This is a transcript of the podcast Distraction, your survival guide to our crazy-busy, ever-connected modern world hosted by Dr. Edward Hallowell, ADHD expert. Dr. Ned Hallowell and guest talk about her powerful connection with her husband.
Mini Episode 2: Voicemail Death and Dreams
DR. HALLOWELL: Hi, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you for joining us for a mini distraction. Like our full length show, these mini episodes will be different every time, only they’ll be shorter. It’s a crazy busy world and you don’t have a lot of time, we get it, so these episodes are for you. Minis might include a few quick tips to help you stay focused, or they could be an interesting conversation I had at a coffee shop. Even we can’t predict what we’ll include.
One of the points of this show is to prove to you the power of turning off your devices, whatever that might be. To prove the point, we found a wonderful coffee shop in New Haven, Connecticut called East Rock Coffee. In this coffee shop they don’t allow screens, so all you can do there is eat, drink and connect. The first person we saw to interview was a wonderful woman named Ann Marie.
Did anyone explain to you why we’re talking?
Anne Marie: Yeah, a little bit.
DR. HALLOWELL: I’m doing a podcast on people connecting with each other, which I think is a dying art in the country, and we need to promote it. People are connecting electronically, but they’re not connecting inter-personally.
Anne Marie: Right.
DR. HALLOWELL: And this place seemed like an epicenter of connection, this tiny little coffee shop – so that’s why I’m talking to you.
Anne Marie: All right, fantastic.
DR. HALLOWELL: I’m a psychiatrist, and a writer. Nice to meet you.
Anne Marie: Nice to meet you.
DR. HALLOWELL: Your first name again is?
Anne Marie: Anne Marie.
DR. HALLOWELL: I’m Ned.
Anne Marie: Okay.
DR. HALLOWELL: I know the story of Anne Marie and her husband Patrick will draw you in instantly, as most stories of connection do if you make time to look into them.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Anne Marie: Do you want to know the full story?
DR. HALLOWELL: What’s the full story?
Dreams of Meeting Him
Anne Marie: The full story, I think, is really uncanny. I had several dreams about meeting him before I met him. So when I met him I knew who he was, I knew what he would sound like, I knew what his biography would be, and it was all very consistent.
DR. HALLOWELL: You had anticipated this in a dream?
Anne Marie: Yes, yeah, yeah.
DR. HALLOWELL: Before you even met him?
Anne Marie: Before I’d even met him – maybe that summer, I think, I had these dreams. It was one of those love at first sight things. We met at a Thanksgiving dinner, and saw him across the table and just knew. It really was, mutual, love at first sight, like lightning bolts. It was amazing. So when I was with him, we had a very strong telepathic connection.
We were living in this community called Stelle, and it had an apartment in Chicago, and he would often have appointments in Chicago. He would come home and I would know. I would know he was on his way. I would just wake up and I would know he was about to arrive. We just have this strong, intense bond.
DR. HALLOWELL: At this point in the story, we learn that Anne Marie and Patrick are going to have a baby. They need to think about the future.
Thinking About the Future
Anne Marie: One day – it was right around Mother’s Day, I think – we were gathering some wild roses and we started talking about writing a will, what would you like done with your body if you were to pass away? We were thinking we really need to get these documents together, and I said, “I would like my ashes planted beneath a rose bush.” We had that discussion about death and ashes, and the next night I have a dream, and in the dream I walk in the door, and the answering machine light, the little blinking light that tells you you’ve got a message is blinking. This is in the dream. So I walk in, I press play on the answering machine, and it’s the voice of death.
DR. HALLOWELL: Saying?
Anne Marie: Saying, “Patrick, this is death. It’s your time to die. There’s no way to avoid me. You will die.” Now I’m really freaked out, because there have been other times in my life where I’ve had dreams that then happened. I’m like, “Okay.” It’s, I don’t know, 1:00 in the morning – I call him; I’m like, “I just had this dream.” He calms me down again and says, “No, it’s just your fear, and now that you’ve expressed it, it has no power over you”.
DR. HALLOWELL: Months go by, and Anne Marie’s telepathic connection to Patrick plays out again.
Anne Marie: I’m not expecting him to come home until Thursday evening. Tuesday evening I suddenly wake up in bed and have that feeling of, “He’s going to be here.” I’m like, “But it’s Tuesday, he’s not supposed to be home.” I walk down the stairs, and sure enough he walks in the door. It’s about 1:00 in the morning, and I said, “What are you doing here? Why are you here?” He says, “I just had to see you. I just had to see you.”
So we did our evening routine, ate some bananas, talked a little – he got to feel the baby kick for the first time. And for whatever reason I had him sleep on my side of the bed, I slept on his side of the bed, and I watched him sleep all night long. The next morning he’s getting up, he has to leave to go back to work in Chicago, and I’m kind of fussing, and I’m like, “Do you have to leave now? Can you leave a couple minutes later?” He was like, “No, honey, my appointment’s at such and such, I really do have to leave by,I think it was, 11:30.” I kept asking, “Are you sure, are you sure? You can’t just leave a little bit later?”
A Powerful Connection
He’s like, “What is wrong?” He stops me, and holds me in the kitchen, and I start crying. I said, “I don’t know, I just have this feeling like we haven’t had enough time.” He’s like, “Do you want to come with me?” I said, “Yeah, yeah, let me come with you.” I run to the stairs and I hit the first step, and I’m like, “There’s no way I’m going to be able to get my bags packed and everything ready. He needs to be out by 11:30. I need to just deal with my own emotions here, and not make this his problem.” So I said, “Honey, I can’t get ready in time. Just go ahead.”
So he dropped me off at the post office on his way out of town, and normally about 3:00 in the afternoon if he was leaving for Chicago I would get some sort of call. He did have a cell phone. But I don’t get my usual call. I’m not panicking at first. I’m just like, “Hmm.” Then more time goes by; it’s like, “Okay, this isn’t right.” So I start calling him, and it’s going straight to voicemail, straight to voicemail.
Then there was a knock at the door. Now in this community that I live in, people don’t knock. It’s two of my neighbors and a police officer, and I knew. I just said, “Patrick?” My neighbor said, “Oh, Anne,” and that was that.
DR. HALLOWELL: And was dead.
Anne Marie: Yeah. Yeah.
DR. HALLOWELL: What happened was that a mile down the road from where Patrick dropped Anne Marie off, he was hit by a car.
What did you think of Anne Marie’s story? My guess is that you were surprised, maybe enchanted, maybe a little scared – I don’t know. I bet, however, that you were drawn in, wondering how could this stranger open up so much? Today’s world has become far too full of fear and boundaries, and holding back on life, and Anne Marie did just the opposite: reach down inside and tell a story that is tremendously, tremendously interesting. That’s why East Rock Coffee is such an enchanted kingdom, if you will. But the whole point of the podcast is for you to realize that anywhere you go can be a similarly enchanted kingdom, as long as you turn off your electronic devices and learn once again how to focus deeply on another human being.
Distraction is produced by Collisions, the podcast division of CRN International. Collisions, podcasts for curious people. To hear more mini and full length episodes, subscribe to Distraction on iTunes. Thanks for listening.
This is a transcript of the podcast Distraction, “Voicemail, Death, and Dreams”. Distraction is available on iTunes.