Close to the edge of loss

Then came a ceremony. The grandmother teacher I had begun a very transformative journey with some years previously. I was with a small group of friends and we each spoke our intentions and prayers. My intention was to ask for help. To ask for help about my son, but not about him, about me. What did I need to do for myself, to understand what it was about in my life, what healing I needed to do for myself. Because for sure it affected me deeply and that effect could be manifesting in ways I had no idea about.
I spoke my intention to Grandmother, reminding myself of the trust needed and to relax into her arms. To be held for a few hours as the medicine worked its way through my cells and memory fields.
For awhile all I could feel was my tiredness, a song or two and a heaviness that permeated through me. I felt this ceremony was to be some what uneventful, but I rested and allowed myself to sink deeply into the meditations of the sounds and voices. I had moments of seeing water, floods of water rising and ebbing, covering roads and fields. I lay down in my tiredness.
As I lay down a particular song began to be heard in the atmosphere. As I listened it began to have an affect on me. I recognised the voice, it was my teacher Kajuyali, singing a particular icaro, a medicine song that I had heard him sing many times before, that had enabled me to move a deep and sorrowful time of my life and bring about awareness and healing.
As he sang I felt my body go into deep trance. The prayers moved me and my visual mind began to expand and take in what needed to be seen.
I had asked to be shown something of the connection my son and I had. What was affecting me and what did I need to do for myself.

As the song was sung I began to feel the body of my little baby, 34 years ago. I felt his pain within his body, I tried to clamp up my stomach, I felt the medicine reaching into places I have not felt for many years.
I was taken back to the memory of all those years ago. He was unwell, in terrible pain at only 5 months old. His bowels had stopped working and he vomited continually, bleeding constant diarrhoea. I tried taking him to a doctor who just gave us a bottle of medicine and sent us away. I took him to a hospital, where the nurses suggested I spoon fed him water as he seemed a bit dehydrated. I took him home wishing I had taken the bloody nappy with me, just so I could convince them that this teenage mum was not imagining her baby was unwell, but that this was really serious and we needed help! I was just newly twenty years old, a second teenage pregnancy, doing my best to be mum to my little ones and wife to my diabetic partially sighted husband.
My memory held me in the little home we had, a top floor flat, not so bad but isolated and lonely for me, with little stimulus for a toddler.

Eventually a doctor was brought to the house, a woman doctor who took one look at my baby and knew action was needed. Immediately!
A taxi was called, ‘no time for an ambulance’ she said. We rushed into the hospital,  an hour later we were in a small room full of white coats and nurses. He lay on the bed as they looked over him. He projectile vomited green bile all over the nurse. ‘Now they will take me seriously’ I thought.
And then life became a blur, I stood there watching them wheel him out and down the corridor. I was left alone, I sat on a chair looking at the bed. What happened then, I have no idea. All I could remember was the moment they brought him back and he was alive, full of needles and on a drip, a huge scar on his flesh with stitches holding his little tummy together. I kissed him I am sure as it was explained to me what had happened. An Intussusception, that blocks the intestines and if not treated quickly causes death.
He had survived and at the young age I was, all I could feel was relief without any idea of any further consequences of this event.

But no I was to go a little deeper into that story. I found myself in that same body of the young mother, sitting in that room alone. And the spirit led me, walking down that corridor in the hospital, following the nurses and the doctors and I walked into the operating theatre with them. I stood there as they stooped over my baby, with all manner of implements.
He was asleep and I saw them begin to cut into his tummy, his fragile little skin.
And then I saw something that made me sit upright and my attention changed.
He was completely out of his body, some way off he looked down on the scene, in fear and pain. What was happening to his body, he looked down at the nurses, the doctors and he looked for his mother, but he couldn’t see her! Where was she, he needed her?
He saw terrible things happening to him, and scary images moved around him, dark shapes and shadowy images. And I told him, ‘it’s ok I am here, it’s ok to come back.’
I became aware of the split, the confusion, the disembodied soul. The near death, the so close to death and I saw them bringing him back and I called to him, ‘come back my sweetheart, come back into your body, it will be ok, I promise you’.

