To Be or Not To Have Been and Daniel Day-Lewis

A rumination on Hamlet's question; "To be or not to Be."
Mr. Day-Lewis. National treasure.

To be or not to have been. Hamlet, the Danish Prince (not to be confused with the Danish Pastry) has the most famous soliloquy in the English language - perhaps in all human language.

Daniel Day-Lewis as Hamlet
"To live or not to live."  That's the question - if its noble to stay alive and suffer all the difficulties tossed our way willy nilly or to just end it?  And if we end it, what next? What's out there in the "undiscovered country?"

A long and glorious sleep?  With dreams? What dreams may come?

But hang on.  You know how it goes. (reprinted below)

In light of this Flipside research, how should this soliloquy go? (Apologies to the Bard)

To be Benedict or not

Here's the conundrum.  What people claim consistently under deep hypnosis (the reports from Michael Newton, 7000 cases over 30 years, or Dr. Helen Wambach 2000 cases a decade prior) is that we choose to incarnate.

We choose to be.

They claim we can opt out.  Choose to not come to the planet.  Or choose to not be.

Maybe the play calls for "The cranky drunk uncle." The cereal maker. The cereal eater. The cereal killer.  "I don't wanna play that part - you asked me to play the marauding drunk uncle in the Viking era!  No thank you!  Passola.  Passorama. Ask someone else. I don't care how good I was as your drunk uncle, I don't want to play him again!!!"

"Oooh but you're so good at it" they say.  "I can never learn the lessons I need to learn if someone else plays the part. I might forgive them. I need to learn the lesson of forgiveness. Or letting go. They aren't as good as you.  You're the best drunken uncle out there. Pleeeease?"

Wheedling and cajoling from the soul group and guides.  "They do have a point you know.  You haven't done that part in at least a dozen other performances..."

"Ok fine. If you insist. After all, 80 years on earth feels like a half hour back home.  You want an hour out of my existence?  I will give it to you because I love you unconditionally. But this is the last time I play that role for you." (applause, bowing)

This brings to mind the report of Daniel Day-Lewis giving up acting. 

You can give up hats, but you shouldn't give up why you chose to be on the planet.

Hilarious. You can't give up acting. It's what we do each time we choose a new lifetime.  We give it up when we graduate to the next level; spirit guide, teacher, council member and no longer incarnate.  Etcetera, etcetera, et cet er a.  

Giving up acting is like giving up breathing.  Why would anyone do that? (Besides when has he ever "acted?"  He's always "been" in every role I've seen him in.  I think he's just refering to the circus around the profession.)

Granny knows a conundrum when
 she sees it. (Irene Ryan)
I'd say that idea of "giving up" on acting is "kinda" selfish actually.   He's been convinced his acting chops came from his environment, from his genes.  But he knows that it comes from before that... it was in his conscious mind as a child. Because back there on the flipside, we choose who we are going to be, and what we are going to do, and we choose these occupations because it heals other people.

I've filmed 45 sessions, and have asked dozens for the "first conscious thought they had they would be doing what they're doing."  The FBI agent said "preschool."  I asked why. She said "I started keeping lists on everyone, what they wore, what kind of car they had, what they ate for lunch." We kinda know who we want to be. Question is whether we can get there or not.  But we choose these roles to "help other people." We choose our occupation to "heal other people."

I've been told that "the energy of a lifetime in the arts is very similar to that in healing.  The energy comes from the same place."  People often claim they choose a lifetime as an actor, director, musician to use their energy to "heal other people." (Not making this up, just reporting what they consistently say.) 

Like a doctor. Like a surgeon. Like a shaman. Like a holy man.  "One huge belly laugh can do more to change a person's health or dispostion in an instant."  "Tears work the same, but they require catharsis."  And Daniel Day-Lewis is the walking epitome of catharsis.   
Yes. I got an Oscar.
From Curtis Hanson.
Had to give it back though.

He planned this lifetime. He has honed and crafted and had fun with it. He instinctively knows the shoe maker, the tailor, the working man has the luxury of disappearing into his or her craft.  But acting is a craft as well.  It's the ensuing trivia, the icing of vanity; all of that is a mental image - a puff of smoke blown his way.  Wave those hands, ignore the smoke, and focus on the idea that a profession can and does heal lives.

