A Tribute to Samantha

copyright June 29, 2006
Claudia McNeely


Samantha has touched my life in such profound ways, it is hard to choose the proper words to honor her. She was my hero. Her physical body suffered from severe respiratory problems and in later years, gallstones and pancreatitis. Most of the time, she struggled to get oxygen into her lungs.  She spent hours at a time hanging off of a special table we had devised to drain mucus from her lungs.  When she had a gallbladder attack, the pain was excruciating.  But through all of this, she could always manage a smile.  There is no way I could have lived the life she lived with the grace that she lived it.

Though Samantha was profoundly retarded from birth, those who took the time to get to know her quickly realized that though she couldn’t make her body work, her mind definitely worked. She knew exactly what was going on at all times, even what you were thinking.

Her favorite activity was to frighten her nurses and caregivers.  She would wait until I was out of the room, or out of the house, and start having problems breathing.  If it frightened her victim, she got worse.  If the victim was brave enough to tell Samantha ‘enough, stop this’, she would stop with a laugh.  If not, they found another job.  I have seen an RN run out the door crying because she was sure that Samantha was dying.  She loved this game.

Samantha was the most psychic person I have ever known.  She was able to travel to realms that most of us cannot even conceive of.  She could manifest the things she needed easily and quickly – the perfect nurse or caregiver, the perfect state program to support her needs, etc.  She definitely made sure all of her needs were met.

She surrounded herself with people who loved and accepted her.  Though she could not speak verbally, she did speak telepathically with those close to her.  Her nurses knew which movies she wanted to watch, what clothes she wanted to wear that day, etc.  She found her own special way to communicate with each one of them.

Samantha was such a special soul.  She seldom left her bed in later years, but she touched people on the other side of the world.  She was on this earth for a very special assignment, and she passed with flying colors!

Though Samantha’s physical body is gone, her soul is not.  Since her death, she has visited people that I didn’t even realize she knew, helped to teach a seminar, and is flitting from place to place.

We still hear ‘I want that’ when we are shopping.  She still plays pranks on us.  She still asks to watch her movies.  The only thing that has changed is that the physical body is no longer confining her powerful spirit.

This close connection to Samantha’s spirit makes grieving very difficult.  It is hard to grieve for someone when you hear her singing ‘It’s my party, I’ll cry if I want to’ every time you cry.  I cannot get her to understand that even though she is still with us, the physical body is gone and we have to grieve that loss.  We have to grieve the fact that we can never touch that beautiful face again.

Samantha entered my life like a whirlwind, turning it upside down, and left it like a whirlwind, turning it upside down again.  She changed my life and who I am in very profound ways.  I am who I am today because of her.  I thank her for this.  Though the last 22 years have been years I would not wish on anyone else, I am honored that I was allowed to experience them with her.