Returning to the Place

Excitement coursed through my veins as I anticipated my appointment in Glastonbury, England.  Thirteen years had passed since I stood in this exact spot.  I couldn’t resist sprinting up High Street and turning right on Wells Road.  I slowed down from fear and perspiration on this hot August morning as I approached my destination.

The shock of seeing the Abbey House through its huge gate was overwhelming.  I leaned against the 10-foot-high stone wall that surrounded the property.  I needed to catch my breath and focus on why I came.  The charcoal-gray stones were cool and refreshing on my back after my fifteen-minute dash from my B&B.  My legs refused to move any further.  An invisible guard kept me stock-still as I absorbed the sight of my own post-traumatic stress experience.

The Awful Shock

My mind flooded with memories of leaving the Abbey House in a daze on July 20,2005.  I could see myself being gently placed in a taxi, while a crowd of tearful women surrounded me on the front steps of this same building.

On that same day, most of the women in my writers’ retreat had gone to visit a crop circle nearby.  I chose to stay home and participate in the labyrinth meditation.  During the meditation, I felt a strong urge to call my family in NJ.  I hurried upstairs to the second floor of the Abbey to make the call.  The lobster-red telephone sat on a table in the hallway.

Since I had no cell phone, I poured out the change I needed to make the call.  I couldn’t wait to thank my husband for encouraging me to make the trip:  I had fallen in love with Glastonbury.

The minute our daughter, Diane, picked up the phone, I launched into an enthusiastic narrative of the land of Camelot.  She interrupted me with words that would change me forever. “Mom, Cyndi is dead.  You must come home.”

I couldn’t move, let alone comprehend what Diane had said. Just then, all the change I had fed into the phone was swallowed up, and it went silent.  I turned to the woman next to me and blurted out, “Diane said my daughter is dead.  That can’t be right.”

Excerpted from Treasures in Grief:  Discover 7 Spiritual Gifts Hidden in Your Pain


Lo Anne Mayer

Lo Anne Mayer, author of Celestial Conversations: Healing Relationships After Death, and co-founder of the International Grief Council, offers motivational talks, workshops, and retreats on transpersonal journaling. She resides in New Jersey but travels throughout the US to share her message of forgiveness and unconditional love.

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