Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mirror Synchronicity: Fix the Bed

My husband and I were in bed watching Modern Family when he made a comment that we needed to fix the slats under our mattress. 

Not five minutes later, the characters in the episode have the mattress off the bed and are fixing the bed.

Here is a funny clip from the episode related to the mattress.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Directional Synchronicity: The Right Time

The more hospice experiences I have, the more sure I am that there is a significance and a plan to the timing of a patient's death.  I have written about timing before here.  Today I was on my way to sit bedside with a patient who was actively dying.  I will call him "Ed."  I was supposed to start at 8 am but I felt directed to get there a few minutes early.  Sure enough, when I walked back to the room, the whole family was there and they told me that he had just passed.

Ed's daughter, whom I will call "Melissa" apologized that I hadn't been notified in time so that I did not have to come.  I expressed my condolences and asked if she was there when he died.  She said, "Yes, and it was the strangest thing."  She pulled me out into the hallway and asked me if I had remembered the conversation we had two days prior.

Two days ago, she had asked me, "Is it true that when their feet turn blue, that is the sign that the time is near?  That is what the nurse said."  I smiled.  I know that at this time, when a loved one is dying, the words I say will be remembered.  I need to be extra thoughtful in my communication.  I also do not want to ever contradict another staff member.

I said, "Yes, it is true.  However..." and then I began to explain to her the spiritual side of things.  That the more that I have worked in hospice, the more I know that the timing is much more mysterious.  Sometimes the feet don't change.  Sometimes they do and the person doesn't die.  What I told her is that there is a plan, and it's something that we don't get to know until later.  I told her, "If you are meant to be there, you will be... but sometimes, no matter how much you love them, they would rather spare you of the moment."  I told her that it can be nearly impossible to predict which way the patient will want it, but after the fact, it will always seem clear that how it happened was the way it was supposed to happen.

Her eyes got big and she told me that her father in law had passed just minutes after they had left the room.  Her own experience confirmed for her what I was saying.  She thanked me for the conversation and went to work.

Fast forward to today.  This is what Melissa told me in the hallway.  Melissa had been thinking about what I had told her.  She decided to have a conversation with her dad, "Ed."  She told him lovingly, "Dad, you and I both know that I am the only one in the family who can handle being here when you go.  Everyone has said their goodbyes... I will look after them.  You need to go while it's on my shift."

Within just a couple of minutes, his breathing changed.  The nurse acknowledged that it would be soon.  Melissa called her family.  Knowing that they were on their way, he knew it was time.  Ed died within five minutes of his daughter telling him it was time to go.  She said he took three breaths and it was a peaceful transition.

So then after Melissa had told me the story, we both found significance in the fact that I had not been notified.   It was important to her to tell me the story, and it was helpful for me to hear it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mirror Synchronicity: Frozen in Carbonite

This is one of those really odd synchronicities that made me scratch my head and wonder why.  A few days ago, I came across an article about med students who put together a fun little video about advanced directives.  They referenced Star Wars, which is not uncommon, but they titled the article:  How Not to Get Frozen in Carbonite Against Your Wishes and included this picture:

Then yesterday I was watching the television show Awake, and one of the cases was a man who had been killed and disposed of in concrete.  Not only did the image seem reminiscent of the Star Wars scene, one of the characters actually referenced Han Solo being frozen in carbonite.  Here is a pic from my television screen:

For those new to my blog posts, I do need to reiterate, that I don't necessarily ascribe a deeper meaning to every synchronicity, but I do attempt to document all that stand out to me.  This one, like I said, was rather random! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mirror Synchronicity: Tickets to the Match!

In 2010 when I was at the ADEC conference in Kansas City, my husband called to tell me that his brother in law Ryan had offered him last minute tickets to the Master's tournament that week and that he would not be able to pick me up from the airport.

In 2012 the day before I was to leave for the ADEC conference in Atlanta, Georgia, we received an e-mail from a cousin named Ryan who had last minute tickets to the semi-finals of the Final Four basketball game in New Orleans.  Once again, I would have to find another ride home from the airport.

Both sets of tickets were offered at the last minute by someone named Ryan, and both events were at the same time I was at the ADEC conference.  And in both situations, I had to find an alternative ride home from the airport!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Mirror Synchronicity: 72 Handouts

I was convening Dr. Jenny Streit-Horne's and Dr. Jan Holden's session on after-death communication at the Association for Death Education and Counseling's annual conference.  Now, there was already a synchronicity with the choice of me as a convener (read here) but there was also a synchronicity with the handouts.

I was absolutely amazed that they had EXACTLY the right number of handouts for all of the attendees at the session.  No more, no less.  I mentioned it to Dr. Holden afterwards, and she said that it was definitely a synchronicity because she had pressed the wrong buttons on the copier.  She had intended to only bring 50 copies but somehow it started making 100.  She stopped the copier at 72 handouts, which is exactly the number of people who attended the session.

