"The Envelope"

Sometimes it takes months--or years--after an experience for me to be able or willing to share it with others. The following experience is still quite recent and personal, but I share it with the hopes that someone reading it will gain some sort of comfort and understanding....

Late in December 2005, my family members and I were trying to cope with the sudden and unexpected death of a very special loved one. While I have absolute faith that those who have "gone on" are okay, those of us who are left behind must still deal with the incredible sense of loss--and that's often so very difficult to do. Despite one's "knowings," grief can still be overwhelming.

My mom, oldest son and I had just returned from the "family night" at the funeral home, and we were at my mom's house. My son and I were getting ready to leave, and we were all saying goodbye to each other. I held an envelope--a bill that my mom wanted me to mail for her--and it slipped from my hand and fell to the floor between us.

We all looked down and were stunned to see that the envelope had landed on its (long) edge and was still upright, though at a 45-degree angle. In other words, it was totally defying gravity. We all just stared at it, then I quietly asked both my mom and my son if they were seeing what I was seeing. After they both independently acknowledged that the envelope was resting on its edge, upright at a 45-degree angle, I leaned over to pick it up.

I said something like, "Well, gee, that was strange..." and proceeded to try to make the envelope balance at a 45-degree angle again. I even tried to wedge it in the hardwood flooring in the room, thinking maybe it had gotten stuck between boards. Despite my best efforts, the envelope was once more governed by the rules of gravity.

My mom, son and I have all had unusual experiences over the years, but this one was significant because it was the first time that the three of us had witnessed something like this at the same time. As we discussed it, I said that it was almost like it had been held up by an unseen foot, and I went on to say that I had to give credit to our recently deceased family member. Why? Well, if he'd gone through the trouble of creating that experience, I'd sure hate to NOT give him the credit!

We said goodbye again, and I came home. I was on my back porch, letting my dogs out, when I heard a very clear, very familiar chuckle in my head. Then I "heard" my "dead" family member say, "Don't worry--I'll always be in the middle of what ya'll are doing."

While others may interpret this experience in other ways, to me it was yet another powerful reminder that life--most assuredly--goes on. We still grieve the loss of the daily, physical presence of those who have slipped through the doorway of death into continued life, but I know that love transcends the boundaries of time and space, and I know that we are all--ultimately--eternal, spiritual beings.

© SBK 2006
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