Friday, April 27, 2012

Someone to Watch Over Me?

The picture above was taken one month before Daniel died.  We were waiting in the train station for Amtrak to take us to Disneyland.  Daniel took the picture, and if you look closely you can see his reflection in the glass behind us.  I remember seeing it for the first time a few months later and thinking how much like a ghost he looked in the picture and how I wished I could see the specter of him watching over us as he seems to be doing here. 

I know he does watch over us, and there are times I feel like he sends me messages when I really need them.  I've seen multiple mysterious messages.  On a particularly terrible day, I was crying as I was driving by the hospital he spent his last night in and  "I love you" flashed on a pharmacy sign and then disappeared completely.  I stopped, and watched and waited for 10 minutes to see if it was some gimmick of the pharmacy, but the message never repeated itself.  

Another day about 6 months after he died, I had to leave the office to have a private cry fest.  I realized at some point that I was starving - I likely hadn't eaten in a day or something ridiculous, and I stopped by a random Chinese place for takeout.  My fortune in my fortune cookie said simply "I miss you".  Um, yeah, I didn't make it back to work that day. 

Last example:  I was working on a pipeline project in Mississippi, it was a gorgeous day and for whatever reason I was missing him terribly.  I was sort of cursing the cloudless blue sky and thinking how unfair it was....a giant black and gold butterfly - the size of my hand, swooped down and almost landed on my head.  I decided it was a message from Daniel.  I'm sure I've made up tons of messages from him over the years, but some of them really seem to be too perfect to be coincidence.  I choose to believe.

I'm sure I'm not the only widow to make special requests of their dead spouse, and I'm certain I've sent more prayers directly to Daniel than to God in the last 6 years.  Recently, after hearing of a co-worker's wife's cancer diagnosis I asked Daniel to pull whatever strings he can in heaven to make sure that Carl lives a long, long life.  It's a strange universe when you send prayers to your late husband about your new one...but it's my reality, isn't it?  I asked Daniel to please make sure I never had to live through that again.  I'm sure he was listening, and if I know him he'll do his best to watch over me and G.


  1. That is my fear too. Having to live through that, and all this, - again. But I can't live in fear of the what-ifs. I'd rather love again.

    And those are some pretty compelling 'coincidences'. I would choose to believe as well.

  2. Michelle - I believe in those "Moments"
    When I dared to travel - very far - they year after my husband died. I went into this new town and there on the main street was a sign on a store that combined the two nicknames we had for each other and I have to tell you they are uncommon words. I felt like it was Jim saying - so glad you came.

    There are so many moments like that. Including a night I lay awake in the dark of night, again, not crying - long past crying. Just that stab in the heart pain that is deeper than a cry. I hadn't been asleep at all. Then all of a sudden I saw this "shadowy light" above me - I can only describe it as like a light cloud in the room but it moved above my bed. All of a sudden I had a moment of "great, now I am losing my mind on top of everything else" it was like I was being observed in this very quiet way and then in my head his voice saying "I'm okay. Go to sleep" and I turned on my side and with this sense of peace and calm and not worried at all about what I had seen, I feel asleep.
    I can't explain it. I have never told anyone about it.

    I speak to him all the time. Especially about our children. I send him "beautiful things" - the sunshine, the snow falling, his tulips coming up in the garden again. I say "all for you" and I hope somewhere he sees it too.
    Thanks for sharing. The picture is so moving. To imagine that - there but in a different way.
    I hope you both live to be very old, old people - together.

  3. It's been twelve years since the sudden death of my loving husband. So many of your comments trigger memories of those earlier years in grief. Trying to hide the tears in the ladies restroom, butterflies bringing messages from heaven and asking my husband for guidance in everything from money matters to mechanical challenges with home improvement projects. I poured my tears and words into numerous notebooks which over a period of seven years evolved into my memoir, TWENTY-EIGHT SNOW ANGELS: A WIDOW'S STORY OF LOVE, LOSS AND RENEWAL which was released this August. Widows said the book inspired them and gave them hope. It's available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. In spite of my fear of losing love again, I took a chance on love again. Sending caring support to you.

  4. Michelle, how odd that I just had this conversation with a very good widow friend of mine. I think we convinced each other to believe in those "moments" as our minds continue to send comfort messages to our hearts. Like Anon, I talk to my husband all the time about everything. (I know he must be laughing at some of my antics!)

    It is also odd that after losing my husband very suddenly, I no longer fear death or the death of my children or others in my life that I love or may grow to love. I accept that life is fragile and uncertainty is a given.

    Thank you Michelle for sharing "those" special Daniel moments!

  5. beautiful post! The day of my husbands funeral there was an osprey sitting on the cross on the steeple of our church. Now every time the kids or I see a big bird up there we say that "Daddy is visiting". I have also had a falcon show up a few times in my yard when I have been having a really rough time. The mascot of the school where my husband taught was the Falcon, so I have always considered that to be a sign from him, partic since we live in an area where we don't normally see those kinds of birds. Not sure if they are truly signs but sure makes me feel good to think they are!

  6. Michelle,
    THANK YOU for this post. I have been fortunate to have too many signs to count. I call them my "positive coincidences" but I know they are not coincidences but signs from my beloved Tim who has given me pennies, feathers and has come to me in many forms including orbs, smells, pictures on walls, messages on the phone and in animals; mostly Hawks. I have kept track of every sign since his death 29 months ago, including pictures of his signs and concrete gifts he has given me. I shared many of my pictures at Camp Widow East this past weekend. Some people were quite amazed, others skeptical and others were sad that they had not received such explicit signs from their loves. I was skeptical at first and I used to not talk about these signs for fear that people would think I was losing it but now I share openly to give Hope to those in need. I not only believe, I KNOW these signs are real. Our loves are with us...Believe and Hope!!

  7. I also feel I have had signs from my husband. I lost him 20 months ago. One night I was driving home crying and saying out loud to him, " Please tell me you're okay." Just then I saw a falling star. I like to think it was him telling me he is okay. There is also this bird that he named the Buckeye Bird. We had only heard it singing, never seen it, but it sounds like his song goes "Let's go Buck-eyes. You see, I live in Ohio and thar's a cheer you hear during the games. My husband was a huge Buckeye fan. I even buried him in his favorite Buckeye shirt and ball cap. Anyway, I hear that bird all the time! I think "my Gregory" sent him to comfort me and not feel so alone.

  8. I believe, too. I see signs I rarely share them with anyone as I don't want them to think I am crazy. They are mostly out in nature, this spring I spotted the coyote in my yard, we used to hear them all the time, but you'd think in 26 years we would have spotted them previously. Also saw numerous sand hill cranes flying over, in more numbers than I could keep track of. Not only at my house but other places too. We once watched them in the fields together, now I like to think he is sending them to me. I think whatever helps us get through these days without them, whether it really is a sign from them or not, is ok to believe in.