Thursday, September 27, 2012

Life and Death Questions

Here's a summary from the Columbus, Ohio Death Café #3 September 24, 2012

I am continually amazed at the diversity of conversations that arise from the Death Café events.  Each event is unique and the variety stems from the topics brought up by the participants.  While Maria and I call ourselves facilitators, we are more like hosts that start the conversation.  Where the conversation goes is entirely up to the attendees.

Among the 17 attendees, we had multiple groups of people who came to the event together.  We had three siblings, a mother and daughter, and multiple sets of friends.  People are sometimes surprised when I ask them to sit apart from their friend or family.  The reason I do this is because the greatest enjoyment of the event comes from hearing multiple perspectives and sharing one’s own story.

We started out the evening in small groups.  The intimacy of the small group structure allows for everyone to have a chance to speak, and it is less intimidating.  As I moved from group to group, I was touched by the openness and empathy expressed in such a short period of time.

As with every Death Café, last night we talked about a wide range of topics.  There were a lot of questions pondered.  Is it normal to think about dying every day?  Which is worse to experience – the sudden death of a loved one, or watching them suffer for a prolonged period of time?  Is a viewing necessary?  What if I don’t agree with my family on how a funeral should be put together?  How do you define quality of life?  Why can’t I chose when I will die?  What happens after we die?

There is something special about the Death Café.  It creates that space to have the conversations that we can’t seem to have anywhere else.  My interest in the Death Café was sparked from my experience as a hospice worker.  I found that wherever I went, once I mentioned hospice, strangers would immediately share their stories with me.  I realized that these people needed to share their stories and there really was nowhere safe for them to do so.  There is now.

The beauty of the Death Café is that it brings people together who want to talk about the “taboo” topic of death (and all that it entails).  Many of the attendees reported in their surveys that in addition to telling their own story, they found comfort in hearing the stories of others.  The participants who have come to the Death Café events have a wide variety of backgrounds.  The diversity of experiences, beliefs and opinions contributes to the in-depth discussions that we have.

Many of the participants intend to return for more Death Café discussions.

There will be more Death Cafe events in Columbus.  For updates, follow _Lizzy_ on Twitter,  circle Lizzy Miles on Google+, or visit

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Silver Sparks

It's no secret that I am a third generation metaphysical believer. I started this blog eight years ago after my mother died and I started to note what I considered to be synchronicities and signs from the universe that those on the other side were trying to communicate with us.  The volume of experiences has taught me that the signs are more than just coincidences.

My own abilities to directly communicate with the other side have been slow to develop but they have been evolving.  When my cat, Kitty, died in July of 2009, I felt her presence via vibration (purring).  I blogged about it here.

Then in May of 2010 when my aunt died, I had a Shared Death Experience (SDE).  I blogged about some of it and eventually I ended up putting together a book about the experiences.

Since then, my abilities have subsided somewhat, but I do still frequently see spirit activity in the form of sparks.

This past weekend, I had a new experience.  I was at a metaphysical party. I started going to this gathering two years ago after my experiences with my aunt happened because it was the one place I could go where people wouldn't look at me like I was crazy when I shared what had happened to me.

Usually I will get a reading or two from one of the psychics or mediums who attend the party. This weekend, however, I was the one who gave the reading!  This is an entirely new experience to me.

There were six of us sitting in the basement. I was talking to a new guest who is 14 and an old soul. When I was focused on her, there were sparks to my left were quite active. Most of the time when I see sparks, I ignore them, assuming that it's just a bug or dust flying around. This time, however, the sparks were quite frequent and hard for me to miss.

I asked if anyone else noticed anything over in that side of the room and they said no.  I said, "someone is trying to get my attention."  After that I continued talking but the sparks became more intense and shifted to a bright silver color, like tinfoil. This is new for me.

Once again, I acknowledged the sparks and that they were silver now. The others in the group asked me if I knew gender or who it was. I closed my eyes, and nothing. I didn't have any idea. The only thing I could say for sure was that they were concentrated near one person. I will call her Fiona.

Fiona said it could be her grandfather or ... (I didn't hear the other person she said).  Then within a matter of a few minutes I had an extreme cold sensation as if I was standing in a walk-in freezer. I was wearing a wool sweater and there was no reason for my teeth to be chattering. I laughed at the sensation and told the group what I was experiencing. This spirit was NOT going to leave me alone.

The old soul handed me a device that works as a divining rod and I used it to ask the spirit questions. I asked who it was connected to and it pointed to Fiona. I asked if it was her grandfather and it said no. Every question I asked multiple times just to make sure. Then I confirmed with Fiona that she had not told me the other one who had died. She was about to tell me and I said, "don't." I asked, "Are you family?" and the rod stuck in the middle between yes and no. I asked two more times and the same thing happened.

