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Gone Too Soon, But Not Gone Forever

My step-sister was killed by a drunk driver when I was twelve years old.   My brother and I were standing in the kitchen making blueberry Eggo waffles.  The doorbell rings.  It was so very early in the morning one could only guess who it might be.  As I made my way toward the front door I was intercepted by my step-father;

“Wait in the kitchen.” he said.

I watched him walk down the hall.  He opened the door to a priest and a police officer.

“Thank you.  We will.  I appreciate your stopping by.”

The door closed and I quickly ducked into the kitchen to find my brother pacing nervously.

“Something is wrong.” He said tearfully.

“Everything’s fine.” I lied.

My step-father arrived in the kitchen a few minutes later.  He knelt down in front of us,  eye level (never a good sign).

“Your sister Jennifer was in a car accident yesterday…”

I couldn’t feel my legs.

“And was killed.”

I know my mouth was open but no sound emerged.  The water escaping my eyes was uncontrollable as this powerful force called grief had completely consumed me.

In the twenty-six years since her accident, I can still remember that moment so vividly;  I can hear the emptiness of the house, the smell of the waffles burning, the feel of the air, what I was wearing, thinking, doing…everything.

Her death played out in my mind, over and over and over.  The driver in his drunken state  mis-judges a turn.  Jen’s body gets tossed through the tiny rear window of his sports car.  The car flips over down an embankment landing upside down in a ravine.   She drowns in six inches of water.

All these “what ifs” ran through my mind.  What if the driver not been drinking?  This would never have happened.  What if she had her seatbelt on?  This would never have  happened.  What if the car hadn’t flipped over?  She wouldn’t have drowned which is what ultimately killed her, and thus this would never have happened.

Your mind races to try and rationalize things that can’t be explained.  You wish you could just go back in time.  And when you’ve finally pushed passed all of that, the BIG question emerges:  Where is she now?  Is she really gone?  Is she in heaven?  Is there even really a heaven?

It’s hard to make sense of the senseless, especially in the 3D physical form we have all incarnated with.  I of course turned to psychics to help pierce the veil of illusion that has many of us trapped in the fear of an unknown fate.

ARE THE DEAD REALLY ALWAYS WATCHING OVER US?

After many years and many psychic readings,  the answer to this is a big fat unequivocal, YES.  Jennifer has come through more times than I can even begin to write about.

She’s come through to warn me about bad friendships, career moves,  dating certain toxic men, she even came through to tell me I was going to marry a man named Joe.  This was four years before I met my husband.  Every time a psychic would ask; “Who’s Jennifer?” my hair stood up and my body broke out in goosebumps.

When I was getting married I kept harassing psychics to find out if my step-sister and my uncle were going to be at my wedding.  The answer always came back yes, but my stubborn brain would not concede.

On the day of my wedding, I had a migraine.  My best friend Stephanie ran into the store to grab me a Coke which usually helps get rid of it.  She came back with three of them.  She reached into the bag and handed me one.

I looked down at the Coke bottle and gasped.  The bottle said, “Share a Coke with Jennifer.”  The shock on Stephanies’ face and the tears that rolled down her cheeks told me this wasn’t premeditated.  She had just grabbed the drinks and didn’t even notice.  But I did, and so did my step-sister apparently who put my fears to rest that she would in fact be at my wedding.

To Buddhists, death is nothing but a temporary end of this temporary phenomenon.  It is not the complete annihilation of this so-called being.

-K. Sri Dhammananda

These were really cool events,  but the most profound, and deeply impactful was back in 2006.  I was having a procedure done, a rather emotional one and I was at the hospital with my biological fathers step-daughter who we will call “Sherry.”

Sherry handed her cell phone number to the nurse, “I’m her sister.  Have them call me when she is done.”

While Sherry was very kind to have come with us, there was this sense of annoyance emanating from her that I just couldn’t shake.  Her being there never felt sincere.

Thank God for Stephanie who I had only been friends with for about a year.  She was also in the waiting room trying her best to have a conversation with Sherry who was less than enthused about her existence.

About a half an hour later a voice came over the intercom:

“Jennifer.  Jennifer.  Please come to triage desk.”

For reasons unknown even to her, Stephanie stood up looked at Sherry and said:

“They’re calling me.”

Sherry  rolled her eyes.

Stephanie arrived at the triage desk.

“Hi.”

“Jennifer?”

“Yes.”

“Your sister Angelique is ready.  You can go in the back to recovery.”

Stephanie nodded her head and came back to get me.

Stephanie went home that night and asked her family if they knew anyone named Jennifer.  She found the whole thing so odd and yet she knew there must be a reason.

A week later when I was feeling much better, she told me the story.  I just stared at her, speechless.

“I asked my family if they knew a Jennifer but the best I could get was from my Nonna.  She said I was supposed to be named Jennifer.  Jennifer Jo.”

I started to cry,  poor Stephanie was so confused.

“Sorry Ange.  I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“No, it’s not that.  It’s just that my step-sister,  her name was Jennifer.”

That entire experience bonded Stephanie and I on a whole other level.  She would go on to become my best friend and soul sister.  I hadn’t known how much I really needed someone like Stephanie in my life.  But someone did, someone who I’d also loved, who made it a point in letting me know that even though I can’t see her, she’s always watching.

Take heart in knowing that your loved ones are right there with you, lovingly guiding you from another dimension in time, reminding you gently that it’s never goodbye, it’s only farewell until we meet again.

Keep Seeking,

TPJ

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I looked down and the Coke and gasped.  The bottle said, "Share a Coke with Jennifer."  The look of shock on Stephanies' face and the subsequent tears told me this wasn't premeditated.  She had just grabbed the drinks and didn't even notice.  But I did, and so did my step-sister apparently who put my fears to rest that she would in fact be at my wedding.

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