I read a post on Facebook today from a friend who has been deeply suffering since the death of 2 close relatives. Something happened that put one of the deaths in her face, something so specific that it reminded her like a knife in the stomach. She was deeply upset.
I read that post and my heart went out to her. But it was obvious to me, inadvertent medium, that the incident was actually a message from the deceased to let her know that he was still near her and watching over her. I’ve seen this happen so often that now I look for it.
A few years ago, I was facilitating the memorial service for a dear friend of mine at a beautiful cliff overlooking the ocean, her favorite spot. I was reading a poem, “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep” (see below for poem in its entirety) and saying the line, “I am the swift uplifting rush of of quiet birds in circled flight” when a huge flock of seagulls flew over us at that exact moment I said the line. We were all shocked….it seemed like a clear message from her. When I got home that night, I went to bed, and for some reason woke up and opened my eyes and clearly saw the word “LOVE” written on the wall in light. It was an amazing day.
There is no doubt in my mind that our souls live on, and stay around for some time to comfort us. They come to us in signs, symbols and synchronicities. Often, they come through our animal spirits such as the Butterfly, Mourning Dove and more.
Here is one of the most profound stories of mine:
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
My father’s favorite book was “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”. He often said that when he passed, he wanted to come back as a Seagull. He loved the book, he loved the sea and he loved Seagulls.
He passes in 1982.
In 1998, I am sitting on a beach in Laguna, CA with my sons, Jonathan and Greg. As they play at the surf line, I watch them from the beach. My attention is brought to a Seagull that walks right up to me. I notice that he has an odd, round shaped piece of metal stuck in his chest. It is very distinctive and unforgettable. He seems to be no worse for the wear, and I feed him some lunch scraps.
About a week later, my sons and I are at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla, ninety miles away. My sons are swimming happily in the protected surf and I am sunning on the beach. I am astounded to see a Seagull walk right up to me, sporting the same, distinctive piece of metal stuck in its chest! He just looks at me, as though to say, here I am, I am well, and I got my wish.
My only conclusion is that my father got his wish. This Seagull is somehow his spirit, his message to me that he is well and happy. At that point, I am able to stop mourning him and celebrate the joy of his spirit, which lives on.
Signs and omens don’t just come from humans. Our beloved animal friends send us signs too. When I moved to San Diego in 1990, I brought with me the ashes of two of my most beloved dogs, a female Toy Poodle, and a male Toy Poodle. One day, a year or so later, I decided it was time to let go of them and went to one of my favorite hiking spots with my current dog, an Australian Shepherd. I found a beautiful spot that all the little animals loved to frequent. It seemed a happy, lively spot. I let their ashes go and my dog and I stood there for a while. A pair of Mourning Doves flew down and stood right in front of me. They did not appear to be afraid of either me or my dog. I found that very odd to say the least, but I knew that my Poodles’ spirits approved the spot, and came to say goodbye.
So, if you loose someone you love, human or animal, pay attention to the signs around you. They will stay close for a while to ensure that you don’t mourn too much. I find it very comforting.
Do Not Stand By My Grave And Weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.