Messages from the Other Side
How to identify when a deceased loved one is reaching out
Saying goodbye is never easy. After all of the tears, flowers, family gatherings, and casseroles, we are still left with an emptiness in our lives. And while time does make it easier, we never fully get over the loss. But we move on, because that’s what we have to do, and perhaps reminisce at holiday dinners. Still, questions will plague us: are they okay? Do they see or hear me? Where are they? We will never have clear answers to these questions, but many people have reported what they can only call messages from the other side: signs that our loved ones do, indeed, carry on when they leave this plane of existence. And these messages come in many forms.
Often times, people will come across hard-to-explain items in their paths. The feather in the bedroom. The penny on the porch, sometimes dated the year a loved one was born or died. A river pebble in the work place. While these ordinary objects don’t usually mean much to the untrained eye, to those looking for signs, this could be “hello”. It’s interesting to note that pennies are one of the most common items thought to be used as communication from the other side: perhaps that can be attributed to the correlation with the copper element, which is widely been thought to act as a conduit for spiritual activity. Stones and pebbles often contain quartz or limestone, both also theorized to increase these events.
Messages sent by way of animals or insects have long been reported. Perhaps those in the spirit world hold more of a connection with our furry friends. Some of the more common creatures described by witnesses include butterflies, ladybugs, birds (specifically hummingbirds, cardinals, owls, eagles, or crows), dolphins, and deer. Native American folklore states that birds are extremely close to God/The Great Spirit and are often used as the messenger. Deer or buffalo are both considered sacred animals, and a sighting or visit from one could be sent from a loved one. Butterflies are truly the perfect example of death and rebirth, and a visit from one could symbolize that your loved one is still very much alive, albeit not in the same form. And let’s not forget the most obvious symbol when it comes to birds and butterflies: that of flying and wings, a direct link to angels.
Odd Noises and Disturbances:
This area can get a bit tricky. It can often be difficult to differentiate between a haunted location or simply a visiting loved one that’s just stopping by. The key difference is that one is on-going while the other is usually a one-time occurrence. Sometimes, it’s good to look for other clues to help you decide if your visitor is family or poltergeist: for example, did the event happen on a significant date? One woman reported hearing an odd ting, seemingly come out of midair. It occurred every few minutes one evening and she could not find the source. The sound wasn’t very ominous, but she had never before heard it in her apartment. After about thirty minutes, she realized it was her grandmother’s birthday, and said aloud, “happy birthday, grandma. Miss you.” The sound stopped immediately and hasn’t been heard again. Other disturbances include electrical interference, such as lights coming on by themselves, the channel changing, etc.
Thought to be one of the most common ways for the dead to communicate with the living, a dream visit is one of the most definitive ways to keep in touch long distance. The challenge is to tell the difference between regular dreaming and an actual visit. It’s obvious that when we are frequently thinking of someone or missing them, they may make an appearance in our dreams. But that’s not always a visit; it could just be your own projection. An actual dream visit does not feel like a normal dream—the background is logical and stationary, with realistic qualities. It may even be your bedroom or living room. The furniture looks just like it does when you’re awake. One person stated the following: “My eyes felt grainy, like they do when I’m really tired. They were hard to keep open in my dream, which was never an issue before. The actual act of seeing was different. And then she came in and sat on my bed. I only had a few moments with her, but she was happy and that was enough for me.”
It is a fact that the olfactory sense is most closely linked to memory. Upon suggestion, we can all recall the smell of the rain and ozone after a storm, the mouthwatering aroma of a pizza or favorite dish. Coming upon a cloud of a particular aroma is a subtle way for spirits to let us know they are around. These scents appear out of nowhere, with no logical explanation. It could be the smell of a fresh tobacco pipe inside a nonsmoker’s home, or perhaps the scent of lavender in a bustling office building. While one may think that the smell is the indicator of the spirit, it makes more sense that the individual being visited recognizes the scent when the spirit comes near because they identify the spirit on a subconscious level—meaning there is no actual odor, but the link in memory to the presence of that particular soul.
We all desire to reconnect with those we’ve lost. We are comforted by these small greetings they send us. It makes our lives that much easier to know that they are no longer in pain or scared. Keep an eye out for pennies or pebbles, and when you hear that one song on the radio on that one very coincidental day, keep an open mind. Someone may be saying that they miss you, too.