Saturday, January 30, 2010


LL Cool Joe's post for today reminded me of an incident which happened to me around 4 years ago.

I was taking a part-time course to become a psychotherapist. (I never did finish the curriculum, for reasons I won't go into here.) I had done my first year, taken a year off to do a different course, and then returned to do my second year with a new group of students.

The new group I joined had a trauma to deal with. One of their classmates had committed suicide over the summer break. The class had only 20 members, so everyone knew this fellow quite well. He had been very bright, with an ironic sense of humour. I'll call him Don. Those who had spent time with him had liked him very much. The suicide had come as a complete shock.

When I started my second year, everyone in the class was new to me, except for one woman. I'll call her Audrey. I had been in a weekend seminar with Audrey the year before, and we'd gotten to know each other a little. It just so happened that out of everyone in that class, she had been closest to Don. His death had hit her very hard.

A few weeks into the school year, we gathered for a class on the topic of suicide. This was a part of the regular curriculum, however of course it had a special significance for our group. The teacher wisely began by allowing the class time to discuss Don's suicide and how we felt about it.

I sat quietly and listened to my classmates share their pain, confusion, and dismay. Some people were sad. Others were angry. One woman said she'd never liked him much and she wouldn't miss him.

Audrey put up her hand. She began to talk about her regrets, how she had promised to spend some time with him over the summer, how it had never happened, how maybe if she had just tried a little harder to get in touch with him and pin him down to a date... Maybe she could have been that one friendly face that made the difference between life and death.

I listened, completely focused on what she was saying, feeling sad for my new friends, respectful of the serious atmostphere, and helpless.

Then all of a sudden, someone flicked my left ear, hard. Someone had come up behind me, pressed their middle fingernail against their thumb, and then let fly against the back of my ear. I heard the loud "thwack" and my hair, (it long back then), was pushed forward by the impact. I jumped about six inches out of my seat.

I looked back sternly to see who could possibly be fooling around in such a serious class.

There was nobody there.

Everyone around me was sitting respectfully at their desks, listening to the discussion with 100% concentration.

I could only think of one even semi-logical explanation.

After the class, I went over to Audrey. The teacher had tried to tell her that if Don's mind was made up Audrey couldn't have changed it, but Audrey hadn't accepted that. She was still very upset.

I told her what I had experienced. Of course I couldn't prove it, but I had a strong sense that Don was trying to get a message to Audrey through me. My best guess was that he didn't want her to feel guilty about his death. I got flicked just as she was wallowing in the depths of regret, saying how maybe she could have changed things. My intuition said that the message was "No". I think he wanted her to know that no one could have saved him.

Audrey got weepy again and thanked me for sharing my experience with her. I'm not sure how much she believed it. I'm not sure how much I believed it. Some things run so contrary to Consensus Reality that it takes a lot of practice to believe them, even if they happen to you personally.

That wasn't the only time that I had a very bizarre experience in that school. They did a lot of meditation classes where the intention was to up one's psychic sensitivity, so the place was abuzz with high-frequency vibes. But this experience is the one with the most interesting back-story.

I hope that Don's spirit has found peace.


Kate said...

We had a member of our fellowship die in the last month. I was visiting with my sponsor today and she got a little weepy, and I realized right then and there what my job was. I'd already done the hard work that she was about to and I shared that with her and the most amazing peace came over both of us. We both felt it and looked at each other in awe. It works when we listen.

DarcsFalcon said...

Suicide is always so hard for those left behind to deal with. This is going to sound harsh, but I have found that we tend to try to turn the focus back to ourselves - "If only I had done something." It's almost like we dismiss the feelings of the person who committed suicide so we can focus on our own grief and our own involvement in it. We try to take responsibility for their suicide somehow, as though it really had anything to do with us.

Suicides leave us little choice, and that's kind of their point I think. They're being pretty selfish too, doing their best often to deny us even the chance to try to talk them out of it. I have learned that when people do talk about suicide, they are seeking help, and attention. Real suicides don't talk anymore, they just do. And since we don't want to blame them for the murder, we blame ourselves. Thus the guilt grows.

Jameil said...

Wow... that's pretty creepy. There are only 9 people in our class so when 2 of them were missing in Haiti we were FREEEEAAAKING OUT!! So glad they made it back safely.

LL Cool Joe said...

Thanks for the link.

When my brother took the overdose, which of course we all knew nothing about, my mother was asleep in bed. She suddenly sat up and shouted out his name. And then sat there in a cold sweat.

Next morning we had the phone call telling us my brother was in hospital.

I believe God does communicate to us about others. As He is the holy spirit it seems totally reasonable to assume he is able to contact us that way.

NicoleB said...

I too hope that he found peace!
How sad :(
But experiences like that are something special and I'm glad you don't put them away as crap.

Jenski, PhD said...

You seem like such an in-tune person, and in light of your other experiences, this one does not surprise me. I am glad you could share it with Audrey and hopefully bring some calm to she and Don.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

If a person decides to commit suicide there is very little to be done at that point. Only the ones that haven't made the decision fully are likely to make "attempts" or basically enact attention seeking behavior. I'm glad you could try to share with the woman that the blame was not hers. I think there is a genetic flaw that perhaps makes a person more likely to seek a way out of life. With a father, uncle and brother (attempted) it seems like a sound theory to me.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

I find your experiences fascinating. I also hope Audrey found peace in this life.

Ily said...

Amazing story. You've shared some of these inexplicable moments in your life before. Seems you have some sort of connection with the other side at time. Maybe your spirit is sensitive that way; I can't explain it either, but it's wild.

I hope Don and others like him get the rest and peace they need in the afterlife.

powdergirl said...

This reminds me of a bad day I had once, working in some extreme conditions having the worst time mitigating the dangers as they cropped up. I was getting pretty tightly wound up on the inside.

Then as I rebriefed my crew on our new plan of attack, and as they were all looking at me wondering how I was going to deal with the most recent problems, and I was wondering too, a warm and very re-assuring hand settled for a moment on my shoulder, I knew it'd all be all right, and that I was up for this.

I don't know who that was, but it sure was nice.