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  • Gabrielle Elise Jimenez

Long After They Have Gone

I think it is fair to say that after someone dies, we look for signs that they are still out there watching over us, or simply paying us a visit just to say hi. Perhaps not everyone hopes for this, so I am certainly not speaking for all of you, but I know for myself, I count on the visits. I look forward to them, and they comfort me.

Shortly after my friend Katherine died, which was about 15 years ago, I was sitting out on my front step missing her. Out of nowhere the hugest crow I had ever seen flew down onto the walkway just a few feet away from me and started making all kinds of noise. In general, I know that crows tend to evoke dark, and perhaps even eerie thoughts, but that didn’t happen for me. I was so sure it was Katherine coming back to say hello and talk with me the way she used to. That crow sat with me quite some time until my tears were gone, and I was laughing hysterically. Now, every time I see a crow, I say, “hello Katherine… I miss you too”.

Shortly after a young man of twenty-two, one of my daughter’s friends, passed away from a horrible accident, I went to see a medium. I should preface to say that I did not believe in mediums and rolled my eyes every time hands went up after he said, “I see the name Steve”, or “I am thinking about the color green”. But then he said, “Johnny” (Not Jon, John, or Johnathon) and my ears perked up. I didn’t raise my hand and I did not make eye contact, yet the medium kept coming closer to me. He told me that Johnny wanted me to know that he was keeping an eye on us and that if I ever see a penny, it was him letting me know he was there”. I see pennies all the time, so I didn’t take that to heart, but then he said, “he asked me to remind you to tell her he will always love her”, which was exactly what he said to me (about his girlfriend) when I was at his bedside in the hospital. That's when I knew, Johnny was there, and he was speaking through the medium. When I walked out of the room that afternoon, and up to my car door, there was a penny on the ground, there was one on my car seat and later I found one in my pocket. I don’t know if it is true, or if I just want it to be true, but now every time I see a penny, I think of Johnny and I find comfort in knowing that he is watching over us, or even just popping by to say hello.

As I have mentioned before in other blogs, when I see dragonflies, I am absolutely certain they are guiding someone who had just passed so they didn’t go alone. And when I see a swarm of dragonflies, I imagine they have all gathered together to share about the souls they guided, having their own farewell ceremony for them.

When you lose someone you love, grieving them is hard, it takes a lot of work, it is a constant effort to put one foot in front of the other, trying to navigate a life without them. Just the thought that a light was mysteriously turned on, or the doorbell rang when no one was there, or a chair was pulled out, or music started playing, or suddenly you feel this brush of wind on a perfectly calm day… these things bring you comfort and I understand, appreciate and respect that. I need to know in my heart that the brush of wind was someone saying, “hello, don’t forget about me, I am right here”.

The one that touches me the deepest, is when I see a white feather. Not a large feather, and not one that is lying flat on the ground, but one that is small in size, almost fluffy and floats nearby. I think about my sister Laura, and how much I wish she was still here. I am finding that the ache I feel has increased over the years, and I miss her so much. I don’t know if it is because I have stuff I am trying to work through, but I know if she was here, she would say the right things, and somehow put my pieces back together again. I see how selfish that might sound, but I miss her so much and some days I feel terribly lost without her. One day while I was on a walk, I sat down on a bench and started to cry. I have many friends that I know I could go to with the things I struggle with, but I really wish my sister was here, because it is her I would trust the most with all of my things. As I sat there on the bench, a small white fluffy feather floated down onto my lap, I knew without any doubt, it was my sister who was reminding me that she was still with me. I took in a deep breath, and I smiled, and I suddenly felt a little lighter, a little less sad, and a little less ache. I have noticed since then, that a small, white fluffy feather floats by at that perfect moment when I just needed to know she was right there with me.

No one gets to tell you these things aren’t true, and if they bring you comfort, and offer you even a tiny bit of relief from your ache and sadness, embrace them for what they are to you, in your heart. Saying goodbye to someone you love, is something you will never forget. I believe that if our love for them stays with us as long as it does, long after they have gone, it must stay with them too and I find so much comfort knowing they want us to know that. xo


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