“For the mountain man” was the message written on the floral bouquet sent to the funeral home for my husband’s memorial service. Reflective of the love he had for the outdoors, the arrangement that his friends chose to send contained a deer figurine, driftwood and succulent plants.
Our love for Chris was reflected in the memories that were shared that day, the tears shed and the acts of kindness that family and friends surrounded me with on the worse day of my life. Being physically and mentally depleted after the long hours at the funeral home and the gathering at our house afterwards, I finally sat down to take a deep breath. Looking out the picture window at the brilliantly glistening snow that February day – I thought, “you are really loosing it Kath” when I saw deer right across the road, in the field beyond our house…dancing!!
I couldn’t describe it any other way, for I had seen deer gather in the fields before, feeding on the farmer’s leftover seed or running across the road narrowly escaping the city’s traffic. I had seen deer bedded down beneath pine trees in the fields behind our house. This time the group of eight buck and does were frolicking, not frightened by the movement within our house, but coming closer as if looking in our windows, wanting us to “play.” Locking antlers not to fight for territory during mating season, but leaping, heads tossing side to side, front legs rearing up in what seemed an unlikely display of affection; trying to stay warm on a frigid day, a deer’s way of having fun?
For me there was one and only one explanation for the scene I was watching…it was Chris’ message to me (to us) that his playful spirit was still alive and that all was well. Despite all my grief on that day, there would be unexpected joy, order would come out of the chaos, and “the day the deer danced” would always feel like a message from heaven given to us by the “mountain man.”
It has been a comfort to me and many others who have experienced the death of a loved one, to receive unique messages from them. Through electronics, nature or dreams, they leave messages for us that are often perceived by the bereaved as comforting and welcomed. Often not wanting to talk about these “visits” we keep quiet and worry that others will think we are crazy. When my husband died, I wanted to write my experience down and to share it with others. I have created a blog which will be a safe place to share our stories and to reflect on their messages! Here are a few questions you might want to contemplate as you think of your experience and share your comments.
- In what way have you felt the presence of your loved one after their death (what is your story?)
- Was this presence perceived as a physical, emotional or spiritual expression of them?
- Did their “visit” make you feel uncomfortable in any way or did it bring you peace?
- What was the message that you felt you received from this experience?