When I felt Dr. Seuss's words echo in my head the morning after my only child was killed, I paused to consider the enormity of those carefully-chosen words. I didn't even know I knew them, much less who said them. Where were they coming from? Why did my mind deliver them to me, now? What did it really mean?
The day before, I had received the news that my one and only child, my 22-year-old son, Connor, had been struck and killed in a pedestrian crosswalk when a distracted driver ran a red light. I was in a fog. My husband had left to take care of the details of bringing physical closure to the accident. I chose to remain in our new home, surrounded by mounds of unopened boxes, having moved just two days before.
The boxes could wait, but these poetic words could not. I knew I was being given a message. And clearly, before I had time to think.
I've received many messages in my life. Sometimes the messages come from my heightened intuition. Other times through direct channelling with non-physical energies. My work as a doctor of transpersonal psychology welcomes them all. But that was work. This was life. And death. I knew my thinking brain was scrambled. I also knew I didn't have a clear sense of where the reality line was anymore. Was I going mad? Was this the beginning, or the end?
Like a simple child who's been given a small toy to amuse themselves with indefinitely, I lay in bed that morning, letting those nine words roll around and around my brain. I wanted to feel the truth of them. I wanted to feel something other than numb.
With my husband gone, no one else was in the house, yet I didn't feel alone. But I did feel still. If I had to talk, I would have whispered. Time had obviously no place to land. It was suspended, like my breathing.
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." I whispered the words out loud this time, hoping for more impact. The words got stuck in my throat, but I choked them out. It didn't even sound like me. But there it was: direction.
It sounded as though it was a small arrow, pointing, "this way; think this way." A gentle nudge to guide my dizzy brain into forming a perspective to begin the day. A philosophical viewpoint to lay down the foundation for how life was going to be from this day forward.
I got it.
I sat up in bed and nodded like a student. "Yes. Okay. I'm ready," I said out loud. To whom? To what? It really didn't matter. A lot of things that used to matter didn't anymore, and a whole new world that mattered beyond human life itself, was opening up larger and grander now.
I found my breath, took a big inhale, and when my feet touched the ground, I knew there was no turning back, and no other way but forward.