Signs come in many forms (Daffodils, Photo via stock.xchng/redster)When I am talking with someone who is grieving, the conversation often turns to the signs they have received from their loved one, letting them know they are still around. They range from the subtle to the incredibly direct. 

One woman said she saw her husband approach, felt him kiss her on the cheek and heard his voice telling her that he loved her. Most are not that clear. One woman told me that she had wanted to plant flowers at her husband’s grave. The cemetery’s policies did not permit this and she was quite upset. However, when she visited his grave in the spring, buttercups had popped up all over. It seemed that even if she could not plant flowers, there was no rule against nature providing them! I know a man whose wife’s grave had the grass fill in everywhere, except for a perfect heart shape that remained bare. Signs…they come in all forms. 

There are four steps to receiving signs from your loved one:

  • First you must notice it. If you walk by and are not aware of those pennies being placed in your path, you may miss the message.
  • Secondly, you must recognize it as a sign. As one grieving mom told me, the white dove that flew around her tree every afternoon at 2:00 p.m. was a message from her daughter (not just a bird of habit). 
  • Third, you must interpret it. What does this mean? I was walking with a new widow when we almost stepped upon a large beetle. It was unusual to see this type of bug in my area and it was not moving when she nudged it with her cane. I did some research and found out that in ancient Egyptian times the beetle or scarab was thought to represent the transition of the soul from life into death.

 

For ancient Egyptians the beetle or scarab represented the soul's transition from life to death (Photo via stock.xchng/mferraro)
 
  • Finally, you must believe it. Do not just write it off as being “in your imagination.” Notice how you feel when you hear a special song everywhere you go; or if when you are thinking of your loved one, their picture drops off of the wall at that same moment. 

 

Signs… they come in no particular way or at any set time, but when they show up, they can bring you the comfort you have been seeking.

 

Nancy Weil is a leading authority on humor and grief. She serves as Director of Grief Support for eleven cemeteries and is a Certified Funeral Celebrant and Grief Management Specialist. Through her company, The Laugh Academy, she offers products to ease the stress and pain that grief can bring. Bandages for Your Heart on DVD or CD, Laugh for the Health of It on CD and her new book, If Stress Doesn’t Kill You, Your Family Might, can be ordered by clicking here.

 

 

Top Image: stock.xchng/redster

Second Image: stock.xchng/mferraro

Views: 12100

Tags: connected still, coping with loss and grief, dreaming of your loved one, faith and hope in the wake of loss, honoring and remembering, signs from the other side

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Comment by Nancy Weil on June 11, 2012 at 7:23am

Phyllis, What a wonderful story. I hope you do receive a sign from your son, but even if you don't, rest assured that he is still around you.

Comment by Phyllis Estes on June 9, 2012 at 7:15pm

Nancy,

After my Father died, many members of my family got a visit from a redbird..the same day.  Of course it took us a few days to connect our stories, to the same day, around the same time..etc.  My Mother saw it first at her sliding glass window..just sitting there.  My daughter reported her sightning next, which may have been the same bird, because they live next to each other.  My sister saw a redbird in another city close by..the same day.  I saw it the same day an hour away from my Mothers' home.  The redbird was my Fathers' favorite bird. 

So..we decided to put one on his grave, a big ceramic one.  We placed it there, and went back to change his flowers a couple of days later.  When we put it there initially, it was facing toward the foot of his grave, when we went back it was facing toward the head of his grave!  We were all amazed, excited, just all talking at once.  We did, however, agree on the fact my Father did it.  I have now a great fondness of redbirds..needless to say!  Whenever we see one, and we still do, we just say, "There is Daddy again, letting us know he is with us, and he is okay." 

I hope my son Chad gives us a sign soon.  He recently passed, and we are waiting.  We are certainly open to it!  "Signs" really are there, and we just have to see them, and accept them as "real."

Thanks for this article Nancy.  I love telling my story of the wonderful "Redbird." 

Comment by Barbara Brizius on May 18, 2012 at 11:24pm

Nancy,

Thank you. I truly hope I can receive a sign from my brother. I started keeping a journal of sorts. I am now trying to transpose from handwritten to computer and to organize them. In reading I had forgotten that I was not the only one who received signs from my son. We [5 siblings] have always been close, but only a few are open to messages/signs. My oldest brothers widow had a dream that her husband, deased daughter [5 1/2 yo] and my son were standing at end of her bed. Her husband walked over and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Then my son did the same [he always loved her]. Then she said she woke up; but it felt like it was more than just a dream.

I guess it's all in how you believe. I have no doubt that my brother will come around at some point; I hope I will recognize it.

Comment by Nancy Weil on May 18, 2012 at 7:48am

Barbara, What a beautiful post about your son. I am sure you have been a ray of hope for others as they are newly bereaved. I am sure your son and your brother will continue to let you know that they are still around you.

