Thursday, July 28, 2011

Signs from Our Friends

People who grieve often watch for signs from their loved one who has died.
I’ve had a number of signs from my friend, Delle. She had felt a strong calling to be a priest, an impossibility (at least at this time) in the Catholic Church. A couple years after she died, I went to Christmas mass at Sts. Clare & Francis, an Ecumenical Catholic Communion church in St. Louis. A woman priest was concelebrating the mass, and I couldn’t help but think of Delle, and what she’d been denied. My eyes filled with tears, and then I felt arms around me, as if someone were kneeling behind where I sat. And I heard Delle’s voice in my head saying “it’s all right.”
A woman I interviewed for my book told of her sometimes difficult adjustment when her TV co-anchor died suddenly. A few months after his death, she came back from a trip and turned on her computer, to see his face on her screensaver. There was no reason for that to happen, she insisted to me. It was an old, goofy picture of him and wasn’t something she’d looked at in probably a year. But there it was: a reminder of her dear friend and the good times they’d shared.
Has your friend given you a sign since they died? Maybe it was discovering a letter they’d written to you years ago, or a dream you had. Maybe at a particularly low moment, their favorite song came on the radio.
Whatever the sign, remember that it didn’t happen to make you sad or to make you miss them more. It happened so you’d remember them and the good times you shared. Treasure those signs and be open to more.


Beverly Diehl said...

SheWrites sister here: Whether it's a friend or a family member, the connection definitely keeps going after death. We simply have a different sort of relationship.

Some people I've lost I've experienced the sense of their presence, or some tangible "sign." Other times it's just a thought in my own head, "Oh, So-and-so would have loved/hated/laughed at this!"

Friend Grief said...

Beverly, you're right about the sense of their presence. It often pops up at odd times. We just have to be open to it.

kathleen pooler said...

Viki, I totally agree that our dear ones remain present to us in many ways. When I was anticipating undergoing a stem cell tranplant for lymphoma, my dear friend Judy appeared to me in a dream. She gave me a big hug and told me I was going to be "just fine". That was 15 years ago. Judy is always with me.


Ruth Madison said...

In the months after my friend died, I dreamed about her almost every night.

I dreamed that she called me on the phone and I told her I thought she was dead and she said it had been a mistake, she was hurt but she would be okay. Then I dreamed she emailed me from the afterlife. I was impressed that they had computer time there.

I don't know if I believe those were signs of her reaching out to me or if it was my body and mind's way of containing my grief.

Friend Grief said...

Ruth - Personally, I like to think that those are signs. I know so many people who have had dreams like that, and most - though not all - were greatly comforted by them. I hope you were, too.

Ruth Madison said...

Yes, I was. It was nice to spend time with her, even while asleep.