A lot of people have asked me how I’m doing, since I had a brain hemorrhage on October 16 and almost died. I’ve felt the wind of mortality blow past me, and once that happens, you’re never quite the same again, because you know that death really will come for you one day. I often think of the lines in the Emily Dickinson poem: “Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me; The carriage held but just ourselves And Immortality.”
Many people have commented on the story of my near death experience with my Siamese cat, Coe. If you haven’t read it yet, you can access it by clicking here–it’s the entry titled “The Love That Led Me Home.” In that diary entry, I said that I was surprised to see Coe, because if I was ever about to die, I’d expected to see my deceased mother, who committed suicide when I was a young girl.
I have since come to a realization: That WAS my mother. Because I don’t have any photos of her, she probably thought I wouldn’t recognize her, so she came to me “disguised” as Coe, the cat I loved so much.
I don’t have much experience with seeing dead people, but Whitley sees them all the time, to the point that, if someone we know dies, we wait for them to get in touch with Whitley. For instance, we were once sitting in a hospital waiting room with the family of a dear friend who was having a serious heart operation. Suddenly Whitley saw him in the room and knew he had died. Shortly afterwards, the surgeon came in and told our friend’s wife that she was now a widow.
Our friend loved being part of the social whirl and was very proud of his three daughters. Later that year, his third and youngest daughter became a duchess in the yearly coronation ceremony which is part of the traditional San Antonio rite called Fiesta. For the coronation, about 10 beautiful young women come out on stage and are introduced to the audience, while wearing intricately embroidered dresses expressing the theme chosen for that year’s festivities.
We went to see her and she looked lovely up on the stage. I thought how very much our friend (let’s call him “Bob”) would have liked to have been there to see her. As we exited the theater, we found ourselves in the midst of a large crowd of people. Suddenly Whitley said, “There’s Bob, let’s go over and talk to him.” We both suddenly realized that Bob couldn’t be there, because he was dead. But he had come to see his youngest daughter anyway, and of course Whitley saw him.
I’m getting better every day: I can almost FEEL my brain healing, and I’ve been given an EEG brain test that shows that my brain has returned to normal. Mostly this healing has to do with the small things we all do every day, when I suddenly realize I’ve been doing them one way since I came home from the hospital, when I should be doing them another, more efficient way. At first ordinary life seemed like swimming through jello, but now it feels normal again, and I recognize the person who is living inside my body.
NOTE: This Diary entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.