(This piece discusses child abuse and child death, be aware.)
Twenty nine years ago, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, a young man I loved was found dead in a ditch in north Tulsa, shot three times in the back of the head.
Just about a year later, another child I loved died in a police chase. Those two deaths, of dozens that occurred in the course of my career working with kids stayed with me in part because I felt that I had failed those two young men. Mostly the system, the state, but of that I was a part.
I tried a lot of methods to cure that sense of failure. Early on, a couple of counselors. Later, step work, and lots and lots of analysis and processing with people who do the work of excising the traumas of human life.
On this day three years ago, I asked a group of practicing mediums if anyone would be willing to try to reach these boys for me. Thanksgiving coming turned my thoughts to Rico, as had been the case for almost three decades.
A gifted woman, my friend, Sandy Soulsister, agreed to try. I began asking all of my people in spirit — Mike, mom, daddy, guides, angels — to help round up those two young men. I specifically used the term “rope them in” because that’s how I imagined it would be. A beacon would light up somewhere and send out a signal, then a search, and finally a gathering in. My imagination of how it works. Who knows, really.
I also asked my little guys. “Rico, Adrian, could you come chat for a bit? I could use your help.”
Three years ago today, Sandy and I sat down and there was already a gathering. All of the loved ones I’d asked for help were there. My mom spoke up first and at one point shared a deeply loving message about the unbreakable bonds of love that can occur regardless of relationship, what it means to mother and nurture, especially for one who’s not a mother, like me. It was my mom, gone since I was 12, being exactly the kind of wise, wonderful sounding board I know she’d have been had she been around when those boys died and broke my heart.
Next up, my dad and Mike both, and Mike with a lasso, of all things. Remember I asked my people to round ’em up? And there’s my smarty pants little Wyoming husband, gettin’ rope in hand. Spirits can be as funny in the misty state as in real life, truly. My guy is still cracking me up and he’s been “dead” eight years.
And then they were there. My boys. My sweet, precious, troubled little loves who’d experienced such horrific short lives, such awful and damaging deaths. And they proceeded to provide piece after piece of evidence that Sandy couldn’t possibly have known.
The messages were wonderful. They are both well. We will always be connected by that invisible, ever present link of love. I gave it out, they gave it back, and it’s been cycling ever since. Rico said it makes him feel so good when I tell him I’m proud of him. Adrian still just wants to be loved.
After Rico and Adrian left, I told Sandy of the dozens of children I’d given my heart to in child welfare. As an investigator, I often arrived too late, a child having been murdered or killed by accident or neglect. They all haunted me, their still faces, the little bodies. One in particular, an infant I sat with as she released this life, has been unshakeable. I can see everything about her eight week old body. Documenting her injuries took two of the usual body sheets. Eight weeks old.
Sandy tuned in. There’s no reason she would be able to connect with them, these dozens of children, most of whom were gone before I met them.
But we don’t die. We. Don’t. Die.
Mostly, by the time I encountered those little bodies, their souls were free and yet those souls still responded to love. It wasn’t part of the protocol and it wasn’t taught in social work school or child welfare academy or sexual abuse training but who can see a wounded child and fail to open the heart? Though not religious, with every case I ever worked, I first stopped and asked for help from the power of the universe.
And it seems they got it. They felt at the time the outpouring of love I always experienced when I encountered a dead or dying child. They showed up in the reading and all of those little ones brought with them an immense welling up of gratitude and love. They were right there, honoring the heart connection we had even post-death.
And here’s the crazy thing. After this enormously healing reading was over and Sandy and I were just chatting on video, suddenly there were faint balls of light rolling across the screen and tiny zooming sparkles and swirling prisms of light sailing from one corner of the screen to the next.
I was talking, looking out the window, when Sandy said, “Lynette, are there bubbles in your room?” Of course there were not, not in physical state, but there on the screen, translucent clusters of floating lights. At one point a huge curtain of mistiness dropped straight down in front of me and then a light ball shot up from below.
As Sandy and I questioned all of this, wondering whether it could be artifact or a trick of light, the answer came in the form of a small spinning prism right there in the room with me. “No tricks, not artifact, it really is all of us showing you we’re here.” The light show was a celebration, excitations of love made visible.*
It was wild and amazing and something I’ll never, ever forget, all courtesy of a whole passel of dead kids and my beloved relatives who’d shown up when I called.
“We’re here. We always will be, connected by the heart.”
So, yeah. I know about half who will read this think I’m crazy and yet another half will be comforted to hear yet again what I know is true: there is no death. Love never dies. Everyone we’ve ever loved and lost, we get to see again. It’s the best news I’ve ever had. It has changed my life and healed my broken heart.
I couldn’t let the day go by without sharing this again. It’s a promise for all of us. The Thanksgiving week that was for decades a reminder of failure and heartache is now a joy. I think of Rico in his freedom, of Adrian now immersed in the love he craved, of all the others now free of the tragedies of their short lives.
In that reading, my mother said, “keep writing about this stuff. Keep sharing it. It’s important. It helps people.” It definitely helps me. Maybe you too.
And a little magic with this post: I’d just put it up and run to the store. Standing in line to check out, I heard a *clink* and a penny rolled across the floor and came to a stop in front of me. From dropping a coin on my toe in Marrakech, to plopping a penny on a pillow where there was nothing before, pennies from Mike are a calling card. Now comes A Thousand Years, a song my husband sends to let me know he’s close. I love this Aware Life.
*There’s actually a video of this reading and the light show is visible in the recording, even with the less than stellar quality of zoom. If you’d like to see some stills from the video, shoot me an email message. I’ll try to pull some out to share. It was stunning.