Thursday, November 4, 2010

Was it a Coincidence?

If you read my blog frequently you will know that it is an eclectic reflection of my life. What is it that others may observe as 'thriving' in the face of adversity? My so called 'interesting' life is 'normal' to me. I know nothing else! Who am I to draw comparisons? I endeavour to learn, and inspire, from each new challenge and experience. If there is any truth in the thought that we are here to learn lessons, then I am going to learn quickly.

Was it a coincidence that I watched an episode of Packed to the Rafters on Tuesday night?  I was left with are tears streaming down my cheeks. Mel's death in a motor vehicle accident was just to close to home; so many memories.  Just as I am affected by the passing of anyone as a result of breast cancer, so to the emotion raw and unchecked as I sat watching the programme and Mel's death in a trafic accident.

I am taken back in time to the morning of Tuesday 21 November, 2006. Was it a coincidence that I received a text message from Jeremy?  I read the message and surprised him by calling, rather than texting a response. As usual, he was overjoyed to hear from me and did not try to conceal his pleasure. We chatted about the previous weekend; he had apparently had a fabulous time. It pleased me to hear that life was good to him, and that he was getting on with it. He let me know that he had decided to take more interest in his personal appearance, making an appointment to have his hair cut and coloured on the Thursday night. My thoughts were that there must be some truth in a comment made by a radio broadcaster...  young men began to mature around the age of 24. He had turned 24 just 5 days previously. I remember thinking to myself  'He is safe now.' We laughed together and, when his boss Nudge arrived to take him to his job as a plasterer, we finished our conversation. My final words on that morning, 'Love you Sunshine.' Little did I know these would be the last words between us. On reflection, or was it a 'coincidence' that Claire chose to comment that few things stirred feelings of envy in her, but our relationship was definitely up there. I don't remember to many times that Jeremy and I were together, or chatting on the phone, that there wasn't joy and laughter. Others sensed the shared energy;  his mates loved 'hanging out' at our place.

Was it a coincidence that I went to bed  at 7.45pm on that night  but had difficulty sleeping? Normally, I would sit with Claire watching our favourite television programmes. I was unsettled, continually telling myself to 'go to sleep' with no effect. It seemed odd that I was still wide awake, therefore not surprised when the phone rang at approximately 10.10pm. It seemed to confirm my worst fears. There had to be a problem! It was my  beloved eldest son Damian who, on this occasion, was the bearer of heartbreaking news. Damian, and Tyneal, live in Melbourne; a three hour drive from Bairnsdale. It still amazes me that it was Damian who received a phone call advising him of the tragic accident that took the life of his younger brother Jeremy.

I learned that Damian (who is employed in the funeral industry) and Tyneal (a then student at the Victorian Police Academy) on receiving the news, had made the necessary phone calls to the Bairnsdale police. It was confirmed that Jeremy was deceased. In the meantime, Megan had also learned of the accident and she rang me as Jason drove her to the scene of the accident. My understanding is that she was hysterical, and vomiting, unable to function. When she arrived and found the rescue workers cutting her gorgeous, 6ft 6in brother from the wreckage, she was inconsolable knowing that her bro was in that car. It was too much for her and the police asked Jason  to take her to the morgue at the Bairnsdale hospital to wait. It was the very place at which I had given birth to Jeremy 24 years previously.

I believe Megan regrets that she did not have the opportunity to hold Jeremy in her arms one last time. She was allowed only to view him from behind glass at the hospital, although she was the one to formally identify the body. If only I had known; I would have begged her to come to Melbourne to view his body. I believe it would have helped enormously with the grieving process. Was it a coincidence that Jeremy died with a smile on his face? In spite of the horrific nature of the accident that took his life he was smiling. Was it Michael's jokes, or was it because Jesus laid His hand on him and gently whispered 'Come with me?'

Jeremy was not alone as he took his last breath. Was it a coincidence that Jeremy was comforted by a complete stranger named Michael, telling him jokes as he held him in his arms? Jeremy received the sacrament of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation the year his Father died. Was it a coincidence he chose to take Archangel Michael as his Patron Saint? He wanted a powerful guardian angel! As onlookers stood around watching on that night, Michael made the decision to be there for Jeremy. He stepped up to the task knowing only to well the heartache of losing a child. He had held his own baby in his arms as he lay dying. I asked Michael later why he thought jokes were what was needed at that time. Michael simply said he felt he had been led. I will be forever grateful to Michael; I believe he truly was like a 'Guardian Angel' to Jezz.

Although there are some things that are blurred about that time, I am going to try to put some of the pieces together in the next post. I now believe it is possible to receive messages from our deceased loved ones.

All God's angels come to us disguised.
-James Russell Lowell


diane said...

Such a sad story, any mother's nightmare but you have gotten through it even though you miss him everyday.I'm glad you feel that you can communicate with him.

Kaz said...

