That one time with Heidi

I knew something was wrong

This story is very emotional for me.  Let’s just say it was a close one and someone almost died.

When I was living in Switzerland, I had a work-related friend. I want to protect her privacy, so why don’t we call her “Heidi”.

The first time I met Heidi, we immediately clicked and became good friends. Or so I thought until I realised it was a very much one-sided friendship. Every time she needed me I was there  for her but when I needed her, she was not there for me. Her sarcastic humour became too much for me to bear and at times, it felt like she really didn’t want to have me around.  So 3 years after meeting her, one day, I decided finally that I was done with our friendship. I would remained friendly because I still had to work with her and see her on a regular basis but I would distance myself from her.

But then the Angels intervened:

“You cannot do that! Your friend needs you at this moment. She suffers a lot and doesn’t have her family nor a lot of friends close by.

You’re the only one she speaks to.

You came here on Earth to help and she needs help, so you need to stay friends with her.”

I didn’t want and felt like I had good reasons to distance myself from Heidi.

“You will regret it”, continued the Angels. “You don’t need to invest yourself emotionally in this friendship because you will not receive anything in return, but you cannot break this bound!”

In truth, Heidi had a really bad time the last 3 years I had known her. It started with a ski accident that left her in crutches.

This was followed by some epilepsy crises that were unexplained, making it difficult for her to spend 8 hours a day in front of a computer to write her PhD thesis.

As a teenager she had gotten a tooth implant that was screwed into her jaw, now the area around this implant was starting to decay and the dentists were concerned with gangrene. It meant that they possibly would have to remove a part of her jaw and reconstruct it.

Her eyes were not doing very well, neither.  After consulting a specialised ophthalmologist, she received the news that she had a very, very rare decease and that her eyes would slowly degenerate. They gave her 2 years before she would become completely blind. (Fortunately, it didn’t happened: she enrolled in a clinical trial which saved her eyesight.)

Plus there were the headaches, the trembling, the side effects of the various medicines she was on, etc.

It was one bad thing after the other and I started to wonder what kind of game God was playing with her. Then there was another ski accident. This time around it left her with an unexplained pain in the chest when breathing.

Now, she could not catch a breath – literally!

So yeah, maybe the Angels were right and maybe Heidi needed me. And I stayed friend with her.

Time passed. Christmas was around the corner and I was selected to attend the super duper conference in San Francisco that everyone who is anyone in my field would be attending. The day before leaving, I was frantically working on my power presentation. I had procrastinated and was extremely nervous about it. Plus, I had to go home early to rehearse the presentation, prepare my luggage and clean the house.

That’s when Heidi came into my office.

I hadn’t see her in a while and she wanted to say “Good Bye”.

I didn’t understand.

“Well, you are going to your conference tomorrow and when you come back I will not be here. So I wanted to wish you a merry Christmas and happy new year in case I don’t see you again.”, she said.

Ok, thanks, I thought. But I also realized something was wrong.

“Something is wrong!”, the Angels chimed in.

I know. Something was wrong. I could see it in her eyes but I didn’t know what it was.

I asked how she was doing. She seemed depressed and exhausted. She told me about the sharp pain in her chest. The doctors couldn’t find what it was and they started to suspect that she was lying about it just to get attention and/or drugs. There was a real danger she could become addicted to pain medications so they would limit her but on the other hand they would not trying to cure her.

“Something is wrong!”, insisted the Angels.

I was sorry for her but I could not help her.

“Something is wrong!”, insisted again the Angels.

I was not a doctor.

“Something is wrong!”, they echoed their message again and again. Like when a song is playing in your head as a kind of background noise. “Something is wrong!” “Something is wrong!”

I sat in silence, listening to Heidi complaining but she was already leaving.

We said good bye and I offered some supportive words and went back to my desk.

But as she was exiting my office, I heard a very clear voice:

“You think your friend is strong, but she is not as strong as you think!”

My heart sank. Goosebumps all over my skin. Fear took over my body.

What do they mean?

That’s when I experienced a kind of dissociation between my body and my brain. My body just wanted to run through the door, stop her, and give her a really good shake until she says what was wrong with her.

But my brain was keeping my body in his chair. Reminding me of my unfinished duties: presentation, rehearsing, luggage, cleaning!

I followed my brain. But I could not shake this bad feeling that something was wrong.

Later in the tram, I was thinking … I could stop at her place. See if she’s Ok. Demand to know what was wrong.

But again my brain reminded me: rehearsing, luggage, cleaning!

I went home.

I left the next day for San Francisco. In the plane, I was half sleeping and half dreaming. In my dream, Heidi had died and I was deciding what to do. Her parents were living in France and she was going to be buried there. I should probably go to the funeral by respect for her family. Maybe I would bring some messages from Heidi’s friend from work. Maybe I should go by plane, or maybe renting a car was better?

