I’ve been talking recently to a friend who survived breast cancer. Those of you who visit unknowncountry.com regularly know that I survived a potentially lethal brain hemorrhage in October, and spent about 6 weeks in the I.C.U. of a nearby hospital. My friend and I agree on one thing: no one wants to contract a serious illness, but real gifts come to those of us who do.

Besides having an amazing near-death experience with my Siamese cat, which let me know that there really is a world of the dead, I’ve had the realization that my cat Coe was really my mother, who killed herself when I was age 7. Since I don’t have any photographs of her, she probably thought I wouldn’t recognize her if she came as herself, but she knew how much I loved that cat. This has given me the gift of knowing that there really is no such thing as death.

Now I’ve gotten another great gift, but this one takes a little explaining. An acquaintance of ours (who shall remain nameless) is what is known in psychological terms as a sociopath, someone who has no conscience and who is unable to care about other people. Like all sociopaths, he wasn’t born this way, he was made this way by childhood abuse, probably of a sexual nature, so that he is as much a victim as a victimizer.

This man reminds me of a rattlesnake, because you have to tread so carefully around him. He once threatened me with a pistol. He stole $10,000 dollars from us. I could go on and on about the reasons I’ve never liked him, but that’s not the point. The point is this: he had an aneurysm himself about 5 years ago, which left him paralyzed. Before this, he was always very independent, and I’m sure he hates his current situation. I’ve tried very hard to forget the past and try to forgive him and feel sympathy for him, but I’ve never been able to do it, until now.

I recently realized that he played a major role in saving my life. With burst aneurysms, most people die in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The reason I didn’t is because Whitley recognized what was wrong with me when I fell to the ground and began having a seizure, so he called 911 immediately. The reason he was able to do so was because he had done so much research about aneurysms on the internet, ever since this man had the same problem. When it comes to this subject, Whitley knows more than many doctors do and he recognized what was wrong with me right away. He was able to tell the 911 operator I had a "brain bleed," which is a phrase that signals "extreme emergency" to every EMS team. An ambulance arrived almost immediately and whisked me away to UCLA hospital, which is one of the best places in the world for my problem, and that’s what saved my life.

On a soul level, did this man sacrifice himself in this life so that I would survive? He has a lot to atone for, but if he did this, then he has made up for it all, as far as I’m concerned, and the next time I see him, I will be able to greet him with genuine thanks and love, even though my thanking him will only confuse him.

I am not a very intuitive person, but living with Whitley, who has always been in touch with other realms, I know there is more to life than what we are aware of here on earth. I am so thankful that I can feel forgiveness towards someone I’ve always disliked, because that’s another stage of healing, one I needed to reach just as much as I needed physical healing.

As my dear friend who had cancer and I both know (and many others have discovered as well) great gifts can come from unexpected and sometimes tragic places.

NOTE: This Diary entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.

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