Alex and Allyson Grey in Car Crash
Around the end of January, I sent an email to Alex and Allyson Grey and hadn't heard back from them for quite some time. Then, just a few weeks ago, I emailed again to follow up. I knew the Greys were probably very busy with a number of projects, including the building of COSM upstate. Still, no word after my follow-up email. I complained to my fiancé one night, impatiently, and rather egotistically, "I wonder what their deal is? It's common courtesy to respond to someone after months and several follow up emails. How irresponsible can you be?"
Several days later, riding in a taxi, I saw an email on my Blackberry. The subject line read, "Greys in Near-death Car Accident." Without reading the email, I immediately said a prayer in the cab.
I prayed that they were okay. I prayed for their protection. And following that, I prayed for forgiveness. In no way did I make the self-important leap to thinking my thoughts had caused their car accident. Instead I felt a heightened sense of responsibility sweeping through me like a wild-fire. I need to be the guardian of my thoughts. I want to stay in a spirit of gratitude for the people I love, especially my elders. I need to pray for my spiritual leaders. This is important.
Then, several hours later, as if the Greys could hear my ego still giving me a hard time from across the state, Allyson emailed me, just home from the hospital after the car accident, her and Alex having both suffered serious vertebrae injuries, happy as ever, saying, "Weird. I emailed you back over a month ago. Here's the same email I wrote back then. I'll forward it to you again." And there it was, with the date and time and everything. Sure enough, she and Alex had emailed me a sweet response over a month ago. I never had a reason to complain. And, of course, she made no mention of their violent car accident (the details of which were just being posted to the COSM blog).
I wrote back and asked them for an email interview. Something felt peculiar. I sensed an inspiring level of psychic receptivity from the Greys. Something profound had happened to them. I thought, this wasn't just a random accident. I knew that the RS community would want to be informed, would be blessed by their miraculous story, and would probably want to send their love and prayers as I had.
First, from all of the writers and readers of Reality Sandwich, we are so happy that you guys are okay, and we send you all of our love and prayers for your healing and for COSM. Could you retell your story for all of our readers? What happened?
On March 7th at around 1 pm, a beautiful clear day, we were returning to New York after celebrating Allyson's father's birthday in New Hampshire. Driving down freeway I-91 in Vermont, going around 65 mph, a very large dark gray SUV was alongside us on the left. Suddenly the SUV pulled into us, forcing us off the road onto the very rough shoulder of the road, our tire blew out, and we started swerving wildly back across the highway, into a shallow ravine, going so fast we drove directly up two trees and stopping abruptly against a granite outcropping, our car facing heavenward. "Oh God, Oh God!" we cried. "My back!" we echoed. "The cars on fire we've got to get out!" The doors were up too high off the ground to get out so we had to unbuckle and fall back into the back seat and jump from there to the ground. We hobbled to the side of the road. By this time some cars were stopping to help. The SUV never stopped as far as we know. Some very kind strangers stayed with us and called 911. State troopers and emergency vehicles arrived quickly. Our car was totaled.
We spent a day at Springfield hospital and a week at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, in a state-of-the-art trauma unit. Due to the upright position of the car, our spines were shocked dramatically. Allyson sustained a bad compression fracture of L1 vertebra with slight bone intrusion and a broken ankle. Alex's L3 vertebra burst with a 50% intrusion of bone into spinal cord area. Fortunately, at this level of the spine, the cord has become what is called the cauda equina, if the burst happened any higher it may have rendered Alex paraplegic. Prognosis is for complete recovery. We have been fitted with hard plastic "turtle-shell" removable braces, which, though painfully constricting, allow us to stand upright and walk with support. We remove them for sleeping and lying flat, but must keep the spine straight and immobile. After four months of daily turtle-shell use, we will set them aside and continue healing for about a year, at which time the bone should be stronger than ever.
Did you have any premonition that something was about to happen?
Allyson expressed fear of a potential accident earlier in the drive. Alex considers this a premonition. Allyson does not since the worry of an accident can always enter the mind of any traveler.
What thoughts crossed your mind as the event unfolded?
God, help us.
Was there anything in particular that you felt was a "saving grace." The presence of people on the side of the road? Something one of you said to the other?
Angels were watching out for us. We feel huge appreciation for those who stopped and called 911 immediately and to the state trooper, the ambulance and the emergency care professionals that took care of us.
Did you know that both of you had sustained similar vertebrae injuries? Do you feel, now, that there is any significance to the locations of your injuries (the spinal cord)?