Chez my heart is with you my friend,know just what you a movie the other day with a little boy losing his life to a car accident and it brought back memories as we lost our kids 4 months apart from a accident and the most awful phone call a parent can get,brings u to your knees,couldn't even dial my brother phone number as friend show up right after the call came and dial the number for me.

Chez thank god for the messages we get,not sure if we could make it without them.Love ya..xoxo

Maundering mutterer said...

I think I will learn much from you if you can tolerate the occasional profanity of my nature. You're an extraordinary woman. I begin to wonder if it was a co-incidence that you chose to look at my blog! I hope that I will be able to face loving, living and tragedy with your steadfast, positive attitude and with the warmth and humanity which you exude. You write wonderfully. It must have been traumatic writing that post, but I hope and believe that anyone who reads it will draw strength from your strength.

nancyspoint said...

Chez, You have written something very moving and powerful here. As a mother I can understand a tiny portion of your pain these past few years. Also,I lost a beloved cousin in a truck accident and it was one of the most devastating experiences, but still only would be a fraction of what your pain has been. It sounds like you had some mother's intuition that night. I'm glad there are some things you are finding comfort in from that horrific time.

Samantha said...

On December 2, 2007, I got a call at 1am from an old friend while I was asleep. When I answered, she asked, "Are you okay? I just got a horrible feeling and needed to call you. I'm sorry." I was slightly annoyed to be woken up since for the past two months that I had learned my mother was dying I had a difficult time falling asleep. I assured her everything was fine and that I was going back to bed. As I laid there trying to sleep, I started hearing my parents talking downstairs. My mom was repeatedly saying she was too hot and needed him to take off her socks and pants. My dad was saying, "Barb, you aren't wearing either of those things." I never went to sleep again after that phone call because I realized her mind was elsewhere and the end was near. I woke up my brother, and my dad called our hospice nurse. She died that afternoon.

Was that phone call a coincidence?! Weird how things happen like that.

Alli said...

Mother's intuition is a powerful thing! I never discount when those short hairs on the back of your neck stand up, you have to listen to your inner feelings.

You are a tough cookie...I too believe all God's Angels cometo us disguised.. Met one or two myself over the course of my years...

Love & Admiration


Beth L. Gainer said...


This is such a poignant account of the death of your son. You have such courage to be able to write about it, and I'm sure you have helped others experiencing grief.

Chez said...

MM your thoughtful comments really are appreciated. Fortunately, writing from a positive perspective also lifts me; good for writer and reader.
Nancy, I believe sudden death is more difficult to deal with. No preparation! This is a great place to learn from each other.
Samantha, maybe your friend had a 'gift.' Were you close to her? I cannot imagine what that time was like for you. We make some interesting connections such as 'sight unseen' as in online friends and still manage to develop deep and lasting friendships.
Bless you

Rose Mary Saraiva said...

Chez, your Jeremy's story is so similar to Rachel's. As I read your post, a flood of emotions overwhelmed me. Both our babies were young, and like Jeremy, Rachel seemed at peace, not a frown on her face. She too was not alone after the accident, which is a great comfort. I truly believe they do communicate with us. They give us a gentle squeeze, touch, or whisper. I have had dreams with Rachel, and one in particular that put me more at ease, was when she said to me. "Mom, I'm right here, I have been here with you all the time." I can still see this dream as if it were only yesterday. So Chez, as you approach this unforgettable day, no that your Jeremy is there right beside you. He is holding you gently in his arms, and when you hear yourself laugh, you know he has been there, he is there. I hear her laughter, I see her smile, and sometimes a word or saying that only she would use. Sometimes it comes disguised as her friends, a stranger or a brother or sister. True love is a strong bond, that cannot be severed. Thinking of you always, Love Rose Mary

artistdeb said...

Hello Cheryl - inspired by the topic of coincidence I posted the following on my blog today. Blessings - Deb

Samantha said...

Chez, this person used to be my very best friend throughout high school. When we lived together in college, it in many ways ruined our friendship, and we were not speaking much when she called me that night. She came back into my life for a short time during my mom's death, potentially out of pity, but we don't talk much again now. After writing to you earlier, I e-mailed her. I told her I haven't been able to stop thinking about that phone call, and asked her what made her feel like she needed to call me. It changed everything really, and I am so grateful to her for following her instincts. I'm curious to see if she responds and what she will say. I will keep you posted! Thanks for prompting me to recall this memory :-)

Anonymous said...

Tears, tears, and more tears. I cannot begin to imagine the courage it took for you to be able to write and share this. God bless you my friend. Your friend from Texas.

Chez said...

Samatha, this is the lovely thing with writing eclectically, it means 'different strokes for different folks'
I look forward to learning more. May be room there for you to do a post?
Love and gratitude

Chez said...

Hello my beautiful, and loyal, friend from Texas. We all have a story to tell and I certainly write as therapy. Plus, have saved a fortune on counselling.
Love and gratitude xo