My father was an airplane pilot and when I was a little girl, I went on many flights with him. He flew a big DC3 and sometimes I was alone in the back of the plane, staring out the window at the puffy clouds below. I imagined little cherubs bouncing on those clouds, laughing as they tumbled from one to another. It seemed quite real to me.
I was an adult, living in another state, when my father died suddenly from a heart attack and my mother called to tell me the news. That night, while driving up the hill to my house, a shooting star flashed across the sky. I smiled as I thought, ‘There’s Dad, passing on through.’ A similar light streaks across the sky in my novel, CeeGee’s Gift, the day dear Mr. Tindale dies.
It was very different years later when my mother passed away after a long illness. For several months after her death I had a sense of her presence. It seemed like she wasn’t quite ready to go, like she was hovering nearby, especially when I sat alone on the porch in the twilight. In CeeGee’s Gift, Mr. Tindale has a similar experience after the death of his wife Maggie May. He tells CeeGee that for a while he could still feel her with him, right there by his side. They wandered around the house and yard together, sharing memories. In time Maggie May, like my mother, paled and moved on.
We don’t know what happens when we die. We may have our beliefs, but none of us can know. But these experiences of death, and those I shared in my novel, give me comfort. I feel that the transition from life to whatever follows can be slow and peaceful, or a flash of joyous adventure. The sense I’ve had of this makes me feel connected to the beyond in some mysterious, and yet comforting, way. And, like when I was a child, it seems quite real to me. Tell me, what have been your experiences?