(I love #DanielDay-Lewis' work, he's fantastic in "#PhantomThread."  I know the great designer Nino Cerruti, and I felt this performance, unconsciously or otherwise, often captured Nino's bemused smile and design style. But I digress.)

Someone somewhere on the planet has been healed by watching a film or a performance. If you can heal one person than your choice to come here was worthwhile.
Really? Hard to believe
when you look like this guy.

I get emails from people who say "I read your books and I no longer see the planet in the same way.  Thank you." (As I've noted, I'll never get those kinds of reviews from my film work, I have written and/or directed 8 theatrical features.  People chuckle, sometimes laugh in my films - but no one was said "That film saved my life.") 

With Judy Dench in Hamlet. 
Actors can do that for people moment by moment.  Heal them, help them see a way out of their diaspora. Out of their doldrums. Out of their predicament.

Daniel is one of those people who can recreate human experience, embody compassion with a flick of his eyebrow, and wave of his hand.  If he wants to "give up acting" - he should add a proviso.  "I will give up acting until I'm cast opposite Meryl Streep."  (Another avatar of intent and healing light within a gesture. I'm not aware of any films they've done together, but would vote to see one.)

I'm not saying "don't give it up because you're good and the industry needs you."  That's all vanity.  "Vanum populatum." (google it) Do it because you still have more people to help and heal and make whole.

Jonathan Pryce checking out Yorick.

But back to Hamlet.

He too is talking about a choice, and the choice to give up acting, or to give up life, is after all - a personal one. It is about free will. Because we don't have to incarnate.

We choose to. To be or not to be. 

That's right. Every frog, every fruit fly chose to be here.  Don't like that analogy?  Sorry, too bad. It's accurate. And we can't kill them either.

Because we cannot "not be."  (First law of thermodynamics. Energy doesn't "die" or disappear, or even dissipate.  It just moves to another dimension, form or in our case realm. Energy cannot be destroyed. Not killed.  Not ended.  Just transformed.) 

Once we are formed as consciousness (willed into existence if you will - or won't - like Will Shakespeare) First "there was the word."  "Will."  And that's how we begin as well.  As will.

We all have free will.  We all are free willed.  (We should free poor Willy now and then as well.)

Nice hat. I get it. Tradition. But
it's also a costume bearing fardels.
Avoid the fardels.

To be on the planet or not.  To incarnate or not. It sounds like may people - based on the amount of complainers out there - wish they had not made that choice.

I hear you. You don't like being here. It's hard here.  It's beyond the capacity of many to navigate.

But mark these words. (Not on your screen, please, in a future book perhaps) Note the concept.  You made the bargain.

You agreed to come here.You said you could handle it. You had the choice to say no but you didn't.  You said "I want to be!"  "I can handle this! I got this! Let's roll!"  And you came here - the mewling welp suckled by his mum, taken care of (or not - it was by your design) and left to fend (or offend) for itself.

To have been. That's the victory. To be able to return home to the loving embrace of our brothers and sisters, of our friends and frenemies - of all the people who have ever been on the planet or have existed in any realm - those fellow travellers who we call our "soul group." To return to their loving embrace after we've successfully navigated the stage as we set out to do.

We've seen our loved ones before and we'll see them again. Inshallah. God willing.  Or our willing.  Will Shakespeare? Will he what precisely?

Free Will.  Indeed. An apt term for telling Will to come to life and unleashing that energy. 

Anyone who has ever been or ever existed exists still.  They're out there. Gone from this stage, but their role not ended.  "Not gone, just not here."  Never ended, just not here.  Off stage. Back stage. Back home.

To be or not to be.  It is the question we all asked and ask ourselves prior to every lifetime. What say you?

"From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remember'd; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition: And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day." (Enrico the 5th)

"C'mon in the water's fine!"

