Remembering …

21 Nov

I’m remembering some significant things right now.  Five years ago yesterday I waited with anticipation for a sign from Liz that I was so sure I would get … but didn’t.  My perception that she would give me a sign on the 20th of each month had to be abandoned …  Damn.   Friday, Nov. 21st, was just a regular day.  I did what I always do … including falling asleep on our family room couch.  Only I woke up … the TV was on channel 5 … but for some reason I grabbed the remote and changed the channel to WCCO.  It was all done very mechanically and without any thought.

After Liz died I vowed that I would never again watch Channel 4 news.  They were the only station that came to our doorstep the night Liz died, rang our doorbell, and asked to speak to us.  Are you kidding me?  Our daughter died today – what on earth do you expect us to say?

When my remote clicked 4 and the screen changed, I saw a cemetery scene, and the camera zoomed in on a gravesite.  There was a windchime at that gravesite that was identifical to the windchime we had at Liz’s grave.  It got my attention, and I wondered what the story would be.  I knew I had to watch it.

The story was about a woman who lived in Minneapolis and she could communicate with people who had died.  I just couldn’t believe it.  They showed her in a room with 3 other people, and she went to each one and gave them very specific information about their loved one.

I woke up the next morning wondering whether it had all been a dream.  I didn’t even know this woman’s name.  I went to my computer and brought up the WCCO website and searched for some evidence of that story the night before … but I found absolutely nothing.  The only thing I found was the email address of the reporter who had done the story.  I decided to send her an email.  I told her who I was, and that my daughter had been one of the U of M students who had died in that house fire a couple of months ago.  I had seen her story last night about the woman who speaks to the dead.  Did she know if this woman did this for regular people … and if so, how could I contact her?

I sent off the email and to my surprise I received a reply just a couple hours later.  Her name is Kathryn Harwig, Randi told me, and I’m sure she would see you.  Randi gave me Kathryn’s personal email address and told me to tell Kathryn she had sent me.  As it turned out, Randi had gone to Kathryn to speak to her father who had passed from suicide the previous year.  It was amazing she said, and it had helped her tremendously … and she was a different person because of it.

It took me a couple of days to get up the courage to email Kathryn … but I did … I was careful not to give her much information.  All I said was that I had lost someone close to me … did she do readings for people?  Kathryn responded very quickly as well, and the first thing she said to me was how sorry she was for my loss.  Yes, she did readings for people and her website would give me all of the pertinent details.

Immediately I went to that website.  The first thing that came up was her  biography.  I read it and just about fell off my chair.  Kathryn’s college majors had been psychology and sociology … the same as Liz’s.  Kathryn had also attended the U of M to get her masters in criminal justice, and she worked for many years supervising dangerous criminals.  Liz’s career goal was to become a criminal psychologist and work with dangerous criminals!

I was stunned … the similarities between Liz and Kathryn were overwhelming in my mind and I took it as a HUGE sign that Liz was in on this and she would come through for me.  Why Kathryn even drove a Saturn!  I laughed uncontrollably when I read that.  We had a Saturn for nine years.  It was to become Liz’s car … until she had an accident and totalled it out. 

This event was the beginning of a marvelous new life for me and new way of thinking and perceiving the world that has been nothing but JOYOUS! 

Sadly, November 22, 2003 also reminds me of loss.  JFK was assassinated 40 years ago.  And, I remember so vividly hearing the first news reports of a college aged girl named Dru who was missing and feared abducted.  Having lost my own college age daughter two months earlier, the story resonated in my soul.  However, we were lucky … we knew where Liz was.  The Sjodin’s were in a hellish limbo until the following April when Dru’s body was found.

Linda Walker, Dru’s mom, has done her best to be sure her daughter did not die in vain.  Check out her website:

Linda is proof that through terrible tragedy, loss, and excruciating pain … we can still make a difference in our world.  I’m remembering Linda, her family and most of all Dru and wishing them peace.


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