Signs From Our Loved Ones
It took me a few years to come to the party regarding giving validity to signs from those we love who have died. Growing up in conservative Christianity, it was pretty well ingrained in me that to entertain such things was akin to dancing with the devil. Not that the devil and I hadn’t done several tangos over the years and possibly even a slow dance or two. When I would hear people tell of signs, I chalked it up to randomness or fate and their desperation to find any type of connection. I surmised that common sense would dictate that, of course, you are going to see pennies, butterflies, deer, rainbows and what might look like an angel in the clouds throughout your life.
Every now-and-then however, someone would tell a story that would make my ears perk up and cause me to slowly open my mind to the phenomenon that there was something going on out there that I simply could not explain. I won’t name names but a woman who believed her son sent her butterflies is desperate for a sign while walking on a beach and finds a most perfectly shaped butterfly shell … a woman whose connection with her daughter in life was rabbits, sets her purse down on the shore of one of the Great Lakes and comes back to find a rock under it perfectly shaped like rabbit ears … she later takes the rock to a geologist stationed nearby who explains that her rock isn’t like any rock they have ever seen or studied in the area.
Then of course there was a man who was a huge doubter of signs until the day his son’s cell phone called his house a year after he had died. The parents had kept the cell service active and the phone on a mantle in the house … he contacted engineers at the cell phone carrier who said there was no possible way that cell phone could have dialed their home number on its own … that man became a believer in signs that day. Hundreds of other amazing stories began to break down my resistance.
It wasn’t until I began to discover my own signs however that I completely changed my stance. For me it started with constantly seeing the numbers 111 or 1111. Later it would be an incredible finding of 2 particular pennies in very peculiar fashion with Ashley’s birth year on one and her death date on the other … both minted just a few blocks from where she was born in Denver, Colorado. Those events combined with an incredible sign involving Ashley’s favorite song (Freebird), led to me whole-heartedly embracing signs.
Over the years I have heard hundreds of stories and seen the pictures or objects people keep as prized possessions regarding their signs. The particular signs people experience vary so much but one thing all of these experiences have in common is that they bring a little bit of peace and connection to those who receive them … and they offer hope. The more I became open to signs, the more valuable I found them to be in my own journey. My heart smiled when I saw that my workshop in Philadelphia last week just happened to be session #111.
There is an obscure song that most people don’t know, written and recorded by a 2-time Grammy nominated folk artist Iris DeMent titled, “Let the Mystery Be”, that sums up my own personal explanation for signs. I don’t want or need to know the how or why. Are my signs Ashley trying to contact me? Are my signs God sending me something I will recognize to let me know Ashley is OK? Are my signs just random things tied to fate with no spiritual connection whatsoever? I don’t know the answer, and I don’t care what the answer is … I just know that I love the feeling I get when I experience signs of any kind.
The subject of signs can be controversial or painful for some in grief, and I understand this. Some simply don’t believe in them for a myriad of reasons and I certainly can relate … some people don’t experience them and wonder why? To those who don’t experience them I say, maybe you haven’t experienced them yet. It took a few years before I started seeing my 111’s … It seems the more I am open to signs … the more signs I see.
I consider the subject of signs so important that I am considering writing a future book on the topic. If you have had an experience with signs you would like to share with me, please email it with any pictures you might have. I look forward to hearing your experiences and sharing them with others. There is no topic in the grief world that people want to talk about more than the subject of signs and spiritual connections. Love lives on, I am glad I have signs to warm my heart and I will let the mystery be.
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