This year’s Mother’s Day was not the most festive I’ve experienced. I spent the day at the funeral of a friend of the family. This incredible lady (we’ll call her Sally), who was stolen away from us at ridiculously young age from a sudden illness, has touched the lives of hundreds, if not thousands in her short, fifty-one years. Her younger brother (we’ll call him Will) and I are particularly close. Will and I met for the first time about ten years ago and in that moment had a “Hey, wow, there you are!” kind of weird recognition. A communion of spirits.
Yesterday, we followed Will and Sally’s family, proceeding in a long line of vehicles to the tiny cemetery very near, ironically, to the town where my first Haunted Voices novel, HEARTS UNLOCHED, is set. A steady, drizzling cold rain made the already unpleasant journey even more miserable. As I was getting out of the car to walk to the interment site, a very bizarre thing happened . . .
I had, of course, silenced my phone during the wake, and it was still on silent. Yet suddenly, as I grabbed the small wallet case in which I carry it, a song began to play from its speakers–LOUD. I didn’t recognize the tune, and what’s more, I could not make it stop, even though I hit the two little vertical “stop” bars on the screen multiple times. Each time I tried, the screen went black but the song continued to play. Embarrassed and more than a little flustered, I finally had to shut the phone off to silence it.
When I powered the device back up a half-hour later, the phone was still set to silent. The song was still displayed on the screen: California (There is No End to Love) by U2. It was not on my Youtube app, where I often listen to random songs.
It was in my iTunes app, as if I had purchased it.
Now don’t get me wrong–I have nothing against U2. I’ve heard some of their songs and do kind of like their style. But I’m not a fan, and have never either purchased any of their music nor even looked them up on Youtube. So how–and why–did my iPhone begin playing this particular song as I headed to the grave site for the interment of my dear friend’s sister?
I suppose I will never know. I have asked Will if the band was one of Sally’s favorites, and he said he wasn’t sure. I don’t know any of her friends well enough to ask the question, and would be afraid they would think I was a little loopy if I shared my story. Perhaps some of the lyrics hold a clue:
“I’ve seen for myself, there’s no end to grief
That’s how I know
Whoa, that’s how I know
And why I need to know
That there is no, yeah,
There is no end to love.”
Was the deceased sending a message from the other side? A message to let us know that although the grief is endless for us, there is no end to love? In sending that message, was she letting me know that the other side does exist?
In our modern world of gadgets, we rely heavily on what? Energy. The first law of thermodynamics tells us that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed. We are all made of energy. Perhaps, once the force which defines our lives is transformed, our essence–spirit, if you will–retains the capability to influence the tangible, electronic devices still present on this side of the veil.
Maybe a spirit can turn on an iPhone’s speakers and make it play a song.
Was it my friend’s sister who played the U2 song? Or some other, random soul whose energy was still present there in the dismal cemetery on this cold, rainy Mother’s Day? I may never know the answer for sure, but of one thing I am certain: it wasn’t only the icy drizzle on my neck sending chills through my body as I made my way between the gravestones to the place where they laid a very special lady to rest.
Rest in peace, pretty angel, and feel free to send me a tune anytime you please. I’d be honored to hear from you.