Small? Medium? Or Large? - Part Two
For the past week, I have silently reveled in, been curious about and intrigued by the culture I’ve experienced in Morocco. Specifically, their religiosity. Hearing the daily and repetitive calls for prayer, witnessing the loyalty and humility, and being in this region during an especially holy day (Mawlid or Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif: observance of the birthday of Islamic prophet Muhammad) has catapulted me into even deeper religious contemplation – wondering about religion in general, about varying beliefs, pondering an afterlife– highlighting all the questions and curiosity that go along with the heart and mind of an Agnostic person. As you read in Part One, this contemplation and curiosity began when I was very young, and it continues today. (It may also have something to do with the fact that I’ve been obsessively binge-watching Greenleaf on Netflix). [insert embarrassed face here]
Mawlid falls during the US holiday Thanksgiving this year, and my respect for what I've witnessed in Morocco conflicts with my feelings regarding Thanksgiving.
The burden, pain, distress, and grief of living everyday as a bereaved mother, living in a literal nightmare, is sometimes too great for me to receive an ounce of joy from any day, much less a “made up” holiday like “thanksgiving.” Especially after having lost my son the day after "thanksgiving."
Many bereaved parents, no matter their religious affiliation, look for signs from their lost children, from their angels. I’m no different. I look for signs that my son is “watching over me” is “with me” or “protecting me.” I can honestly say that I am not sure I’ve “seen” any, but I will forever assign meaning to every Jack White song I hear and to every pair of Converse tennis shoes and every purple item that catches my eye (Conner’s favorite color). I will also assign some “Conner meaning” when I see the number 2 in any sequence of multiples, e.g., 22, 222, 2222.
I think, There’s Conner. It must be Conner, right? I want so badly for it to “be Conner.” I want so badly to believe it is Conner. After all, I can’t be wrong for wanting. And, I can’t be wrong for wanting to believe.
Would you believe?
A dear friend of mine went on a trip to Massachusetts, and she seemed anxious to tell me about her trip, so we video chatted about it. I honestly thought she was going to tell me she loved it so much, she was going to move there!
We began chatting and she told me about the places she and her sister visited and the things they did together. Specifically, regarding their "haunted house" and all things "witch" related they saw in Salem; she also told me they agreed "it'd be fun to go see a psychic." So, they did.
And here it is, as my sweet friend told me, as best I can relay from my own (now terrible) memory and from the notes I took during our conversation:
Having only given her first name, my friend walks in and sits down in front of the psychic, at which time the woman reveals that she is not only a psychic, but she is also a medium.
IMMEDIATELY my friend is told that a 19-year-old young man is coming through. My friend says that she didn't know who it might be. *She was confused by the age and because a colleague at her work had JUST lost her son -- my sweet friend works at a very big school and doesn't even know the woman, so thought it quite strange that it might be that woman's son.
The medium was adamant this spirit was coming through to connect with my friend. She urged my friend to keep thinking; she says, "it could be a friend, or it could be a friend of a friend; could be a friend's son or a friend of a friend's son..." This goes on for a few minutes, after which time my friend relays, "Oh! My good friend, Lisa, lost her son, but he was 22."
The psychic laughed and said, "oh -- it's him; he just REALLY LOVED when he was 19."
The first thing she told my friend was that "he is really worried about his mother." To which my sweet friend responded basically “I think she is ‘okay.’ She's really strong, has lots of support...” (etc).
Again, the medium was adamant. "No. His mother is having a really hard time. He wants her to talk to someone."
[My sweet friend had no idea how much I really was struggling in those days – I didn’t tell anyone]
*As an aside: This beautiful friend of mine saw the medium on October 8th.
If you saw my What Prince Harry and I Have in Common post, you’ll remember that I was struggling in A MAJOR WAY during this week, and truly lost my shit in London on October 9th.
I saw the psychiatrist on October 10th.
There were many messages the medium relayed to my friend.
I won’t share them all, but here are a few:
She knew there was a "sudden accident."
She said Conner crossed over immediately, then flipped over, landed on his feet and said, "WHAT THE FUCK?"
She kept laughing out loud and saying, "he is SO FUNNY! He's just so funny."
She said he has been trying to communicate with his mother for a while, but she is still resistant. He knows that she trusts you so he trusts you with these messages.
"His mom has some of his belongings, right?" (My sweet friend, "of course.")
The medium then said: "His T-shirts are really special, and he wants you to know that it makes him happy when they wear his T-shirts."
She then reiterated: "He is really worried about his mom. She is having a very hard time. He really wants her to talk to someone."
He wants her to know he's okay and he wants her to be okay too.
Again, she laughed and said how funny he is.
Then she said, "he is going to step away now so we can focus on you."
Note from me: I do think the best year of Conner’s short life was his Senior year at McCallum High School in Austin, Texas (he was 19).
Also, of course I have lots of Conner’s belongings: instruments, journals, cards, letters, clothes, photos, his graduation tassel, t-shirts, things from his office at UT…
Further, Conner's "uniform" was always a cool t-shirt, a pair of ratty jeans, and his black Converse tennis shoes. After he died, I specifically asked for all of his t-shirts to be brought to me. After his sisters and I chose our favorites, I took pictures of the others, messaged all of his friends and let them each choose a t-shirt to keep. We all wore one of Conner’s t-shirts to his Celebration of Life. And of course, we still wear them from time to time. In fact, I have one of his Beatles T-shirts on my desk in Switzerland. I pick it up from time-to-time, bury my face in it, and breathe deeply. It still smells a bit of him. I don’t know how much longer this scent will linger, but it brings me simultaneous joy and sorrow. (I brought his Star Trek t-shirt with me to North Africa).
My point in sharing this story is two-fold:
1.) If we think something is real, then it is real (i.e., our perception is our reality)
2.) If what we see and hear makes us feel a connection to our loved ones and helps us have pleasant thoughts about them, then it doesn’t matter if it’s “real.”
Would you believe?
With love from an Agnostic brokenhearted mama xo