From my own experience with losing my beloved, I have found it helpful for me to maintain a continuing bond and relationship with him. While our relationship is different than it was when he was here on Earth, I still have a strong connection with him in my heart and through the memories I carry of him and of us.

For me, love is stronger than death. Love lasts beyond death.

While I still have that bond with Greg, I am not the type of person that often finds myself receiving signs from him. I do not believe that our loved ones can look down up on us from Heaven, because, in my opinion, that would go against what scripture says about what Heaven is like.

However, there have been a few times in my grief journey where my heart has over ruled rationality and the logical framework that my mind used to function in. Then again, what part of grief is rational? And what part of “widda brain” is logical?

On July 4th, 2010, I went to see a movie with one of our friends and as I was leaving and walking by myself to my car, I was thinking about Greg and how (prior to Greg’s accident) I have only been to this particular movie theater with him. I was thinking about how the last time we went was for his birthday and it was to see one of his favorite movies.

As I was making my way to the car, I was in my own little world, in fact I was still in that initial fog like state as this was only 4 months after Greg went home to be with the Lord. I was thinking about how it looked like it was going to rain earlier but now it was blue skies.

As I approached my car, in the distance I see something red on the ground behind the trunk of the car. There just waiting for me to walk by was a Dr. Pepper can.

Let me back up and explain why this may seem like something so small, yet it is so significant in our life. Greg loved Dr. Pepper. So much in fact I would tell him that he had 3 loves in life, Jesus, me, and Dr. Pepper. I would also joke with Greg often that Dr. Pepper was like his security blanket. He didn’t feel comfortable without one in his hand and a backup in his car. Think Linus from Charlie Brown.

In fact at his funeral Dr. Pepper was brought up several times, and it was brought up again at the memorial I had with his friends on his one year anniversary. Wherever Greg went, Dr. Pepper had to tag along. It was like they just go together. Like PBJ or Mac and Cheese.

So there was this Dr. Pepper can sitting there. It made me smile as I was thinking of my beloved Greggie. I picked it up and shook out whatever was left inside and cried and took it home with me. I thought maybe, just maybe, Greg was trying to tell me that he is still with me. The Dr. Pepper can has a special place in my home, amongst some other things special to our relationship.

Rationally, I know it’s a Dr. Pepper can, and I highly doubt Greg can control the universe in such a way that a Dr. Pepper can that wasn’t even sold at the movie theater, would end up laying by my car in such a way that I would notice it; I know that Greg has no control whatsoever over what goes on on Earth, but maybe just maybe this one time I was being reminded that he is still with me, even when I can’t understand or see it.  For me, the handful of times this has occurred over the last year and a half has made all the difference because part of me wishes I was that person who thought I was receiving signs or reminders from him on a regular basis.

Because every day I wish Greg was here.  And every day, Dr. Pepper is a reminder.

Brandi Reyna 2011

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Brandi Reyna

Ms. Reyna is a creative soul with a passion for helping others. Her faith is very important to her and is reflected in her writings. She writes about her faith and the role it plays in her grieving process and how she grieves. Ms. Reyna's purpose for writing is to give voice to and shed light on unique losses. Ms.Reyna's articles focus primarily on the loss of her fiancé; the subsequent grief associated with sudden loss, her identification as an "unwedded widow" (a widow who was not legally married to her beloved), loss of a parent (grandparent) and creating a new life while living with loss. Ms. Reyna shares her journey to encourage others in their own faith and in their own healing journey. She hopes that by sharing her story and leading by example through her own life that her journey will show others that we can experience significant and impactful losses and still experience a full and joy-filled life after loss. Ms. Reyna has completed internships at several churches within women’s ministry, as one of her gifts is in ministering to women so that she might walk beside, support, encourage, counsel, shepherd and offer hope to women in need. Since the loss of her fiance Greg in a tragic car accident in March 2010, Ms. Reyna also has a passion and heart for helping others who are grieving the loss of someone they love. Ms. Reyna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Psychology; with a certificate in Women's studies.

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