Shall we take up arms, hold hands and leap into the breach, jump into the fray once more?  Go down there (or over there) to that planet where we get the luxury of breathing fresh air? Where we have the luxury of drinking cool refreshing clean water?  (Unless it's gone.  No longer fresh. Polluted and stale.) Why would we pollute, destroy the place we love to return to?

Where we get to witness a dawn and sunset.... we get to witness life all around us?  Despite closing our eyes for a third of our lives, despite being asleep for fully one third of the trip - we get to be here on this mangificent blue ball hurtling through space.  What a joy!  What a delight!!!

Why would we ever choose not to be here? Ah yes, back stage. Back home. Where we reconnect with our loved ones. Where we experience unconditional love on a permanent basis. The kind of love Will wrote about in his sonnets, the kind of love that is beyond comprehension, beyond the capacity of the brain to understand which can only be known by experience. That kind of love.

I could go on.  I will go on.  Be.  Don't not be. Trust in the choice you made. You chose to be. Try to understand and enjoy that choice. Make others happy they made the choice to be with you.  
Be all you can be. In your heart. In others' hearts.

Catch you on the Flipside. 

HAMLET: To be, or not to be--that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. (except we don't... the troubles end to be sure, but we don't end)
To die, to sleep--
No more--and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. (That we chose to experience so we could understand or know them)
 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep--
To sleep--perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. (Or not. Some are able to lucid dream. Some experience dreams as reality. Some believe that the dream state is reality. We have a poor choice of words for a myriad of experience that we can only refer to as a dream.)
There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? (All stones in our path that become diamonds once we've overcome them.  A bodkin is a knife, and one could argue that the cigarette, the drunk driving is a form of bodkin, that we don't see as threatening our existence - except when it does.)
 Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
(Um, like Jason Bourne - we all come back from that excursion. All, except those who choose not to return. That's up to them. But even you dear Will have made this journey many times.)
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action. (Or, people realize that they chose to be here, that being here is actually a fun place to be, even if someone has murdered your father the King.  If it's revenge you want, your best option is to serve it by making the perpetrator realize he too chose this lifetime, and nothing can kill your father - hence why he keeps showing up as your ghost.  Or did you not realize that?) -- Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia! -- Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remembered.  (One can hope that in Ophelia's prayers, she prays for Hamlet to realize that compassion is the greatest gift he can learn, and forgiveness the gift he can bestow.  But alas, then we would have no drama.  Conflict is the essence of drama, so thank heavens that he existed in Will's mind so that we can witness the kind of drama we don't have to live through!  If we watch this kind of drama on stage and learn what we don't want to be, it's arguably a form of "experiencing it during a lifetime" and if we've learned the lesson, we don't have to repeat it.  Exeunt.

Hacking the Afterlife is available here:
Flipside is here:
It's a Wonderful Afterlife is here:
and you are Here. Be Here Now.


Memories of a native American lifetime

For fans of my book, "Flipside: A Tourist's Guide on How to Navigate the Afterlife" you may remember that during my first between life session I "remembered" a previous lifetime where I saw myself as a Lakota "medicine man."

As noted in the book, I was not familiar with the Lakota, other than the film "Dances With Wolves" which does a pretty good job of depicting what life in the 1860's was for them.  Further, I was not a "believer" in past life regression, I was making a documentary about the work of Michael Newton (Also called "Flipside") and agreed to do one of his "between life session" with the idea that I could "disprove it" in some fashion.  

After all, I didn't believe I could be hypnotized, nor was I coming to a session believing I had a past life (or that the between lives realm existed) and thought that by participating in a hypnosis session, I was determined I would not be "talked into" saying that I was seeing anything that I wasn't seeing.
The Taj. With Santa Martini

However, as people who've read Flipside know; that's not what happened.

I started the session like most people do, talking about memories of growing up, and at some point Jimmy Quast ( asked me to "return to a lifetime that had some significance to this lifetime."  He gently talked to me about traveling somewhere, through space perhaps, until I saw something.  I saw nothing.  Blackness.  I said so. Repeatedly.  

I used space on the cover of "Flipside" as it reminded me
of what it felt like moving through it.

