While I was in Manchester, NH for a group reading, I received a message for bereaved parents Jon and Lois Kesty.
It went something like this:
I began to sense a young woman with me who indicated that she passed of an overdose. One of her messages was that her parents were using their voices to communicate help and hope to others.
Jon and Lois raised their hands, and said they recognized this communicator as their daughter, Sumner. I wouldn’t find out just how much good they are doing until after the group, when we sat down to talk.
Jon is working with an organization called Hope for New Hampshire Recovery. (http://www.hopefornhrecovery.org/) It's dedicated to supporting those who are in recovery from substance abuse.
The Kestys hope other parents never have to experience this deep loss. But, Jon added, "Sumner died of a heroin overdose and no one will be helped by covering that up." Trying to hide the circumstances of her death would not have fit with their value system or their desire to help others.
I so admire their strength, and their conviction to stand in the power of the truth.
Over the years I have met with many families who are struggling to decide whether to disclose that a loved one died by suicide, overdose, or other circumstances that might be harshly judged. As it turns out, this has touched me personally.
Very recently a family member told me that my brother, who died 20 years ago, called and confessed that he was gay and had AIDS before his passing. This added more confusion to an already sad situation. Because my brother’s father and our mother were divorced (on bad terms), our side of the family was not informed that my brother had died until months later. We didn't even know he was ill.
I’d had no idea. The letter we received stated that he died from complications of severe diabetes and had contracted Hepatitis C. I've met his girlfriends, so the fact that he was gay was another surprise to me.
Where does that leave me today? Well, I wish I had known my brother better while he was here in this life. I'm certainly not tormented by his sexual orientation or cause of death, as I have regular messages from him. I know he is still with me. Neither fact changes my opinion of him. I am just sad that he wasn't comfortable enough to disclose it to everyone.
If you are in the unfortunate position of trying to decide if telling the complete truth is necessary, consider who might be helped by the disclosure.
Yesterday morning, a client shared some absolutely stunning news with me. During her connection (with her deceased mother) I was given a name to share. The client validated that the name was that of her birth father, with whom she had been reunited since our last session a few years ago. She continued to tell me that previously, I had also given her this mans name, along with the age of 76. After the initial session she wasted no time in conducting a search for him. When she found him, on the other side of the US, they connected and underwent paternity testing, which was positive. She has now established a fulfilling relationship with him. Through her deceased mother’s communication, this client received the name and age of her birth father which enabled them to meet. These results are completely extraordinary. I am still in absolute shock.
But what really got me was when she said this, “I am on a mission to uncover the truth. My whole life was spent lying, and no matter what it is, I want the truth now.” I had already written this blog post, but knew I had to add her story before sharing my this topic.
I also offer this: there is an incredible amount of love available when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and real. We connect to each other through our compassion and willingness to try understanding each another. When we cover things up and pretend we live a neat, tidy, picture-perfect life, it’s difficult for us to develop deep connections with anyone.
Real life is sloppy. It involves hard work at times. If you see someone living the picture-perfect life, you may just be witnessing the facade they have erected from fear—fear of letting their real selves be seen by the world.
Whatever you choose to do, follow the nudges of your heart.
Update: June 4, 2016 Update June 4, 2016: The autopsy results are in: Prince died from an accidental over dose of Fentanyl. Why is this important? Because opiate addictions are killing people at an unprecedented rate. New England is suffering the worst with a 40% increase in treatment for opiate overdose in Vermont in just ONE year. This is a must see article and video: Heroin in New England, More Abundant and Deadly
©Mollie Morning Star 2015 Short excerpts of this article may be shared on the internet provided a live link back to this original source is used. Reproduction in print is prohibited.