Comment by Barbara Brizius on May 17, 2012 at 10:40pm

My son died Jan 8 2004. He was playing with a pistol and, though he thought it was unloaded, it was not and he was shot in the head. He was 18. Since a week after he died, every so often I receive signs from him that he is ok. That he is still around and looking in on me. My older son feels him around as well. Little signs and larger signs...you just have to be open to them.

I recently lost a brother to cancer. He finally asked me about my son and the things I experienced since his death. I think it helped him prepare for his own death, as he stated he hoped he would get to see my son.

I still wake up in the night and look at the telephone. Every parent is terrified of it happening, and no parent should ever have to experience it. I found healing in writing. I sometimes write letters to my son, I sometimes just write my feelings. It does not matter what the subject matter. It has helped me so much. I never thought I would make it thru the first month, let alone the first year. Here it is, now 8 years later and I've finally realized "I'm still here'. I still remember every dark feeling I went thru, and yes it still hurts.

But we decided instead of grieving on his 'death day' we go out and find something fun to do - in celebration of his life. Go Cart racing, movies, lazer tag, etc. It helps us smile thru our tears, if only for that one day.

And both my older son and I can feel Mitchell with us.

Comment by Nancy Weil on April 30, 2012 at 7:28am

Melanie, I am so sorry for your loss. Please do not take it personally if you have yet to receive a sign that they are okay. Sometimes they come to others or they do come to you and you don't realize it.  There are so many subtle ways they let you know that they are with you and even if you don't get a sign, you can still take comfort in knowing that they are with you always and that the love you shared will never end.

Comment by Melanie Stracner on April 28, 2012 at 10:52am

I ask for signs from my recently passed long time boyfriend and from my dad who past 20 years ago, we were best friends, but I never receive anything and I am always looking.  I feel very hurt by this.  Other people have gotten signs from them but why not me???  I loved them so much, they were my whole world and now they are gone and I am left here alone; it's not fair

Comment by Nancy Weil on March 6, 2012 at 7:55am

Elaine,

What beautiful signs your husband has given to your family. Our loved ones want us to know that they are fine and that they are watching out over us.  While not everyone gets signs as strong as you have, you illustrate why you must be open and aware when a sign is shown.  I know someone who had a blank text message from her husband months after he died show up on her phone.  As difficult as it is to not have those we love around us physically, it is so comforting to know they are still around us through our connection of love.

Comment by Wilela Trip on March 3, 2012 at 9:17pm

I asked my husband, who was dying of pancreatic cancer, if he could, would he send me a sign that he was OK.  He agreed.  Then when he was in the hospital, within a couple of hours of dying, I reminded him about it.  He shook his head yes.  About the sixth day after he died I was looking at my facebook page and it said I had a message from my husband on June 19th, three days after he died, but the message was blank.  My grandson was over and he thought he could get the message another way.  So he took me to a page that I had to type the two words to prove that I was a human being and not a computer.  The words that came up was something that didn't make sense and heaven.  I was astonished.  I had a blank message from Brian and the word I had to type was heaven.  I took that as my answer that I wanted.  There are thousands of words in those programs, what's the odds that heaven would come up for me? 

#2 - My daughter has a tree in her yard that is 19 years old and was dug out of a ditch by her father.  When he dug it,it was fall and it had beautiful colours of floresent orange.  Never has it been colourful again in the fall. This year about four months after my husband died, it was beautiful again, of course much larger, and floresent orange!  She took that as a sign from her father that he is around.

#3  My other daughter had a dream and in that dream my mother was talking to her.  She told her to not worry about her Dad, he was in heaven with my parents and they were taking good care of him.  My mother knew that our second daughter was taking her Dad's death hard and came to console her.  She knew she had a sign that her Dad was OK.

#4 - Our only granddaughter for 12 years had a sign from her Grandpa who thought the world of her.  She was his favourite and she still sat on his knee until she was 18.  At the cemetery, all the grandchildren let blue balloons go to the sky as a symbol that he was free from his illness and pain.  About 5 months later, our granddaughter was driving home from work and it was foggy, so foggy she could hardly see where she was going.  From out of nowhere a blue balloon was in front of her car and it stayed there till she got home and then disappeared as fast as it appeared.  She took that as a sign that he was leading her home and looking out for her.  She cried about 3 days after that.

#5 - My friend was on facebook and she noticed a message from me.  While she was reading it, my husband's picture came on the monitor and came to rest right beside me and stayed there.  She called me to tell me about it and to tell me that this means that he will always be by my side to guide me and protect me.  That was a day of crying!

So, was this all our vivid imaginations, or was this really signs from my husband, Brian?  What do you think?

 

Comment by Donna Lundgren on February 27, 2012 at 5:19pm

My dad passed away in July of 2011. Before his passing, he told me of a woodpecker that visited a tree in his yard frequently. After he passed, I moved into his house. The day after we moved in,  the woodpecker was "knocking" on a tree. I haven't seen or heard the bird since. I have a woodpecker decoration that hangs on the wall that I've had for a long time. That is my constant reminder of my dad, he made sure I would never forget.

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