I have never been satisfied watching a magician perform illusion with awe alone…willing to simply walk away after the show. I, like so many others, want to know the how, what and why. Some enjoy the show and leave. I’m the one in trouble for stealing away behind the curtains digging through the magician’s box, studying props, trying desperately to piece the puzzle together logically so it makes sense.
Does that mean I enjoy it any less? That somehow I ruin it, miss out on the pleasure in the mystery? No. The intense fascination drives the desire to understand it. The understanding of it makes it that more beautiful. To truly know the intricacies and complexity of matters stirs a deeper appreciation and awe within me…making it more magical than ever, weaving it tangibly into my reality.
Tearing things apart to see how they work then trying to piece them back together makes me value whatever the object is a bit more.
I have never been one to sit back and say “OK” when someone tells me I should believe or think a certain way simply because they said so, or someone more important than me has said so. I want to read, look, search, research, touch, explore, experience and see it for myself.
I’ve applied this to most everything I do and have done in life. From being a child, to studying religion, to my own ever winding trails of a spiritual journey, to being a mother, to investigating paranormal phenomenon.
Which brings me to a day last fall when my life was flipped inside out.
The journal writings I wish to share begin shortly after this day as, during that time, I was in no way able to process, to think. It was the worst day of my life. And in a twist that often stings painfully when I allow myself to think of it, the same moment was a catalyst to the most amazing journey and adventure I could ever imagine.
December 10, 2008
I can’t believe he is gone.
The day of October 17th, 2009 I was with my daughter in Sacramento at a Mik Veh….participating in a 5000 year old ritual at a sacred bath house, saying prayers and asking the Universe to protect me on a new journey. “Baruch atai Adonai, Eloheinu melech haOlam…asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav….” Blessed are you God, Sovereign of the Universe who gives us responsibility to immerse ourselves in the water of life…
In the afternoon, my daughter drove to Skydive Lodi where our family has jumped for years to meet with my sons Karl and Dakota so they could make a dive together. It was a beautiful crisp, blue day and the dive went well. On video looking back, they seemed happy. Full of love and light.
Later in the evening, Karl, 22, was distraught in a fight with his girlfriend….and took his own life.
I stood by his body in the emergency room, hooked to wires and machines. Rubbed the soft skin on his face above his beautiful eyes-green with flecks of gold and long thick black eyelashes. I squeezed his had three times, just as we used to do when he was a little boy, for “I Love You.” I turned to leave the room knowing I would never see him again.
I’ve learned a lot in these last few months about what really matters….and what matters very little. The grief was so thick for weeks there was little breathing, speaking, eating, moving. The times, years, spent being at odds with his biological mother seems so trivial and pointless. There is so much to think, to do, to say. To question.
I’m surprised by who has stood beside me, been there for me. Some of the people who rose up and stepped forward were not who I expected. Those who chose to retreat and Not be there shocked me even more. An interesting test of friendship and love. I realized in those moments, too, that knowing what to do or what to say to someone you care about going through is can be as difficult a task and decision as any. I learned quite clearly what the answer was to that question…and exactly how I would be a friend to someone in the future who lost and grieved like this.
And among all that, as if it weren’t enough, I find myself once again at odds with my belief about life and death.
There have been some strange things happening here, too. We’ve all been experiencing moments that make us wonder if he’s trying to give us a message. I’m worried we’re just grieving and want it to be more than what it is, but, a few instances have been very unusual. Coincidence? I don’t know.
For example, three days after Karl died Dakota and I got into an argument. He wanted to get in his car and leave the house, I worried that he was grieving, angry at me and too emotional to drive away safely. We’d been standing in the dining room. A bottle of water was on the table beside us. I stormed away after asking him not to leave home. He stormed away in the other direction. But. He stopped halfway down the hall to his room and decided to turn back around, to find me and tell me more about why he WAS leaving and I couldn’t stop him. What DID stop him was tracking back through the dining room and running into the water bottle. Placed right side up. In the center of the floor of the hallway. He knew I hadn’t put it there. He hadn’t put it there. The who, what, why and how made him stop…breathe….and stay home. Just in case his brother was trying to get his attention.
There were 2 other incidences with other family members revolving around water that day. It meant something to us…because we all joked about how he had this thing about drinking water and giving everyone else a hard time about the need for us to drink lots of it, too.
There were bigger things that happened, too.
A year ago Karl walked through the house telling me animated stories about what he was learning in his physics class at SOU. He spoke of his professor, Dr. Starkey, who’d written an amazing manuscript called, “The Quantum Field and How it Affects Your Life.” We had intense conversations about the book, all the theories and ideas inside it and surrounding it. I will never forget his passion and excitement when speaking of it. It stuck with me, affected me on a deep level. He brought me the manuscript one day and I asked if I could read through it when I had time then give it back. I never got the chance to read it….or to give it back.
Now, I found myself being hit with references over and over about quantum physics…daily. An image of the book keeps hitting me square in the face, with the thought “go find it and read it!” But I kept stopping myself thinking the only reason I want to go find it and read it is out of guilt for having put it away and not going over it when he gave it to me, continuing the discussion. Out of an insistence that I not allow my grief to control what is happening around me in a potentially false manner…I refused to go looking for the book.
Until one night it was just too strong to ignore; the image, the coincedence of meeting people who off the cuff refer to the quantum field and even the quantum physicist, Andy Coppock, that I met on a recent investigation. He talks about physics often reminding me of Karl… eyes sparkling with excitement speaking of theory and ideas. That night all of this hit me hard. I sat at my desk processing paranormal evidence that seemed too good to be true, words from people that seem too coincidental to be real … and there it is again. The image of the book in my head. I stand from my desk and turn to my bookshelves-not certain it’s even over there-or what THAT book has to do with ghosts?
I went straight to the first set of shelves, slid my hands across the bindings of hundreds of books until I saw the rough purple edge of the manuscript. I rifled through the pages first in case there was a note stuck between them from Karl…or a bit of hand writing somewhere along the edge of a page. Nothing. I almost put it away thinking out loud, “I am NOT going to find the answer to why my son is dead in this book!” And just as I went to slip it back into its place on the shelf, I decided to open it to a random page and read what was there.
Typed around 75 times was this: PAY ATTENTION …followed by a page that said “there is no such thing as coincidence.”
Later that night I did my first official EVP session for Karl. I’d been too afraid to do one before. Not knowing what would happen. Not wanting the pain to resurface. Not wanting to keep him hanging on unnecessarily because of me. I gathered his high school letter jacket, random personal items, pictures…the quantum field book. The book which spoke often about how studying physics was like being Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole. I talked with another family member sitting with me during that EVP session about that and the joke Andy and I told each other back and forth about “who was going to follow who down the rabbit hole?”
The EVP answer on my audio recorder from that session in conjunction with the references to Alice in Wonderland and the rabbit hole?
And so….I did.