I need to shake things up a bit with this post because it’s been a challenging couple of weeks. I will get back to my plan next post. Today, we focus on how attention and awareness are a part of the process to stay connected with our loved ones in spirit.
As I said, it’s been a rough couple of weeks, too much illness and death. It’s taken the wind out of my sail and left me questioning, why does this happen? People in the prime of their lives, with so much to give and accomplish, are taken from us too soon. It’s heart breaking.
So how can we lift our spirits and feel connected? Simply remember our loved ones in spirit are around us all the time. They are in good health and are cheering for us at each turn. They don’t want to see us sad or depressed, they want us to live a full life, enjoying every moment. At a recent memorial service, I was happy to hear the Deacon share stories of his loved one’s presence. Whether it was the way a napkin was folded, or specific saying or song. He knew it was his loved one giving him a gentle nudge and reminder that they were still there.
Paying attention is critical to noticing the signs. My maternal grandmother passed away 25 years ago and has been trying to get me to pay attention ever since. It’s only in the past couple of years that I have realized coins and rice pudding are her hallmarks. She was at the aforementioned memorial service for her sister-in-law in the form of candy orange slices. You may think that I am silly. But as I handed one to my mother I said, “Mom, Nanny is here today, she loved orange slices”. My Aunt walked up to me minutes later and said the same thing. We felt the love of my grandmother in that moment. Coincidence, I think not.
My grandmother was famous for her rice pudding. We all stood by her at the stove to learn the recipe and technique. Even after she passed, I would consult with my grandfather to make sure the recipe was just right. Now, in times of crisis (or when we need a hug from Nanny) rice pudding shows up. It was on my mother’s food tray in the emergency room. After a medical procedure, a waitress in a diner walked past us with beautiful servings of rice pudding. Rice pudding catches my eye in the grocery store when it’s on sale. Trust me, it’s my grandmother with a hug.
Do you find feathers or coins or see a specific bird frequently. Do you hear their favorite song? Smell their perfume? These are often signs of our loved ones. Two years ago, I was worried about an issue in our family. At the same time, a pair of cardinals (one male, one female) showed up everywhere I went. I mean everywhere. Around my house. At my parents’ house. Visiting family in Massachusetts. Visiting friends in Maryland. Everywhere. I literally yelled out the window “OK, you have my attention, who are you?” I questioned everyone about cardinals and it wasn’t until I mentioned it to my Aunt that she made me aware that my grandmother loved cardinals. Instantly, I realized it was my paternal grandmother and grandfather who were assuring me that they were watching over us and everything would be ok. The cardinals were present until our issue was resolved. They took care of us.
The last visit with my Aunt, she was wearing new pajamas that had cardinals all over them. She was proud of her new pajamas and repeatedly reminded me that Nanny Em loved cardinals and so did she. I knew in that moment, my grandmother’s arms were around her, comforting her. Earlier this week, my Aunt passed away. Her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends are all grieving. She was a special person. She gave me the courage to write this blog post, which I am doing with tears in my eyes. I will miss her. My silver lining is that I know she will be listening and watching over all of us in the days ahead.
Pay attention to the signs. That cardinal might be watching over you. I know it is watching over me.
Peace, Love and Sparks. Deb
Deb Wilber is the owner of Real Life Spark, a coaching practice dedicated to Igniting the Next Generation of YOU!™