Until we meet again..."You're already home where you feel loved."
Friday, September 11th
It was a carbon-copy day for me, and a monumental one for millions.
Driving to work, In the thick of traffic, the song "Lost in My Mind" by Head and the Heart began to play on Spotify. Although not familiar with the song, within minutes it sparked an emotion: Happiness! I replayed the song several times and could feel my happiness growing with every replay!
Traffic was at a standstill and I was definitely going to be late, but oddly enough, I felt little concern; I simply felt really happy!!
*Facebook post sharing my happiness with all!*
[caption id="attachment_116" align="aligncenter" width="483"]
Lost in My Mind[/caption]
Pulling into the parking garage, I listened one last time. The remainder of the day I would find myself humming the song with a smile on my face. For the next week it would be the song of choice to end my morning runs and during my commute to and from work.
When listening to the song, what was I so happy about?
I'm prone to analyzing my emotions, especially when they creep up on me. For me, sitting in rush hour traffic generally triggered only one thing, Road Rage! I have a 40 mile commute to work and that’s about 2 hours under conditions that are sure to produce anything but happiness. To have a song randomly play then have my emotions immediately shift from a place of frustration and impatience verging on madness, to a feeling of happiness? It wasn’t just a surprise it was straight up unexpected and shocking.
Still feeling happiness a few days later, I played the song for my daughter to see if the song had the same affect. She didn't seem that affected by the song. Her reaction was perplexing to me because by this time I was certain the song had subliminal messages for the programming of happiness. I asked her to listen to it one more time. Nothing. I was stumped!
Friday, September 18th:
The happiness momentum came to an end!
On this day all momentum in the direction of happiness came to a complete stop. A phone call revealing the tour de force of the unthinkable would prevail. “Are you sitting down?” said the voice on the phone. Thank God, I was. Within seconds I would be filled with deep despair. My dear friend had been murdered. The very friend that was always “happy”. You may think you know where this is going, but I assure you; you do not. You may want to keep reading.
Thursday, September 24th
I honored my friendship; my love for the family.
I paid my respects to the family with full acceptance that my mere presence would fall short in expressing the depth of my pain for their loss nor could it ever justify my own.
I found myself surrounded by a multitude of freeze-framed images of my happy friend while in the company of all who had now been stripped of capturing such moments of him ever again. I don't allow myself to feel hate, it is toxic, but that's exactly what I felt for this imagined thug whose selfish actions brought us all together for the wake of my dear friend.
I’m not the one to question God's reasoning behind such a tragedy because I believe we are responsible for our own actions; not God. However, I did question morality in general and was sickened by the lack of it. In my opinion this perpetrator was useless matter on this beautiful planet and furthermore serves no purpose. Yes, these thoughts and many more consumed my mind but by grace interrupted I was reminded of my dear friend and gently nudged by those unknown forces to put my thoughts to better use. So, I thought of my friend, his laughter and although cut short, his incredible journey through life. Such good thoughts of my happy friend and how he could always make me laugh no matter what the circumstance. Had I been at someone else's wake and he were with me; he would somehow make me laugh just to be singled out amidst all the mourners. In that thought and in that one moment, I felt his presence, and I knew he was there with us all and he had in fact just made me smile amidst the mourners.
By the end of the night, after traveling all day, I fell into bed and reminisced on my time with my friend. I had not spoken to him for a while and that in and of it’s self fed into my grief. I prayed for him, for his family and for all those suffering his loss and then I spoke directly to my dear friend.
“Hi. I’m so sorry.” - (This is all I could render forth through the muck that soiled my every thought. But, to honor my own beliefs, I had to sully my thoughts to a low roar in order to gain a better approach in my attempts to reach out to my friend. I took the time to breathe and when the bad thoughts tried to creep in; I reached for better ones. And then in the calm of my mind I found some peace and tried again....)
“Hi. I believe you can hear me. I’m so sorry." - (Feeling much better about this approach, I continued....)
"I’m worried about the boys (nephews). I’m worried about...(listed family and friends) and I’m so sorry for what happened to you." -(Still feeling peaceful and calm; I continued...)
"Tomorrow we lay you to rest. Are you at rest? Are you happy? Are you okay? I’m asking you to tell me if you're okay and if you’re happy wherever you are." - (Anxiety building at this point and I knew I had to let it go.)
"Maybe you could give me a sign tomorrow that you are happy?"
