Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
Can you see Thestrals?
Harry Potter enthusiasts will read “Thestrals” and think of the winged, skeletal, horse-like creatures that pull carriages of students to Hogwarts School. The interesting thing about them is only people who have seen death can see the Thestrals. The others believe their carriages are powered by magic.
J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, has a way of exploring profound questions with a story that masquerades as simple entertainment for children and young adults. What is it that changes those of us who have witnessed a passing—especially the death of someone dear? (I’m not sure you have to actually watch a passing or simply experience an agonizing loss for you to be forever altered.) Most of us regretfully accept that we will never be able to describe our experience to people who haven’t felt that kind of pain.
Where is the balm for a loss of such magnitude?
For the moment, let’s set aside typical words of comfort—not that they’re without power or merit, but because this week our family has been bombarded with repetitions of a message that falls along atypical lines. People who view life as being solid and mechanistic may choose to insert the concept “coincidence” or maybe a religious tenet into the discussion at this point—and why not? However, my life is neither solid nor mechanistic, so the message I perceive is one of life after death—with or without a religious explanation.
Our family didn’t think of the final episode of the Harry Potter film series as being a message when we settled around the DVD player to watch, but the idea of loving spirits who remain forever nearby to offer support after they’ve left the physical plane was powerful. We certainly hadn’t noticed that theme as much years ago when the DVD was new.
Next, our family stumbled onto an episode of HOLLYWOOD MEDIUM with Tyler Henry. We were looking for an hour-long TV program to distract us while we waited for everyone to gather for dinner. In contrast to most episodes, young medium Tyler Henry revisited the home of celebrity Alan Thicke—whom he had “read” only three months before Thicke died suddenly from a heart attack. Flashbacks to the earlier reading revealed Thicke’s skeptical response when Henry stressed to him his deceased family members were warning him to watch his blood pressure because a heart issue was possible. Later in the second visit, Thicke’s widow asked Henry what her husband might be doing instead of presenting himself for Henry to “read.” Henry explained that his understanding is the newly deceased spend their first months reviewing the life they have just left. Only after that task is finished are they free to contact the living, if they can.
That evening, our family decided to view KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS, a stop-action film created by the American company Laika Entertainment, LLC. We anticipated the creativity of the magical Japanese-style story and were not disappointed. The film is a tour de force of clever humor, artistic originality, and awe-inspiring execution. The themes are the need for humans to care for one another…plus death in the family—the spirits of the ancestors who remain in touch if we keep them bright in our hearts. Our family hadn’t anticipated that.
Of course, three consecutive instances of life after death messages are not unimaginable as a normal occurrence. If our family hadn’t spent the past year wrestling with the excruciating pain of sudden loss, we might shrug off the coincidence. But we had. And we won’t.