But Jimmy has been doing this a long time, and he made a simple suggestion.  "Just look down." That's when I began to see and visualize and sense a lifetime that I wasn't familiar with - but since then feel as if I become more familiar with it, the more I research the time and era.

I'm going to include that memory below.  But recently I traveled back to Wisconsin, back to the land of my Irish cousins, to attend the funeral of my dear departed uncle who had 11 children, and made it to 96 years old. And I spent some time with my cousin, his son, who is a historian of sorts, about all things native American about tribes of the region.  

It was at the funeral of his mom, some 5 years ago, when I first revealed to him that I had done a past life session and remembered a lifetime as a native American.  That I had claimed during the session to remember a lifetime as a Lakota.  

It turns out my cousin is an expert in their history.  He said to me "Just tell me what you were wearing."

I told him, and he asked "how many feathers did you have?" I said "two."  He said "were they up or down?" I said "down, tied in my hair."  He said "that would make you a medicine man."  I asked about the memory of a name I had "watanka." (something I searched for on the internet but could not find) and he said "it's a derivation of Wakan Tanka - which means "Great spirit."  As a spokesman for the Great spirit it's what they would have called you." 

Further, I asked him about my memory of my tribe being wiped out by Huron - when the Huron are traditionally near Lake Huron, and the Sioux were in Montana.  He said "You're sitting on the spot where they fought for 60 years. Eau Claire, Wisconsin."

All of these details were new information to me.  None of it I had read or could find online or in books.  Subsequently he's given me some books that contain the histories of these people, and I just finished reading William Warren's book "History of the Ojibway People."  Warren was an Ojibway (Chippewa) and he traces the story (through eyewitness interview of tribal elders) of how the Huron people fought and wound up in upper Wisconsin near Minnesota, and how the Dakota/Lakota fought for their hunting grounds along that region.

Ojibway delegation 1911.

It's a difficult book to read because it's 200 years of detailed slaughter.  The Ojibway fought their way across the upper midwest, and some claim their name comes from the look of someone who had been captured and torched by them; "puckered" as in "burnt flesh."  (Others claim it relates to other versions of the word, but their fire punishment is well documented.)  

Basically it read like two angry football teams eking out a few yards at a time over decades, except they were using tomahawks, arrows and axes to cut off the scalps of their victims.  It was a brutal tale of warriors fighting to earn feathers - each feather represented a dead member of the other tribe (basically.) 

One funny note; they invented lacrosse and played it like crazed teams. If a ball went into a house by accident the teams would "tear down the house to get it."  If the ball went into the water they would claw and drown each other retrieving it.  

According to the book, Chief Pontiac used a lacrosse game to draw the British troops out of their forts to watch it - 200 natives racing back and forth, and when the gates of the fort were opened, they threw the ball inside.  As they raced to get it, their wives handed over the knives, axes and sawed off guns they were hiding in their cloaks.  The Ojibway slaughtered the garrison (and took 13 other forts), which is why Pontiac is more than just a name of a city in Michigan.

In terms of observation from the Flipside perspective - I can see how choosing to be the member of a tribe was in many cases, a lifetime chosen to participate in the playing field of life.  Definitely not one in the stands watching others duke it out, but one in which they fought for every inch of land.  Many warriors were dispatched to the hunting grounds, and by the time the Americans showed up, many of their warriors were already gone.

The point being; we choose our lifetimes. Some of us choose lifetimes that are in the playing field fighting with weapons, others choose the stands to watch the action and root for their heroes.

Interesting how the book notes how the French did a masterful job of trading and honoring the native traditions, (doling out medals and awards, and leaving them in peace) which were followed by the British who had less sympathy, but still allowed the native Americans to follow their traditions - followed by the long knives (Americans) who did everything in their power to disrupt, change or wipe out their traditions.  

We all live with the after effects of that diaspora.

