I had a nightmare the other night. I dreamed that her spirit was no longer with us. She is no longer here. In the dream Nick is beside me. I am crying, grasping for something? I don't know what. Then I see the hospital room. That is where we were in the dream and me outside of my body, looking down on myself, like I had lived it before. And when the fear of her being gone arises in my body that I can see on the bed, the me that is hovering above says, “Lindsey be still. For she will never be fully gone.”
And then I woke up.
And I can feel her spirit because the messenger that was me in the dream awakened me to it again. I know she is still here because everywhere I look there are reminders and messages of her.
You see, she is a bird and they are everywhere, they are her. During my first week back at work after her death I noticed the little winged creatures visited me outside of my office window more than usual. They would stay on the small maple tree for hours one to three of them at a time. And for some reason, having never cared much for birds before, I just all the sudden knew that they were a gift from Nora. They were her spirit reminding me that she never left.
This finally sunk in when I was working with a client. My back to my office window, the sun shining through and casting a shadow of a tree on the floor in the space between me and my client. When my mind started wandering and my heart aching for her, all of the sudden three birds starting fluttering behind me, but it was their shadows I was noticing as I watched them dance on the floor in front of my feet. Their shadows were brilliant and lively. A sensation of joy with the thought that “Nora is playing with me” came over me. From that moment on, I knew that her spirit will never truly leave me.
The incident with the birds was not isolated. Over the next couple months birds became the way that Nora spoke to me. One evening when Nick and I were finishing up dishes and standing in front of the kitchen window we noticed birds sitting in our trees in droves. At the moment when he pointed the enormity of their presence out they flew towards us and up over the house. First, there was one and then another and another, ending up to be what seemed like hundreds. It's as if Nick and I are watching Nora's spirit in awe together as I envisioned we would have her first steps.
When Nick and I are together they seem to appear in abundance. Like on our run together in April, when we were bickering in the nature preserve as we jogged. I was at the end of my rope telling Nick how much I hated that we were running in SNOW in APRIL. He was annoyed with me and back and forth we fought as we jogged when out of nowhere birds appeared. They fly over us, and seem to send love our way. Distracting us from our minuscule dispute, Nick and I stop arguing to take in their beauty. As we would stop if Nora, our child walked in the room and reminded us of our love for one another.
And now, as I lay in my hammock, George on my stomach with my eyes lifted to the two strong pine trees above me. Again I am visited by my sweet baby girl as the birds flutter around me. The mama bird from Nora’s bird house sings softly while another responds to her call. As a yellow finch greets me by fluttering on to the hammock strings and perching for a moment by the tops of my feet suspended in the air. I say, “Hi Nora.” The yellow finch looks at me, almost nodding her head in acknowledgment. And then spreads her wings and flies away.
The birds are always there with me. Playing with me and distracting me in my office with their frittering shadows or perching on a pine tree branch while I’m in the hammock below. I guess I hope that means that Nora is always with me too, stopping by to say, “Hi Mom. I’m fine. Love you.”
Do you have a symbol of your child's spirit? What is it?