I’m not sure where to start this story. I guess, to start, I will give you a bit of background — one of my classmates, John [*named changed] from K-8 ((aka, when we were babies)) died of a drug overdose about a year ago. We weren’t that close in middle school, + we didn’t keep in touch in high school//college, but he was a great kid [funny enough, he’s the guy I mentioned in this podcast episode about being jealous of his pimple… yes you heard that correctly ; )].
I’m from the suburbs of Chicago, where word travels fast, so even though I didn’t keep in touch with him, I heard about his death. As you can imagine, it was tragic — I couldn’t imagine what his friends//family were feeling. It’s one thing to experience a loss of a grandparent [+ I miss mine all the time], but to experience a loss of a guy who had “his whole life to live” is another thing.
Fast forward to the present — last Friday, I was at a silent meditation retreat. I’ve been in a meditation program for almost a year + our “last class” was a full day of silence. Fuuuuuun ; ). ((I was actually obsessed with it, but that’s a story for another time!)) .
Our teacher shared that we might experience life a little differently in silence — we might feel a connection to source, or another realm… but we also might not. He encouraged us to simply surrender our expectations + enjoy the goodness of life around us. The retreat was at a massive park, so we were surrounded by flowers, birds, plants, ponds, + the like. It was a beautiful day, + I was excited to relax + simply experience each moment as it comes.
I was walking through the park, when my thoughts were overcome by remembering John. I thought that was strange considering I wasn’t close to him, + frankly haven’t really thought about him at all since I last heard about his passing a year ago. But my mind started to think about his parents, his sisters, + his friends ++ wondering how they have handled the loss of John on earth. It wasn’t necessarily a sad thought, but it also wasn’t a happy thought either — I can best describe it as peaceful, + a very neutral feeling. I vaguely felt his presence, but pretty soon after washed it off, + went about my day.
That night, I went out to dinner with my family — we were celebrating my brother’s birthday + went to a local steakhouse. As we were seated, my mom looked at me, + said — “Look at the table next to us. Isn’t that John’s parents? That’s so strange. I thought that they were divorced, I wonder if they got back together.”
I gasped. I immediately knew why they were there — they had no gotton back together, they were celebrating John. I googled his obiterary on my phone to confirm my assumption, + it was true — his death was exactly a year ago that week.
I have chills even thinking about it right now, but at that moment, everything came together. I felt John’s presence that afternoon because he knew that I was going to see his parents that night. He wanted me to tell them that he was okay + that he was looking down on them.
You know when you have words inside of you that need to come out so badly that you don’t even think about being nervous//afraid? That’s what happened. I went up to them, + I shared that I went to school with John in middle school + that, I know it sounds crazy, but I felt his presence today + I just had to tell them. I don’t want to go into details about our conversation, because it was sacred + I want to protect their privacy. However, I will tell you that the mother told me that John comes to her through other people all the time… that there have been so many occurrances like the one that happened to me, in which people felt his presence that day + then later run into her.
It was so special. We cried + embraced — it was such a gift to be able to share that with them.
So, why am I telling you this? Was it merely a coincidence or did I have an experience with the “dead”?
I’ve recently gotten asked what my spiritual beliefs are. While I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to fully articulate it — I do believe that we are so much more connected to “the other side” than we think. ++ that the “dead” are very much still alive. ++ that time doesn’t exist in this other realm. But what does exist is abundant love. That’s all I’ll say on this for now. : )
Rooting for you always,