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Category: Bereavement

Sculptures of Light

Sculptures of Light

One of my favorite quotes from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross is: “Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms, you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.” Similarly, Michelangelo claimed he saw the angel in the marble and carved until he set him free. The metaphor of carving and sculpting really speaks to me after receiving discouraging health news from a close loved one last week. Perhaps this is why I have experienced my departed mother’s spirit so active around me in recent weeks – most recently in a strong fragrance of lilacs that arose out of nowhere when I was walking outdoors in solitude and stopped for a moment to record an insight. And I have been hearing her loving voice in my mind more clearly than ever. I have no doubt that she is making her presence known to give me comfort and strength, not only for myself but also so I can source it for others.

Hearts are a mystery. Sometimes we feel our heart is enduring one hard knock after another, as if it’s being hammered. We feel we can’t take yet another blow because we’re still stinging from the last one. But perhaps what’s really happening is Life – in its role as Divine Sculptor – is carving us with each purposeful blow of the hammer to reveal the love we are at our core that is concealed within the rough stone of ego. Each strike of the hammer or scrape of the chisel dislodges another chunk of our false, limited self, revealing the radiance within.

This kind of perception allows us to handle loss and heartache with grace, for we realize we are getting closer to our true nature rather than believe we are losing something essential to our wholeness.

Are we losing more of our self with each blow? Yes, but it’s the false self that masks the more authentic Self. The block of ego is the only thing being diminished – and refined. It’s happening in the process of liberating our True Self and our true beauty. We are not being diminished. We are magnificent masterpieces waiting to be revealed. Sculptures of light.

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Perhaps our hearts are not as fragile as we sometimes think after receiving another tough blow. Perhaps the only pieces we can lose are the pieces that are not essential to our wholeness and need to be chipped away because they block the exquisite expression of our inner light.

Thy will be done. And may we trust the process and continue to shine.

I have a friend who is a brilliant sculptor. My favorite of all her pieces is one that was born from great personal loss. Before I learned the story behind the sculpture, I felt its power and was drawn to it. All her work is amazing, but this particular masterpiece is infused with pure spirit. When I imagine the creative process through which she manifested the vision she knew was waiting to be revealed in that block of clay, I conclude that it must have been holy. And I imagine the creative process that is shaping each of us is every bit as holy.

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At times this year, I’ve felt more anguished than I can remember ever feeling in my life. But the whole time – even when I felt the heaviness deep down in my bones – I sensed that the hurt didn’t go very deep, that all was well at the core, and that I had a great opportunity to heal some longstanding patterns. I cried, prayed, and did some hard, honest work – and it still hurt so much! It was such a humbling experience! But then one day, I woke up and finally knew what it felt like to be healed. A shift had taken place, and I had to bow to the miraculous forces at work in my life – the blows that seemed to come from every direction at once and hurt so much at the time but served a greater purpose. So at the end of this very difficult year, I feel stronger and more peaceful than ever and consider 2015 a year of incredible growth and empowerment. The pieces that were chipped away were not integral to my wholeness. They were illusions, ego, and false perceptions and beliefs I organized my life around that needed to be dislodged. The perfect storm that tore through my life was a catalyst for pivotal growth and refinement. I learned so much, generated even more compassion, and activated some energy that had been latent all my life. And now when I look in the mirror (so to speak), I marvel at the beauty of the carvings thus far.

Perhaps the final or biggest blows are not cruel or sad but ultimately are the most loving, skillful, and productive ones that finally and completely liberate the angel that has lived inside us all along: our true and most beautiful nature. I recall when my mom was dying, and her personality, ego, and form became so thin, allowing her formless essence to shine through more clearly and brightly than ever until it seemed she was pure essence.

And so another quote from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross comes to mind:

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

Even when we navigate circumstances that feel painful on a personal, human level, may our journey unfold against a spiritual backdrop that reminds us to be grateful for everything that allows our spirit to shine with greater clarity and brilliance.

© 2015 Susan Meyer. All rights reserved. To use any or all of this blog post, include this exactly: Susan Meyer (SusanTaraMeyer.com) is a photographer, writer, clutter coach, feng shui consultant, and mindfulness mentor whose work is infused with a deep interest in the nature of mind and appreciation of the natural world. She lives on the Hudson River in Upstate New York. 

