I sit here in Grace’s room at 8:48 on Monday morning. Brien and I have been in and out of her room numerous times over the past week. Her room is filled with flowers and smells just heavenly. Brien just commented that it smells sweeter and sweeter in her room every day. As I sit here today, my thoughts turn to all of the signs we have noticed over the past week that indicated she is still with us in many small ways.
As Brien has so eloquently explained, the greatest gift Grace gave us was the way she passed on, smiling peacefully and squeezing Brien’s finger were the most powerful signs that brought great comfort to us. Several other things happened that day as well, and at the time we didn’t notice all of them, but some of our observant friends did notice. That day was gloomy and rainy, and we had four of our close friends at the house that had stayed the night previously. Our friends Renee and Carl left early that morning to take care of a few things at home and then planned to come back over later in the day. Shortly after they left that morning was when Grace passed away. Our friend Audrey immediately called them to tell them the news since they had just left. Both of them proceeded to immediately turn their cars around and race back to our house. At that moment, they both noticed that the rain stopped. There was a break in the rain from that point on until Grace was taken away in the hearse. Once she was taken away, the rain poured and the wind blew fiercely for the next two days.
When Brien informed our friend, Audrey, that Grace had passed, Audrey stepped outside of our house. She noticed a single black crow flying overhead and thought that was odd since crows usually travel in groups. After doing a little research, Audrey shared with me that she found that in mythology and folklore as a whole, crows tend to be symbolic more of the spiritual aspect of death, or the transition of the spirit into the afterlife. It’s amazing to me that she witnessed this just minutes after Grace had passed.
Fast forward a few days to October 27th, 2010. Grace’s obituary was due to show up in the newspaper that morning. I woke early around 6:30am to bring in the paper so it would be ready for Brien to read when he awoke. He spent hours laboring over the right words to use for the newspaper and I knew he would want to read it as soon as he got up. But, to my dismay, no paper had arrived. No big deal, I thought, our paper usually arrives between 6:30-7:00am so I guess we just needed to wait a little while. Brien awoke around 7:30am and the paper still had not arrived which we were starting to think was a little odd. Brien called the newspaper office to make sure we were going to receive a paper. I went and sat in Grace’s room around 8:30am as I had done many mornings since she passed. As I sat there staring out the window, I saw a man walking to our front door to deliver the newspaper. I looked at the digital clock in the room, it was 8:44 am, the exact hour that Grace had passed away. Maybe just a weird coincidence….but maybe not. Perhaps she thought it fitting for her obituary to arrive at this exact time.
Brien mentioned in the previous post that we witnessed one of the butterflies from her service appear out of one of the flower arrangements that afternoon after we buried Grace. That is a sign we won’t soon forget. Let me explain why. Yesterday (Sunday) we went out to the cemetery to visit Grace. Her grave site was just as beautiful as we had left it, all of the flowers were still perfectly placed, looked wonderful, and smelled just as sweet as they had on Friday. Brien and I talked with her and then just sat for a long time with her. We then decided to walk around the cemetery, it’s such a beautiful place and so serene. After walking around, we returned to Grace’s site to visit once more and say goodbye. We sat again for several minutes and then a butterfly gently fluttered by us and landed on one of Grace’s pink flowers. Brien and I were completely amazed and in awe, once again. We truly believe she is still with us, and the signs are all around us indicating so.
Both Brien and I want to continue Grace’s blog. It may change and evolve over time, as does life. But for now, I’d like you to continue to do something each week for Gracie. It’s a small way to indicate we will not forget the lessons she has taught, and will continue to teach us. Are you open to receiving signs? Grace asks this week that you look for a sign in something simple or just acknowledge some simple gift in your life. She thanks you for doing this for her.