One Year Later

When a beloved dies, the veil between the worlds grows thin. We have all heard some version of this. My experience is that this is true.

The year since my son died unexpectedly of complications from a line-of-duty accident has been blessed with some profound an inexplicable occurrences. Last week taking a solo moonlit walk through a northwest forest an owl flew out of a tree about 5 feet away, circled my head, and landed on the other side of the path. I felt only blessing and a strange reassurance that my son is well.


stock photo, forest owl

stock photo, forest owl

Where I live there are numerous eagles, ravens, owls, and hawks. I don’t think of my son every time I see one. There are birds that fly by; and there are birds that seem to serve as messengers. In the messenger encounters, a feeling of awe and connection accompanies an “unusual” interaction. The animal is both doing what is natural to itself, and engaging with me in ways that seem like a kind of interspecies communication. The feeling is so strong I do not doubt it. I have been called to look up, to pay attention, to notice the extraordinary emerging from the ordinary. My human self feels as though I am standing at the edge of my usual physical world, near to the door of the spirit world.

I don’t understand death or what happens after someone you love dies. I only know it is one of the most heart-wrenching, mysterious things I have ever experienced. And I also know that the feeling I had with the owl last week is the closest I come to confidence that God or Spirit or Mystery is as real as anything else in my life.

For that feeling I am most grateful. It soothes the ache of loss . . .it encourages me to love the days that I am given.

Ann's son Brian

Ann’s son Brian

14 replies
  1. Penny Baker
    Penny Baker says:

    Amazing, isn’t it? Separated love is so strong the veil seems to disappear at times. My daughter has been gone some 28 years now and I still feel the connections you describe so well. Certainly part of us goes on with the loved one… doubt in my mind. I remember the “soul retrieval” experience I had in your amazing island space. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Audrey Denecke
    Audrey Denecke says:

    So grateful that you were blessed with this visit from
    your animal spirit and that it brought you some peace.
    Thank you for sharing this intimate moment.

  3. Kathy Harrington
    Kathy Harrington says:

    My dear sister, Ann. This extraordinary experience is truly from Brian, I do think. My heart goes out to you. We all miss him so much.


  4. GG
    GG says:

    Thank you for these beautiful words Dear Heart. What a sweet and intimate gift from Spirit Owl. I am sending you much love and wishing you a peaceful Solstice.

  5. Linda Schaeffer
    Linda Schaeffer says:

    Of course Spirit Owl was full of Brian’s presence. While in a cabin on the Gunflint Trail, a sudden sense of vibrating presence filled the room. I looked up and 5 feet out my window was a mama moose and babe looking directly into my window. I felt the arms of my son Daniel around me. Daniel had passed 4 years earlier. Before I returned home, I sprinkled some of Daniel’s ashes where the moose had stood. The entire event seemed to be part of an ancient healing ritual, something I cannot explain but accept with gratitude. Peace in the new year.


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