When the Veil is Thin

When the Veil is Thin

Today is the third and final day of a stretch of festivals and traditions that focus on remembering and honoring the dead. In addition to being Halloween, Saturday was also Samhain, a festival celebrated by Witches, Druids, Wiccans, and Pagans. According to tradition, this is a time when boundaries between this world and the afterworld are blurred, and spirits can pass through more easily. Today is the Christian (mostly Catholic) observance of All Souls’ Day, a time to remember and pray for deceased loved ones. Meanwhile, Latin American communities are celebrating Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead). These special days are celebrated by praying for departed loved ones, constructing alters and making food offerings to honor deceased ancestors, visiting cemeteries,  holding costume parades, and participating in other rituals to honor the dead.

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Today is also my daughter’s 21st birthday. She is expecting her first child – a daughter – in exactly three months.

What do you get when these various celebrations are taking place, and the veil between the living and the dead is believed to be thin? A mighty interesting dream. I woke up from it about an hour ago. I had intended to write about something else today, but that will have to wait.

The dream began with me looking at the sky as the sun was setting and the moon was rising. Something about the moon and clouds hovering just above colorful autumn trees commanded my attention. The clouds seemed to be fluttering more like a flock of white birds flying as a single unit than as clouds would normally appear. I was transfixed. Then the moon and the surrounding clouds suddenly shot up much higher in the sky, and I sensed some kind of message was about to come through.

The clouds started forming numbers and words. (Now it was a blue, daytime sky, not a nighttime sky.) It seemed to begin with lots of numbers that meant something, followed by, “Hi Susan. How are you?” It was like the blue sky was a chalkboard being written on at super-speed and then erased, and then another message would appear and disappear. The clouds kept forming words, and so many messages were coming through, in such rapid succession! I was aware that I was being given relevant information and messages to pass on and tried to remember as much of it as I could. It definitely seemed to be my mom writing messages for me in the sky.

Then I “woke up” from that into a more “normal” level of dreaming, in which I was telling others about the dream and trying to remember the messages to record in my dream journal. When I finally woke up from dreaming for real, I was breathing loudly (as if I had been startled) and was disappointed because I was unable to recall virtually any of the content! It was as if the content was erased from my memory as I returned through layers of consciousness. But I do feel that a “happy birthday” message came through for my daughter during the sky-writing. (I remember a small portion of it looking like the writing on a birthday cake.) There was also important information about my life and messages for others. It feels like it was information I’m either not supposed to or ready to remember consciously but received at some other level. Some part of me is aware of it.

I write about this because my intuition has guided me all along to share my experiences following my mom’s death. Also, a psychic medium told a close relative that my mom is aware that I am writing about her in a public forum and thinks it is a good thing because it can help people. But psychic or not, I would do it anyway because it feels right.

The cloud-writing presence in the dream seems related to a voice I mentioned in my previous blog post. Two weekends ago, I opened my eyes early in the morning and saw bands of color that suggested the sunrise was going to be a captivating one. But I was tired and determined to resist getting out of my warm, cozy bed on such a chilly morning. After all, I take sunrise photographs all the time, all year long. What would it matter if I skipped this one? I decided I would be okay with missing the sunrise that morning even if it turned out to be dazzling. So I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep.

But a few minutes later, a female voice inside my head asked, “Did you see it? Did you let it fill you?” It persisted until I finally opened my eyes again (knowing what that would mean). Sure enough, I was unable to resist the magnificent colors that were now at peak on the canvas of the sky and reflected on the river below. A minute later, I was standing on the dock with my camera.

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I’ve learned that it’s always worth it to listen to that voice.

And it turns out that the photograph I took of that sunrise has received more positive responses online than any photo I’ve shared previously.

I am convinced that the veil really has been thin lately. My daughter, who never dreams of my mom, had three dreams of her in the past week or so. She can’t recall the dream messages, either. But amazing things tend to happen when we share what we do recall and experience.

