Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mirror Synchronicity: "Direct" mail message

Today my friend Chris posted on Facebook that he was really irritated that Facebook ads kept popping up to tell him to "suggest friends" for a friend of his who had actually died last summer. I posted a sympathetic response and lamented that although my mom died 7 years ago, every now and then I will get a random catalog in the mail that is addressed to her. A couple hours later I checked my mail and Lo and Behold there was an Eddie Bauer catalog with her name on it. Normally I am pretty irritated by this because I have complained every time I get one and they still don't have a clue. Today, though, I smiled. I felt it was a nod from the universe and a wink from my mom.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Afterlife Communication: Hot enough for you?

My friend "Gary" died this week. As I mentioned in other posts, he had always said that he would continue to stay in touch. The night he died my friend K was sitting in front of her fireplace when her furnace went on. The furnace, while only set at 74 went all the way up to 79, which was strange for her since it should've been able to read the heat from the fireplace. As K sat there sweating she laughed because she knew it was Gary's way of saying hello. In the months before he died they had a running joke about the temperature of his house. He always tried to get her to take her coat off and she said she was always cold. When the heat wouldn't go off, she knew it was him! After she acknowledged him, the furnace went off.

Gary always had a sense of humor...we anticipate many more crazy messages to follow.

Afterlife Communication: Pocket call without the pocket

My friend "Gary" who died this week had always said that he would continue the contact with his friends after he died. On my way home from the facility where he died I recevied a call from his nurse, D., who had also been very close to him. When I picked up the phone, I didn't hear her and so I yelled into the phone. She said she hadn't called me but also that her phone was next to her and not even in her pocket. We laughed about it and figured that it was Gary's way of keeping us talking.

Directional Synchronicity: The moment he died

Back in 2005 when I first started this blog I commented on two personal experiences with the moment of death that led me to believe that there is meaning in the timing of when someone dies. From my personal and professional hospice experiences, I've learned that the person who dies sometimes waits for people to leave, and sometimes waits for people to come. What can be frustrating for surviving family members, there is no way to know which way it is supposed to be until afterwards. Families can drive themselves nuts trying to 'create' the right conditions.

This week that idea of timing was confirmed again.

I had been sitting bedside for my friend "Gary" at an inpatient hospice for 4 days. I didn't do a vigil, but I just stayed long enough each day for him to know that I cared and that he wasn't facing his transition alone. On Thursday I noted he was starting to change and that it probably wouldn't be long. He was really close to his nurse and she was already on her way. He wanted to take a shower so I decided to go and get something out of the vending machine. I came back to the room but the nurse and the aide said they were still helping him and it would be just a few more minutes. I had heard it was a nice day outside and so I went out to the front of the facility to sit down and enjoy the weather. I was there less than 5 minutes when the nurse came rushing out in a panic to tell me that he had passed. She told me it was peaceful and that both she and the aide were with him. She felt so bad that I wasn't there at the time and I reassured her that I understood and that I wasn't supposed to be there.

Well, less than 5 minutes later, a friend, K, came walking up from the parking lot and I had to tell her that he had passed. She missed him by 5 minutes. She felt bad that she missed him and I reassured her that it was intentional on his part.

His nurse, D. had been on her way from another patient's house when she had a strong message in her head that she needed to pick up small memento of his from his house for him. Then she got stuck in traffic. So when SHE found out she also missed being there for him, she was really sad. I told her about timing and how he waited until I was gone and died before K got there. In hindsight, we figured out that the message to get the memento came right around his time of death.

The synchronicities of all three of us 'missing' the event are too much to chalk up to coincidence.

Mirror Synchronicity: The travel metaphor

Recently I had the privilege of sitting bedside with a friend "Gary" during the last week of his life. He had cancer and the disease had progressed enough to require care in an inpatient hospice unit. He slept often and his dreams were very active. He would talk and make hand gestures while he was sleeping. Hospice professionals refer to his condition as 'terminal restlessness'. I had always heard that people at the end of life start to experience and express the situation as a travel metaphor and Gary was no exception. One time when he was sleeping he said 4 times, "Get up, get up, get up, get up." His hand gesture was so broad he woke himself up. He smiled and told me he was trying to get his motorcycle on the back of a truck. Another time he said he had a dream about a 102 foot boat. Yet another time he lifted his hand up and turned his wrist. That gesture, too, woke him up. He told me he was trying to start a car. I asked him him about the boat, motorcycle and car transportation metaphors and said, "are you going somewhere?" and he said, "you think?" and grinned. What would turn out to be the day before he died, he wanted to stay in his street clothes and refused to take off his shoes. He would ask, "when are we leaving?" He was so restless that he and I actually took a walk around the facility, wandering aimlessly. During that walk he told me about a scene from the movie Mission to Mars. He said, "I feel like Gary Sinese - about to get in the capsule."