A white squirrel I saw in Eau Claire. 
But when I went to visit my cousin, I drove through the autumn leaves of the region, and opened my consciousness up to the possibility that I might have "lived there before."  There's an odd thing that occurs when one does that - certain vistas start to look familiar, rather than just beautiful. In this case, I was driving around Eau Claire, and it was the first snowfall of the season.  I stopped by to see my cousin after the funeral and we chatted a bit about this research.  He wrote me this note today:

"I have been researching the history of the Huron, as it relates to encounters with the Lakota/Dakota. Traditionally, the Lakota inhabited Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas. The Huron homeland was the Mackinac Island and Lake Huron region. So, they would not have been traditional enemies.

However, the Iroquois battled the Huron in their homeland and forced them from the region in 1652. Some Huron went South into Michigan. Another group moved farther Northwest to Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior and allied with their old friends, the Ojibwa.

I feel that, IT IS IN THIS TIME FRAME THAT YOUR BATTLE WITH the LAKOTA and HURON ENSUED. (Between 1652 – 1670’s)

Historically, it is the only time that they would have crossed paths in a war-like manner. We need to find a battle, as described in your "memory" in that period of time, that occurred on one of the many tributaries of the Miss. (It could be the Crow Wing, St. Croix, Chippewa, St. Louis, Minnesota, Kettle, or a number of other rivers that empty into the Mississippi in that region.)"

I had not mentioned this to him, but during my session when I was asked "When did this occur?" I said "late 1600's.  Like 1670."  

The chapter doesn't include that note, I trimmed the transcript, but it exists in my notes.  So technically, the memory could be correct. I was surprised to read it in his email today, and felt that "zing" of truth about it.

  Here it is:

(reproduced with the author's permission from the book "Flipside: a Tourist's Guide on How to Navigate the Afterlife." ) Jimmy Quast, trained by Michael Newton in hypnotherapy, conducted the session.  After going through memories of my lifetime, a memory of "being born" we got to a point where I was saying "I don't see anything."  Finally, he said the following:

               Just look down. What do you see?
               This is unusual. (I saw my bare feet in a creek. The water was cold, soothing. My feet bloody, scratched.) What's coming to me is... Native American Indian. I'm a male. And I'm trying to get the impression here... What’s on my legs? I want to say buckskin, there's a feather. Two feathers, not up, but down... tied in my hair, black hair, and I can feel my clothing - suede vest, pants... bare feet.[1]
               How old are you?
               Seems like 28. I'm looking around; it's hills, trees and dried old grass. It's the dry season...
Are you alone?
Not around anyone else at the moment – I’m by a creek; I can put my foot in. I have wounds on my feet; don't know why, but... I notice they're beaten up, feels good to put them in the water.
               Is that why you've come here?
               I come here for solace to get away.  I think it's about my spirit guide. I come here to commune.
               A spiritual connection with your guide... what do they call you?
               I heard Tan’ tanka’ mon, I think that means “running bear” which sounds funny to me; tatanka... (Remembering the Kevin Costner film “Dances With Wolves,” where he was a Lakota Sioux named “ Buffalo ” – Tatanka). In my case it means “Runs from bear.”  (I said this as an observation that I was not a warrior)  It might be "Watanka"…[2] 
               Your spirit guide is here by the water?
               Not a human guide. It's a cougar.[3] Mountain lion.
               What does that mean to you?
               Hunter, alone.  
               Would it be okay to visit where your people are?
               (Sigh)  I’d prefer not to.
               Where is your village?
               My overall impression is that... it's gone. (Sigh) 
               Just relax... (Puts his hand on my forehead)
               I see. I didn't want to tell you about it. There's a wife, involved... there was a problem.
               You’re safe, tell me what happened.
               (I started to choke up. In my mind's eye a village of teepees and bodies everywhere. A massacre. Lots of blood. People hacked to death.)
               What happened?
               Hacked to death.
               By whom?
               Damned Hurons. [4] Everyone's dead.
               Except you?
               (Through tears) I was away. I was doing something else, picking something up. I just came back and everyone is dead.
               Your wife?
 NOTE: In my minds eye, I saw this village of massacred Indians whom I sincerely believed to be my people.  I went to a teepee, the class kind with leather flap and sticks holding it up, and pulled it aside to see a beautiful woman with long black hair lying in a pool of blood, dead. I was overwhelmed with the emotion of seeing my dead wife.  But I was also conscious of the fact that this emotion swept over me – If I was making this up, why was I so connected to this emotion? I started to sob.
                I had one child... My son was taken. (Feeling the full emotion of that thought.)
               And where do you go now? Do you have any place?
               That's why I'm here, by the river, soaking my feet. I'm trying to understand.
               I want you to move to your last day in this life. In this body. Are you still alone?
               I'm alone.  I see. It's alcohol and drowning. I got drunk and went to the river and just slipped away. (A muddy brown river, floating down, holding a whisky bottle, bobbing like a cork.)
               Not much else to do, was there?     
               No. Everything about my life that I cared for - my family, my culture, my world is gone.
               Move away from that body. You're free now.  Are you looking back?
               Much happiness.
               You feel any remorse?
               No, I’m just passing into "the Great White." I've done this many times. It's time to move home.  No reason to linger.
NOTE: I saw myself holding a whiskey bottle, clear, with half its contents gone.  Some years ago, I was at a Christmas party with some old friends, and they pulled out a bottle of whiskey from 1840 that had been in the family for generations.  We all took a sip of this concoction, which was smooth and burning at the same time – nothing like modern day liquor.  At that moment I had a flash of me holding an empty whiskey bottle. Also when I said "move home" my conscious mind said "Where's that? My home in Chicago? Or the home from this lifetime? What does that mean?"
               Tell me what this is like, you're moving away.
               Going home?  (I'm) Looking ahead. Just getting together with my friends. (I saw a fast field of white in the distance, then I moved into it at lightning speed until the faces and bodies came into full focus. A crowd of people greet me). They’re here with me... It's just lovely. Lots of friends.  Like 20. Smiling. Embracing me. Everybody's here.
               Recognize anyone?
               My wife. (The Indian one; long black hair, and a young boy next to her. A profound sense of connection with them.)
               The one who was killed.
               My son. (I see) Both of them. (I saw them standing together, smiling at me).
               Who else?
               My father. (Charles, who passed away in 2003, 5  years earlier.)
               How are they arranged?
Sort of a semi circle.  About 20 or so. Lots of them.
               Who comes out of this group first?
               An elder.  Comes out from the center, about twelve o’clock.  A male, white hair, somebody very gentle, welcoming me, he's my grandfather at one point... (Not in this life - He has a kindly, old face, very distinct, about 70 years old. Smiling. A warm greeting)

