My brother-in-law died suddenly last month when he fell from a ladder. We drove to Maryland where we celebrated Don’s life and visited with my husband’s family. Don was cremated so there was no physical body for anyone to ogle. Don was an avid fisherman and loved to be near the water. It only seemed appropriate that his celebration was held at the beach house of some dear friends who live on the eastern shore. Each person who wanted to speak was given a turn to share a story about Don. Afterward, Jimmy Buffet music played and margaritas flowed as some cried, others laughed at the memories they shared. I think I cried enough for everyone there; not because Don was gone, but because of the love everyone was expressing so easily.

Don really isn?t gone. His presence was sweet and strong all day. Many felt him near and told how he has appeared to them since his passing. Some members of the family called a dear psychic friend of mine, Reverend Cherise Thorne who had offered to connect with Don’s spirit and give a message from the Other Side ( Cherise?s message was so comforting that the family was hardly showing any emotional disturbance. This was perplexing to me so I asked a few of them how they were able to be so strong. Their reply was consistent, “Because Don is here. He is not gone!” I believe that. When a wreath of flowers was tossed into the water, it turned around and headed right back into the bay near the house. It stayed there all afternoon in spite of the wind blowing in every direction. This, to me, is an indication that Don really wasn?t ready to leave us and that he?s planning to hang around for a while longer.

Cherise also told my sister-in-law, Tammy, that she saw animals in the spirit when she was connecting with Don. She described a beloved pet that had passed and then she mentioned a rabbit near a bench in the garden. The family had a flower garden with a bench where Don and my sister-in-law often shared a sandwich or a glass of iced tea. They had never had a rabbit so the information was puzzling at the time. However, a few days later my sister-in-law was looking out the window when she saw a rabbit standing on its hind legs staring right back at her. After a moment, the rabbit hopped up onto the bench and sat there again facing the house and looking in the window. Tammy knew it was Don trying to communicate with her.

Samhain (some call it Halloween) is the time of year that we honor those who have gone before us. It is believed that the veil between the physical 3-D world and the spirit world is thinnest then. A lot of people report seeing or having visitations from their deceased loved ones in the fall season. In my book, More Than Meets the Eye, many people told me stories about seeing a bird or an animal come up and stare right at them. ?Don?t you recognize me?? the little guy seems to ask. They just knew it was their loved one. And, why not? Small animals and birds have energies that are easy for newly passed spirits to manipulate. Not every soul that departs from the body crosses over immediately. Especially if there is unfinished business with loved ones left behind or if the death was sudden and unexpected as in Don?s case. Sometimes a loved one will become a spirit guide for a family member they cherish. Three weeks later Tammy is still aware of Don?s presence with her.

The time we spent with my husband’s family was beautiful and rich with memories. I didn?t know a lot of the people since I am rather a new-comer to the family, but there was so much love shared I felt like I had been part of the family forever. After all, we are one. And, we are blessed!

Yvonne Perry is a metaphysical freelance writer, author and keynote speaker with a gift for assisting people who are afraid of dying or are grieving the death of a loved one. Get a complimentary copy of Yvonne?s E-book More Than Meets the Eye: True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife when you subscribe to the newsletter. Read more about death, dying, afterlife, spirit communication, euthanasia and suicide at

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