I have this habit of doubting myself even though by now I should know better. In 2011 I found a slew of coins, but 2012 has been slow. Honestly, this is okay. While my life continues to transform before me, I realize that the coins last year I found because I needed them, because I walked through some very large changes in my life. The coins always seemed to come right before something stressful would happen. I got to a point where sometimes I worried when I found them that something bad was about to happen. I had to remind myself that the coins were there to tell me that I have the strength to pull through whatever it is that life hands me. I find a lot of hope when I spot one somewhere.
On Sunday, I attended a Super Bowl party on Sunday and my friend Joy told me about finding a penny. Often, people share their coin findings with me; the coins are a great way to connect with people. I told Joy that I’d found only a few coins in January, that things had changed and that maybe I’m not supposed to find so many coins now.
Driving to Evanston on Tuesday morning to meet with someone at Legacy.com (the company that manages LegacyConnect, the very website where you’re reading this blog) I contemplated this again. I was okay with it, I realized. I don’t need the coins. I thought it was obvious they were there for a reason but that reason had changed.
To my surprise (although it shouldn’t have been a surprise!), when I walked out of the elevator there was a dollar bill laying on the floor. I laughed to myself, knowing the joke was on me. I have learned there are no coincidences. I’ve also learned that when I find a dollar, it’s the stronger reminder I get that these signs are coming from my dad.
Two days later I found a penny at the grocery story and then two pennies in a parking lot.
As my journey unfolds before me, I’ve also learned that the meanings of the coins change along the way. But whatever they mean at any particular time, I know that ultimately they are reminding me that my dad is on this journey with me even though I can’t see him traveling with me.
Michelle Linn-Gust, Ph.D., is an international author and speaker about finding hope after loss and change. She is the author of several books including Rocky Roads: The Journeys of Families through Suicide Grief and Ginger's Gift: Hope and Healing Through Dog Companionship. Her first book, based on the suicide of her younger sister Denise, Do They Have Bad Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Si..., inspired siblings around the world in their survival after a loved one’s suicide. She is the President of the American Association of Suicidology and lives in Albuquerque, N.M. Read more about Michelle at www.michellelinngust.com.