'Do I Know You?' The Vibration of Grief


Last week I was at a small gathering, a lady I had never met asked me a question which caused my heart to race wildly and my breath to catch in anxious anticipation.

If you walk the path of grief, you might understand how an innocent question from a stranger can sometimes have a similar effect as if your body was hit by a sudden bolt of lightning.

When you have lost a child, it is questions from a stranger who does not know your story that can give you that sudden jolt, “Do you have children?” How does one explain such profound loss in a sentence or two?

Usually, I will pause and reply with a simple, “yes” without elaborating further, hoping they will not pursue the topic. But often, well-meaning strangers will push the issue and ask for further details, until I feel forced to stop them in their tracks with the truth.

“Do they play sports?”

“What grades are they in?”

Innocent questions.

My heart races and I take a deep breath before replying, “My daughter is in junior high and my son — would have been in high school — he died of cancer when he was only 14 years old.”

I say it stiffly, the words jumble over themselves as I release them quickly, like a vomit of emotion waiting for the shock and pause that inevitably follow.

Now we can change the subject and continue on.

But as difficult as these questions can be, there is one other question I am often asked that surprises me by the frequency of which it is posed. And true to form, as I was being introduced to the kind ladies at the gathering last week that question came forward.

“Do I know you? You look very familiar.” They asked with perplexed curiosity.

“No, we have never met.” I smiled and changed the subject.

As long as I can remember, strangers have asked me this question, “Do I know you?” I used to laugh and say I must have one of those faces which remind others of their cousin, neighbor, relatives — whomever. But it always surprised me with the frequency with which it was asked. I have always thought it to be rather peculiar.

Lately, I’ve been reading on the subject of energy and alternative modalities of healing. Since taking my Reiki second degree in February, I have been exploring this topic and learning new techniques and concepts. A friend directed me to a wonderful resource, “Reiki for Life” by Penelope Quest. Reiki is a form of energy healing first developed in Japan and brought to the west in the late 1930s. Reiki translates to, “Universal Life-Force Energy” or “Spiritual Energy.” In her book, Penelope Quest defines Reiki as:

“Reiki is a safe, gentle, non-intrusive, hands-on healing technique for use on yourself or with others, which uses spiritual energy to treat physical ailments without using pressure, manipulation or massage. However, it is much more than a physical therapy. It is a holistic system for balancing, healing and harmonizing all aspects of the person — body, mind, emotions and spirit — and it can also be used to encourage personal and spiritual awareness and growth.”

Just to be clear, Reiki is spiritual but not based on religion. Kind of like me, although I consider myself spiritual I am not religious per say. I do respect everyone’s right to identify and practice whatever faith they choose.

Reiki healing is based on the concept that we are all energy. The physical body is something we are all familiar with but this book, and others I have read in the past,  goes on to explain about the aura or the human energy field as well:

“The aura is a field of energy or light that completely surrounds the physical body above, below and on all sides. The aura is spiritual energy that is present from birth until death.”

Although we may not realize it, I believe our auras extend and pick up messages from other people’s auras (either negative or positive vibrations). Have you ever walked into a room and felt immediately uncomfortable with the vibe that you encountered? This could be an example of your aura picking up on the vibrations that others are emitting.

This is just the tip of the iceberg and is presented here merely to give you an idea of how our energy bodies interact with others.

Where am I going with this? It recently occurred to me since I am no stranger to grief (I lost my mother to cancer at a young age), perhaps others who are sensitive to that vibration are picking up on these emotions on an unconscious level. Maybe what they really mean when asking, “Do I know you?” is, “I know grief and a feeling of loss. I recognize that vibration on a deeper level.”

It is fascinating to consider how we are all related on a subconscious level even when our minds tell us, “I don’t know you.” Maybe it’s time to listen to our spirits more and recognize that inner voice and embrace others on a deeper, more meaningful level. It truly is amazing when you think about how deeply connected we all are without even realizing it.

“Do I know you?”

Yes, I believe you do.

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