(A Continuation of the post-Consider What the Memories Hold…)
The one comfort is that I believe he is watching over them in a way he would not be able to if he was still here, alive, on Earth with us. My father believed in angels and I listened to several guardian angel stories when I was younger from my Girl Scout leader, who was also my best friend’s mom. She had a near death experience when I was little and would tell us she had a kind of “sixth sense” that made her sensitive to the presence of spirits. One story always stood out to me. I will recall the details as best as I can:
It had to do with a woman who was walking home alone one night. She was frightened and nervous to be by herself when it was so late and dark outside. Being a young girl I was warned many times about the risk of walking around by myself, especially late at night. When she told the story I immediately felt like I was the young woman walking by myself, scared, in the dark.
The other risk for the young woman was that there had been a story on the news about a man who had not been caught yet but was attacking women at night in the town that she lived in. Unfortunately, she had to walk home by herself and prayed, the entire time that she was walking; for God to protect her. While she was walking home, a man appeared and he looked suspicious and she was terrified that he was going to harm her. Luckily and surprisingly, he walked right past her.
The next day, a neighbor called her over to have a conversation. The young woman mentioned to her neighbor how relieved she was to have gotten home safely and mentioned the man who she had seen, and how, fortunately, he had not done anything to her. The neighbor replied, “Well of course not, you had that large, tall man walking with you.” The young woman did not know who her neighbor was referring to, but it was assumed, by the fact that she didn’t see him or know he was there, it must have been a guardian angel. I still get shivers just thinking about it!
My belief is that the virtuous, strong souls that pass on before us are entrusted with the honor of guarding and protecting their loved ones in the next life, whatever and however it may exist. This idea has been, in my mind, confirmed for me on several occasions.
One was when my daughter, at about 2 1/2, brought up my dad and how he had died without me ever really even talking about him, to her, before. She was on a swing at a local park and started asking me about him. Then she proceeded to explain some details about how he died. She said he talked to her about it and elucidated the basic details of how it happened, but let her know she should ask me if she had more questions about it. This conversation came up very randomly, without warning, while she was swinging; a breeze in her hair and the sunshine on her face. Carefree and happy. It seemed as if at this exact moment she was destined to reveal this phenomenon to me.
She was still quite young, which made it difficult to get a clear, conclusive explanation of her encounter. I made an effort to not put words in her mouth by trying to ask her very basic questions without insinuating anything. I just tried to let her talk about it in her own words. It was tough to not pry and just ask minimal questions, but I did. Unfortunately, I did not have a way to record her revelation, so I don’t know the exact words she said, but I do know I was overjoyed by the experience she was describing. It convinced me that my father met her in the only way he was capable of. She did not know enough to be scared and embraced him with an open mind. As far as I know, my sister’s children all had encounters with my father at a around the same age; between 2 and 3.
My son is this age presently and I am questioning whether, he too, will meet my dad some day. I hate to admit I am waiting and hoping for another day similar to the one I experienced with my daughter, but I am. Maybe time will pass and he will never say anything about him or maybe he will have heard enough stories that it won’t be clear whether his experience truly happened or not. Time will tell, and I will try to be patient and not get my hopes up too much.
Another time I experienced his presence was a short time after his death. I had a dream. It started out with me, in my house and there were tons of people over; similar to the day my father had passed away. It was chaotic and loud. The pandemonium echoed around me as if I was in a bubble. There was too much going on, and I was driven to go outside. I needed to escape the noise and really wanted to be alone.
When I stepped out of the back door, there was silence. The outdoors were serene and misty, like a warm morning, dew settled on the grass and trees. Just like our actual house, there was a path in the backyard to the driveway. I started to walk down it and could see in the distance a very bright light; it seemed warm and soft. It hung over a site in the direction of the empty stone slab we had in the corner of our yard where the driveways met. I saw a bench when I got closer to the light, and my dad was sitting on it. He was smiling, and I sat down by him.
My dad looked like a younger version of himself. He had brown hair, instead of salt and pepper, and he was thinner. He turned to me and asked, “Are these dreams helping you?” I felt like I was being allowed a moment in time to connect with my father again. It felt like I had reached another dimension. Dreams have always intrigued me and at times are so very real and lucid. There was a sensation of tranquility in this dream. An unspoken understanding that my dad was in the right place and had reached peace. It gave me a reassurance I was in desperate need of at that time. He looked exactly how I had always imagined someone looking once they died and obtained “everlasting life.” Young, refreshed, serene, and happy.
I have never once questioned, since that day, if my father is at peace. I know he is. He must have known life would give me enough to consider, ponder, question, and stress-out about; therefore, he made it clear that he was eliminating this burden from my life. It also gives me hope for the unknown. My father did illegal things. He had sticky fingers which caused issues several times during his life, and because of this; he hurt people. Yet he genuinely, at his core, was an honorable man. Once his life ended, I feel my father had reached the point of balance and whatever imbalance he had was counterbalanced by the age and way he died.
My philosophy is that we continue to work our whole lives to achieve harmony. A continuous cycle of doing and saying negative and positive things, and making mistakes and having successes that will equal out in the end. This is exactly the life my dad lived. He constantly made mistakes and counterbalanced them with accomplishments and successes. When he did something negative there was something he did that was very positive, caring, and compassionate to rectify it. The best, most rewarding part of this theory is it relieves me of the burden of having to be concerned with particular judgement.