She loved them so much that she felt a kind of hollowness on the inner surface of her arms whenever she looked at them- an ache of longing to pull them close and hold them tight against her.
I had a session with a client yesterday (let’s call him John, although that is not his real name) who suffered a life-threatening accident in a remote location over the Christmas break. The accident was so severe that paramedics couldn’t believe this man survived. They said it was a miracle that John clung to life in the hours before he was finally rescued.
We spoke about how this accident has changed John’s life – he spent weeks in intensive care and has a very long road ahead of him with more surgeries and ongoing rehabilitation. For now no-one is sure what function and mobility John will have at the end of all of this, or whether he will ever be able to return to the work he once did. It’s still early days.
That’s what we talked about, and I helped John to find focus for the long haul ahead of him, and new directions for his thoughts.
As is so often the case, it was only at the end of our call that John mentioned something to me.
Something freaky did happen to me that day, he said. I haven’t told anyone else, but I know I can tell you.
While John lay trapped in the wreckage, waiting for rescue, he floated in between life and death. He felt more and more cold. More and more sleepy. Even when the rescuers arrived, they couldn’t get to him right away, and then the work of extracting him was long and difficult.
I know it sounds crazy, John told me, but my Grandma showed up. I knew I was still alive and trapped in that wreck, but I was also sitting in my Grandma’s kitchen in the house she lived in when I was growing up, and she made me a cup of tea and sat with me and held my hand and told me I could not go to sleep – I had to drink my tea and stay awake. I was a little boy in that room with her. Maybe around ten. I felt so relieved to have her there because I was really scared. The tea warmed me up, and it kept me awake.
John paused, and laughed uncomfortably. You know she’s dead, right? She’s been dead for years. Still, Grandma didn’t leave me until they got me on a board, ready to slide me out and take me to the helicopter. Do you think I imagined that?
No. I didn’t. I reassured him that I have heard many stories from people who have had near-death experiences where a loved one has come to support and comfort them, or to help them hang on until help arrived.
I think she saved my life, he whispered.
I think she did too, I told him.
That’s one thing I have learned, doing this work. Love is a powerful force that transcends time and space, and brings us miracle after miracle.
I hope that one day John will find a way to share this experience with his family. I am sure it would bring them comfort too.
Hugs, and a deep appreciation for the wonders of the Universe, Nicole xx