A “strange” incident
Nov 21, 2013
It has been nearly 11 weeks since my beloved wife, Roxanne, died suddenly of a heart attack. I told some dear friends over a week ago that I still have not begun journaling/blogging about her, but that I have also come to realize that I should not pressure myself to “produce.” …That I will write and share about her, and our life together, if and when I feel ready to do so—and if I never feel completely at peace in doing so, then it is not meant to be.
I now feel ready. So I am going to begin sharing some strange incidents—“coincidences”—that occurred around the time of her passing and since then. I will also begin to share some of my thoughts and feelings about Roxanne’s passing, along with some of the history of our 40-plus-year relationship together. I am writing about these things for several reasons.
First, it is personal and about me. Is that selfish? You decide. But I confess that such is my primary motivation. Writing about this experience is one of the ways that I believe will help me cope with the sorrow and grief. (I believe I am doing okay, all things considered. More on that in a later entry.)
I expect that by writing about it, that it will be cathartic for me. (Definition: “Cathartic: providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions.”) Crying is a cathartic release, and I have done much of that these past 11 weeks; since the funeral almost all of it has been in private.
Roxanne herself was constantly journaling for the past 15 years or so—probably beginning from about the time we became empty-nesters and she had the time to do so. But for her purposes, as she explained to me once, it was not about writing for posterity’s sake or even for family history’s sake. Rather, for her she used the simple act of writing it down on paper as an aid to focus her thinking and sort out her feelings in the here and now.
Secondly, I choose to write about these things in the hope that it will benefit others. I expect it will strengthen your faith in our Father when you hear some of the astounding things that took place in connection with her passing—provided I am granted permission to share those things by those involved. And since I intend to share some of the life lessons gleaned from my relationship with Roxanne, perhaps that will be beneficial to others in their present relationships, whether with a spouse, parent, child, sibling, etc.
I will close today with “astounding thing” number one. (I use the word “astounding” in preference to “unbelievable” or “incredible.” When we are dealing with things of the Spirit, nothing is unbelievable or incredible, but many things are amazing or astounding or wondrous to behold.)
Roxanne passed away on September 5th at about 6:30 p.m. That was the Thursday after Labor Day. On that previous Sunday night/Monday (Labor Day) morning, my sister, Sharon, was awakened at about 2 a.m.
Background: Sharon has lived in the Dallas area for decades and she had not seen or spoken to Roxanne for many years—my best recollection is that it was circa 1994 when Sharon was passing through Asheville on a business trip. The fact that she and Roxanne had not spoken since then is not meant to indicate that they were on bad terms.
On the contrary, Roxanne had mentioned to me on more than one occasion that she really liked Sharon. As I explained in my previous post, dated September 22, 2013, Roxanne was a very private person. Once we moved from Florida to North Carolina, Roxanne had almost no contact with any of my siblings ever since the mid-to late-1980s.
In any event, Sharon was unable to arrange to come to the funeral but she shared this with me on the phone later. She said she was awakened from a deep sleep by the Spirit at 2 a.m. and told in the most emphatic way to get out of bed, get on her knees and pray for Roxanne. She thought that was really weird since she had not thought about Roxanne for a long time.
But this command was impressed upon her consciousness so forcibly that she immediately complied. The next day, she called our sister, Patricia, who lives in Florida, and asked if she knew how Roxanne was, or had heard from her, or had heard anything about her recently.
PB, as Patricia is affectionately-known by family and friends, informed Sharon that she had heard nothing and was also a bit taken aback when Sharon told her of being awakened in the middle of the previous night. They both “filed it away” and thought no more about it until PB got the call on Thursday night from our brother, John. PB then immediately understood and proceeded to inform Sharon.
Analysis: Everyone has heard stories of mothers or other family members who, in times of war, suddenly sense a great foreboding only to later be informed that it was that very hour when their son was killed in battle. This is not exactly the same thing, but to me it speaks of the similar working of the Holy Spirit. In the spiritual realm there is no time or space, or we could say that all time and space are one.
Did someone (i. e., Sharon or PB) do something wrong? For example, should they have called me to ask about Roxanne? Should they have “prayed harder?” My answer is “of course, not!” There is no blame here. In fact, I was gratified to hear that Sharon immediately obeyed the Spirit. In the final analysis, had she prayed harder, or called me, I do not believe it would have changed a thing. To everything, there is a time appointed, and I am fully at peace that this was the time for Roxanne’s passing which was preordained from the foundation of the world.
Why then, the powerful impulse from the Spirit in the middle of the night? Perhaps Sharon’s praying succeeded in making her passing very quick and relatively painless—from what I observed and perceived as I held her in my arms. Perhaps without her praying, it would have been a lingering suffering. We mortals will not know the complete answer to that until we, too, “cross over Jordan” and awaken into the other realm.
Or another possibility that comes to mind is that Sharon was impelled by the Spirit to pray, so that others (perhaps readers of this post) might have your faith in God strengthened by such “weird” happenings. Do you see another possibility? Email me with your thoughts.
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