, and in celebration of how much he embraced and emanated love, particularly in the last year of his life, I share with you this poem by Hafiz, from page 66 of “The Gift”, which I sent to Philip last week on his 66th birthday:-


    Can easily open the

    That lets the spirit rise up and wear
    Its favourite costume of
    Mirth and laughter

    When the mind is consumed with
    Remembrance of

    Something divine happens to the

    Shapes the hand and tongue
    And eye into
    The word

  13. Deborah says:

    the findhorn sky this morning was ablaze – I shed my tears there, saying farewell and feeling Philip welcomed. Thank you both for including me in your extraordinary journey, which I know is not over, just changing form. in love and closeness xx

  14. Claire Hayes says:

    Dear darlings I echo the beautiful words above and suspect Philip is mightily relieved to have shuffled the mortal coil. I love, honour and respect you both. x Claire

  15. dorota says:

    Dear Jane, your beautiful words , echoed by the messages above, remind me that life is so precious when there is love, always love. I too felt tears when I read this , and then smiled at the wonderful picture of Philip. I am glad his suffering has ended and look forward to seeing you back with us very soon. Very much love Dorota XXX

  16. Pam says:

    Dear Jane and Philip. When I woke up this morning my thoughts were with you both almost immediately and in that instant I felt enormous peace and love flowing to me and all around me. I didn’t really need to look at this to know that beloved Philip had passed over.
    It is so still and overcast outside in Forres today – as if the very place feels the presence of his spirit and the loss of one of its loved ones.
    I feel so blessed to have come to know such a wonderful man and to have shared some of his journey over the last few months.
    The memory of sitting holding his hand with Lucy after Taize the Sunday before you left for Aberdeen is still with me in a very precious way. I remember his beautiful smile that lit up his whole being even though I could feel the vulnerability and fear that was within him at that time.
    What a journey you have been on since then.
    Now is time to begin to grieve and let the tears flow in his honour – as well as remembering and celebrating his life.
    He is indeed but a breath away and yet will still be missed so much in his physical form by those of us who had the good fortune to know him.
    I send you much love Jane and will continue to hold you both in my heart and prayers.
    Pam xxx

  17. Beth says:

    Hugs, hugs and more hugs to you Jane, and blessings on both your journeys. love, Beth

  18. Lucy Fredman says:

    Dearest Jane
    I feel tremendously sad and emotional as I read these words. I only began to get to know Philip in this last year but in how he faced his illness and more latterly as he faced death, I felt he was giving me a very precious lesson. I hope when my time comes I can experience the same questioning spirit, the scrupulous honesty and openness, the humility (I loved it that he was so willing to acknowledge ‘I don’t know’ throughout this journey) and willingness to be with what is that he demonstrated. He was an inspiration throughout this part of his journey to me. And so have you been, Jane. At every step of the way I have seen you embrace ‘what is’ with so much courage and wisdom. What an amazing support you have been to him over such a challenging time. Your love for him has always shone through and will no doubt continue to. My thoughts and love are with you, you beautiful being.

    Love Lucy

  19. Will says:

    Thank you Philip and Jane for the life and Light you share. Thank you both for allowing us to walk beside you in on this most intimate journey, the journey through Death. We all must face Death, and the manner in which we do this says much about who we are in life. In this way, you have both demonstrated what magnificent spirits you are. Thank you, bless you and may your Lights keep shining brightly, that we too may find a way to walk this path as nobly as you have done. Love, Will.

  20. sue powell says:

    Dear Jane and Philip,

    I allow my tears to flow … and I smile. I remember saying to you (Philip) some weeks ago that I saw the life in your eyes. I see it in your photo. It made me smile as I lingered on the photo a while and then the message “Gorgeous Philip” came up … wherever I leave the cursor for a while the message pops up again and again! Yes, you are gorgeous. Thank you for touching my life. I pray I touched yours in some sweet way too. Go well. Visit us often with words of encouragement and wisdom.