I do not remember much after this last request as I was exhausted. I'm not sure why I chose to ask for a sign that my friend is "happy" but I assume it's because that's how I truly remembered him. The next morning I woke with little to no expectations outside of the given; grief.
Friday, September 25th
The Sign: My happy friend had in fact heard me! He answered my request by showing me.
Arriving for the services, I immediately observed the impressive architect of the cathedral and for the first time in many years, under the sanctity of a church, felt the presence of God. The ornate ceiling, the intricacy of design, the pale blue undertones and massive pillars leading to the altar were awe-inspiring and breathtaking. In my opinion this could only be accomplished by the intimate direction and hand of God. Although lost in the beauty of my surroundings I was never amiss to the road of misfortune that led me to this place.
I cried for the duration of the service and as Ave Maria billowed through the church, with every intent of softening my soul, I remembered my request for a sign. I thought of butterflies for some reason. “Maybe my friend will send me a butterfly?”. I looked around the church. “Wouldn’t that be incredible if we all witnessed a butterfly flying solo in this church?” I scanned the room but no butterfly. Not sure if anyone would even notice a tiny butterfly in this massive church. I stopped looking for the butterfly.
We stood one last time as the pallbearers took their place next to my dear friend's casket. We all watched in agony as yet another ending was ending. But then, through the atmosphere of despair that engulfed our love and loss, came a familiar melody: "Lost in My Mind”, by Head and The Heart. My knees buckled, my heart raced and right then a breach in my contract with grief had occurred. Not only did I remember how that song once made me feel; I was actually feeling it in that very moment and that left me utterly confused. Happy? What? Can you believe that? I actually felt guilt once the moment passed but it would come again, but this time with much more intensity. In the most unthinkable conditions, without hesitation and delude of discretion, a sense of happiness embraced my every being with a force powerful enough to leave me weak at the knees. I accepted what was happening and within the confines of my mind, I acknowledged the sign and expressed gratitude.
Put your dreams away for now
I won't see you for some time
I am lost in my mind
I get lost in my mind
Momma once told me
You're already home where you feel loved
I am lost in my mind
I get lost in my mind
Oh my brother
Your wisdom is older than me
Oh my brother
Don't you worry 'bout me
Don't you worry
Don't you worry, don't worry about me
Let it be said that I may never know the reasoning behind certain experiences in my life and I am certain I'll never understand the reasoning behind my friend's tragic death. I also have no idea why he chose me to receive the message, but that is exactly what he did. But how could that be? Why that song? I heard that song prior to his death and had no communication with him during that time. But it’s clear to me now. My friend didn’t want to send me just a sign that he was happy; he wanted me to feel his happiness.
I could question things and undermine the experience, as I’m sure many reading this may do. But nothing, absolutely nothing, can logically explain the “emotion" of happiness that I felt under conditions that would not call for such an emotion. I would be submerged by this emotion of happiness, when seconds prior, the only emotion I knew was that of misery. There is no logical explanation to what occurred within me. Period!
I wondered how or if I would ever be able to share this experience with his family. How do I begin to explain that I believe my friend, their loved one, told me he was happy through a song during his funeral? I mean, come on! I get what that sounds like, trust me. I decided, since stranger things have happened, I would wait for another sign; a green-light so to speak. Within a few weeks after this experience I got that sign. I reached out to his sister, whom he was very close with, and I told her about the experience. I am truly grateful how well the message was received.
I’ve realized that there will be moments in everyone's life when things cannot be explained right away. Had I not been the type of person that questions the meaning of things, specifically unexplainable things, I may have missed the message altogether. I am grateful that’s not who I am and I am grateful my friend knew I would connect the dots.
Don't lose sight of the crystal ball experiences in your life as they may bring you the evidence you seek when you need it the most.
How's that bricklayin' comin'?
How's your engine runnin'?
Is that bridge gettin' built?
Are your hands gettin' filled?
Won't you tell me, my brother?
'Cause there are stars
We can start
This picture was taken on the eve of my friends tragic death. As I came to the end of my morning run, Lost in My Mind began to play. I turned the corner towards my home and stopped to take this picture. Together, with the lyrics of the song streaming through my headphones, and the beauty of that one star up above, I was lost in the moment, filled with a sense of happiness, and slowly walked the rest of the way home. I would receive the call of my friend’s death just one day later.
Thank you my friend. I heard you and I know you are happy.
[caption id="attachment_1532" align="aligncenter" width="501"]
Until we meet again. "You're already home where you feel loved."[/caption]