So many names. So many stories. So much pain.
More than 20 years ago I began researching my family’s history after I had a project in a history class in college. After hearing a few stories, digging into some records, and attending a couple of Czech Genealogy Society conference in Chicago (and being the youngest person in attendance), I was hooked. Years passed and life happened and then the time came to fulfill a dream I’d had since that course – to have my own genealogy business. Seven years ago I started that business. Interestingly, the genealogy clients and work only lasted about three years. The universe and my ancestors had other plans for me. To explore World War I and World War II research. Little did I know when I began that journey, that it would lead me to sad, dark places.
Since I started researching my family’s involvement in both World Wars, a lot has happened. Genealogy, for me, was never exhausting and emotionally draining, sad, and depressing. Military research though, for me, has a tendency to be so. I realized this happens in part because I’m constantly channeling soldiers and other people connected to not only the World Wars but in all time, dimension, and reality. I’m also healing myself and I apparently agreed to heal my ancestors and children, and all these souls and entities who show up, in the process. Though over the last year I have learned how to not be consumed by this.
Explaining the healing part of my life and work has not always been easy. Having an awareness of the peace, answers, and forgiveness the dead seek, in part through me, often leaves me sad, confused, and determined to share the knowledge I have with the world. How do you explain the generational trauma that you were never fully aware of most of your life? How do you explain the sadness that arises through research or the feeling of coming home, to a place you’ve never been in this life?
I’ve learned I’m not the only person working to heal themselves and the past, to contribute to a better future. Several people have entered my world in the last two years, who focus on healing through their own businesses and projects.
Today I was in the Holocaust Educator’s group on Facebook and read the article by a woman named Donna, who is about to embark on her second trip to Poland. She so beautifully explained in her article why she was returning to the place of her ancestors, it brought tears to my eyes and chills to my body. Then I visited her website, Healing From War, and read more, particularly her article called, “Let the Healing Begin!” from 2016, when she made her first trip to Poland.
As I read her article, I felt a connection because it seems as if she channels her family members too. Hearing their voices and things that float through her mind like the song she mentions, that she would not have experienced in this life. How much of her family’s trauma does she carry? How much is she able to heal, not only for herself but all who came before her?
The sense of going home really struck a nerve with me too. I don’t often hear people express this.
I’ve felt that in many places in Europe. The first time being in April 2015 when I visited my first ABMC cemetery – Normandy. It was probably good that was my first and not Luxembourg, where my cousin is buried. That cemetery was to be visited at the end of that trip, where I made arrangements to fly his burial flag from 1949.
When I arrived at Normandy Cemetery, the tears began to flow and increased as I moved through the visitor’s center. In fact, I couldn’t even “enjoy” the visitor’s center and really read through everything because it was too painful. Too many voices, too many souls vying for attention, waiting to be heard. The tears continued to flow until I climbed the steps to enter the cemetery itself.
Then peace. No more tears.
I heard, “We’re so happy you finally came home!” as thousands of voices cheered.
There were other places I’ve experienced that in Europe, connected to significant places and also visiting places my family members fought and died, and soldier’s I’ve researched. Sometimes those places were connected to past lives, the details of which may not have been known, but felt.
For a long time I felt mostly alone in the processing of all this until a few people entered my life to help me learn techniques to heal myself and the past. And new people and new techniques continue to show up. I’m so grateful.
How many of my readers are moving through the process of healing themselves and the past? Did you know you’re not alone? I’d love to hear from you and know about your website if you are writing about your experiences of healing the past and the war. By sharing these stories, we can contribute to a much different future than we can imagine.
© 2017 World War II Research and Writing Center