For example, my dad recently shared a dream of my mom. In the dream, she suddenly appeared in the living room. After a brief, nonverbal communication, she turned to walk back up the stairs to return to the room where she had been resting. (There is almost always a staircase or doorway involved in such dreams.) Hearing about the dream gave me goosebumps. But the next day, I remembered it and shared it with someone else. Right in the middle of doing so, a bald eagle circled overhead twice and then flew away – which is significant because there is a belief shared by some relatives that my mom appears as a bald eagle. And I looked at the clock and noticed it was 11:11 – a time that is highly significant to me (in part because my son was born on 11-11).

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When you put all of that together, it goes beyond goosebumps and convinces me that when we share our experiences, we discover that there is even more to them than we realized! This is especially true for me because most of my relatives are quite skeptical when it comes to anything “supernatural”. So when I share what I experience, it reinforces their intuitions and inklings that might have made them go hmmm but then were more or less shrugged off or otherwise minimized. It’s like each of us has a different piece of the puzzle, and when we put our pieces together, we see more of the picture and elevate the hmmm to a full-blown WOW!

So that is what I have to report on this morning of my daughter’s birthday, All Souls’ Day, and the Day of the Dead, when it seems the veil between worlds really is thin!

© 2015 Susan Meyer. All rights reserved. To use any or all of this blog post, include this exactly: Susan Meyer (SusanTaraMeyer.com) is a photographer, writer, clutter coach, feng shui consultant, and mindfulness mentor whose work is infused with a deep interest in the nature of mind and appreciation of the natural world. She lives on the Hudson River in Upstate New York. 

Circling Back Around the Sun

Circling Back Around the Sun

“Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.”

-Mary Oliver

October is such a vivid, dynamic month in the Northeast as the natural world undergoes dramatic transformations of appearance and temperature. It’s a time of year that really nestles into your memory, perhaps because it is so fleeting. Whereas snow can cover the landscape for four or five months a year, the blazing colors of autumn foliage are pretty much limited to a few short weeks during October. I am in the midst of creating my 2016 photography calendar, and it will be a painstaking task to select only a couple fall images. I wish I could fill the entire calendar with them because they are among the most vivid images of the entire year!

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I have been experiencing a lot of déjà vu this fall in regard to certain dates. It seems a piece of our essence remains in places where we experienced special moments – and that we also leave behind an energy imprint at significant points along our elliptical orbit around the sun. I’ve noticed this especially during the past year, which was the first year following my mom’s death. Meaningful dates took on an extra weight as memories from the previous year(s) arose like ghosts determined to haunt me. I have been told (and hope it’s true) that these ghosts are strongest the first year as we circle back around and become less intense as time goes on.

So, I’ve been reviewing my photos from the past year to select images for my upcoming calendar. My photo library serves as a poignant reminder of what a challenging year it has been – probably THE most heartbreaking, intense, bewildering year of my life! In May – the most anguishing month this year (and the month of my mom’s death anniversary) – the lilacs reminded me of her rapidly deteriorating health last year, just as the cooler temperatures at this time of year generate other associations. Some are more wistful and emotionally charged than others.

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In nostalgic moments, I sometimes ask myself: If I had the power to return, would I really want to, knowing what I know now? Would I want to relive that all over again? What, if anything, would I do differently? Could my intuition have been the voice of my present self returning to guide me? Or would I not have done anything differently because I understand from a higher vantage point that everything I experienced served an important purpose and that the spiritual gifts would ultimately outweigh the tears and fears?

It’s no small consolation to realize that, as I watch colorful leaves twirl to the ground just as they did a year ago, I am better off today than I was a year ago today. And that is something to be grateful for. I have weathered some storms and become stronger as a result. In the past year, I have liberated myself from restrictive energies and have learned a thing or two about myself in relation to others. The journey wasn’t an easy one, but it is a net positive. No doubt about it.

Sometimes we require or choose bitter medicine. Difficult circumstances shake us from our sleep so we can perceive things from a different angle that may help us to grow and to position ourselves more favorably in relation to key situations, people, and events moving forward. Perhaps we can come to know our suffering as labor pains that we can handle with some support – for ultimately we are all midwives for one another, helping those around us to give birth to their greater selves. I’m so grateful to be looking behind at, rather than heading into, the storm of the first year without my mom and grateful, too, for the wisdom that resulted from it.

Historically, fall was the time of year my mom became more available to us again after we hadn’t seen much of her during summer, her busy season. So fall was when her loss really began to hit hard last year. It also heralded the cold, dark time of year and a string of birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays when her absence would be felt most poignantly.

