Many times when I’ ve been in pain, a departed loved one has come into my dreams to heal me. Here’ h my most powerful example:
I met my lifelong best girlfriend Crissie in 2nd grade on the swing set of the Catholic elementary school playground. The girl crazy brilliance and insane wit bonded us instantly. Our initial conversation went something like this (although she was doing all the talking): “ Don’ t you think the word nunnery is weird, like a cannery? Why would a girl choose to be canned… er… nunned? Do you think nuns almost all come out the same from a nunnery like peas from a cannery? What if Shakespeare said, ‘ Get thee to a cannery! ’ ” As she talked, she cracked herself upward, bending over in peals of giggles that had me having a laugh uncontrollably along with her. I understood I had found a true friend– someone that thought outside the box. I didn’ capital t always understand her, but I actually loved her instantly.
Years later in seventh grade, the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan. Crissie and I were the only real ones in our Catholic elementary college to have our lives changed at that moment. All of us knew the Beatles meant a lot more than wonderful music and that they were showing us a bigger, more exciting living that we both wanted. We guaranteed each other that we’ d get free from the south as soon as we managed to graduate high school and fulfill our huge dreams. She never let me forget about that promise.
Crissie’ s brilliance put her on top of every class and got the girl accepted into Georgetown University within 1969 as one of a small group of the very first women ever accepted to that renowned college in Washington, DC. While i told her I had been accepted into University of Missouri to study journalism she forever called it “ University of Misery” and told me I ought to have “ aimed for a coastline. ” (She was right! But I wasn’ t as intelligent as she was, so I was grateful for the chance to attend University of Misery. )
Our friendship lasted long over and above my stint at “ Misery” and hers at Georgetown. The girl first true love had been a fellow student at Georgetown University named Paul Frederick whom she became engaged to. Two months before the big southern wedding her parents acquired happily planned, Paul Frederick dumped her. Crissie never truly got over it.
Later while i moved to Colorado and met a handsome mountaineer named Paul Frederick (not the same guy) I was immediately leery of him. Would he or she break my heart too? (Turns out he did. ) Crissie was the first friend to come check us out and meet my new love whose name was the same as the person who broke her heart. The lady liked him instantly.
When my Paul Frederick was diagnosed with cancer, Crissie’ s frequent phone calls helped me cope. With Crissie, every conversation was about exploring brand new ideas, asking tough questions plus searching for the truth– all done in a gleefully witty way. I actually adored her. She asked me personally the toughest questions anyone ever did. And she made me giggle harder than anyone I knew. She always told me I was a gifted writer and should “ just write dammit! ”
Six months after Paul died, Crissie came to visit. She cheered me personally up and challenged me at the same time. What was I doing with my life now? Was I moving forward? Had been I writing? She prodded plus poked as we drove to the mountains to ski. She seemed healthy, energetic, lonely as usual, but generally happy with her California graduate student life style. (She was getting a PhD within botany).
On her flight back home to California, she observed bruises appearing on her body. By the time she landed in San Francisco, she was covered in bruises plus rushed by ambulance to the hospital. Her stunning leukemia diagnosis therefore soon after Paul’ s death was overwhelming. After this devastating news, I actually suffered several anxiety attacks where the throat would tighten up and I couldn’ t swallow or eat. I actually felt nauseated most of the time.
Crissie’ s mother moved to Ca to take care of her and her dad got her into the most advanced treatment of the time – a bone marrow transplant at Fred Hutchinson hospital in Seattle. Surrounded by friends and family she went through chemo and the radiation treatments and nearly died throughout the torturous bone marrow transplant. I actually couldn’ t understand why someone since bright, loving, and good since Crissie would have to go through such suffering– as horrible as Paul’ h experience. In deep despair plus grief, I sold my belongings and moved to Mexico to teach health and fitness at a resort. I needed recovery and was dropping out of a world that made no sense anymore.
When Crissie was finally in remission, she relocated back to California and resumed graduate student school studies. But she was only 31 years old and had been through hell. She was in a deep spiritual crisis, wondering what the reason for life was. I understood the girl pain.
We remained in touch with letters and phone calls. The lady began getting her life going again and started to feel better. The lady yelled at me when I told her I was in love with a married (but separated) Mexican man named Emilio who ran the local dive shop. “ Sue Ellen, you’ ll only get your heart broken! You’ re a writer so you can use it within something I guess… but actually. Come back home and write dammit! ” I couldn’ t come home yet. My peaceful life of snorkeling and diving everyday along with Emilio was a form of healing just for me-even if I knew Emilio would not be my lifelong partner. I actually loved him anyway.