And we were back in the ward, and I sobbed over his little body, crying, feeling all the shock as I lay by his side and cuddled up to him. My own body in the deepest shock, releasing that trauma together as we felt each other’s pain at this awful and terribly frightening moment of nearly losing each other.
And we went home back to our little flat and for a few days, we struggled together to get his little insides working properly again. It took some time and some persistence as he could not feed very well. Eventually things began to be ok and a doctor came around to take out his stitches, he asked me how we were doing and I said we were doing very well. He left.
It would have been nice if I had had a friend to help me, a visit from a nurse to reassure me, but no, even his father was his usual absent self. But we got through it, him and me and his big brother.
When it looked like all was working well and he slept and ate as he always had done, I began to relax. There was a bottle of red wine in the kitchen. I can’t remember where it may have come from as we were not drinkers, but I took that bottle of wine and I drank it. I relaxed deeply and fell asleep. I slept a whole night and he did too, we all did for the first time; we were ok. That bottle of wine had been forgotten about, I had not remembered it till this moment. Why had I reached for it and what did it teach my little one in  that moment of letting go, of drinking away any pain? Could it have been ?

But now I recognise that aloneness, the struggle I had as a young mother to keep it all together for her family. I can forgive those shortcomings and lack of awareness about how to be a good mum but just to keep doing what I could under the circumstances. For sure I adored my little boys and would have done anything for them.

Grandmother took me to a dark place in myself once again. One that had held onto trauma and shock for so many years. Shock that had been relived many times over around my son. And only her gentle way and unfolding of the layers had managed to show me what needed to be felt and healed.
I lay there sobbing, holding my baby in my arms, imagining his sweet breath, his soft skin, his wispy blonde hair. He was such a pretty baby, every one commented on how beautiful he was. I told him how sorry I was that he had had to go through such pain and how I would always be there for him when he really needed me.
I understood how he had left his body at such a tiny age, the affect that would have had on him and the split personality that it created. He always had that far away look in his eye, a deep thinker with a connection to something dark that could not yet be seen fully till later years.

I knew nothing quite like this medicine for answering the intention I set out with and getting right to the root of the challenge presented to me. Grandmother Aya was and is my soul teacher and guide, my friend and healer. When I combine the dance and my body, and allow her caring spirit to journey within me, I know magic will happen.
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This would now help me to understand a little bit more about what was going on and the clear need for soul retrieval. Both in myself and in my son. But I could only do it for myself. His journey was his journey. I called in the part of me that had left during this time. The soul loss that had happened as I experienced the trauma of nearly losing my baby.
Had I gone with him at that time? Would I now return without him? I prayed and trusted that some how he would follow, that something would happen to awaken that part of him and call in what was missing. Or at least ask for the help to do so.
I knew it took one to believe in such things for this to happen.

About Caroline Carey

Caroline is an English Grandmother and an aspiring crone~elder, an author of four books, a speaker and innovative and creative teacher, offering her work via workshops and gatherings online as well as internationally. By adapting the religious education insisted on by her family, she was able to recognise her own innate connection to God/Spirit and has been on a spiritual path since childhood. She is a champion of music, dance and poetry as healing tools since she was four years old and developed an innate understanding of the soul’s journey, a connection to physical embodiment through movement, theatre and the creative arts. Her work is harmonious with nature. Her journey has manifested as her own personal training into eldership and crone-hood, carrying the wisdom needed for stability and balance in individuals, relationships, families and communities. Mothering her six, now adult, children, gave Caroline the art of play, creativity, story-telling and opened up the deep surrender and unconditional love that motherhood can bestow. Caroline has trained in many modalities of dance, therapeutic and spiritual teacher trainings since 1986. She is a writer who has published her autobiography and four other books about her spiritual work. Her latest book, 'Middle Earth Wisdom' will be published soon. She lives in UK with her husband Ben Cole, a film-maker, a director who works with men’s initiation groups. They often offer work together, incorporating dance, presentation and film. Caroline is: A mother and grandmother A writer and poet A dancer A spiritual life coach A catalyst for change She is available to you for guidance
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