Put your ear close to the whispering branch and you may catch what it is saying.
~ Guy Murchie
By all standard conceptual accounts she is a stranger. We met online after I read her article about the stupid, insensitive things people say and do when you’re grieving. I wrote about it myself, then reached out to her to express gratitude and consensus how her piece resonated with me. There was a familiar spark with Aimee in our written exchange, we were like-minded in life matters and like-experienced with premature widowdom. She was further along than I in the healing process and the assemblance of a new life, and I was hope-filled and inspired connecting with her. We are by no means besties, though we have stayed in touch. There is an automatic kinship that occurs among people who have lost someone they love, a relationship that naturally sustains itself when each individual continues in similar ways.
Fast forward to last month, Aimee dropped a private message my way through Facebook. It’s always an unexpected and welcome surprise for me when a real social media connection escalates to engage personally one-on-one: “Hey Shannon, Thought of you today while I was at the eye doctor. After taking out my contacts and waiting for the doctor, a magazine rack was in front of me, one with the biggest letters spelling out BOOMER. How cool is that? Think someone wants to say ‘hi’ to you.” Now if I hadn’t already developed an acquaintanceship with Aimee, I probably would have ignored her, and silently rejected her message as some trolling phish preying on emotions, a premise supported by the number of random male ‘friend requests’ I’ve received from bogus profiles classified as a ‘widower’. Not in this case.
Recalling the numerous postmortem communications I’d encountered with Boomer since he died — through his wedding ring, those middle of the night wake-up whispers, and other various signals and symbols — letting me know he’s around and watching over me, this latest run-in, especially now having moved out of our house, was both new, captivating and yes, pretty damn cool. Contact coming direct from a ‘stranger’, someone Boomer certainly didn’t know, yet embodied special credibility as a fellow widow, a heart-centered person whom I admire and respect. I’ve heard supernatural stories of loved ones who from beyond the grave leveraged another living spirit to communicate a message. Aimee explained this has happened more than once for her, the spirit souls of those who have passed use her to send messages to their loved ones. It was the second time ‘Boomer’ showed up with her; she was compelled to reach out. It sounds so bizarre. Like something right out of the 1990 movie Ghost. It was. As if Aimee were a personal Oda Mae Brown. Still, I was intrigued, curious and simultaneously comforted as I followed up with her offer to continue a deeper exploration sending her a picture of Boomer to meditate on. “Let’s see what comes up,” she said.
The next day, Aimee had more to share. She was clear in her suggestion to take what resonates with me and leave the rest. Much of what she initially messaged me were short, incomplete abstract statements that didn’t make any direct sense, it was like trying to translate jibberish. As she said, “Some starry night was another phrase that came through,” I froze. Reading the words again — some starry night — it seemed Hitchcockian in nature as I slowly took my eyes off my tablet screen to gaze at the framed print hanging on the upper right corner of the wall in front of the desk in my study… Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
Boomer hated this print. It hung on my side of our shared office when we lived it Evanston. He often remarked how much he disliked it –without cause or reason, he just did. I laughed as I cried at how much this new experience was hitting me. Each remark Aimee shared following starry night was spot-on; nothing she would have known or had read from me and I was rattled by it. He’s baaaaack.
The timing was serendipitous itself; on the cusp of upcoming calendar dates, Boomer’s birthday and St. Patrick’s Day, what would have been the 10th anniversary of our engagement. Again, nothing Aimee herself would have any first-hand awareness of. You explain it. I can’t. I naively thought that when my address changed and the pictures and memorabilia trinkets were safely tucked away in storage Boomer would cease to continue within my life. Not so. A deeper lesson emerged; spirit does not die, nor does end. It is the human form, its temporary occupant, that goes away. Teilhard de Chardin gave explanation to such a phenomena, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Even my all-time favorite music group, The Police, understood, “We are spirits in the material world.” In my humanness I clumsily operate as though Boomer no longer is. Through Aimee, he taught me otherwise. He is and forever will be a spirit within my life, I am tasked to expand how I see him, where I see him, when I see him. My human heart is acclimating to the news, of which Aimee was already aware, referring to him in both present and past tense, “He has a beautiful spirit and it feels like you picked each other before this lifetime,” she concluded, “He was one of your great teachers.” Yes, he was. All evidence points that he still is and always will be. I love knowing this.
The world needs your strength right now.
Go get ’em.
~ Boomer to SMO, through Aimee DuFresne*, February 23, 2017
*Feel free to contact Aimee DuFresne through the link, if you’re interested to connect with your spirited loved one. It’s quite cool.