Wait what?

What was I dreaming about?

This was not a nice dream! I decided to wake up.

Was this a sign? Was this dream prophetic? Was Heidi going to die?

I started to get really upset.

I turned to God and I yelled at Him:

“Oh, she not going to die!”, I said. “I don’t care what your plans for her are but she cannot die! After all the health issues you sent to her, you just want to kill her? What’s the point?

As long as I am calling her my friend, as long as I live in the same town, she will not die! Do you hear me?”

After screaming silently at God, I felt better.

But still worried I sent Heidi an email to asking if she was ok.

After a few days, she answered that she was ok, but that something had happened and she would tell me all about it face to face after the holidays.

Reassured, I didn’t think about it any further.

First days of January, she came to see me. I could tell she was embarrassed.

“Heidi! What did you do?”, I asked.

“Well, when you were away, I kinda … try to … commit suicide.”

Guilt – shame – fear, fell over me!

Oh no! I had known! I had seen it in her eyes!

But the Angels never said anything about suicide!

Returning my attention back to Heidi, I asked her:

“So what happened? You are obviously ok now. How come you are still alive?”

The day after she met me, she went to another fruitless doctor appointment. The doctor told her again that the pain she was feeling in her chest was imaginary, that she should lay off the pain medications and stop going to the doctor so often. Having already decided what she would do if the doctor would not cooperate, she came home, took enough pain pills to kill herself, toped these with sleeping pills, so as to be unconscious when the other pills would take effect, and laid down on her bed to die.

And this could have been the end of the story and I would never have been able to face myself in the mirror ever again. But then something weird, and miraculous, happened.

During the night at about 2 am, she woke up!

She woke up from the sleep that was killing her.  And at that moment, she realized that she was breathing and she was not in pain.

She realized that the doctors could help her after all. That with the right medications she could have a normal life.

So she changed her mind and decided to live.

Crawling on the floor (she couldn’t stand up anymore), her saliva drooling all over, her hands numb, she managed to reach for her phone and call her doctor, who answered the call, understood what Heidi was saying and sent a rescue team to her flat. They took the door down and brought her to the hospital, where she was told it was too late for a stomach lavage and that they would have to wait for the effects of the pills to wear off and that they would do their best to keep her alive in the meantime.

And it worked!

After a week, she was forcibly turned to a psychiatric hospital, from where she was visiting me.

“So you had nice holidays?”, I asked her, trying to deflect the tension in the room. Let’s pretend we are having a normal conversation, I thought. Let her know what she can confides safely in me and that this is not awkward.

“So with all your health troubles, you needed to add a suicide attempt on your list?”

She laughed: “Oh I did even worst. I assaulted a nurse on my way to the psychiatric ward and had to apologize so she would not press charges.”

I laughed too. I could totally see her kicking and biting the poor nurse. Heidi is a handful.

She asked me not to tell the rest of the office and made me promise that I would visit her at the hospital. I promised and she left.

In the silence of my office, I tried to grasp what just happened.

“Angels, I need to speak to you! Why you didn’t tell me she was going to kill herself?”

No answer.

Did they tell me and I didn’t listen? or they had a good reason not to tell me?

And when I told God I wanted my friend to live?

Did it play a role in all of this?

This time the Angels showed me a door. They said it was like I opened a door for them. My prayers helped them to reach out to her. It was like because I cared, they were able to reach her in her deep depression state and gave her a second chance. A chance to choose again. To choose again between living and dying.

Because she woke up, it obliged her to reconsider.

And luckily she changed her mind. And she was able to save herself.

Little by little, Heidi got better. She stayed a while in the psychiatric unit, long enough to meet her future husband there. They had that in common, at least. She managed to submit her PhD, which got accepted. She got a job in the insurance business and is making good money, like she wanted. She bought a flat and adopted a cat. Three years after the suicide attempt, a doctor finally understood where the pain was coming from and she was able to receive a treatment.

During this time, I moved out of Switzerland and we kept out of touch but I know she is doing well.

I was grateful for the miracle but I was still ashamed at myself. I knew my friend needed help but I didn’t help. I didn’t follow my instinct and let my work took priority over my friend’s well being.

Something broke inside of me.

My post-doc, my scientific papers, my position at the Institute, my whole career, in fact, became close to meaningless.

I didn’t want to face it but it was time to move on, time to break up with this part of my life, time to listen to my Angels.

Time to focus on what I was really meant to do on this Earth: helping and healing.

And my adventures are getting written in my next posts.

Sending you Love and Light,

Gretta

PS: If this story resonated with you, leave a comment below. I would love to hear your stories.

PPS: If you want to know what happened to Heidi next, read here: http://littlesparksofdivinelight.com/2017/01/23/an-angelic-healing/

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