Friday, October 19, 2012

"I'm having a baby girl" and a helicopter

It's been a week filled with the unexplainable.

Interestingly, just last week, I had a long discussion with some students about all things noetic, spiritual, and ineffable. We talked about how, in this material world, we sometimes have extraordinary experiences for which there is little or no scientific data to understand the how or why something happened. And why it is so important, as aspiring mindful clinicians, to accept those experiences as real for people. Because.they.are.real.

You know those little things, right? Seeing a butterfly at just the right moment or some kind of sign or symbol of your Beloved?

I've experienced many of these, and I usually, scientist-wanna-ninja that I am, try to explain them away empirically.

This time, like several other times, I couldn't.

I've sat with it now for more than 24 hours, and I am still in awe of the experience.

It all started here with a client of the MISS Foundation whose little boy died almost 1-1/2 years ago. She has two surviving sons and is currently in her second trimester of a subsequent pregnancy.  I haven't actually seen her in person for several weeks because she's been traveling.

Here is the email I sent her, and I'd like to note the time:

From: Joanne Cacciatore
Subject: WTH?
Date: October 18, 2012 6:45:09 AM MST
To: Dr. Jo's client who will remain unnamed

                 ...I dreamed we were getting into a helicopter.  You, me, your two living boys, and a little girl (who I had never seen). The little girl was very cute.  She looked like your son who died.  Then we all got into the helicopter... and we took off in the helicopter to go see your son who died... Then I woke up.  Wow.  

At 10:30 am, just a few hours later, I got a phone call from this beautiful mama, and she was crying. Really crying. She had received my email. 

"I'm having a girl, I'm having a girl!" she said sobbingly.

"Wait, what?" I said in disbelief.

"I'm having a baby girl!" she repeated.

What I did not know when I awoke from that strangely-placed dream was that she was getting ready, at that very moment, for an appointment with her doctor and within an hour or so, would find out that she was having a baby girl.

We were both... well, frankly, speechless.  I sat with it all day. 

Late last night I sent another email:

"At any point, did you tell me about the doctor's appointment today? I mean, did you mention it and maybe it was in my unconscious?"

Her immediate reply:

"I didn't tell you about the doctor's appointment. I just made it last minute..."

I don't know how to explain this but I know it happened. 

What is the nature of reality? Why do these things happen? What does it mean about non-materiality? 

I have no idea.

But for centuries, mystics have understood the meaningful power of synchronicity.  From near death experiences to to meaningful coincidences to just plain unexplainable phenomena, scientists and theologians have grappled to understand how and why these things happen.

I'm remembering the night Elisabeth, my best friend and mentor, died in 2004. Just before her death, she told me when she died, she'd send me a sign that she was "dancing in the stars". 

This is an excerpt I wrote from the book about her, Tea with Elisabeth:

On July 24, 2004, exactly one month before her death, I had a dream that Elisabeth died. In my dream, I was sobbing and mourning, feeling desperate to have my friend back. She appeared to me, surprised by my sadness. She told me to stop crying and assured me that she was fine. Then she told me not to worry, well-aware of my enduring tug-of-war with faith- she said reassuringly, “I’ll see you again one day”...

I came home the night of Elisabeth’s funeral services exhausted and aching. I already missed her so much and felt grief’s grip around my chest.  Around 11 p.m., I went onto my front patio and sat in my rocking chair. I leaned my head back and began to sob, talking to Elisabeth in my mind. With tears rolling down my cheeks, I asked her for a sign- for a very clear sign- I asked her for something like a shooting star, not really expecting anything miraculous. A few minutes later, I opened my eyes with my head leaned back and immediately saw a bright shooting star traveling from the east to the west sky... I realized that Elisabeth is, indeed, doing what she said she would be doing... dancing in the stars.

I still don't understand that experience either.

The connections we have with whatever is beyond this world may not be comprehensible within the context of our present minds. That's okay with me. 

But what I do know is that I don't have to understand these experiences. All I need to do is accept them for the beautifully mysterious. 
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

And, I can't wait to meet this special little sister. She is already adored and loved by all three of her brothers. And, I feel like, in some unexplainable way, I already know and love her.


Vendt said...

Wow. I did not expect more beautiful happy tears this morning--I thought I finished them up yesterday after hearing the baby girl news! HE put it in your heart--that special beautiful boy. Love him. Love to you for sharing this beautiful mystery.

krispearson88 said...

That is just the most wonderful story! I love hearing stuff like this. I can't explain it either, but it is amazing!

BellaSteph said...

I have also had a shooting star experience. I actually wrote in my blog when it happened (so I don't think I am a crazy copy cat!). Anyways I was very pregnant with my now one year old son. There is a star you can pretty much always see from my back porch. It shines very brightly and I named it my "Gavin Star" after my son who passed at a little over a month old. One night I was very emotional and sat on the porch talking to my son. I told him how I loved him, he will never be replaced and I hope he isn't upset that i was having his brother. I asked him for a sign that he was o.k., knew how much I loved him and didn't mind me having another baby. As I finished my words a shooting star flew across my Gavin star. I live in a city so seeing a shooting star is very rare. The only time Ii have ever seen one was while camping where the sky was clear. That sign meant the world to me. I never second guessed that it could be anything other then my son.

Thanks for sharing your signs and knowing that there are some things we just have to accept in this life.

Rachana Banana said...

When my nature loving best friend passed away in 2009, I felt like when I was walking in nature, my senses were tuned to the ultra sensitive, and the messages, that may or may not be always there, I could read, or at least get a glimpse of. I had sea eagles land metres away from me at our favourite sacred lagoon in the dusk light. I had my 'special' bird, the Willy Wagtail (wild) LAND on MY SHOULDER!!!!! & sit there as I walked along a favourite river...
My grandmothers passing in 2008 was followed the next day by an invitation to a ceremony where an elder whose face reminded me of nan, ...literally sang in the whales.
My mothers passing 5 Weeks ago, I know.img some level was foretold to me on order for me to prepare, by the many visits of her beloved owls.

As I write this now, I feel gratitude that you opened the space for me to ponder these things, and also to reconfirm my personal belief, that in times of grief, our eyes are opened. Perhaps to things that non western cultures see as the norm.
I take much comfort in the 'seeing'....

Anonymous said...

A friend once told me that our babies leave us pennies to let us know they are with us. One night I was driving home sobbing, asking my baby to please help mummy. The next day as I got out of my car in the parking lot at work, right beside my drivers door on the floor, next to my foot, was a penny!
I am not second guessing it..she heard me!


The soul still sings in the darkness telling of the beauty she found there; and daring us not to think that because she passed through such tortures of anguish, doubt, dread, and horror, as has been said, she ran any the more danger of being lost in the night. Nay, in the darkness did she, rather, find herself.

--St. John, Dark Night of the Soul

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