Crissie and I made a plan to see each other back on our childhood grass. Crissie flew to the Gulf Coastline to visit her family at the same time I actually flew home to visit mine. The dads both owned fishing boats and had beach houses. Crissie’ s dad brought her over to the possess near our beach house to spend time with us. My dad (who loved Crissie) took us fishing plus boating. When we got bored with fishing, he dropped us off at a remote island to talk while he or she fished around the island.
Crissie and I walked and spoken for hours along the sandy shore plus crystal clear water of our tiny remote island. We talked about her continuing struggle with leukemia, her bone marrow transplant, her feelings about death, my grief over Paul, the attempts to end my ill-fated partnership with Emilio, and her tragic belief that she would never look for a soul mate or have children. She felt alone and unlovable. “ What’ s the hardest part? ” I asked her. “ Unsatisfactory my dad, ” she said since tears flowed. “ He desires me to live so badly… ” I knew then that she was dying, no matter what the doctors stated. I recognized the process of letting move that she was experiencing. It had been the same conversation I’ d acquired with Paul.
When my dad picked us up on the island, he took us back to the marina where Crissie’ h dad waited on his fishing boat. Because our dads laughed and joked with each other, Crissie and I hugged 1 last time. She couldn’ capital t look me in the eye since she turned away and walked onto her dad’ s boat. As their boat moved out of the possess, Crissie and I waved. When she was out of view, I broke down in uncontrollable sobs. My dad carefully asked, “ Why are you therefore sad? She looks great. She’ s going to make it. ” I actually turned to him crying and stated, “ Dad, this is the last time I’ ll ever see her. I understand it. ” Crissie returned to her home in California. I returned to Mexico. Three months later she was dead.
The night time of her death, before I actually knew she had died, Crissie came to me in my dreams. All of us spent the entire night laughing plus giggling together (the way she and I always did). When I woke up, my stomach muscles were in fact sore from laughing so hard. I’ ve never before or since experienced such physical sensations after a desire as I did from that evening with Crissie.
That morning as I was making coffee and about to call the declares and check in with Crissie, I got the phone call telling me she had died during the night. I understood she had visited me within my dreams to let me know she was fine and to tell me that death wasn’ t the end of anything.
But Crissie wasn’ t done teaching me yet. A year later, I was finally back again living in the states, heartbroken over Emilio, and trying to get my life plus career on track. My grief within the loss of Crissie, Paul, and Emilio was weighing me down along with sadness and depression.
One night, Crissie reached me in a dream and healed my heartbreak. In the dream, Crissie and I are standing on a white stone balcony overlooking an emerald green green sea. It’ s tranquil and extraordinarily beautiful and I feel so content standing beside the girl. We’ re speaking as we always did but not using words. She’ s standing a little behind me and to my remaining as we look out over the water. I actually notice that her physical body is twinkling and seems to be more like dappled gentle than a fully formed physical existence. The form that I know as Crissie is changing. Her hand can be on my back, rubbing this in circles while she talks to me. We’ re discussing the heartbreak over Emilio.
She pulls out several handwritten letters on many different pieces of stationary that Emilio had written to their estranged wife (who lived within another city during our relationship). In the letters Emilio is professing his undying love for their wife. Page after page contains stories of how well his scuba diving business is going and how wonderful their particular life will be when he returns home to her. Crissie makes it clear to me that Emilio never really loved me and I have to let him move and move on. As she displays me these letters, my pain and grief from all of the losses wells up in my chest. Whilst she rubs my back, a loud wailing cry escapes me personally; the sound soars across the emerald sea in front of us. It’ s effective, ancient, and deep– louder than any sound I’ ve ever made. As this pain pours out of me personally and flows across the water, Crissie lovingly rubs my back and encourages me to let it all move.
When I’ ve finished crying, Crissie slowly disappears beside me. I wake up nevertheless hearing the sound of my painful wailing and feeling Crissie’ h hand on my back. I actually cry most of the morning. But as the days go by, I realize that the grief has subsided. Finally I’ m able to begin a journey of reinvention and spiritual exploration that will pushes me towards the work I actually do today.