Our Featured Topic: Experiences from the Beyond
Many extraordinary experiences have come my way since my daughter’s sudden and tragic death nine years ago. Very early on, when I needed it most, I was shown unequivocally that Elizabeth was alive in spirit and living a new life filled with joy and happiness. These signs and experiences brought me the peace and validation I so desperately needed in order to go on with life again.
However, there came a point when I no longer needed any validation that Liz was still very much a part of my life and always would be. Gone were the days when I would wake up each morning and ask for a sign that day. It was no longer necessary. Liz didn’t need to prove her continued existence to me — she had done so many times over, and I was confident in that reality.
I also worried that I might somehow hold her back if I continued to need constant affirmation of our connection. It took time, but eventually I was ready to completely let her go. We were both in good places…we were always aware of the strong bond of love that would always unite us. We knew where to find each other if we really needed to. So, one morning as I meditated, I took a deep breath and told Elizabeth that I was setting her free. I no longer wanted her to cling so closely to me. She was free to go and do whatever heavenly tasks awaited her.
Life went on and each day brought new joys. Family has always played a very important role in my life. As the oldest of four children and living only one block from my parents for the past thirty years, life has always been about family — celebrating our triumphs, achievements and milestones and supporting each other in our failures, disappointments and losses.
My father’s 80th birthday was just a few months away and I planned a gathering of our family at a local restaurant. I secretly hoped we’d have a private room, but after a couple of calls, it didn’t look very promising. I was disappointed, but I knew the party would still be special — but I sure was hoping for our own room!
The day of the party dawned and we all headed to the restaurant. As the waitress led us to our table, I was pleasantly surprised when we were directed into this large, beautiful room set with a beautiful table and a roaring fireplace. We had our own space after all! I was overjoyed, and it wasn’t until much later that I really began to wonder just how that had come to be.
My cousin, also named Elizabeth, joined us, and she brought along her camera. In addition to working for a photographer, Beth is also an avid picture taker on her own. She took many candid shots during dinner. As the celebration came to an end, we all gathered around the fireplace for one last group photo.
The next day, I received an urgent email from Beth. “You have to see this picture” she told me. “You are not going to believe it!” I opened the photos and perused them all. They were wonderful and really captured the joy we all had as we helped Dad celebrate his special day.
“There’s just one more you need to see,” Beth wrote. I opened the last photo and there was the group picture we had taken in front of the fireplace, just before we left. I slowly scanned the page and was happy to see that we all looked really good! But my eyes stopped abruptly and my breath caught in my throat — and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Just above my head, next to my husband, was a huge orb. It literally took my breath away as the realization of what it meant hit me. Beth realized it, too.
“Liz was with us, too,” she told me, and I absolutely knew that was true. It was Liz’s sister, Anna, who reminded me that if Liz had been physically with us, she probably would have been standing right where the orb had been.
“Can you believe it, Mom?” Anna excitedly asked me.
“Yes, Anna, I can believe it.”
Even though I had vowed to let Liz go, she still chose to join us for this special time. As I showed the photo to my father, tears filled his eyes.
“This is the best birthday gift I could ever have been given,” he told me, as he hugged me tight.
As I thought about everything that happened that day, so many things came together. My cousin Elizabeth joined us. If she hadn’t been there, no pictures would have been taken. The private room — how had we mysteriously ended up with it? How could this have happened? We each now have a reprint of this picture in our homes, and as I look at that beautiful picture each day, I smile — because I know the answer — it is love.