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Memories are often activated when we return to the same spoke on the wheel of the year – except that this time around, following significant loss, everything is different. Our world has changed. Any sensory impression or seasonal nuance can serve as a trigger that reopens a wound that is still in the process of healing: sights (colorful trees, leaves twirling down, plants going to seed), sounds (crunching of leaves, geese squawking), smells (decomposing leaves, bonfires), foods (apple crisp, squash, soup), changes in temperature and angle and duration of sunlight, etc.

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It’s as if these sensory impressions are keys or passwords that unlock memories that tug at our heartstrings and pull us back. But of course, we can’t go back. We can only move forward.

While traveling through significant dates and memories where ghosts lurk, I have experienced myself doing everything in my power to resist trains of thought that could hook me and set more tears in motion. It was as if the train was approaching. I heard and saw it coming and felt the ground vibrate as it came closer. I felt the anticipation of getting on it – and jumping on that train had become a habit. But I didn’t want to get on it, even though the destination sign was lit with the name of a place that was somehow compelling. I whispered to myself (out loud!), “Don’t go there! Don’t go there! Don’t go there!”

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But in the next breath, I realized I can go there – but not as a vulnerable child who becomes overwhelmed by the view and is afraid of the shadows and the precipitous drops. Rather, I can go there with a wise and loving guardian and not linger in uncomfortable places but pass through safely and unharmed. I need not avoid this thought territory altogether because it’s so “scary” or “dangerous” but can go there with someone who understands the terrain and is looking out for me and my best interests. That caring presence is the inner presence and consciousness that arises. It’s the witnessing presence that is strengthened through mindfulness practice on and off the cushion and is able to be there with me as I navigate the colorful and sometimes dramatic landscape of thought. Sometimes I will stumble, and sometimes I won’t. But when I do, the witnessing presence will assure me that it I am okay and will see me through.

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My mom has been gone for 17 months, and I have longed many times for the nurturing, maternal presence that only a mom can provide – especially with all the changes and losses I’ve been dealing with since she passed. She was a devoted listener who always stood up for me and wanted to make sure I was being treated right. It didn’t matter who it was, even if it was one of her grandchildren! She would declare, “This is my daughter, and I love her and want you to treat her right!” My mom is not around to do that anymore, but there is a familiar voice in my head that had never been there before and keeps growing stronger. It arises from within and is so comforting, loving, nurturing, reassuring, and maternal. I don’t know if it’s her voice, but it is the most tender voice of loving-kindness I have ever known. And it arises instantly, without me attempting to conjure it. It feels like this is the same voice that mysteriously wakes me up and prompts me to look out the window at exactly the right moment to catch and photograph a magnificent sunrise. This voice looks out for me and is one of the greatest gifts I have received since my mom’s passing.

If weathering the storms of the past 17 months has cultivated this new voice inside me, it is one of the best justifications I have to be grateful for this bittersweet journey. It’s true: My life will never be the same. There is a kind and loving presence growing in me that will not allow me to be mistreated or undervalued by anyone, including myself! And the best part of all is that it is a gift I can give to others by being a loving, affirming, maternal presence in the world. It is what we moms who have lost our own moms can do for others. We need not limit our mothering to our own children and can spread it around the world because we truly and deeply realize what a difference it makes. We can become, ignite, and inspire that voice and presence that makes inner space a kinder and more welcoming place to be. A place where new stars can be born from the gaping void where the brightest stars used to shine.

© 2015 Susan Meyer. All rights reserved. To use any or all of this blog post, include this exactly: Susan Meyer (SusanTaraMeyer.com) is a photographer, writer, clutter coach, feng shui consultant, and mindfulness mentor whose work is infused with a deep interest in the nature of mind and appreciation of the natural world. She lives on the Hudson River in Upstate New York. 

Feathers All Around

Feathers All Around

I’ve been noticing feathers everywhere lately. They seem to appear around me constantly. Yesterday morning, I went on the river, and right where I put in the kayak, there was a feather floating on the water. Once again, I took note.