    Jane, you are gorgeous too! Thank you for all you have shared. Thank you for all we will share in the days/weeks/years ahead. Love to you xxx

  21. Gabriella says:

    Dear Jane and Philip, I am so grateful to have met you. You are both amazing, light, caring souls. Philip, I felt privileged to have sat with you during that afternoon many weeks ago. I wish you a graceful and loving transition. Jane, you are wonderful and courageous. I wish you a lot of love and tenderness and support. Love, Gabriella

  22. janice shearer says:

    I met Philip at a difficult time for myself and people I love : he shared so generously of himself, with love and with grace, as I know many found of this beautiful Spirit who was known this time around as Philip.
    I am happy and privileged to have encountered him; happy for his release from pain.
    As I looked at his beautiful face here today, I recalled these words of his which make me think of his soul journey as a great success, and which touched me profoundly at the time –

    Tears of Love
    Tears of pain run down my face
    Through the tears of pain
    I invite love to find a home in me
    I invite love to be in the heart of me
    I invite love to be a hearth in me
    Where I can lay my head and weary body in her warmth
    And from the dark silence within, Love answers!
    “Sweet fool – I already live here
    Your tears are tears of love”
    Sweet Fool
    “Sweet Fool.” These words arose in me.
    I heard these words in me,
    Addressing me with such gentleness,
    Such simple, deep care
    That I didn’t mind being called a fool.
    Where did such love come from? ……………… I don’t know.
    From deep within? ……………… I don’t know.
    From depths beyond me? ……………… I don’t know.
    There’s so much I don’t know.
    What do these words tell me?
    That from the mysterious deep of beyond/within
    I am seen, intimately known
    For what I am.
    I give thanks.

    Dear One,
    Choose love.
    You can do it, sweet fool.
    Be the sweet fool
    Enjoy the sweetness and foolishness.
    Be teacher, guide and mentor
    Knowing the sweet fool in you, and in those who relish that.
    Choose love not pain.

    With love and thanks for Philip, who taught so much.
    Much love to you, Jane, at this time. Janice

  23. Akasha says:

    Dear Jane, my thoughts and prayers are with you today as in other days. What a journey………such Grace. Bless you as you go forward. I am so sad to read that Philip has passed but at least now he won’t suffer any more and in the words of a poem “‘Tis only we who grieve”. God Bless, Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

  24. Friederike Hansmann says:

    Dear Jane,

    I feel very touched by what you wrote. I am so glad I still saw Philip on your birthday. When I think of him it feels to me I connect to a spirit rather than a body. May you, Philip, have a graceful journey into the unknown. And I send my love and support to you Jane, may your grieviing be as graceful as your companionship. Lot’s of Love from Friederike

  25. Mala says:

    I feel so sad. I believed I would see him again. Love to all his family.

  26. Rabea says:

    Dear Jane,

    your words are most beautiful and fill my eyes with tears of farewell, love and peace.
    There is so much love pouring out of them – thank you so much for sharing it with us.
    I can feel Philip’s smiling loving presence, so I smile back and wish him a good journey.

    Jane, I so admire you in this process – may you feel held and loved and share your tears with your many wonderful friends.

    If there is anything we can do for you, we are here.

    With lots of love

    Rabea and James

  27. Anne Kerslake says:

    Dear Jane, I met Philip at Penny Brohan earlier this year ,he was a very special man and left his mark on us all we were all enriched by the short time we spent with him
    thank you philip.
    Thinking of you, and all Your family my thoughts a prayers are with you
    sent with Love Anne

  28. Janelle Combelic says:

    Jane, your words are amazingly beautiful. Such grace! Earlier today I heard that Philip had died, and Colin and I lit a candle and sat for a while. I saw Philip so free and happy! I don’t know how much faith to put in such images but it seemed that he looked around, amazed at the light that he had created on his journey, at the number of people he had touched who would affect others as the light spreads and spreads. And love just poured out of him towards you. You are so blessed… and you have shared so much with so many! As others have said, let your grief be full and deep and know that you are surrounded by many (new and old) friends. May you and Philip both be embraced by the Holy Spirit.

