In a fast pace world that is constantly full of change, I believe in the eternal presence of the spirit of past loved ones. I have never been one to buy into the illusion of the spiritual realm or have a belief that a person could be touched by the divine presence of the deceased. However, when I was 18, I experienced heart break and loss like I had never felt before with the passing of my grandfather. My ideas on the afterlife and silly superstitions took a drastic change in direction.
In the stale cold hospital room where my grandfather lay dying, I gently rubbed his arm hoping to offer some sort of comfort while repeating the words, “I love you grandpa,” with tears running down my face. A few hours later after receiving the news that my grandfather had passed away, I sat on the edge of my bed with my face cupped in my hands. I could feel the same comforting touch on my arm that I tried to console my grandfather with. Startled I opened my eyes expecting my roommate to be the one attempting to soothe me, but there was no one there.
In an attempt to understand where the familiar yet unexplained embrace came from, I was reminded of the touch I had given my grandfather a few hours prior. Perhaps this was his way of returning the caring gesture to me in my time of need.
From day to day it is not an uncommon occurrence to stumble upon loose change; sometimes it’s even considered an annoyance. A few weeks after my grandfather had passed away, my family was spending an evening at home. We noticed my dog, Chewy whimpering when he arrived at the bed that my grandfather had given to him, to lie down. Chewy down next to his bed, and then began to drag his bed, which was twice the size of him, over to where my dad was sitting. When my dad looked down at the bed, he was curious to see why my dog was behaving so oddly. He noticed a penny lying in the middle of the bed, with the same year on it that my grandfather had been diagnosed with cancer. Since that night, even something as simple as loose change reminds me of my grandfather so his presence still lingers with me.
It’s ironic that the loss of a life can breathe new meaning into present moments. Moments that were taken for granted or easily ignored are now experienced with wide eyes and an open heart. I truly believe that just because there is a passing or death to a physical body, the spiritual body is alive and ever present.
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