For years I have been fascinated by Life After Death. I have read probably 75% of the books written on the topic, and believe more than ever that our souls continue on after they are done in this life. The following is my story of when I was visited by a dearly departed friend. I had read other people’s accounts of this type of visit, but once I had my own, I never doubted again.
OnAugust 4, 2003, my dear friend Hope passed away, 13 years after she briefly crossed over once before. Hope was one of the most vibrant, outspoken people I had ever met, with an infectious cards-on-the-table personality that was, to all that knew her, distinctly ‘Hope’. The closest comparison would be Bette Midler, talent and all. To see a person like her in ICU on the edge of death was mind blowing.
After taking our final exam for our Tap class at college one year, she came down with food poisoning that led to a very rare disease in which all her organs shut down, and had previously only been seen in a handful of people inNew Guinea.* The doctors knew she was dying, but did not know what to do to save her. I did not believe in much of anything back then, least of all the afterlife. That began to change when Hope told me of her near death experience, in which she saw her late father and uncle hovering by her hospital bed. They told her, “no, not yet. It’s not time yet.” If not for her deceased loved ones telling her to hold on, she most certainly would have left us. Instead, she opened her eyes, looked at her mother and said, “I am going to live”.
When she was feeling better, someone recommended a book to her called Embraced by the Light. She in turn recommended that I read it, and that started my quest to learn everything I could learn about life after death and the journey of our souls. Hope and I had only been in touch sporadically for the next few years, but shortly after Christmas 2002, we started emailing each other. Hope sent me a lot of inspirational and spiritual emails that gave me the sense that since her near death experience she had become a believer in God and her faith was strong. I was not there yet, but was heading in that direction, beginning to develop some semblance of a belief system based on what I had learned. I had had what I thought were a few signs from my late grandmother, but without concrete validation, the skeptic in me still lingered.
When I heard that Hope passed away, I was beyond devastated. Even though we were not in touch every day, I had always felt that we had a connection that could not be explained, like we had known each other for lifetimes. Still, because no one else would understand why it was such a personal loss for me, I felt guilty and selfish for grieving like I had lost my best friend. I simply did not know how to handle it, and fell into a deep depression.
A few days after her wake, I sat in the dark in the middle of my bed, and spoke to Hope, telling her all the things I had meant to tell her when she was alive. I told her how important her friendship was to me, and how sorry I was for procrastinating so much that we never got together. I had wanted to discuss so many things with her, especially her new-found spirituality. Since that chance was gone, at least in this life, I asked her to send me a sign. Just something to let me know that what I believed about the other side was true. I wanted to know that she could still hear me. It was the only way I could emerge from my hopelessness…no pun intended. Feeling emotionally drained, but somehow better, I went to sleep.
The next morning when I turned on my car, I thought for a second that I must have turned off the radio for some unknown reason the day before, because I didn’t hear anything. As I reached for the volume knob, I heard the first words of a fairly new song by the group Train. What I thought was radio silence was not silence at all; the silence had gotten my attention, and was followed by a gradually building sound like wind chimes before the words started. I had only heard the song once or twice at this point, and had evidently never heard the first line which says, “I need a sign, to let me know you’re here. All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere”.
I felt pretty certain that this was the sign I had asked Hope to send. It really could not have been more obvious. As the day went on, I began to second guess myself, dismissing it as the manifestation of my overwhelming need to make that connection. In a matter of weeks I had convinced myself that I believed it only because I wanted to believe it; it was a coincidence, though I did not believe in coincidences. The skeptic was back.
I was thinking about it all the time, still trying to decide if it was for real. My mind—or my soul—would not let it go for some reason. One night a few weeks later I had a dream that my husband and I were in some kind of warehouse store, like Sam’s or Costco, with long aisles of very tall shelves. We were looking at something on a table in one of the aisles and when I looked up I saw Hope as clear as day on the other side of the table. In a flowing white dress looking healthier than ever, she was positively radiant.
She looked at me with her crooked, cat-that-ate-the-canary smile that she was known for, and glanced upward. From the speakers overhead I heard the wind chimes again, and then the song, Calling All Angels, that had been playing in my car that morning a few weeks back. She smirked at me, and began to walk away. It was like she was saying, ‘Do you believe it now?’
Absolutely. I no longer doubt that I got the sign I asked for.
*Click the link below to read the article published in Discover Magazine in 1995, written by Hope’s doctor…her name was changed to Grace for the article.