This was a wonderful spontaneous weekend.
We went to visit one of Cheryl’s good friends and former classmates Rosie. Rosie is Sister of St. Francis in Oldenburg Indiana. I always learn things about religion, spirituality and altruism from S. Rosie. She probably does not know that she is doing it. She is so very gentle and kind with Cheryl when we visit her. Cheryl and she were close in school.
Many years ago S. Rosie had a very severe illness which put her in a coma for a bit and ultimately she had a near death experience. She strongly believes that she is able to see and interact with the spirit world. This conversation developed as Cheryl shared that she sees her sister and her mother often. Both are recently deceased. I can attest to this connection Cheryl has with Janice and Elaine. I am guilty of reminding her where one or the other of them is when she bursts from her office and wonders aloud where they went or needs to call one of them on the phone. My answer is to point out that I do not have the number for heaven if she wants to call but if she closes her eyes she will be able to see and talk to them. Little did I know that that is a good idea. I was merely scrambling to help through her current anxiety of location and place.
When Cheryl was describing the experience to S. Rosie, Cheryl with gentle probing from Rosie admitted that she was worried about “going crazy” and that fact is disturbing. Rosie suggested that she embrace the vision as real and told a story her a story about one of her encounters with a spirit that had twirled her around while Rosie was walking with another friend. Her friend asked what happened to her and Rosie described her encounter. Her friend responded with exactly, I saw your side of it. We talked a little about whether Cheryl’s disease had detuned (my word not Rosie’s) her logical, reasoning side of her brain and allowed the intuitive, spiritual connecting brain to emerge. Occasionally I wonder if that occurs to many of us naturally and those who have that insightful perception are ridiculed as crazy or crackpots so they keep their vision to themselves. (What happened at Fatima?)
All of us talk to people that may no longer be in this world but we were close to in some fashion before they passed into the next world. My sister and I tease about things that Mom would say to us. Every time I carry an Amazon box out to the recycle bin I hear Mom say, “Don’t throw away that box. That’s a good box!” I think she told me that in the flesh a week or so before she passed away. It may sound unrealistic but I can actually hear her voice in my head. My sister Joyce tells me that Mom tells her to, “Water that plant!” We both have different mother-child experiences.
The brain floats in a soup of proteins, hormones and other chemistry. The real world is not inside our brain but what is there is our perception of it. Some of Cheryl’s sensory systems are defunct. She has not had a strong sense of smell for about fifteen years. (Handy for the husband who does not feel like taking a shower that day.) She can still construct smells in her head from sight and texture and perhaps the saltiness or sweetness she can still detect with her tongue. Her brain reconstructs smells from experience and using different pathways of sensing its surroundings. What if the intuitive side jumps up and says, “I see something and it is …” The worldly side takes note and Janice appears.
Perhaps one should not be dismissive of hallucinations and visions. What happened at Fatima and other places where incredible things were see by those who could see and were not afraid to tell those who could not? My spiritual self tells me that there is a connection among all sentient beings in some way. Lovers of dogs, for example, are heartbroken when an old companion dies. (Cat lovers too.) I once had a guy who worked for me who wanted to claim funeral leave when his life long German Shepard companion, he was a young man, passed away. And I understood his grief but it did not fly with the HR crowd at that company.
What if Cheryl’s deterioration of her logical, mathematical, connected mind allows her to see with the other part of her brain that does not do math? Cheryl revealed to Rosie that she was not scared of the vision of the spiritual side but she was concerned with getting there (and at that point she began to weep.) Her mother and her sister are very real to her when they appear. She talks to them about what is happening in her life.
She sees others in our little condo area. There is “that person who is in charge” of the school. There is a group of women who hang out occasionally in our window seat in our bedroom. (I started wearing pajamas to bed instead of just underwear or nothing.) Shortly after one of our residents in the next building passed away in July she saw a gray haired woman with a short hair style charging down the back hallway as we were leaving to go somewhere. The woman was vivid enough that Cheryl asked me if I had seen her. It could have been Marty. Cheryl’s description of the woman at the time put me in mind of Marty. A couple of weeks previous I held Marty’s arm to help her step over a curb stone during a meeting with our landscaping company to discuss a new plants installation near her front door.
Those visions do worry her. She seems to understand seeing her mom and her sister but seeing others who are not family is worrisome to her.
But what if she merely has a view to some other elsewhere some other existence? What if?