My paternal grandfather died when I was 13 or 14. We weren’t close; in fact, Grandpa had been estranged from the family for some time. When he finally did pass on, it was relief I sensed from my father and paternal relatives – not grief. Even my youngest aunt, who was his favourite child, didn’t cry that much during the wake.
A few days after the funeral, we woke up one morning to find a large grey moth perched at our front door. Its wings at rest measured roughly eight inches across, and it was big enough that our neighbours from across the street noticed.
We’re an ethnic Chinese family; our cultural traditions dictate that butterflies and moths are carriers of Spirit, and should one enter a house within a week after the death of a family member, it is to be respected as if the deceased relative had returned to visit.
“Grandpa’s back,” my mother whispered to me as we gawked at our visitor from a respectful distance. “Don’t disturb him. He’s watching over us, just to make sure we’re alright before he crosses over.”
The moth stayed at our front door for seven days. Imagine opening and closing a door with that huge insect a couple of inches from your face – If this is Grandpa watching over us, he’s definitely making up for lost time now, I thought to myself.
After the seventh day, the moth disappeared and never returned.
* * *
“He died last year. We’ve been waiting and keeping our eyes open for a sign, but… nothing. Could you please help me tune in to see if Daddy’s okay?”
The young woman across the table helpfully took out her mobile phone. “I can show you a picture of him if you’d like.”
– Sure, Charlene, that might be usef… No. It’s okay.
“… Kelly, you’re pale all of a sudden. Are you alright?”
When a deceased loved one appears, sometimes they validate their identity by sharing details of their death. Charlene’s father was making me experience a few moments of his passing by cardiac arrest. The excruciating, stabbing pain in my chest had caught me off-guard, leaving me gasping and reeling in shock. Soon after, a throbbing discomfort and metallic taste in my mouth told me that he’d probably bitten his tongue at some point until he bled.
Through a haze of pain, I looked up and glared discreetly at the spirit of the middle-aged man standing behind Charlene’s right shoulder.
(– Tone it down… hurts like hell.)
Oh sorry! I’ll stop it now, he replied, hands flailing apologetically.
Instantly, the torment ceased; with relief came clarity and a message.
– Charlene, your father wants you to know he’s fine. Also, he says he’s on his way with a sign.
Charlene nodded and shut her eyes tightly. “I hope so. I really do.”
The next morning, I woke up to a text with a picture of a brightly-coloured bird on a study table. The message read: “This little guy flew into my room last night and stayed for a few hours. It felt like how my dad used to come into my room and chat with me when he got home from work. Amazing!”
* * *
Many times, I’m asked by friends and clients if their deceased loved ones are doing well on the other side, and if they return to visit. This question is especially important for people whose belief systems teach them that the dead cannot and should not interact with the living.
Whatever deep and complex emotions they feel about their loved one’s passing is further complicated by powerful reactions such as fear (“if I keep missing them, I’ll hold them back from reincarnating or moving on”), guilt (“Connecting with the dead is the sin of witchcraft and I’ll be punished”), and regret (“I should’ve could’ve would’ve when they were still alive, but now it’s too late”).
Listen up, dear one, and know this: Love is stronger than death. Our souls are eternal; the song of true love can never be silenced by the grave.
Our deceased loved ones definitely return to visit us when they can. Many times, they also make it a point to leave signs that they’ve been hanging out with us. How they return, and what signs they use to communicate with us, depends on many factors including:
- Cultural traditions and beliefs: For example, the Chinese believe that butterflies carry the spirits of the dead and the deceased loved one might choose that form since it’s a familiar symbol
- The deceased loved one’s personal preferences: a deceased bird lover might return in the form of a beautiful bird
- Our personal (or shared) preferences: a deceased loved one might play a song on the radio you love, or that you both loved.
Our job is to keep our hearts and minds open to the myriad ways our deceased loved ones reach out to us, and to maintain a mindset of gratitude for having known and loved our deceased loved ones. Gratitude opens doors like you can’t imagine. 🙂
You are accepted, cherished, and embraced by love – something that death can never overcome. Dear one, you are loved. And that’s something to be thankful for, every single day. <3
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The stories on this website (including the above recounts) are based on Kelly’s experiences as a lightworker. Some details have been changed to protect the identities of the individuals involved.