Directional Synchronicity: Convene

I was preparing for the Association for Death Education & Counseling's annual conference.  I had volunteered to convene a session.  This basically is the person who introduces the speakers, helps them with timing and also distributes handouts.  I had convened sessions in the past and previously I was able to convene sessions I was planning on attending anyways.  Unfortunately, when I got notice of the sessions that I was assigned, I was not happy.  I was assigned sessions that could be interesting, but were not the ones that I had intended to attend at those designated times.  I wrote the convener back and said that I could not convene those sessions.  I did volunteer that I knew for sure that I wanted to go see Dr. Jenny Streit-Horne's and Dr. Jan Holden's presentation on "Afterdeath Communication:  Unlocking its Healing Potential" and if they needed a convener for that session, I would happily oblige.  The organizer told me that she would see what she could do, but then I never heard back.

When I checked in to the conference, they noted that I was a convener, but that I was not assigned to any sessions.  They said, we do have one extra session that the other convener cancelled on.  Is there any chance you could do it?  I said that it depended on what session it was, because I already had planned what sessions I was going to attend.  Sure enough, they grabbed the folder, and the session they needed someone to convene was the one that I had wished for in the first place - Dr. Holden's session!  I said that I would be happy to convene her session!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Directional Synchronicity: You're Lizzy!

I was at the ADEC conference in Atlanta and it was between sessions. I was undecided on my direction and ended up walking one way and then turning around and walking the other way. As I walked past the elevator, the door opened and a woman came out and said emphatically, "You're Lizzy!"

I was a bit surprised, but she told me that a man named Robbie had told her to come find me. She said, "You know Robbie, don't you?" I said that unfortunately I didn't. At these conferences, I meet a lot of people and speak to groups and more people know who I am than I know.

I asked her, "What exactly did he say?" Then it became clear. He is connected to me on Twitter and told her, "Lizzy is a friend of palliative care." He had seen on my Twitter posts that I was going to be attending the conference, and he had told her to track me down.

The funny thing is, he had told her via Facebook to track me down, just a minute before she got on the elevator. That is why her voice was so emphatic because she could not believe that I had materialized right there.

As it turned out, Val and I made a wonderful connection. She is a palliative care nurse educator, and we had a lot in common. I am really grateful that she had been directed my way by an acquaintance on Twitter.

Throughout the conference, Val and I kept meeting by chance. It turned out the be quite humorous all the places we were running into each other.

*** UPDATE***
I sent a twitter post to Robbie, the man who introduced Val and I. He just tweeted me back to say that Val walked into the room while he was reading this post!!!

Mirror Synchronicity: Live Tweet

I was live-tweeting the opening session at my ADEC conference...

Before you judge, I have to tell you I am the Social Media and Networking Chair for ADEC the Association for Death Education and Counseling. It is my job to tweet during the sessions. I am subtle.

William Worden received recognition for his work in grief counseling and I had just tweeted a comment he made that I liked,

@_Lizzy_ Early ADEC..."It was pretty grass roots. Why? Because we were sitting on the grass in Maryland" -W. Worden #ADEC12

I then heard a woman behind me lean over to the person next to her and say, "Wow - someone is tweeting the speakers as they speak." I turned around and said sheepishly, "that was me." We both smiled and introduced ourselves. Out of 500 people in the room, the person she was talking about was sitting in front of her.

Michelle then tweeted,

@1HeartHealerLA @_lizzy_ great to see someone else tweeting about Worden and #ADEC12

Directional Synchronicity: The Bow Maker

I hate being bored on airplanes. I usually take a big stack of magazines with me to pass the time. While I enjoy conversations with seatmates, you can't count on the idea that the person next to you will want to talk the whole time. I had just boarded the flight from Columbus to Atlanta and I realized that I had left my stack of magazines at home. I cursed myself.

Then a man came and sat next to me. I don't know who started the conversation, but I don't think it was me. While I am very open to strangers, I am not usually one to initiate. We talked for about 15 minutes and then exchanged names.

Rodney Mohr is one of the most fascinating people I have ever met. He is a second generation carpenter and a world-renowned bow maker for violins. (Yes, quite random, I know). He is the only bow maker in Ohio. It takes him a week to make just one of these classic bows.

Now I should say, I know nothing about violins or bows. That didn't matter. What oozed out of him was his passion for the craft. He has been making bows for 25 years. We should all have something that we are that passionate about.

We ended up talking for the whole hour and a half flight. Not just about bows, but about everything. We both like research. We talked about caring for aging parents. We talked about music.

Now here is the other funny synchronicity: right as we were about to land, Rodney realized he was sitting in the wrong seat.

If you are in the market for bows or bow restoration, Rodney is your man. Check out his website.