Monday, February 07, 2011

Directional Synchronicity: A gathering that was meant to be

I meet with a small group of people who casually get together on Sunday afternoons to discuss the book "The Disappearance of the Universe." Last weekend I had pretty much decided that I wasn't going to go because I would rather go to a movie with my dad. On Saturday night, however, my dad called me and told me he wasn't feeling well and wouldn't be able to go to the movie on Sunday. So I decided to go to the meeting after all.

During the meeting one of the members had a breakthrough and a revelation about needing to face her grief over the loss of her father several years ago. It was potentially a pivotal life moment for her, right there in that meeting, with tears streaming down her face. Several others were moved to tears as well and it was a cathartic experience for all.. It was then, during discussion, that we discovered that NONE of us had planned to attend the meeting and we all had similar things happen that redirected us together.

Directional Synchronicity: "Energy"

A friend of mine went to look at apartments on Sunday. He had seen brochures but he decided that he wanted to see them in person so he could see what the "energy" was like. The first place we arrived the power was out and the "energy" at the apartment place was literally and figuratively not good. It was under construction and it smelled. We got a laugh at the literal energy problems which reflected the overall energy as well. Needless to say, he won't be choosing to live there.

Mirror Synchronicity: The Five Elizabeths

One of my hospice patients, Mark* was a veteran. So, in order to help him with some veterans stuff I had to coordinate with a social worker at the VA named Liz. I go by the name Lizzy and our patient would frequently get us confused. We would have to say not only our first and last name but also our organizations. Because I was the first to work with him, I always joked that I was #1. Well, as I began to set up more services for the patient, the strangest thing kept happening... I would end up connecting to people named Elizabeth. The woman who offered private pay aide services went by the name Liz. Then there was the local Senior Options caseworker who called me and said her name was Elizabeth. Finally, when he was talking about moving to an Assisted Living, the marketing person was Elizabeth. By the 5th Elizabeth I was in complete shock. I've always had a common name, but this was quite unusual and a little freaky.

*(not his real name for anyone who is worried about health privacy)

Directional Synchronicity: God opens a window - Part II

A couple of months ago I posted a synchronicity about a friend who found a potential job offer waiting for her in her email after she quit her hospice job without having another job lined up.

Well, mid January, I too decided to quit MY hospice social worker position after only 2 1/2 months in and without having another job lined up. It was not a spontaneous decision and I gave two weeks so as to wrap everything up and leave on a positive note. My co-workers couldn't believe that I didn't have something else arranged and were stressed on my behalf. Strangely, I wasn't worried and I knew that everything would turn out ok. I trusted the universe.

Still, it came as a complete surprise when a week after I gave notice, I received an email offer for a consulting position from someone who found me on LinkedIn. Here's where the synchronicities occurred to me. The opportunity for me is a very good one but not one I would be able to pursue if I were working full time. Because the company won't have full time work right away, the timing also would not have worked if I had been out of work for a while. My online profile did not yet indicate I was unemployed.

So basically out of the blue I got an offer for a job I would really like to do, at JUST the RIGHT TIME.

Synchronicity #2
Our first conversation on a Wednesday evening went well and then I got nervous. I referenced this blog and some other writing that I do that all has a metaphysical bent to it. I sent an email in the morning to my contact telling her that I knew I wouldn't be referencing spirits and and psychic messages in my work for her.

My contact had told her husband about our conversation and the next morning he expressed a slight concern of my references to psychics, etc. She told him to go read the email. He didn't know what she was saying and reiterated his concern. She said, "GO READ MY EMAIL" and sure enough, I had sent the email to them with my recognition of the separateness of the psychic stuff right before he mentioned it. He was so surprised by the coincidence of it all, HE sent ME an email telling me about the synchronicity.

Synchronicity #3
The way that the company found me on LinkedIn was through a group to which we both belong. The group did not have an online presence on LinkedIn until I created it, 2 months ago.

This may not be quite a succinct synchronicity to others, but the whole thing feels very magical to me.