    yours in the mystery, Janelle

  29. Jon Bowen says:

    Philip has done many wonderful things in his life. The manner of his death, touching the lives of so many so deeply, was perhaps the most wonderful of all. Take care, Jane, take some rest while your loved ones hold you. x Jon
    “In your dying may your spirit and your virtue still shine like an evening after-glow around the earth …” Nietsche – thus spake Zarathustra

  30. Bernadette says:

    Dear Jane and Philip. Thank you for knowing you. Philip,we feel a great relief that you could leave your tired body. We enfold you both with our heart. LOVE and Blessings Bernadette and Christoph

  31. Angus says:

    Dear Jane,
    Loving thoughts and prayers for you and Philip – that your graceful souls may find peace; that the great mystery of love may flow through both of you so completely; that pain and suffering will be washed away, and that the enormity of Life’s oneness may for ever dance lightly in your hearts…. xxxxAngus

  32. Pratima says:

    Dear Jane,

    Thank you for sharing your heart so deeply.

    What a shepherd you have been.

    He is free.

    Sending you love for the journey to come.


  33. william says:

    I believe death or passing on is a very holy moment, perhaps the most holy in human experience. To be present at anyone’s passing is an honour. When it is a loved one it is a sacred privelege to be cherished for ever more.

    Jane you and Philip are forever united because of this. Rejoice.

    Strength & peace


    William & Jenny

  34. linda says:

    I send you my love Philip and Jane you have taught me much

  35. Del says:

    All is well

    Death is nothing at all,
    I have only slipped away into the next room.
    I am I and you are you,
    Whatever we were to each other,
    That we still are.

    Call me by my old familiar name;
    Speak to me in the easy way which you always used;
    Put no difference into your tone.
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

    Laugh as we always laughed
    At the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
    Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
    Let my name be ever the household name that it always was;
    Let it be spoken without effort,
    Without the trace of a shadow on it.
    Life means all that it ever meant.
    It is the same as it ever was.

    There is absolutely unbroken continuity
    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight.
    I am but waiting for you for an interval,
    Somewhere very near. Just around the corner,
    All is well.

    Canon Henry Scott Holland of St. Paul’s Cathedral

    sent from Del with all the love in the universe

  36. Maria Olsthoorn says:

    Dear Jane,

    My heart reaches out to you at this time. It was an honor and privilege to travel the journey with Philip for a while. I spent much time with him and you in my heart and thoughts and continue to poor my love into both your journeys.

    From my heart, Maria

  37. Sophia Hatch says:

    I have never “met” Philip in the normal sense of the word , but I was so touched by Philip at the Conscious Medicine conference , making himself vulnerable and so open, and I felt a connection with his journey , his birth …and I have still felt a connection through the blog with his last few months and his passing into spirit. Thank you both for sharing this intense personal time . May you be deeply held, Jane at this time of loss …with love Sophia x

  38. Russell says:

    When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the Riverside, into which as he went he said, Death, where is thy Sting? And as he went down deeper he said, Grave, where is thy Victory? So he passed over, and all the Trumpets sounded for him on the other side.

    from The Pilgrim’s Progress

    with love from Russell

  39. bill henderson says:

    Dear Jane, I hardly met Philip but I have been so touched by how you both faced this process. I am so sorry that it has ended thus. Many, many blessings to you at this time xx Bill

  40. Jane Miller says:

    Dearest Jane and Philip,
    Thank you for the gift of your words and Philips smiling face that makes the tears I cry turn to smiles of my own.
    We are all one in eternal love.
    Live on in us all Philip through the love you have shared.
    Let our love support you Jane in your continued journey.


  41. Vanessa says:

    This is by one of my favourite poets, Brian Patten:
    So Many Different Lengths of Time

    How long is a man’s life, finally?
    Is it a thousand days, or only one?
    One week, or few centuries?
    How long does a man’s death last?
    And what do we mean when we say, ‘gone forever’?