As I got in my kayak, I recalled reading an article about the most common signs from deceased loved ones. Feathers were on the list. I wondered if there’s something especially significant about white feathers – even though the feather floating next to my kayak was not white. Come to think of it, I couldn’t recall seeing any white ones since I started noticing feathers.

So I paddled out to the middle of the river to photograph the water lilies as they opened for the day. (It has been an extraordinary week for water lily photography!) I was totally in my element. Pure bliss.

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When I returned to the dock, what do you think I saw floating in the water right where I got out of my kayak?

That’s right: a white feather. It certainly raised my eyebrows and even brought a few tears to my eyes. Could it be my mom saying hello?

Who’s to say whether the feathers – and the white feather, in particular – are actually a sign from a loved one who has passed on? I’m not committed to that possibility, although I am open to it and would like to believe that’s the case.

Maybe it’s more about perception and becoming more aware of the environment. You think about feathers, and all of a sudden, you see them everywhere. Perhaps they were always there, and you never noticed until now.

Maybe it’s about the power of our thoughts to manifest in the physical world. You think about feathers, and you draw them to you like a magnet.

Maybe it’s entirely random.

But there’s more to the story.

This morning, I returned to the river to photograph water lilies. They were even more ravishing than yesterday.

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After nearly an hour, I paddled to the other side of the river to view and delete some photos in the shade. As I focused on my camera, I felt a tremendous sense of peace fill every single cell in my body. It was the most wonderful feeling. I spent about 20 minutes reviewing and deleting photos and appreciating this profound sense of peace. Then I decided to paddle back across the river to get sunscreen and a bite to eat.

When I put away my camera and looked up, I noticed that I was surrounded by white feathers floating on the water! The feathers definitely weren’t there before because I absolutely would have noticed them.

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With wide eyes and a huge smile on my face, I paddled back home. It felt like a sign, especially because of the incredibly peaceful sensation that accompanied it.

But who’s to say for sure? From my perspective, the most likely explanation is that we have no idea how powerful our minds are and what we are a part of. All I know for certain is that it filled me with joy and raised my energy for the rest of the day!

© 2015 Susan Meyer. All rights reserved. To use any or all of this article, include this exactly: Susan Meyer (SusanTaraMeyer.com) is a photographer, writer, clutter coach, feng shui consultant, and mindfulness mentor whose work is infused with a deep interest in the nature of mind and appreciation of the natural world. She lives on the Hudson River in Upstate New York.

When She Comes Calling

When She Comes Calling

My heart is beating a mile a minute, and I’m nearly breathless. I just woke up from one of those dreams! My dad handed me the phone, and when I answered, my mom’s voice was at the other end – so familiar, sweet, and pleasant – and she said, “So, you’re not setting up your classroom like you usually are at this time of year.” I was going to respond, “I told you I wasn’t going to stay in that job!” But I was stunned virtually speechless and could barely even stammer, “MOM????!!!! Is that YOU????!!!!” It was as if my mouth was mostly paralyzed and required every bit of effort and concentration I could muster to utter those words.

It was one of those “real contact” dreams, which are very different from regular dreams I have of her. Every time I have one of those dreams, the conversation only lasts for a few seconds because I’m so stunned that she’s really there talking to me – that it’s really her! I wish I could hear what she had to say rather than allow my stunned reaction to completely interrupt the conversation! Perhaps she just wanted to acknowledge that she is aware I left my job.

I love it when she comes to me in dreams. It tends to happen every two months or so. And when it does, it’s amazing – and so real! In the dream, I feel  overcome with excitement and joy. There’s always some kind of border or transition I’m aware of, such as a staircase or doorway (that seems to be off-limits to me), a phone receiver, or I walk out of the living room and then come back in, and she’s sitting there.

She passed on 15 months ago. But it seems only her physical form is really gone.

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When I was on vacation with my son and daughter earlier this month, I was consumed with sadness one morning as we walked around Mystic, Connecticut on a beautiful, blue sky day. I wore a hat and sunglasses to try to conceal the tears I couldn’t hold back. I can’t remember what the trigger was, but I felt empty and wished with all my heart that my mom were still around because she would be able to make things better. I longed to walk into a space brimming with love, like my grandmother’s house or my mom’s radiant, welcoming smile when she came to the door, and the house smelled of freshly baked raspberry muffins, macaroni and cheese, flowers, or scented candles. I missed her so much as I walked around Mystic.

