An Empirical Man
For the majority of my life, I never bought in to the idea that our loved ones could survive death by communicating their continued existence to us. I was too busy trying to handle my day-to-day responsibilities of being a son, husband, father, and addictions counselor to give much thought to what existed beyond the physical world. I tended to dismiss any phenomenon that couldn’t be verified with concrete physical evidence. However, after my 18-year-old daughter Jeannine’s death in March of 2003, I began to realize that the evidence of the heart was more compelling then the rational, empirical evidence that I had always valued.
My first experience with non-ordinary phenomenon (signs) that I can recall after Jeannine’s death was during the summer of 2003. I was walking around my neighborhood and discovered that a butterfly was following me and hovering over me for a portion of it. I do, however, believe that Jeannine made her presence known to me almost immediately after her death. During her illness, we never discussed her funeral arrangements and how she wished to be remembered. Of course, I believe that no one in our family really wanted to explore that territory anyway. In any event, shortly after her death, and in the midst of my shock and numbness, I intuitively picked out her funeral song and wrote her eulogy. The process was effortless and as in retrospect, was guided by a force greater than myself. Jeannine’s spirit manifested itself quickly, by infusing the knowledge or information that I needed to help plan her celebration of life.
The Significance of Signs
Our deceased loved ones may signal their eternal presence in, among other ways through:
- Butterflies ,dragonflies
- Pennies or loose change
- Objects mysteriously disappearing or being moved
- A song that evokes strong memories.
Signs tell us that our loved ones are ok, that they desire to have an ongoing relationship with us, and that we will see them again in the afterlife. I have also learned through conversation with others and through my own experiences that the signs we receive from our loves ones is always a product of what is transpiring with us or around us in the present moment. Though the signs I received from my daughter Jeannine always provided me with a measure of peace, I believed that there were more teachings to discover, teachings that would help me develop further clarity.
The Eternal Heart
“Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”- Leonardo da Vinci
One of the specific types of communication that I have received from Jeannine recently has been in the form of hearts. I will show you a photo of one of the heart signs that I received from Jeannine and discuss what I discovered.
I discovered this heart on the kitchen floor of my home on 2/25/13, the week of Jeannine’s tenth angelversary date. It is typical for our children’s spirits to manifest around significant milestone dates. On the surface, it appeared that Jeannine yearned for my physical presence and was again communicating that she was fine, at peace, and would always be with me. However, I have also discovered that when an event keeps manifesting itself consistently, that there are more teachings to be discovered. For me, it was the need to truly examine what was going on in the present to discover the further significance of the communications I had been receiving from Jeannine. When I discovered Jeannine’s heart, I immediately gravitated to the date of my discovery (2/25). I was nudged to add the numbers together. When I did, the sum total was 9. According to Ted Andrews, the number 9 signifies healing and understanding*. Additionally, this discovery was made on the advent of Jeannine’s 10th angelversary, in Andrews system the number 1 is about beginnings. The significance of Jeannine’s eternal heart and the teachings revealed in the numerology became clearer as I completed the 11th year of my experience as a parent whose child had died. Here is what I discovered:
- It was important for me to own my experience in different terms, terms that were empowering and that accurately reflected my experience. I wrote that I was able to see Jeannine’s death as a rebirth into a new existence and talked about choosing not to see myself as a permanently bereaved parent.
- Choosing to not view our journeys or life paths through traditional labels allows us to truly come to a greater understanding of life and death, promotes ongoing healing and signifies in many ways a new beginning.
- Authentic ownership of our experience and speaking our truth liberates us to fully look at how all around us is connected and to integrate what we discover into our lives. Above all, it allows us to inspire, be inspired and attract those individuals of the highest level of thought.
Perhaps the greatest teaching that I have discovered through my experience with signs is that not only do we eventually learn to live without our children’s physical presence, but that we eventually learn to love with their eternal presence.
* See Ted Andrews, Animal Speaks, P.52, for more information. Also there is more than one system of numerology; it is important to find the one that resonates the most with you.
This article was originally published by The Grief Toolbox(www.thegrieftoolbox.com) on June 12,2014.