    Adrift in such preoccupations, we seek clarification.
    We can go to the philosophers,
    But they will grow tired of our questions.
    We can go to the priests and the rabbis
    But they might be too busy with administrations.

    So, how long does a man live, finally?
    And how much does he live while he lives?
    We fret, and ask so many questions
    Then when it comes to us
    The answer is so simple

    A man lives for as long as we carry him inside us,
    For as long as we carry the harvest of his dreams,
    For as long as we ourselves live,
    Holding memories in common, a man lives.

    His lover will carry his man’s scent, his touch:
    His children will carry the weight of his love.
    One friend will carry his argument,
    Another will hum his favourite tunes,
    Another will still share his terrors.

    And the days will pass with baffled faces,
    Then the weeks, then the months,
    Then there will be a day when no question is asked
    And the knots of grief will loosen in the stomach,
    And the puffed faces will calm.
    And on that day he will not have ceased,
    But will have ceased to be separated by death.
    How long does a man live, finally?

    A man lives so many different lengths of time.

    Philip touched so many people’s lives, it’s wonderful reading all of the comments, and feeling the love that everyone has for both of you. It seems to me that Philip’s spirit will live on for ever, we all carry him inside us. I am so glad that I met both of you in Morocco, you have both been in my heart ever since. I am so sad Philip has left us, but glad that his physical body is no longer suffering. Jane, you have shown such grace, you do it effortlessly. Know that there is so much love here for your journey from now.
    It has been an honour to share in your stories so far, and be part of this incredible worldwide family that has reflected Philip’s light back to him.

    Thank you Philip and Jane, you wonderful people.
    Love is the answer – I feel it in my heart and will look for it in the night sky.

    with all my love, Vanessa xxx

  42. Ted, from New York says:

    Dear Jane,
    I am holding you, offering my hand, and my heart. My tears flow once more, and I am warmed by them, as I continue to feel the support Philip offered so graciously this summer, before my wife Chika passed from colon cancer, in the Park.
    His brotherly spirit and generosity flow on.

    Thank you both, for sharing so much light.
    With love, like a bubbling brook,
    Ted Boschen

  43. jane says:

    Dear, dear friends
    I am sitting here the night after Philip died reading these beautiful comments. I thank you all so much. I am so touched and feel deeply held and supported by your love. I fall into tears at odd moments, and then I rise from them again, buoyed by the love we felt for each other, and the love we have felt from you, our friends, family and soul family.
    I am now back at home, being well looked after by River and Barbara, and my parents arrive tomorrow. Many of you have extended your hands of support; I know I will need you in the weeks and months to come. Thank you so much.

  44. Alexandra McNamara says:

    Dear Jane, I honour your tremendous courage, wisdom and love. My prayers are with you and with Philip on both of your journeys. With love and blessing, Alexandra

  45. Michael Williams says:

    Tears and smiles, Philip and Jane. I will look for your star in heaven and feel blessed by your presence in my life. Much love to you, Michael

  46. Theolyn says:

    I thought of Philip on his boat… following his star, Love is the Answer…and I remembered this last poem by Tennyson…

    Crossing the Bar

    SUNSET and evening star,
    And one clear call for me!
    And may there be no moaning of the bar,
    When I put out to sea,

    But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
    Too full for sound and foam,
    When that which drew from out the boundless deep
    Turns again home.

    Twilight and evening bell,
    And after that the dark!
    And may there be no sadness or farewell,
    When I embark;

    For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
    The flood may bear me far,
    I hope to see my Pilot face to face
    When I have crossed the bar.

    with all my love to you, very dear Jane…Theolyn

  47. Saille says:

    Dear Jane,
    May you rest in the light you share ….knowing the butterfly has flown the cocoon
    but will never leave your heart…. with my love Saille

  48. My heart reaches out and my prayers are with you at this tender time of loss and change. Blessings to you both for your transparency and all you have lovingly shared. with much love Lesley D
    I share again the poem that came to me after my father died

    Birthing the Spirit

    Life breathing free
    letting go softly
    opening to the unknown.
    Life breathing free
    sighing, sounding
    calling your spirit home.

    breathing out
    each breath
    a deep surrender.
    breathing out
    each breath
    a letting go.

