To Live or Not to Live: Soul Restoration in Real Time

“Michael don’t walk out on me. I told you that I’m not getting an abortion.”

“What do you want me to say, Rina? He crossed his arms tight around his chest. Closing himself off from the woman he loved. He hung his head, feeling small and scolded for something beyond his control.

“You knew I didn’t want to have children when we got married.”

“And you knew I was Catholic, Michael. We got married at St. Anthony’s for Christ sake. What are you going to do, abandon our child like your father abandoned you? That is not the man I married.”

“I just need some time to adjust to the idea of being a father, that’s all. Is it asking too much to give me a little time?”

“Sure thing, Honey. Just let me know when you’re ready to be a father. You better be sure, because if you can’t commit to being a father, then I don’t want you in our lives at all.”

He stifled the tears that were right behind his eyes. He didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of knowing she was starting to pierce his armor. He grabbed his black leather jacket and slammed the door behind him. Rina yelled after him, but it was no use. What he needed was time to clear his head. A long ride on his Harley would do the trick. He jumped on his bike, ripped out of the driveway, and headed towards the highway.

Wispy swirls of smoke from patchouli-rose incense filled the Infinity Bookstore. I was busy playing with crystals, dusting bookshelves and singing to Dead Can Dance, when the front door blasted open and a woman with long, wild, curly black hair burst in and planted herself firmly in front of me. She appeared to be in her early thirties; her large brown eyes were glazed over with worry and panic.

“My husband said I should come see you. He saw your picture in the newsletter and he said that you work with ghosts and spirits and stuff and that you could help me. I’m Karina.” Her face softened a bit as she searched my face for a response.

“I’ll be happy to help you if I can,” I said. I asked someone to cover for me in the store and Karina and I went upstairs where we could talk privately. I motioned for her to sit next to me on the couch.

“Karina, please sit and tell me how I can be of help to you. Take your time.”

She didn’t waste any time. Her story came pouring out of her.

“I think I’m possessed. Oh my god. I can’t believe I just said that out loud.” She wiped her face with her sleeve. I offered her a box of tissue.

“But, I can’t be possessed because the person who is possessing me isn’t dead. Well not yet, I mean, he’s in a coma. And I feel so weird inside. I can’t explain it. I started smoking and drinking beer and cursing like a trucker. I have never smoked anything in my life, and I despise beer; I prefer wine. My husband says I’m not acting like myself.”

“I can see how upset you are Karina. Please tell me everything and start at the beginning.”

Karina took a deep breath and started her story. A week ago, I was driving across the Golden Gate Bridge. There was a motorcycle about three cars in front of me, then suddenly he was gone. Then, there I heard breaks screeching and traffic came to a halt. I got out of my car and asked a man in another car what happened. He just shook his head.

“Doesn’t look good. Poor guy musta been thrown a more than fifty feet. He’s gotta be in really bad shape. I’m pretty sure he landed on the shoulder, so at least he didn’t get run over.”

He pointed ahead of us. Something inside of me said go to him. I ran between the cars and when I finally got to him, I saw he was covered in blood. His helmet had gotten knocked off. I didn’t know what to do, but I couldn’t go back to my car, so I kneeled on the ground beside him. He stared up at me. His eyes were full of so much fear and his body was trembling. I took my coat off and covered him, held his hand and tried to reassure him that everything would be okay. I promised I would stay with him. He gripped my hand tightly as I continued to reassure him. His eyes were glassy, but I knew he could hear me, because he kept squeezing my hand.  When the paramedics got there, I had to let go of his hand, but I kept talking to him; telling him he was going to be okay. They immobilized his neck and head, then quickly moved him into the ambulance. I walked beside him, until they closed the ambulance door.

“Do you know this man?”


“Mam, I’m sorry, but if you’re not family, you can’t ride with us.”

I didn’t say anything. I just stood there for a moment. I suddenly had the strangest feeling. I swear I felt like he jumped inside of me. I know that sounds crazy. I mean, is that even possible?”

