By Tracey Lemming
For me, what hurts the most about losing the ones that I love is no longer being able to communicate with them in this physical world. At least not in the way that I want and expect to. It’s still having questions, and not being able to pick up the phone and ask them. It’s trying to imagine that for the rest of my life, they will no longer be here physically with me. Intuitively I know that they are in a better, more peaceful place. But the knowing that they won’t be here to celebrate the many happy times left in my life is really hard. Having them protect and guide me from above is comforting, but it’s not the same. I gained 3 beautiful angels in the last 2 years, but I wish it had been different. Everyone wants more time.
Unfortunately, it’s not different, and it cannot be changed. I was blessed with more time with my Uncle, Grandma, and Dad than some people are able to spend with their loved ones. I’ve learned many lessons during this time that I may not have learned until later in life had I not experienced this grief, and I am sure that more lessons will still be revealed as time goes on. Time is promised to no one, and it truly is a gift. What we choose to do with our time and energy is something that is up to us. I believe that the more time that you can spend with your loved ones and living your purpose, the better. When you have a pull to do or ask something, just do it. When you follow your intuition and your passion, you will feel the most happy, and can go to bed feeling that your day was good and meaningful.
Navigating a life that will never be the same is challenging. It’s looking through new eyes, and learning as you go. The plan that you had is no longer the plan. It’s learning how to adapt, and accept what cannot be changed. Although I no longer hear my loved ones voices, we can still communicate. Sometimes it’s through dreams, songs, or seeing something that brings back a sweet memory. I’ve been lucky enough to receive visions of my Uncle and Dad smiling since they have ascended towards the sky, so that helps me to know that they are safe and happy. I try to remember these images and be happy for them when I am feeling sad.
After my Uncle Steve’s passing and when I was back at work, I was finally feeling a bit more like myself. One day, I drove with my convertible top down and listened to my favorite song. As I parked and grabbed my bags out of my trunk, I noticed a penny in my parking spot behind my back tire. It hadn’t been there in the morning when I left for work, and I laughed and said “I wonder who this is from” out loud. As I picked up the penny, I instantly knew. 1971, the year my Uncle graduated from high school, and a nod from him to keep on enjoying the day and doing what makes me happy. I believe that our loved ones and angels leave us pennies from heaven, as they are noted with the words “In God we trust.” They are signs from above letting us know that we are on the right path and loved. It’s moments like this that you simply know that there is something greater than what meets the eye.
When I returned to my daily life after my Dad’s passing, I noticed that the motion activated solar lantern next to my front door would blink, although it had never blinked before during the few years that I had it. Normally, it would turn on only when I was walking up my stairs and opening my screen door. However, now it would blink on and off. It would even begin blinking when I was still in my car, and walking towards my door. It was never able to detect motion from that far away before. I remember crying in my car before I went inside, and looking at my house. Sure enough, the lantern was blinking to comfort me, even though there was no motion anywhere. I knew that it was my Dad welcoming me home and letting me know that he was okay and he wanted me to be happy, not sad. Even though he is not physically here in my life, he wants to still be here for me. Because I am open to receiving communication and willing to be present, I have been blessed to receive these gifts.
About a month before my Dad passed away, I had excitedly told him about the “Woodpecker Birds” at my bird feeder and how big they were. He laughed and teased me because he thought it was funny that I added the word “Bird” to the obvious “Woodpecker”. Of course a woodpecker is a bird. After my Dad passed away, my coworker was talking about how he would laugh and tease his daughter, and I mentioned how my Dad would do the same to me, and recently laughed about the “Woodpecker birds.” The next morning was one of those days that I didn’t really want to get out of bed and face the day, but I did, and I asked for a sign from my Dad and strength to keep going. As I was getting ready, I suddenly heard tapping outside my window. It startled me, and I looked outside. You guessed it, Woodpecker Birds. I laughed as they had never been so loud before or pecked at my house, and I knew that it was surely my Dad teasing me and laughing again.
The day after my Dad passed away, I was driving towards my parents house and I saw 3 cardinals. I knew that it was my Grandma, Uncle, and Dad saying hello and having a lot of fun together. I believe that cardinals are good luck and visitors from heaven. It’s very comforting when I hear the cardinals song, and see their beautiful red feathers.
Life will never be the same when you go through any type of loss. Grief changes you, but I hope that it changes us for the better. I hope that it makes us more in-tune with ourselves and this world, and more grateful for those in our life who love us. We now know that everything can change any moment, and it’s important to make the best of each day. Some days are better than others, but as we keep going, we are becoming stronger and can pass our wisdom and life lessons onto others. We can perceive simple signs and moments, and feel the vastness of this universe. What are some ways that you’ve received signs from those on the other side? What have you learned through experiencing grief?