    Life breathing free
    expanding, dissolving
    returning to oneness.
    Life breathing free
    birthing the spirit
    melts into lightness.

    Lesley Downie

  49. Josie says:

    Dearest Jane,

    I am sending you immense love, and comfort. I feel deeply touched by your grace in supporting Philip through the challenging times, and the open hearted courage with which you have faced all of it.

    I will miss Philip’s presence in the world. I recently discovered his book ‘Do You Feel Loved by Me?’, which was a rich with his particular kind of gentle insight. As I think of him now, I smile and recognise, Yes Philip – I did feel loved by you…thank you for bringing such warmth, love and wisdom to the world.

    With great love for you both,

  50. Karen Gibbons says:

    Please know that Philip was an exceptional man whose legacy to all those that met him has made us all better people through that knowledge of him.
    Thinking of you both so very much

    Karen x

  51. Carrie (Bates) says:

    Dear Jane
    Many memories are flooding to the surface. I have tears in my eyes and a candle lit beside me.
    I am visualising the love I am sending to you and Philip joining with all the love that everyone else sends . . . weaving its way alongside and around both of you . . .
    The light of my candle represents Philip’s wonderful spirit and the light that guides both of you on your journeys . . .
    Huge respect to you and and Philip . . . with a heart full of love, Carrie xx

  52. Dear dear Jane, You and Philip have been so much with me in my heart and thoughts and prayers since my miraculous visit on Wednesday…..yesterday I felt so sad when I heard he had left his body, also relieved as I knew he would no longer be suffering…..full of gratitude for knowing him and you through this deeply challenging time…..and smiling seeing the beautiful picture you have posted, Philip with that so endearing twinkle in his eyes and smile! Yes his spirit shone through right up until the end! I feel him being held in light and love as he passages on….and I feel all the love flowing towards you….I send you love and fold my arms around you to hug you for all you are with at this moment in time….may you be blessed, and held safely always…

    Deep love, Sara xxx

  53. Nirava says:

    Dear Jane, so long since I’ve seen you. Very touched to read what you have written so clearly and beautifully. Thinking about you both, remembering good times. Amazing journey, and such lovely messages from friends. xxxx and hugs from Nirava

  54. Chris and Lenita says:

    Dear Jane

    Today we are feeling the sadness reading of Philip’s passing. We send Blessings to Philip on his journey into new forms and extend our hearts with Love and warmth to you Jane.

    Chris and Lenita

  55. Dear Jane,

    How beautifully you write of that moment when the body is left, and you just don’t want to look at it…..

    And how you know he is there because you feel loved…

    Thank you for sharing those two thoughts with me, and everyone else.


  56. Tony Craze says:

    May God bless you, bless the memory of Philip, and be with you always.

  57. William Martin says:

    Dear Jane,

    My heart goes out to you.



  58. Melina says:

    Dear Jane,

    Sending you much love – your courage, your strength your love and support are so humbling. Thinking of you and sending much love.

    God Bless You.


  59. solasan says:

    Sending you my love Jane,

  60. Amitabh Tatum. says:

    Dear Jane.
    Philip is very open about his predicament.
    He really wanted to share all.
    Such courage and his journey to the very end will help
    others to see when their time comes.
    You have been a magnificant servant.
    I feel your love.
    I will be with you all Friday 9th Dec.
    Lots of love.Amitabh.

  61. Mr Fluffy says:

    In death, as in life, he is a great teacher. It’s perhaps the most relevant lesson.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Wishing you well, and praying for his spirit and good rebirth.

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