After the ambulance drove off, I spoke to a CHP officer who wanted a statement, and then he told me the hospital they were taking him to. I paced the hallways as I waited to hear if he was dead or alive. The doctor came out of the ER to tell me that the man, whose name is Richard had fallen into a coma. He was banged up pretty bad, and although he didn’t have any internal injuries, he had sustained severe head trauma and fallen into a coma. The doctor said that there was not telling how long Richard might be in a coma; it could be days, months or even years. All they could do was keep him stable and see what happens. He couldn’t give me any more information, until they spoke to his family. A coma? All I could think was how glad he was still alive. Then I realized that I knew he was alive, because I could feel him with me–inside of me, and he wanted me to know he was still ‘here.’ I left the hospital feeling disoriented and confused. I don’t even know how I made it home.

When I got home, I tried to explain everything that happened to my husband, Dave and I knew I wasn’t making any sense. Dave assumed I was in shock. He made me a cup of chamomile tea, with honey and brandy and helped me to bed.

I woke up the next morning with severe pain in my head, neck and shoulders, and my body ached all over. I felt as if I was the one who had been in an accident. My body seemed numb, like I wasn’t all ‘here.’ I went into the kitchen where Dave was making breakfast. I sat down at the table and he poured me a cup of Green tea, which I drink every morning, along with yogurt and fruit, which felt silly or not substantial enough. I asked Dave to make some bacon and eggs for me, and then I poured myself a cup of coffee, which I never drink. I would never eat bacon or eggs, because I’m a vegetarian.

Karina took a deep breath and stared down to the floor, hot tears rolling down her face.

“Okay, so here’s the weirdest part, and I know this is going to sound like I’ve lost my grip on reality. It’s kind of embarrassing.”

“Karina, I think you are experiencing an unfamiliar level of reality and it’s very scary for you. You’re having a difficult time making sense of it all. But please, if there’s anything else you can tell me, it will really help me to help you both.”

Okay. Well, last night, my husband and I were in bed. We started kissing and suddenly, I felt repulsed by him. Now, I am madly in love with my husband and we have a great sex life, but last night I didn’t want him to touch me or kiss me. I felt so confused, so I ran to the bathroom to splash cold water on my face and when I looked into the mirror it was Richard’s face staring back at me. I told Dave what happened and that’s when he told me I should come see you. I feel like I’m losing my mind.”

As Karina was talking, I looked around the room and Richard hiding in the corner. His eyes had a lot of light in them, even though he was just as confused as Karina. Tears rolled down his cheeks and I heard him say, “Please help me. I don’t want to die.”

“Karina, you haven’t lost your mind. I can see Richard standing in the corner over there. I pointed to where he was standing. I want you both to know that I will do what I can to help you both, but ultimately, what happens is up to each of you. I know you’re scared Karina, but I promise I won’t let anything happen to you. If you’re both ready, we can get started.” I looked over at Richard and he was nodding in agreement.

I asked Karina to lie down on the couch, and I burned copal and offered prayers, “I call upon The Ancient Ones: healing angels, guides and celestial beings to bring restoration to Karina and guide Richard to his own divinity. I picked up my rattle and sang Richard’s soul-song to help him re-connect his to his body, “Ah hey ah hey ah hey ya na ho way ho way ho.” Then I breathed into my dream body and walked over to Richard.

“Wow. How’d you do that?”

“Do you remember what happened to you, Richard?”

“I remember I was on the bridge and I crashed my bike. Next thing I remember is seeing my body on the ground, there was blood everywhere and Karina was holding my hand and talking to me. I was so scared, because I felt like I was dying and I don’t want to die. Karina looked so kind. Her hands were warm, and I didn’t know what to do, so I just kinda stayed with her. Now I don’t know what to do, or where to go. Can you help me?”

“Yes, I can help you, but you have to decide of you want to go back to your body or pass to the other side. You are in between the worlds right now. You have to make a choice.”

“But if I go back into my body, I’ll die. I just know it.”

“You don’t know that for certain, Richard. I understand how scared and confused you are, but I promise, I will help you to figure out what is best for your soul.”