My son was in search of an elusive record store and led us off the beaten path. And when I was consumed by thoughts of missing my mom, something amazing happened: A car drove by with windows down blasting “Annie’s Song” by John Denver. John Denver’s songs are like my mom’s calling card. I literally stopped in my tracks.

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Fortunately, there was a public restroom right in front of us, and I dashed inside and became a waterfall in a bathroom stall for several minutes while my son and daughter waited outside for me to pull myself together. They understood. When I emerged, we drove to a beach in Rhode Island and had a wonderful afternoon.

After setting up our spot on the beach, I read a book as they rested on either side of me, and I filled with gratitude for what I do have rather than grieve what I don’t have at this time.

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I took a long walk alone on the beach beyond the crowded spots to much quieter areas and felt as if my mom were walking with me.

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Although many people, including some family members, refuse to believe in the credibility of so-called psychics, I keep an open mind. Back in the spring, I went to a psychic medium who said my mom was with me in a particular place I had just visited. A couple months later, a relative had an appointment with a different psychic medium in another state who said the exact same thing. In fact, many of the same messages came through – including that my mom is aware that someone (presumably me) is writing about her publicly, and she thinks it is good because it can help people. So I am willing to believe that my mom was with me both at the place I visited in the spring and at the ocean this summer. I could feel her presence. It’s always such a blessing to feel her presence rather than grieve her absence. And every time she comes, it seems that the greatest fallacy of all is to believe that our loved ones have ever left us.

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© 2015 Susan Meyer. All rights reserved. To use any or all of this blog post, include this exactly: Susan Meyer (SusanTaraMeyer.com) is a photographer, writer, clutter coach, feng shui consultant, and mindfulness mentor whose work is infused with a deep interest in the nature of mind and appreciation of the natural world. She lives on the Hudson River in Upstate New York.

A Luna Moth Encounter

A Luna Moth Encounter

Last night, I  did something I’d never done before: I attended  a group session with a psychic medium. And it was mind-blowing. I hadn’t planned to do it, but it’s interesting how the universe works.

It all began with a visit from a luna moth Sunday night.

I was doing some work on the porch that evening. Before going to bed, I put everything away and proceeded to shut the porch windows. As I approached the last window, I noticed a lovely, emerald-toned luna moth about five inches wide, with elegant, feathery antennae, suspended on the screen. She seemed to be looking at me, waiting for me to notice. I gasped with amazement.

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I’d never seen a luna moth before and had wanted to ever since reading Eric Carle’s picture book, The Very Quiet Cricket, to my children when they were young. Even though I was quite tired, I took out my gear and spent the next 45 minutes photographing the luna moth from inside and outside the porch.

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It felt like a very special visit, and before I turned out the lights, I pressed my hands together in a prayerful gesture, bowed to the luna moth, and thanked her for visiting.

Then I did something I never do, not knowing why: I woke up Jack to tell him there was a luna moth on the porch window. It was action driven by pure intuition. And then he did something he doesn’t normally do: Instead of grouching at me for disturbing his sleep, he sat up and, in an interested tone of voice asked, “Really?” I was surprised that he wanted to see the luna moth. Unbeknownst to me, before he fell asleep, he saw a picture of one online and thought strongly about how much he wants to see one because he never had before. He fell asleep with the picture of the luna moth on his phone and thoughts of it in his head. In addition, he had an experience during the day that brought to mind someone named Luna. So when he saw the luna moth on the porch – right next to the table where he does his spiritual reading and writing every morning – it was very powerful and significant for him. The next day, after he explained the significance to me, I summed it up by saying that what we are seeking is also seeking us.

I went to work in the morning, and a woman who was a substitute teacher in the building had some free time and was sent to my classroom to help out. After the children went to lunch, we talked for a while. We’d conversed once earlier in the year when she was helping in my classroom. I sensed we were on a similar wavelength and told her I had a story to share with her that I thought she’d understand. So I told her about the luna moth on the window screen, and she got the significance of it. The conversation deepened, and she asked me if I’d ever been to a psychic medium. She planned to attend a session later in the week and thought I might be interested in going and wrote down the information. The way she spoke of him gave me a good feeling. Even though it was an incredibly busy week with report cards due, my intuition nudged me to go.

