“Mom, can you come today? I want to show you the little river Wes and I found yesterday. It’s full of minnows. It’s in that marshy place where they cut down those old trees.”

There were indeed minnows in his new-found stream. I returned, on numerous occasions, to ponder their existence; I returned to recall the precious moments we had shared; I returned to caress his foot’s imprint in the muddy-bog; I returned, praying that nature would preserve it – never taking it from me.

One of the most difficult things to come to terms with was my need to know if my son continued to exist in some spiritual form. The grief books, the counseling, the support groups, had each offered solutions to help manage the cognitive aspects of my grief, but for the anguish in my soul, they offered little reprieve.

I had read that the soul loves tranquility. My restless spirit longed for such a state. The masters said the answers lie within. Perhaps the key was in meditation. I tried various forms. I loved the meditation and the breathing exercises that accompanied them.

I did not find the answers I sought. I found instead silence. I welcomed the silence; it was a reprieve. I had not known silence for a long time. The nagging, which had plagued my thoughts, became less and less intrusive and less and less demanding of my constant attention.

Ever so slowly, and ever so gently from within the place of silence, I came to know the peace of stillness. And in the stillness, I heard a whisper. I was being invited. There was no mistake. The voice was barely audible, but the message was clear. “Come to my meadow.”

I accepted. I ran to the fields. The discovery was incredible. I ran. I walked. I loitered. I stayed. As the months went by, I delighted in the tender murmur that drifted on the breeze and floated with the raindrops. I was attentive to the whisper, and I heard it again and again and again, in the rustling of the willow branches, in the call of the coyote, and in the moan of the loon.

I lingered and was charmed by the whisper. I heard it in the laughter of the water as it rippled and tickled the rocks along its path in the gully. I was encouraged and attempted to laugh in unison.

I had not laughed in a very long time. Out in the prairie fields, far away from the eyes and ears of anyone who might surmise that I was on the verge of insanity, I forced myself to laugh. I did it again and again and again, day after day after day, until once again laughter was able to find its way out of my body of its own accord.

My path to the prairie field had become etched. I was daily gifted by the splendor and the lessons gained from the natural world. The field, the meadow, and the little river discovered by my son, shared numerous tales of the continuing process of life. The lessons gained observing the natural order reinforced hope in the process of rebirth, and offered assurance that, somehow, somewhere, life continued even beyond death.

Why had it taken me so long to discover what was really valuable in life? I believe that my son knew. In numerous ways throughout his young life, as well as since his death, he has guided me to view reality differently. While I would give anything to have learned, in less painful ways, the lessons his death taught me, I am aware that my son has been my greatest teacher.

From my son, I have learned about priorities. My son loved the natural world. I wish I had joined him more at the fishing-holes and under the stars. There was much I could have learned. Had I been awake I could have discovered, so much earlier, the sacred lessons available along the path.

Exerpt taken from Simington, Jane. (2003). Journey to the Sacred: Mending a Fractured Soul. Edmonton, Alberta, Taking Flight Books.

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Jane Simington

Dr. Jane A. Simington, Ph. D., is a bereaved mother, a grief and trauma management specialist. She is the owner of Taking Flight International Corporation and the developer of both the Trauma Recovery Certification Program and the Grief Support Certification Program. She is the president of the Canadian Association of Trauma Recovery Providers. Therapist and professor, she combines her background in both Nursing and Psychology, with her own experiences of grief, trauma, growth and transformation, with an extensive knowledge of complimentary healing methods. A frequent media guest she has been featured on hundreds of radio programs and print features as well as a number of television appearances. Dr. Simington is a frequent keynote and conference presenter. Jane’s work is featured in her internationally sold books, Journey to the Sacred: Mending a Fractured Soul, and soon to be released Through Souls Eyes,(endorsed by Dr. Bernie Siegel and Dr. Joan Borysenko, the booklet, Responding Soul to Soul, the award winning films, Listening to Soul Pain and Healing Soul Pain and on the CD’s, Journey to Healing, Releasing Ties That Bind, and Retrieving Lost Soul Parts. Dr. Jane A. Simington has been awarded the YWCA Woman of Distinction for Health & Medicine, Global Television’s Woman of Vision. She has been profiled as the “Nurse to Know” in The Canadian Nurse Journal, and as an Alumnus Acknowledge in the Green and White, The University of Saskatchewan Alumni News. In June, 2012, Jane was honored by CARNA and presented the prestigious Life-Time Achievement Award

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