I moved back into the physical realm and lit more copal, blowing the smoke over to where Richard waited.  I sat beside Karina and held her hand as I sang and toned to open the doorway for the Ancient Ones. As I sang, orbs of light gathered around us. They filled the room with tranquility and deep love that expanded our hearts and brought tears to our eyes. They swirled around Richard’s spirit body, then an older man stepped through the veil. He was Richard’s father. Now that he was on the other side of the veil, he understood how his absence in Richard’s life had caused him to build walls around himself, keeping out all who might hurt him, including those who loved him. When Richard felt the love and peace of Spirit, he wanted to go into the Light. For that brief moment, he understood what it was like to be without emotional pain or suffering; he sat down on the floor and wept. Richard’s father sat beside him and spoke to him.

“Don’t be afraid to love, son. Love is all you really have in life that is worth anything. It’s the only think you can take with you.”

As the light began to dim, he held Richard in his arms. Then he was gone. Richard sat on the floor, holding his face in his hands.

“I wanted to go so badly. My Pop said it wasn’t my time, yet, and that I still have a lot of living to do.”

“Yes you do. Are you ready to return to your body Richard?”

“Yeah. I am.” He stood up and walked over to Karina and sat beside her. He put his arm around her shoulder and whispered in her ear.”

“Thank you so much. You saved my life. I’ll never forget you.”

The air in the room got cooler and a violent shiver passed through Karina.

“Oh my god. I can hear him. I heard you, Richard. You’re welcome, and thank you for allowing me to help you.”

“Let’s have a burger and a beer when I wake up. Bye Karina.” He was gone. We both laughed and cried at the same time.

“Did that really just happen? She squeezed my hand.

“How do you feel?”

“I feel strange, kinda watery and thin, but a little more like myself again.”

“There is one more thing you have to do.” She mouth the word, ‘what?’ to me, as if she couldn’t believe there was still more to do.
“Sit back. I want you to close your eyes and take a deep breath. In your own words call any parts of you that may still be lingering with Richard, or at the site of the accident, or anywhere else that you may not be aware of. Call yourself home, Karina.”

“Come home Karina. It’s safe to come home. You understand the truth now.” She whispered.

I waited and watched as pink, turquoise, gold and silver filaments of light floated into Karina’s energy bodies. I blew them into her heart and the top of her head to seal her soul inside her body.

“What do I do now?” She asked.

You need to go home and rest, drink herbal teas and take a long hot bath with salts.”

We embraced and said goodbye.

In the days that followed, I remembered Karina and Richard when I offered my prayers at my altar. I wondered if I would hear from her again. Then, about a month later she burst into the store the same way she did the first time I met her, only this time she was dragging a man by his coat sleeve behind her. They were both laughing.  I immediately recognized Richard. He had the same kind gray eyes, only now they were filled with much more light.

“This is him, Mari. This is Richard. We had to come, so you could meet him in person, in the flesh, you know what I mean.”

Richard gave me a big, warm hug. Then he looked deep into my eyes.

“Thank you.” He said. His eyes were filled with a deep knowing and a light that I imagined he did not possess before the accident.

“Thank you, Richard. I’m glad you chose life. I’m glad you’re here. It is wonderful to meet you.”

The three of us hugged full of gratitude for being able to share this sacred and mysterious experience.

Karina and Richard said that they still shared a profound connection. They often had conversations in their dreams. At first their spouses were somewhat jealous, but then they all met and relaxed a little. We laughed at how Karina started acting like a “trucker,” wanting beer, cigarettes and coffee.

“What do you think about all of this, Mari?” Karina asked

“I have been working with spirits since I was four years old and honestly, I have never experienced anything like this. I think I am going to just embrace the mystery of this amazing experience.”

I looked at Richard and he smiled and winked. I thought about the grace that allowed me to play a small part in this miracle. I smiled at Richard.

“What about you Richard? What did you learn from all of this?” I asked. He thought about his unborn child and his heart opened.

“Magic,” He said. “It’s all magic. I’m going to be a dad.”