An excited utterance, in the law of evidence is a statement made by a person in response to a startling or shocking event or condition. It is an unplanned reaction to a “startling event”. It is an exception to the hearsay rule. The statement must be spontaneously made by the person while still under the stress of excitement from the event or condition. Examples include: “Look out! We’re going to crash!” or “I think he’s crazy. He’s shooting at us!” The basis for this hearsay exception is the belief that a statement made under the stress is likely to be trustworthy and unlikely to be premeditated falsehoods.
One of the benefits of meditation is learning to separate our true selves from our thoughts. I am learning to observe my thoughts, to analyze where they are coming from and to know that my thoughts are not me, even my mind is not me. I am what observes my mind and my thoughts flow through it. A couple of days ago I wrote about prayer and I mentioned I don’t pray much, at least not in the sense most people pray I guess. I try to meditate every day where I sit and watch my thoughts, live in the present moment and even occasionally I’ll do a metta mediation where I send unconditional love to the world, but to sit down and pray is a rarity. What I have observed though is these excited utterances, these spontaneous thoughts that I’ll send out into the universe to whomever is listening. They come out before I can filter them. I hear them in my head and I’m often surprised. It’s a “Who’s saying that?” reaction. They’re simple thoughts, never more than a sentence, but they reflect what is truly going in in my soul, deep down where my conscious mind can’t even reach. Like excited utterances in a court of law and the reason they are permitted, they reveal what is truly going on because they are spontaneous and less liable to being filtered or altered.
What I’m realizing from listening to these utterances is I’m not anywhere close to be over Shayna’s passing or to even accepting it. I often hear myself asking “Just kill me” or “Let me go.” or “Take me with you.” That is me simply saying I haven’t accepted this world that I find myself in and I want to escape it. I get so tired just thinking of all the things I have to do. When it’s not one of those utterances, it’s “How many more days?”. Then it’s followed by “Help me.” I know I’ve got to keep putting one foot in front of the other, facing one day at a time. I really don’t want to live in a world where there is no Shayna, a world where she is “just” a memory. The belief that Shayna is still here with me and that I will one day be able to see her again is all that keeps me going. But this is difficult perspective to maintain. It’s counter-cultural. The materialists say she’s gone. The religious people say she’s in heaven. Neither is acceptable to me. So I keep trying to hold on to her still being here with me. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.
When those times come I try to pull back and stop facing the big picture, looking at all of the things that need to be done, looking at all of the days (I think) stretch out before me and focus on today. I’ll focus on one or two things I need to get done today and just deal with those.