Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Death and Finding Closure

I have only had a few people die in my life. Both of my grandfathers died when I was young and I honestly don't remember either experiences. My maternal grandmother died awhile ago and while I was old enough to understand I still didn't grieve. Her death wasn't much of a shock, to be honest. She had been living with alzheimer's for a while and while I am still saddened by the loss, I had already lost who my grandmother was.

My paternal grandmother also suffered from the same disease, however her death was unexpected. I was at school when I received the call and literally collapsed in my friends arms. The loss was difficult for me to accept.

Prior to this I had only lost one other person, a friend from high school who died our Junior year in a car accident. This, too was unexpected and I found out at school on Monday.

I've lost pets and have also taken those losses hard, especially the most recent death of our family dog, Jewell. However, I have not received any clear "signs" from pets, only from the three most recent deaths of friends and family.

When my friend in high school died I was devastated. I think it really gave us naive high schoolers a dose of reality that we are not invisible and that bad things really can happen to good people. He was one of the good ones. As I was driving home from school that day I saw a hawk flying over a hill. Something simple, something I had probably seen multiple times before, but this time I got this sense of peace seeing it. It felt like he was telling me that everything was okay and that he was okay. I can honestly say that I have thought of him every single day and that seeing a hawk reminds me of him and I can smile knowing he's okay and in a better place.

Something similar happened to my grandma. We were at the cemetary and as we were praying I saw a hummingbird fly around and hover over us all. It was like she was looking down on us grieving for her and I felt the same feeling. She was okay and everything was going to be okay. I see a hummingbird now and I know it's my grandma checking in on us.

When my friend passed away four weeks ago, it too was a shock and was unexpected. I have been waiting for a sign, waiting to know that he is okay. Patrick has been saying this whole time that he is in a better place and that he's with him mom, which is the blessing of this whole experience. However, I didn't quite get that same feeling and it was disappointing. I would periodically think of him and this wave of sadness would wash over me because it still didn't feel real that he was gone. We have yet to have a service so there hasn't been any real way to have closure.

It rained at our rehearsal. Poured. As we were leaving and I was driving to dinner, I smiled and laughed to myself. It seemed like it was him. This was his sign. He was a teaser and a practical joker and it just seemed fitting that he would be behind the rain at our rehearsal since it was the first storm since April. But, it still didn't feel quite right.

I was driving to work this morning at 6:40am. It was not extremely dark and the sun had not quite come up yet, but it was light enough to not expect what happened. I was listening to the radio like I always do and the song "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz came on. I turned it up a little and started singing along. As I'm driving on the freeway I'm singing the following lyrics:

"Even the stars they burn, some even fall to the earth.."

It wasn't more than a second later that I see a shooting star in the sky. It's not very often that I see shooting stars to begin with, let alone in the early morning. It didn't seem like a regular shooting star either. Normally I see something in the sky and wonder if I saw a shooting star or not because they are there and gone in a fraction of a second, but this lasted longer than that and looked so much closer. It seemed to be almost on fire.

As soon as I saw it my entire body was covered in goosebumps and my eyes welled up with tears. This was it. The sign I was looking for. I mean, I couldn't have planned it better myself. The song, the star, that feeling.

I now know that he's okay. He's with his mom and he's happy. I am hoping to have official closure soon, but for now at least I have this. 

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