PART II - Continued from Captain Jack and the Stranger: Unlikely Heroes Part I
JANE'S words created a breach in the darkness, a fissure for the light to settle into my grief torn soul. Noah felt almost tangible; he still existed in some other time and space in a dimension that I could not comprehend but was still accessible. The very possibility shifted some of the dense emotions that had overwhelmed me since Noah’s death, creating an opening for something lighter.
In the days that followed, something sparkled within that jagged crevice. My child had been and apparently still was, a free spirit filled with laughter and joy! His voice whispered inside me, the echo of his mischievous chuckle reminding me of his true essence.
“Celebrate my life mom and not my death. I lived, I never wasted a moment and neither should you. Remember that, when you think of me.”
His messages oozed up from that tiny space as if from a distant solar system, speaking in a foreign language my heart instinctively translated. Five months following his death, I changed the way I lived on each month’s anniversary of his death.
What could I do to honor his essence? My heart reminded me: it was the simple things in life that Noah had appreciated most. Like the pink peppermints he asked for every Christmas and savoured until the next. There had always been very little on his wish list besides this one item.
A thought coalesced in my heart. On this five month anniversary of Noah’s passing, I would gift his friends pink peppermints asking them to remember the joy of life Noah emanated when they ate them. Feeling empowered by this simple act of kindness and sharing, the day seemed somewhat more bearable.
Later that evening I heard the “ping” of a message and eagerly noted it was from my friend Jane. Earlier that day, I had texted her mentioning we were enjoying tacos and pink peppermints in remembrance of Noah.
The words of a poem dedicated to my boy greeted me. In amazement, I read Jane’s poignant offering. In her simple prose offering, Noah was depicted as sitting high up in the branches of a tree throwing wintergreen mints to his friends – the “wild animals below.” The last line of the poem went on to refer to Noah as “King of the Wild Things, at one with himself and nature.”
With Jane’s words racing through my brain, my thoughts spiraled back to the week before:
MY friend Shiralee and I are drinking coffee as I shyly share some of my photographs with her. In particular, the branches of trees capture my imagination. The sun’s rays seem to assume a transcendent quality as they peek out between the stark branches.
“Look at this one Shiralee.”
The angle of the photograph magnifies the desolate limbs of a barren evergreen tree reaching up to the sky. For some unknown reason, these twiggy trees had captured my imagination prompting me to take several photographs. I point to the haze of swirling light around the sun in the backdrop.
“This appears so surreal, I feel like there is an energy or message here but I don’t know what it is.”
I glance sheepishly to Shiralee. Will she think I’m crazy? Am I imagining something impossible? My heart delays its beat as I hold my breath, waiting for the critical judgment it fears.
“Yes, I see it too,” she says, excitement in her voice as she looks intently at the photograph.
A tidal wave of emotion opens up as a trickle of joy rises to the surface. Shiralee believes me!
Maybe I’m not just a delusional, crazy cat mom.
I show Fran a photo of another tree - so many trees! In this image, the pink blooms of the sun’s rays illuminate a beech tree, leaving one of the branches gilded with metallic silver.
“Remember the ball hockey tournament Noah’s friends held for him?” My voice is breathless as the words rush out before I can stop myself.
“I took this photo just before and was struck by the silver branch, wondering what it meant. After the tournament, I realized his friends won silver and this tree has a silver branch - which kind of looks like a hockey stick!”
Shiralee looks shocked but her response is like balm to my heart, “Amazing Dawn! It’s like Noah is speaking to you through the trees in nature.”
And then it happens.
One final photograph of a beautiful tree framed by sun, clouds and sky reveals its hidden treasure.
“Noah’s face is in the branches Dawn! Look, there are his glasses and he has a cheeky smile that is so… Noah!” Shiralee’s voice is animated as she outlines where to look.
I see the crude but unmistakable features of Noah – the essence of his soul resonates deep within me; his gleeful demeanor catches in my heart as his laughing face appears, created by the wise growth of tree branches.
CAPTAIN Jack jumps into my lap, catapulting me back into the present.
All these tree photos and now Jane’s poem to further validate my imaginings. But more than that, how had Jane known to write about Noah throwing his friends peppermints? I hadn’t mentioned this to her! The timing was perfect. Jane’s response sealed the knowing in my heart that my boy was very much present and communicating with us all.
“I had a sudden urge to write a poem; the words just spilled out without thought! It wrote itself, one of the quickest poems I have ever written.” Awe tinged Jane’s voice at this perfectly timed synchronicity.
This marked the beginning of a different relationship with my son: one that moved beyond societal conditioning and the judgement of grief being a life sentence of suffering. Noah was showing me a different way, one that transcends suffering in offering a connection to his spirit and my own higher consciousness.
And in that moment, crazy cat mom embraced spiritual cat mom as the setting sun gilded the trees like the glowing whiskers of the universe.
So here’s to beloved pirate cats and strangers; sometimes the most unlikely connections have the power to shift our very perception of reality.
Dawn Williams is a Reiki Master in the Usui Shiki Ryoho/Tibetan Reiki Method of Natural Healing. Her work infuses Reiki with the Resonance of Symbolism & Intuitive Story. Open the Portal of Services to discover how to plug in to your own inner magic.