My last visit with my father began three days before his passing. I had known him as a man of few words, so the intensity and depth of the conversation we shared about the life we had spent together marked me indelibly. He emphasized that he wished he “had been able to do more [for me],” “to give [me] more.”
My simple response, “Daddy, you gave me life; you gave me my education. I could ask for nothing more,” affirmed the roles that he had played in my life. I left my father’s room that evening believing I would never again converse with him, or receive his help or guidance. My first realization that this assumption was not true occurred just days after his death.
Because of the time spent with him during his dying, and with my mother following his funeral, I had limited opportunity to fulfill my roles as the choir director. I spoke to my father about this dilemma and asked that somehow he offer assistance. The choir’s performance that Easter Sunday morning was outstanding, and during most of it, I could distinctly sense his presence.
Awareness that my father’s assistance continued beyond his grave became increasingly real during my mother’s final illness.
My instinctive response to the initial news was to seek solace at the water’s edge. Upon arrival there, my attention was immediately drawn to the magnificence unfolding before me. Mesmerized, I gazed as a large white bird elegantly lifted from the water, to be followed by another of its kind. In a splendorous display of graceful ease the pair ascended upward and eastward, until they were gently immersed in the golden radiance of the morning sunrise.
Stillness followed and, in its glow, awareness. The powerful symbolism revealed in those extraordinary moments imprinted upon my soul a knowing that a sacred union was unfolding in front of me. My father had come to accompany my mother and guide her journey homeward.
The night she died, I was privileged to witness my father walking toward her. Both dressed for travel, my parents entered a large, gothic-style building; moving forward to the far end of it, together they entered a tunnel-like opening. Although I did not witness any vehicle of travel, I knew they were leaving via some mode of transportation that would take them on the next phase of their journey together.
In the years since my mother’s death, my father has on numerous occasions, especially during times of distress, shown me that his present and support continues. Only recently, during a time when I was unconscious and near death, my father again arrived. This time, he carried me across a bridge and placed me back onto a bed in the intensive care unit where I was being treated.
As I recall these visitations from my father since his death, I am reminded of the words inscribed on one of the stones that make up a small stone circle in the courtyard of St. Mary’s Church, in Rydal, England – a little stone structure William Wordsworth had been instrumental in building.
What is it to cease to breathing
But to free the breath from its restless tides
That it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered.
I too was blessed with the sense of my father’s presence immediately following his death, and for months after. I had a calm come over me that got me through the exhausting process of planning and celebration of his funeral, I was the only witness to the lowering of his casket to the bottom of the grave, where I felt his spirit beside me, assuring me that he was going to be nearby until I could begin to work thru my sorrow enough to ‘be okay.’
A creature, a beautiful little green hummingbird appeared the following day, while I was working in my yard. It was amazing and could only have been my father in the form of this tiny bird…I know this because that little bird was so unafraid of me as to actually remain just inches above my shoulder, accompanying me constantly as I went about my work. In fact, for months, each time I went out to the yard to do chores or tend to my chickens or dogs, the tiny bird would appear within a minute or two, even attempting to land to rest on my shoulder. If I was watering my orchard, this bird was perfectly beside me, 2-3″ away, perching on a branch, remaining at rest until I began to move along. I shared this with my mother and my daughters, and they felt it was indeed my father that guided through the watchful attention and company of Greeny. That was 4 years ago…and Greeny is not as attentive or constant in her following my every movement, however, she does manifest and come very near when I call for her or seem to be in need of her comfort.
Also, while visiting his grave about 2 months after he died, I brought some flowers and arranged them so that the big bright sunflower was prominently above the others in the vase. It was a very still afternoon, not even the slightest breeze stirring. I began to cry as I talked to Dad, telling him how much I missed him and loved him. As I walked the 30 feet distance to get into my car, I briefly looked back and sat frozen as I literally witnessed the sunflower slowly turn nearly 180 degrees in that vase until it was fully facing me as I looked from the window of my car. I was stunned. HOW did that flower TURN a full 180 degrees while no breeze at all could be propelling it? HOW did JUST that big Sunflower move while the full floral bouquet remained just as I’d put it into the standing bronze vase?! It got better…as I began to pull away and make the turn down the lane, I watched that flower turn as if it were watching me drive away, and the next turn took me parallel to the grave…I literally saw the flower had made the full return to the original position I’d placed it in…a full 360 degree revolution…I was almost AFRAID…I’d never be able to account for how this could happen as I saw it happen…it was unsettling because it seemed supernatural. I have to believe my father made this sign manifest to me that he was sorry to watch me go…and that flower almost seemed to be ‘sad’ like a child is when you wave goodbye…I have never told anyone except Mom about this; surely folks would believe I had imagined this event or somehow watched an optical illusion because of the sunlight, etc. I tell my story here because it is so similar to what you saw. 6 months ago, my mom became very suddenly ill…she was rushed to the hospital with gall bladder and pancreatitis in terrible pain.
I thought she was delusional when she said Dad had come in and sat on her bed just before she fell ill. She said he had also been standing beside her bed, a day before that, when she awoke from her nap. My sister said she wasn’t delusional…that yes, she had told her about it clearly and lucidly immediately after the apparition vanished after 10 or 15 minutes of sitting with her. She had spoken of her inability to call out to summon my sister to come to see what she was seeing…her reaction had frozen her whole body and she described the light and beautiful radiance around him…my mother is not crazy or demented, and she was truly sincere and genuine in her belief that Daddy did indeed visit her. Amazing!
My daughter lost her father 9 years ago when she was 17, he was ill since she was 13. She is now 26 and seems to be suffering from anxiety and is anxious about me, her mother, in case I have an accident and am no longer there for her. She is also an only child so cannot share the experience with anyone. Please advise.