[1] I found out later from a Lakota historian that medicine men had two feathers pointing down.  
[2] Tatanka, means "Bull Buffalo" in Lakota. According to my historian, it‘s definitely a Lakota name. Watanka means “Great Spirit.”
[3] Some Native American tribes have a “Vision Quest” where they commune with an animal spirit, who becomes their “spirit guide.”
[4] My conscious mind thought - "If I'm calling myself by a Sioux name, I couldn't be fighting with a tribe associated with the East Coast.” But post session, I discovered through research that the Sioux and the Huron fought a series of battles in the upper Midwest, near Eau Claire , Wisconsin , in the 1840's." (END QUOTE)

Years later, I examined this lifetime again in a subsequent session, asking myself "So where was I, when the battle started?"  I offered that I was "out gathering medicine for the upcoming battle" that I had "foreseen" or felt was coming... and I had gone out to gather the healing herbs when the battle began, herbs that I would use to cure wounds... and when the battle began I had run up the hill to the creek... tearing my feet on the way.  

But I can tell you that I have never been inside a Teepee, but in this vision, when I opened mine, I could feel the raw skin of the leather - a feeling that I've not known in this lifetime but feel I now know.  Also, when I saw this woman with black hair lying face down at my feet in a pool of blood, I had the feeling "Oh no, they've killed my wife and taken my son."  

Consciously I was saying "wait, what? How do you know there was a son here? How do you know this is your wife?"  But physically I felt the deepest most profound sorrow I've ever known - and thank god have not had to know in this lifetime... but as I felt it I thought "If i'm making this up, why would I allow myself to experience this kind of pain?"  

Indeed.  Why would I allow myself to experience that depth of pain?  The only answer I can come up with is; to share it with you.

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