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Kara's Statement on the Afterlife: "We Are All Star Dust"

Updated: May 3

Confession: I have become that grief-stricken person who reads books and listens to podcasts about the afterlife. Kara and I always believed in some form of afterlife, although we did not hold specific ideas of what it might be like. Looking back, I'm surprised we didn't discuss the subject more. After all, over the years, excepting the older folks that are to be expected, we lost many loved ones: My dad, my mom, my little sister, my closest cousin, and my closest aunt, as well as Kara's mom and little brother and all three of our pugs, five of these deaths all crammed into, but not caused by, the pandemic. You'd think all this loss would have inspired more discussion or exploration of what, if anything, happens after the body ceases. But it didn't. And I certainly did not want to think about the afterlife after Kara was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer.

I sure do now, though. And I think of the last piece of art that Kara made, a stained-glass mosaic she titled "We Are All Star Dust." It took her months to complete because she felt so sick between the cancer and the experimental drug being used to treat it. But when she could find the time and energy, she would sit in the basement and look at the evolving window on her table in a way that reminds me of a chess player. And when she finally finished the piece, she knew it was beautiful and powerful, just like its maker (okay, that last part is how I equate it, from my totally objective point of view). Not just in terms of color and composition, but overall artistic vision. Kara believed that we are all star dust (which is scientifically accurate) and that we will all see each other again. I guess this is her answer to my question of how she looked at the mystery of the afterlife: We are all connected and continue on as beings of light, and none of us are alone, whether we want connection with certain people or not.

Her last stained-glass mosaic hangs in a place where hair is also art, a place that Kara loved:

In a colorfully related note, last week, I sat on the couch to write a social media announcement that I had posted on Kara's blog. And just as had happened to me six months and one day earlier, this is what appeared on the wall:

I am well aware there are physical explanations for this effect. Nevertheless, it interests me as we have had the same window film for at least six years and neither Kara nor I ever noticed this happening. Keep in mind, especially during the pandemic, we spent a lot of time in the living room!

Books I am currently reading: The Afterlife of Billy Fingers (thanks, Jennie) by Annie Kagan, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander, and Ubik by Philip K. Dick. The last is fiction, of course, but involves an afterlife of sorts and a state of technological and social decay that I can identify with as someone who lost his whole family and his wife and three-fourths of his dogs and finds himself wanting to buy back pieces of his past, from books to random memorabilia (if moderately priced) to home movies.

Latest podcast: Expanding on Consciousness with the physician who coined the term "near death experience," Raymond Moody.

That is all I have for now. I hope I haven't sent Kara's blog into its own state of decay, or, to use Kara's pet phrase from Happy Days, "jumped the shark" with regard to presentation. Better things are to come, including more news of Kara's memoir, Indomitable: How I Rock With Stage 4 Cancer, and the eventual release of all the video footage from the Sparkle Celebration. Huge thanks to videographer Chris Wilson for shooting the whole show at no charge and syncing up all the audio into a project ready for editing! I have a lot of work to do.

Remember we are all star dust.

Until next time.

--Charles Austin Muir

P.S.--The photo of Kara at the top of this post was taken on Sept. 9, 2021. Two years and five days before she sparkled on. According to the friend who took it, the photos she took of Kara on that day are the only ones taken in that space in which the halo-like light effect occurs.

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