The sudden, unexpected loss of someone to suicide can leave survivors searching for answers. Following my dad’s passing, I frantically sought out clues or signs that he was ok, wanting to know that he reached a better place and was now relieved of his emotional pain. Even more, I wanted to know I was somehow still on his mind and that we would maintain an eternal connection.
After losing someone to death of any kind, I think it’s natural to try and pursue some sort of after death communication, regardless of religious beliefs. Based on the situation, the questions and needs for reassurance may differ, but it’s human nature to want (positive) closure or perhaps avoid closure by keeping communication going in some way. There are even television shows these days dedicated to the topic of making contact with someone after death.
In comparing notes with other survivors, it seems as though many have found unique ways of pursuing after death communication with their loved ones. Some pray, some observe “signs,” like coincidences or songs at the right time. Others find ways of inviting the presence of their friend or family member by lighting a candle on special occasions and wearing or displaying a personal memento. Days after my dad’s death, I did feel like signs were frequent…. The ability to locate documents or information quickly, people stepping in to support us, bells ringing at the cemetery. It gave me the feeling, even if made up in my head, that things might turn out ok and that he was “alright.” As time passed, I felt like these signs became less frequent. It worried me that memories were blurring or that our connection was fading. I’d hear a significant song now and then, but for some reason, signs weren’t present when I seemed to want them the most.
Something I’ve had to get over is expecting a sign to appear “on demand.” I figured that I lost my dad in such a traumatic, negative way that he or the Earth really owed me one. For example, after multiple hours of a flight delay, I’d say, “why would you let this happen to me? Don’t you know what I’ve been through?” expecting the plane to suddenly depart. Or, I’d struggle with trying to sell my home and say, “why can’t you just send a buyer my way?” I became frustrated. I expected a sign in the form of a magic wand to be waved over any stressful situation. Only recently, have I realized how silly this had become. In fact, I even felt it was a bit selfish of me to be so demanding of my dad after all that HE had been through. I lost sight of the innocence and beauty of a little reminder here and there. I forgot that even if sporadic and less frequent, those unexpected signs somehow felt more special.
There’s an old adage that things happen when you stop stressing and looking. I feel better with the pressure for these signs to occur lifted off my back. And, every so often I’m delighted with moments like a beautiful sunrise, a nostalgic memory or a unique song that I know were special to my dad. I’ll leave getting through some of life’s everyday irritations for myself to navigate.
Did you experience signs from your loved one after they passed away? Do you pursue after death communication with them now? Tell us about your experiences.