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Life After Death: The Story of the Green Donkey

This is the true story of what Deepak Chopra would call a "Whopper". It is a story so touched with the hand of God it seems almost impossible to believe, and yet, there can be NO doubt for those of us who are believers that this really happened!

My best friend passed into Spirit on May 15, 2004 at the age of 45, after a 10 year battle with HER-2 Breast Cancer. We had spent 40 years weaving the fabric of our lives together in a dance that was just magical. Ours is a long story of love and friendship. It is hard to relay in a few words the significance of this miracle,but I will try.

Two years ago Karen started having massive headaches and was feeling "weird". We were headed off to a healing weekend in New York State and having a grand time. It was just the two of us tooling around in the car and laughing and enjoying each other's company. At one point, she became very serious and told me she thought her chemotherapy may be causing these symptoms. She was struggling as to whether or not to go off the chemo and just let God do His work. I told her this was a huge decision and one not to be taken lightly. I am a big believer in asking God to give us a sign when we need an answer to an important or not so important question. Because this was a VERY important question, I told her she needed to ask for a sign that would be unquestionable! Something so "unusual" that it could only be from God. I then said, "How about if we see a green donkey? Then you can go off chemotherapy." She giggled and said, "That sounds great". The rest of the weekend we searched for a green donkey. We found yellow pigs, purple cows, red dogs and even a green horse.How we tried to rationalize that a horse is almost a donkey. But we knew it had to be a "Green Donkey". We even spent the next afternoon in Woodstock, NY going through every store but never found a green donkey.

A week later the headaches continued and she went for an MRI. Her father also passed away from Alzheimer's this same week. On the morning of his funeral, she received a phone call from her oncologist telling her the cancer had spread to her brain. She went through the whole day, a huge funeral, and never told a soul except her husband what she had found out that morning. She had courage beyond human strength. She made it through brain surgery and massive radiation and lived two more years. She passed on May 15, 2004 surrounded by her whole family.

What follows is what I said at her memorial service (which 700 people attended). Notice the part about the "green donkey" toward the end.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Karen for over 40 years and calling her one of my best and dearest friends. But I know I am just one of countless best friends that Karen had?there was something about her that just made you want to be close to her and know her better. It reminds me of the song by the Carpenters.

On the day that you were born
The angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold
And starlight in your eyes of blue.

That is why all the girls in town
Follow you all around.
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.

To Karen's family?she was a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter, and a cousin, but for the vast majority of us here today, she was our friend. A friend of the truest sense and one that was there for each of us no matter what was going on in her life. Remarkable, selfless, trustworthy, sincere, kind, compassionate, spiritual, and beautiful are words that can only begin to describe Karen.

Besides being a friend,Karen was a teacher. She taught me more about strength and courage than I ever wanted to know. When my son deployed to Afghanistan last Oct, she came to me one day like an angel sent from God. She held me, cried with me and instilled in me "The Power of Now". This gave me strength that I did not know I had. If I can take one tenth of her strength and live the rest of my life, then I will be happy.

I will miss her human presence more than I can even imagine at this time... her spirit while she was on this Earth was immeasurable. What I look forward to from this day on is how she will guide, love, and watch over each of us in her new found strength in SPIRIT.

And so I say to you my dear Karen, "Godspeed to you on this new journey you have undertaken. I know Daddy was holding your green donkey and that now you know all the Divine Order that is so hard for us to understand here on Earth. I giggle at the thought of our next life together and I ask you Sister Karen to hold down the abbey until I get there".

When I returned home from her service that evening, there was a message on my answering machine from my son, who was in Afghanistan, serving in the US Army. He had never, ever called on a weeknight since he had deployed, until that night. This in and of itself spoke volumes to me. I was sad I had missed his call, but I knew he was OK and surely sending me some love from afar, even though he did not know of Karen's death yet. Karen had given me extreme comfort and support while she was alive in regards to his deployment and no matter what was going on in her life, she always asked how my son was doing.

That same night, the phone rang again around 2:30 AM and it was my son. What a joy to hear his voice! We spoke for about 20 minutes and during the conversation he mentioned that his best buddy and teammate had put new pictures up on a website of them in Afghanistan. I tucked this info into my mind to take a look at the next day.

The next morning I went with Karen's family to a private burial and then spent the rest of the day with them. I arrived home around 4:00 and read some e-mails and then remembered I had to check out the new pictures. (This is now 5 days since her passing.) There was a new folder named "the Month of May". I opened this and started looking for pictures of my son. There were around 20 new photos. Mid-way down the page I noticed that one picture was titled "Donkey". In the small picture format it looked more like a green tree. I opened the picture to its full size and almost fell to the floor....for there, sent from a war-torn country by an American soldier, was Karen's sign that she had been healed, not on this Earth, but alas in heaven! It was a picture of a donkey with a bundle of GREEN branches tied around it. She knew that if she involved my son in getting this sign to me, she would be successful, for I would NEVER not look at these pictures.

To me, there is also a great significance in the actual "green donkey" she gave to us. I always thought that this sign would come in the form of an inanimate object or it would be the name of a bar or restaurant. I NEVER thought that the green donkey would actually be a "living donkey". But yes, Karen's donkey was ALIVE as were the green branches that adorned it. Karen lives on in Spirit and will always be alive to those of us that knew her. The news of this green donkey gave peace to her family and our community. I feel her presence with me always and thank her for her continued caring and love.

To view the actual picture of the Green Donkey, please visit my website at click on the "About Us" page and then on the wording Green Donkey Marketing, LLC. Scroll to the bottom to see the photo.

Lisa Sullivan is the owner of Green Donkey Marketing LLC, a company named for the events in the above story. Green Donkey Marketing produces and markets spiritually based products. The premiere product for Green Donkey Marketing is the personal alter tool "I Surrender This".

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