Decades ago, I was driving home from work just shortly after noon on a Saturday. The Interstate I was travelling was nearly devoid of other vehicles. It was a balmy autumn day. I was happy to have finished my required Saturday morning shift at the law firm I worked for. Feeling happy, I drove peacefully along. Then, suddenly, without any obvious provocation, I was hit with a strange sensation. It was a combination of physical and emotional foreboding — a strange electricity and shift within me, like someone gripping me from the inside. That was accompanied by a profound shift in mood. A knowing. An internal jolt. An awareness of movement from one realm to another. Death.
It was unlike anything I had sensed before. It stunned me so much that I looked at the clock to mentally record the time (12:21 pm). I finished my trip home and attempted to go about my day. I could not concentrate on the household chores nor any other activity that afternoon. In exasperation I finally grabbed my shopping list and headed for the grocery store.
As I was walking back to my car after getting my groceries, I spotted my aunt and cousin across the parking lot. A sudden and weighty sadness hit me. They continued in my direction and I stopped dead in my tracks. As they approached, I could see their pained faces more clearly, and felt the heaviness of grief grow as they came closer.
They had tried to contact me by phone, but did not reach me (pre-cellphone days), so they drove to my home. Since they did not find me there, they headed back and spotted my car in the store’s parking lot. Now, standing still with my cart in front of me, they gently took me aside and informed me that my brother had passed away in an automobile accident.
My brother was my only sibling and we had always been very close. This devastating news nearly brought me to my knees. The last time I saw him was when the family visited me at my new apartment one week prior. During that visit, I had glanced his direction and gotten a flash thought. “He’s going to die.” it said to me. I pushed the offending thought aside and chastised myself with “Don’t think such awful things.”
As HSPs, we are accustomed to sensing what others cannot. One of our highly sensitive traits is what seems like an overabundance of empathy. Someone is thought to be an empath if their empathy goes beyond that of normal empathy to actually feel what that other person is feeling. Often, HSPs feel such deep empathy for people that they can take on another person’s illness (physical empaths) or absorb another person’s mood (emotional empaths). The connection between high sensitivity and empaths is strong.
These traits have been studied and are becoming accepted as true occurrences. But in her book, The Empath’s Survival Guide, Life Strategies for Sensitive People, Dr. Judith Orloff defines another type of empath – an intuitive empath.
Dr. Orloff asserts that this empath is sensitive to phenomena beyond that of the everyday. Plumbing the depths that science has yet to understand. I am slow to call myself telepathic, but the incident and accompanying feeling seem too much to chalk up to coincidence. And I have had more than a few more incidents happen to me that I can’t explain. Premonitions too precise to attribute to accidental cause. Impressions to my mind that I would never consciously think to predict, happening, sometimes years later.
I would love to hear how you see this situation? Is it extraordinary coincidence? Something else? Or is there such a thing as intuitive empath capability? Have you experienced something similar? I’d really love to know.
As an aside, my brother’s death certificate listed his passing at 12:19 pm that day.
Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson