I have always found that when someone dies there are often uncanny occurrences that happen afterwards. I have found this especially so in the first couple of days to weeks after they pass. Someone once told me those that have passed on wish to let those left behind know that they are okay – often in ways that are non-threatening – something subtle and possibly unique to the individual with whom they wish to communicate.
With my Dad a few things happened that did make me feel comforted about his passing.
Dad passed away in the early hours of the morning – around 3 am or so. Immediately after he passed away I received a message from my then partner, now husband, to check in on how things were going. “Dad’s just passed away now”, I replied. I felt as if Dad had tapped Matt on the shoulder as he was leaving to get him to check in on him.
It was Christmas Eve and where I am from, Brisbane, this meant it was the height of summer so when we drove home, my mum and two of my four brothers, we were gifted with the most spectacular sunrise I had ever seen. I recalled at this time a conversation I had with Dad only a few months earlier when I was going through a difficult time where Dad had said, “It’s always darkest before the dawn”. I don’t know if Dad was given license by God to paint the sky like that but it certainly felt like he was speaking deeply to us as we journeyed home from the hospital without him.
Dad loved the great outdoors, hiking and getting outside. My brothers and I spent many holidays as children camping and going on walks with Dad. However, Dad’s green thumb was not as keen as his love for nature. My Dad’s quality of life was pretty good right up until the last few weeks before he died and so my Dad was pretty active. He was doing some gardening for my Mum one day and in the process of doing some tidying up accidentally chopped up my Mum’s bougainvillea tree. Dad sheepishly apologised after he realised what he had done and the tree was lifeless afterwards until a few days after his death. Mum noticed that green leaves had started to sprout again. Then a few weeks later the tree was once again in full bloom. I thought this was so personal to Mum and that it was such a beautiful way for my Dad to communicate with her that he was okay. Mum now calls this tree Dad’s resurrection tree.
In the first year after Dad passed I did feel his presence quite keenly and I would often ask for help with mundane household things. Sometimes I would be a little alarmed at how and how fast help would come. My husband and I lived for a while in an apartment block with shared washing facilities. I recall one day I was short of coins and asked for Dad’s assistance. To my surprise some I found some coins in the drying machine just after I had made my request.
Although Dad is not physically present here anymore I do love feeling his presence in new and beautiful ways that he chooses to communicate with me. Sometimes I find if difficult to believe he is still around more than at other times but I do still often feel comforted by little uncanny occurrences that seem to be reminding me that he is still around.
Have you experienced something that has happened after the death of a loved one? What happened and did you find this brought you peace? Have you found the way you have experienced the presence of a loved one has changed over time? If so, how so?