In my family, we believe that dragonflies and damselflies are our loved ones finding a way to live among us, flitting around in a magical display of color – and then gone again, in an instant.
We have so many “lost young” family members, we have likened ourselves to the Kennedys – minus the fame, of course.
Both my husband and I lost our first spouses, which is ultimately how we met. We are fond of saying we're a match made in heaven.
After reading my perspective on belief a while back, a dear friend noted that when she prays, she prays to all of the loved ones she has lost – the family that made her who she is. Instead of praying to one creator she is praying to the creation of her.
I love this notion, and acknowledge it’s been my own: The idea that our family and loved ones in the spirit world are guiding and informing our lives.
To believe it, one only has to recall the oft-told reports of family members separated by miles and years, never having met and yet, they think and act similarly – as if they had been together all along.
When I lost my first husband, I shared with a friend my fear that I would forget the sound of his voice someday, along with all the other sense memories of him – his touch, his smell.
She reassured me, “He’s in your DNA now.” I was instantly at peace with this thought.
If it holds true, then you could say that although I never actually heard her speak, my great grandmother is as near as my cells. Her voice is my voice, her thoughts are my thoughts. Her story is my story.
If you want to gather with your lost loved ones you do need to be tuned to the frequency of this spiritual symmetry. Be well-acquainted with your kindred souls and not afraid of communing with them.
Music is a wonderful conduit for this form of communication, at least for me.
My father’s love of music became a powerful connection to his children. He was known to exalt to us the virtues of a piece he found to be worthy, whether it was the composition, the lyrics or the voice.
This gift transcended his early death, most of us in our twenties at the time, and he is never further away than an extraordinary song.
I have asserted that I believe in belief, and I have expressed concern for those that do not. Shawn Colvin wrote a song about it.
I hear her words ...
Do you believe in a miracle
or just the things that you heard
do you believe in a lover
or just the curve of the world?
... and they make me think of my father and wonder if he had believed more.
Not in God necessarily – actually, more in himself. Would he still be here? And then I hear his voice inside my head saying, “I am here.”
A talisman is another way to bring forth these spiritual entities.
I carry a silk scarf in my handbag with three things wrapped in it: A Bobby Orr hockey coin that belonged to my late husband, a black torn satin pin of mourning that I wore when I lost my stepfather, and a stone with the word “faith” painted on it.
Just as someone would wear a St. Christopher medal to protect them in their travels, I feel these symbols protect me from harm.
My husband has a small Boyd’s bear with several pins attached to it – a Colgate University and a Bronx Bombers pin among them- that belonged to his late wife. It sits in his office, just above his monitor. I know it brings him peace.
Above all else, a place has the power to deliver our otherworldly loves to us.
I only have to head to the ice rink to yell at the refs with my late husband or sit quietly in my mother’s garden to chat with my stepfather. I can’t wait to ride in my sister’s new Dodge Charger because I know Dad will be there.
In the motion picture Field of Dreams, Ray, a farmer, hears a voice whisper to him: “If you build it, he will come.”
The ball field he builds ultimately brings his father back for a game of catch, and seems to resolve for Ray, his resentment about his dad’s lack of spontaneity while he was growing up.
If you build it … if you believe it.
Or, as dear, not so old, Dad would say, “Can you B’LIEVE it?”