So I did, along with my adult daughter, an open mind, and no expectations. When the psychic medium, Adam, entered the freshly smudged room filled with the earthy fragrance of sage, I felt immediately drawn to his gentle, loving, joyful energy. No ego! As he explained the process to us before beginning, the electricity went out – something which apparently hadn’t happened there before! It’s often said that disembodied spirits are able to manipulate electricity, and I felt the presence of spirits was strong.

The session lasted for two and a half hours, and there were probably 20 women (interestingly, no men) in attendance. An hour and a half into it, nobody had “come through” for me, and we took a brief break. I went to the deserted second floor to use the bathroom and whispered, “Come on, Mom! Where are you?” In my mind, I heard her say, “I’m here! I’m just waiting my turn.” And that would be so like her – to stand back graciously and allow others to go first. She was never one to push her way to the front.

When the session resumed, Adam led us through a meditation to help us connect with loved ones who have passed on. My grandmother came through first, followed by my mom. (They were the same two who came to my daughter, seated next to me.) I asked each of them a question and received an answer. Then Adam went back to connecting with the spirits who were gathered to communicate through him. At one point, I heard my mom’s voice inside my head say, “I’m next!” and my heart began to pound. Then Adam said my sister’s name and mentioned a young boy with a musical connection. He said “she” (the spirit) was with him a lot. He said he saw an acoustic guitar, and I knew it was my mom coming through, so I spoke up.

For the next 10-15 minutes, so much information came through to my daughter and me from my mom and my grandmother! It seemed like my grandmother was there but letting my mom do the talking – which was often the case during their earthly existence. I am not going to relate specific information, but the content that came through via images, words, and the “language” of intuition was astonishingly accurate and meaningful. (I hadn’t provided any personal information beforehand other than my first name when I signed in.)

Adam described features of a landscape I had been to recently and said that my mom had been there with me. He quoted – word for word – something my son had said to me three days prior about the ways in which my mom and I are alike and different. He knew my mom died of cancer and said she’d had it for two years then immediately corrected himself because he saw her bring her hands closer together in a “shortening” gesture and said she had it for two years but only knew about it for a few months. He referenced that I make “good bread” (which is true) and said that she (or my grandmother?) is with me when I make bread.

In addition to seeing an acoustic guitar, he saw an airplane and a theater stage. If I could illustrate my mom’s life in three symbols, those would be the ones I’d choose. She was passionate about learning to play guitar during the final years of her life, had a career as a flight attendant early in life, and enjoyed a long career working at a performing arts center for 35 years, until retiring only a few years before she died. She and my dad met when they both worked for the airlines and always loved to travel. For her funeral services, the three objects on the altar (as per her instructions) were her guitar, her flight attendant hat, and an autographed baton given to her by her favorite conductor.

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Adam explained that my mom is still very strong around me because I talk to her frequently, and she wanted me to know that I need not worry about these conversations keeping her earthbound because it’s perfectly healthy and fine, and she has free will to come and go. That really spoke to me because when I have my conversations with her – out loud if I’m alone or inside my head if I’m not – I often tell her that I don’t want to pull her back here. I worry that missing her so much or trying to communicate with her will prevent her from moving on to where she needs to be. So this seemed to be a direct response from her to my very sincere concerns about that. Adam didn’t say this to anyone else in the room.

The experience leaves me convinced that Adam truly was in touch with a dimension in which our deceased loved ones continue to exist. I could write many more paragraphs about the content that came through – meaningful and relevant content, including specific messages to my daughter and me and details about us that very few people are aware of. However, it would be difficult to truly understand the potency of it without experiencing the energy in the room. That is something I can’t convey verbally. I’ve continued to process the experience for the past 24 hours, making connections and remembering more details. One connection I didn’t make until this morning was that right when the energy was shifting from someone else to my daughter and me, Adam saw the image of a butterfly and said that when certain animals are around you, the spirit of your loved one is with you.

The luna moth!

The same luna moth that led me to Adam’s group session in the first place, when I followed my intuition and shared the encounter with someone I barely knew.

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss Photography, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all text and photos, without express and written permission from this website’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss Photography (susantarameyer.com) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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