I turned to Fiona and told her what I felt. This spirit was confused by the question because they felt like family but were not "technically" family.  That is when Fiona told me that she had lost her four year old step-daughter.  The little girl had died nine years ago in an accidental Jacuzzi drowning, while in the babysitters care.

For the next half hour, Fiona shared stories about the little girl, and I could feel the emotions the girl felt as she heard stories about herself. At one point Fiona talked about what a rascal she was and how she played pranks. I found myself giggling hysterically and feeling a deep sense of pride for "myself" on the craftiness of the prank. Embarrassed that I was laughing so hard, I covered my mouth with my left hand. Fiona looked at me and said, "she was left-handed too."

My lesson from this experience is that spirit likes to be acknowledged. Even though this little girl died nine years ago, she was still visiting with her loved one.  What a great feeling that our loved ones are still with us. I slept well that night.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Directional Synchronicity: The Long Island Medium

I am a big fan of Theresa Caputo, known as the Long Island Medium on TLC. If you have never seen the show, I would highly recommend it.  You can watch full episodes here. I like her because she has a spitfire personality. I like her because she is amazingly detailed in her readings, and I like her because she is still in awe of her own gift.

Recently I went on vacation and took a break from the online world. I didn't tweet. I didn't Facebook. I didn't get on Google+. I didn't blog. I didn't read the news.

As you can imagine, over a week, my emails had piled up. I don't usually read the theater and arts email, but I subscribe. For some reason though, this was the second email I saw and this time, I opened it up. There was a huge picture of Theresa Caputo advertising that she was coming to my hometown.

Was it a sign? Whether it was or not, I took it as one.  I HAVE to go to this. I called my friend Dawn and asked if she wanted to go. She said yes. We went back and forth on which tickets to buy but finally settled on the 'good ones.'  Go big or go home.

Will I get a reading? If past actions are any indication, the answer is no. I've been given the message from spirit that I need to stop seeking external answers.  After several faulty medium readings, the message came through. So I don't have my hopes up for that.  But I do think it will be a good show. Theresa has an inner light that shines so brightly, you just have to love her.

NOW here is where the synchronicity comes in. I mentioned casually to my friend Ross that Theresa was coming to town. He said he wouldn't go because he thought it was too expensive.  I never told him where my seats were or what section I was sitting in.

The next thing I know, I get an email from another friend Tom that he and Ross were going to see Theresa.  He mentioned his seat location, and in a theater full of hundreds of seats, my friends Tom and Ross are now sitting directly behind me.

I guess we were meant to sit together.

Directional Synchronicity: The accident that was meant to happen

Last week my step mom backed into a brick mailbox in my parent's Pontiac Grand Prix. It caused significant damage to the rear end of the car. My dad was not happy at the unexpected expense.

However, when they took the car in to the body shop, the mechanics found another problem.  In the inspection, they discovered the sway bar was broken.  The sway bar holds the car together and serves the purpose to keep the car from flipping over when you make turns.

There was no indication to my parents that anything was wrong with the suspension.  Had they not had this "accident," they would have continued to drive the car, unknowingly risking their lives every time they made a sharp turn.

So, the accidental collision with a mailbox was a blessing in disguise.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Synchronicity in Fiction: 11/22/1963

I have not read a fiction book in quite a while. It is probably because I believe in the saying, "truth is stranger than fiction." Nevertheless, when my husband went to download a movie on his IPad, he had trouble with the download and ultimately chose to download a book instead. My husband rarely reads except when he travels, and then he will take on a monster of a book, such as Atlas Shrugged.

This time, however, he chose 11/22/63, a novel by Stephen King.  This one was "only" 866 pages. On the flight while he was waiting for permission to turn on his electronic device, he told me about the book.

If you could go back in time to change an event in history, would you do it?  What if it meant that you would have to wait four years in the past for the event to happen? The premise of the book is that the main character has been given the "opportunity" to potentially stop the Kennedy assassination, but he has to hang out in the past for several years first.

I was intrigued by the description of the book and I began to read over my husband's shoulder as he read. (He did not like that very much). When we got home, I started the book from scratch and as he watched football, I read.  While he was golfing, I read. While he was at work, I read.

I cannot tell you the last time I read a Stephen King book.  I think it was Misery in the early 1990's, but I could not put this book down. The reason? Well, because it was really about synchronicities of course. The character experienced them frequently.

"The past harmonizes."

The other compelling component of the book was the concept of the butterfly effect. This is the concept that a tiny change can have great consequences. The concept was originally conceived in a Ray Bradbury science fiction story titled, "A Sound of Thunder."  That story was also about time travel.

So last night I finally finished the book. Today, I've been seeing butterflies everywhere.

If you have read 11/22/63 - I'm curious what your thoughts are.