We both felt the pain in our backs immediately and expressed it as we exited the back of the car. Because of the difference in our height, a lower vertebrae on Alex's spine was affected. We were both wearing harness seat belts and airbags went off in our faces breaking our impact and bruising our noses similarly.
Do you feel any clear sense of "why" this happened. Or how have you handled that question individually, and as partners?
God wanted our attention. The car was pointed heavenward but it was not our time to go. There is still much to do.
To help us focus on what is important.
To even more powerfully experience the love surrounding us.
To become better people through heightened appreciation of every moment.
To wake us up further to the urgency of our mission.
What do you think about the Black SUV simply leaving the scene of the accident? Do you feel angry or resentful? If you could say something to the driver of that SUV, what would it be?
We all make mistakes. We don't know if the driver of the SUV even knew what happened as they drove on. We feel no malice. Lack of forgiveness is ungodly.
People always talk about near-death experiences as incredibly transformative events. Did you feel like you were experiencing something that was in any way archetypal or universal in this regard?
The sense of ecstatic gratefulness of being alive is archetypal. At no point did we lose consciousness or leave or bodies. We both shouted to God for help and our prayers were answered. We survived.
Is there anything you guys want to say to all of our RS readers?
In our room at CoSM, Alex is working every day on a portrait of Sasha and Ann Shulgin to be presented for the first time at the MAPS Conference in San Jose, coming up on April 15th. We will be teaching a Visionary Art Workshop there and giving the keynote address entitled "Better Religion through Science and Art." We encourage everyone who can to attend our workshop and the conference. This historic image entitled, "The Shulgins and their Alchemical Angels," will remain part of the art collection on display at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. A very limited edition of prints, signed by both the artist and the Shulgins, will be sold to benefit equally both MAPS and CoSM. Prints will first be available to Conference attendees.
In our room at CoSM, Allyson continues to paint and happily works everyday and night on CoSM affairs as we gaze out our window. The crocuses and daffodils are beginning to come up at CoSM. Staff at CoSM is taking special loving care of us in our room that is serving as home, studio and office. Staff is also preparing the grounds for spring and the buildings for upcoming events. Check cosm.org for events and join us especially for Earth Day when CoSM will feature Ken Jordan of "The Crystal Method."
A lot of people may want to send flowers or cards. On your blog you've mentioned that you would prefer people give to the development of the new COSM that is being built right now. Do you guys feel a new sense of purpose for COSM? And how/where should our readers send donations?
Our determination has been strengthened. This recent brush with death empowers our commitment to manifest sacred space. The two of us have nearly identical injuries -- one vertebrae each cracked open to receive the love and light of the angels surrounding us. Through the break in these mirroring bones, a portal expanded allowing the infusion of mysterious ingredients needed to carry out our mission. Because bones heal stronger after they are broken, our intuition is that our wounding was preparation to carry heavier loads.
During our recovery from these injuries, likely three to four months, we feel a commitment toward reaching out to gather the strength of those who support this vision. In the next few months we'd like to make a significant fundraising breakthrough that will help transform the beautiful 1882 carriage house into an unforgettable art chapel. All who are called to this project are invited to join us as founders and help raise the remaining $1.5 million needed to open the exhibition in its new location and make CoSM a fully functioning center to inspire and awaken the creative spirit in us all. Send donations to cosm.org
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me and share your inspiring story with the RS community. Again, we send all our thoughts and love for your full recovery and for the future of COSM.
We honor Reality Sandwich for their commitment to featuring the brightest minds in visionary culture in order to evolve consciousness. We encourage all readers to support Reality Sandwich.
Thank you so much to Reality Sandwich for this opportunity to share the good fortune of our survival and prognosis of complete recovery and for the opportunity to share our appeal for CoSM with its readers.
Tonight, this is my prayer, and I encourage readers to leave your own prayer (however you pray), or your own thoughts, on this post, for the Greys, for RS as we try to support the future of our movement and face uncertainty, for our country, for our world, or for any of our leaders, parents, or elders:
Dear God. Help each one of us to be mindful of our thoughts. Help us to hold each other in good space, no matter how frustrated we might become with one another. Help us to take the planks out of our own eyes before finding the splinter in others'. Help us to pray for our leaders and build each other up, each and every day. Please bless the Greys. Surround them with angels and light. Speed their full recovery, God. And let each of us learn to hold faith through the "accidents" of our lives. We know that we can do all things through the infinite source of your love. Amen....Tweet