Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mirror Synchronicity: Willing Hands Make Happy Hearts

It was Friday night an I was getting ready to sit down and watch television with my husband. While I was waiting for him, I found Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original 1971 version) on cable. Here is a clip from my favorite movie:

When my husband joined me in the living room, he did not want to watch Willy Wonka, so we decided to watch 30 Rock on DVR. The title of the episode was A Goon's Deed in a Weary World. The description of the episode is pretty basic:

As Liz and Criss' new children arrive, Jack seeks a new head of NBC and TGS teeters on the edge.

So imagine my surprise when, during the episode there were multiple references to Willy Wonka! At first I thought it would be just the one reference or similarity, but they weaved the Willy Wonka theme throughout the show.

The sign "Willing Hands Make Happy Hearts" can be seen in the movie scene above
Kenneth portraying a fake bad guy as a test for the potential employee "Charlie"
During 30 Rock there was a promo for the television show Faceoff advertising a Willy-Wonka special effects contest. I was nearly delirious about the triple synchronicity. Then, as I was writing this, I discovered that the SciFy channel is owned by NBC and that the tie-in was probably quite deliberate.  Oh well.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mirror Synchronicity: Time Travel

Last weekend I watched two time travel movies. The concept of time travel fascinates me. The first movie I saw was Looper, which I had been looking forward to. Unfortunately, I found it to have too much gunfire to hold my interest. 

The second movie MORE than made up for the disappointment of the first one. It was titled Safety Not Guaranteed. I have been talking about this movie all week. If this ad intrigues you, the for sure, watch the movie:

Now here is where the synchronicity comes in. I've been thinking about this time travel movie all week and randomly someone leaves a comment on a time travel post that I wrote three years ago. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mirror Synchronicity: The Nose Knows

Note: there are actually two synchronicities in this post. The first part is actually a directional synchronicity, but I was rather attached to the title for the second synchronicity, so I kept it.

This past weekend my in-laws were visiting from out of town. Every time my husband and I have out-of-town guests, we always deliberate on where to take them. We don't have a set place that we like for guests yet.

There is a new wine bar in town that I suggested. My husband was reluctant because he had never been there but after I raved about it, he agreed to check it out. I had called ahead and found out that their busiest time was 7:00 p.m. so we arrived promptly at 6:00 to beat the rush. Well, apparently we weren't the only ones who had the idea of visiting the new wine bar/restaurant on a Saturday night because even at 6:00 there was  1 1/2 hour wait.

Since we had the buzzer anyway, we decided to walk a little bit down the street of the outdoor mall to see if there was an opening at Turkish restaurant that we like, Cafe Istanbul. We didn't recommend that restaurant immediately because we weren't sure whether our guests would like it, but they assured us they eat Mediterranean food. Best of all, there was no wait. We were seated with the buzzer in hand and after we ordered our food, I ran back and returned the buzzer to the other restaurant.

When I came back, my father in-law was making small talk with the man at the table next to us because he was wearing a Hilton Head sweatshirt. I was sitting parallel to him with my husband in between us. I leaned forward and glanced at the man. Something about him looked familiar. I glanced again. He looked back at me and I sensed he did not recognize me.

The man at the restaurant
I thought maybe I was identifying the similarity between him and the actor John C. Reilly. (Note, I did not think he WAS the actor, but in the moment I thought that was maybe that was why he looked familiar.)
John C. Reilly
I looked at him again and he caught me looking at him. It was akward so I said, "I'm sorry, you just look really familiar to me."

He said, "Let me see your nose." That certainly was unexpected.
** [This is where a 2nd synchronicity comes in but I will finish the first story]

I faced him straight on and he said, "I'm an ENT. I am Dr. ______," [That's ear, nose and throat for anyone who has never needed to see an ENT].

As it turned out, he was MY ENT.  I had sudden hearing loss over ten years ago, and he was the doctor that I saw a decade ago. This year, I saw him again when I had to have my ear tubes re-inserted. The reason I had trouble recognizing him was because when I see him before surgery he's usually wearing his surgical mask which covers up a big part of his face!

Once we figured out how we knew each other we had a good laugh and sadly he told me he moved his practice out of town. If I have any more ENT issues, I have to go see his partner. I was glad to find that out because he told me who I should see.

** Now here is the 2nd synchronicity (mirror synchronicity). Just a few days ago my husband and I were flipping through the television and a cheesy 1980s movie came on. He recognized one of the actresses and paused the television and kept quizzing me to see if I could guess who it was. He said he could tell who it was because he recognizes people by their noses.  [It was Melora Hardin, who plays Jan from The Office, but I cannot remember the 80s movie it was].

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Columbus, OH Death Café #6: The Power of Ritual

 January 9, 2013

The Death Café events never cease to amaze me in the variety of attendees, which leads to unique conversations each time.  This Death Café had some repeat attendees and some new ones.  Mix in an attendee with a Master’s in Transpersonal Psychology and an attendee who is a funeral home director and you’re going to have an interesting dialogue.

Words that were used to describe this event include: open, participating, enlightening, refreshing and therapeutic.

Just recently, TLC aired the first episode of the Best Funeral Ever.  This show has caused quite a stir in the media where journalists have used the phrases, “that’s disgusting” and “trivializes death.”  Death is supposed to be private, they say.  Attendees at the Death Café do not necessarily agree with that sentiment.  Those of us in attendance realize that we are a minority.  We acknowledge our mortality and the mortality of those around us.  As a facilitator, I usually try not to direct the conversation, but I could not help but ask about the professional mourners that I had seen on the show.  Professional mourners were individuals who were hired to attend the services and display outward signs of emotion.

“Are those people for real?”

“Yes,” the funeral home director told me.

“Could I be one?”

“You might not fit in,” he said.  He went on to explain that the professional mourners actually do serve a purpose to allow others to grieve openly.  He told me with the African American culture, there is a strong desire to keep emotions in check.  This rings true to me because in my hospice work I have heard repeatedly, “I have to be strong for the others.”

At this Death Café we talked about how we are a pain avoiding society.  People avoid funerals because they are afraid to experience pain.  They don’t realize that the funerals are healing experiences.  Even planning the funeral can be a healing process because it allows families to really think about how they want to honor their loved one.

We talked about how the television show calls the funerals “Celebration of life.” Then someone brought up that not every death is a celebration of life.  Especially not if it was a tragic accident.  Or murder.  Or a mass shooting of school children.

The room got quiet when someone brought up Sandyhook.  We sat still with the pain.

Someone pondered if these mass shooting events made people think more about death.  We concluded that one cannot help but think about it in the moment but people try to forget about death as soon as they can.  The mass shootings seem to make us more avoidant.  It is so painful that we want to run away, change the channel.  Avoid, avoid, avoid.

This led us to discuss how we talk about death with our children and how we, as children, were first exposed to death.

The conversation was not entirely serious though.  We talked about the cathartic experience of going through a loved one’s possessions.  That it is good to get your affairs in order to a point, but the process of sorting through belongings sometimes forces families to come together and grieve together.  Surprisingly, that even sorting through “stuff” can help heal.

We talked about so much more than what could be summarized here, but you’ll just have to come to a Death Café for yourself to see what it is like.  The next Columbus Death Café is February 6th.  No RSVP required.  The event will be from 7-9 p.m. at the Westerville Panera 782 N. State Street.  Please contact with questions.

We now have a Facebook page to advertise our events.  Please “like” us at:

As always, to follow Death Café events worldwide, please visit