I was alone, eating supper on a cold winter's evening 300 miles north of Vancouver, British Columbia. It was cold and cheerless outside, and it was cold and cheerless inside -- in my heart, and in my home.
My wife, Joy, to whom I had been married 25 years, had died suddenly a month or two earlier. And the spiritual community that had been my home for 36 years was collapsing before my eyes.
One moment I was conscious. Food was being conveyed in a rhythmic manner into my mouth and everything was more or less normal. The next moment -- without even realizing it, of course -- I simply lost consciousness.
Of course, losing consciousness itself wasn't frightening in the least. It just happened. What was frightening though, or disturbing, at least, was regaining consciousness 45 minutes later and wondering what on earth had happened to me.
Taken to the hospital
To be on the safe side, I got myself to hospital to be examined -- first our local hospital in the tiny B.C. village of 100 Mile House, and then a larger hospital in a town called Kamloops.
I was in the hospital for three days while tests of every conceivable variety were carried out. It was an anxious time, without question. Was something terrible going on I didn't know about? A stroke? A brain tumor, perhaps? A cancer?
My imagination was trying to be helpful. But the trouble with being a writer and having a good imagination is that sometimes it can get a bit carried away and work against you.
In any case, I had no visitors -- and no idea at all what I was facing. Drawing on the English capacity to endure, I simply endured. I simply waited to receive further news concerning what happened to me.
On the third day, an inner voice
On the third day in the Kamloops hospital, around 10 in the morning, still waiting for news from the doctors, I suddenly had a sense that everything was going to be all right.
It was like I heard an inner voice. It was a subtle thing, to be sure. Easily dismissed. Like a beautiful bird passing by. But I'm quite good at subtle -- sometimes anyway -- and I heard this subtle message in my heart.
I was still thinking about it when a few hours later, in the afternoon, a doctor finally came to see me.
"We've checked out everything and it all seems to be normal," he said, with a reassuring smile. Then he added:
"Every dog is allowed one bite -- we're going to let you go."
Are we really alone?
I've thought sometimes about that lonely moment in the hospital in Kamloops -- and other times too -- when the voice of the Angel, if I could put it that way, spoke to me in my heart and blessed me.
One thing I'm sure about is this. We are not alone in this world, or in this universe. We are part of a living, loving whole that is more beautiful than anything we will ever understand mentally -- and there is a hand of grace upon each one of us.
I send you love and blessings. And if you have any thoughts or experiences in this area we sometimes call intuition, I'd love to hear from you.
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