“Do you believe in signs?”
I lost my husband seven years ago, and this is a question I have been asked often. I never know how to respond because my answer truly is – “I don’t know.” I would like to believe, but I have never been sure if “signs” from loved ones who have passed away are really possible. I sometimes think that maybe we just search for them to make ourselves feel better.
This time the question felt different. It was asked by a dear friend of mine who lost a child years ago. She was asking because she had just felt a sign of her own. We had been talking about her son and his relationship with his twin brother when the song, “Everything I Own” by Bread, played through the speakers of the house we were in. She smiled, and with tears in her eyes said, “This is the song that we always sing about him.”
This was her sign. It was so clear to her, and to me. I didn’t know if I had ever felt anything like that in my own journey since I lost my husband.
A month later, I just may have had my own sign.
I had been feeling very anxious for a few days. During the first few years after losing my husband, I would constantly get that terribly anxious feeling. I woke up every morning nervous about anything and everything, and that feeling would stay with me throughout day. It hadn’t happened in years, but suddenly it seemed to be back again, and I couldn’t find a reason why.
I decided to go for a walk to try to make myself feel better. I got in my car and drove to a lake near my house. I put on my headphones and listened to the voice of one of my favorite singers, Stevie Nicks. I walked fast, taking in my surroundings and listening to Fleetwood Mac.
I was on the trail by the lake for only a short time when I saw it – a big blue butterfly that flew right in front of my face. I stopped in my tracks when it landed on a bush next to me and suddenly a memory came into my head, clear as day.
I could picture my husband, years earlier at the Butterfly Museum on our annual trip to Florida. Our daughters and I dragged him there against his will; he didn’t want to miss a moment of “laying out” in the sun. It turned out to be a wonderful day and we all laughed when a beautiful butterfly landed on his t-shirt and did not want to leave. I had not thought of that day in years, but now it felt fresh as if it had just happened. I could see his gorgeous blue eyes while he laughed.
I decided that the blue butterfly, which I stared at for a very long time, was my sign. It calmed my anxiety. I felt as if my husband was telling me that all was OK and there was no need for my anxious feeling. I finished my walk with a smile on my face. The anxiety was gone.
Do I believe in signs?
If you believe, you will see one.
If there was ever a sign, I believe my blue butterfly was it.
Do I know if signs are real or if we are just searching for them to make ourselves feel better?
The real question is, does it matter?
Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband passed away suddenly of a heart attack. She is raising her two fabulous daughters, now ages 18 and 20, who are turning into wonderful young women. In 2016, she started a blog about her experience as a young widow, The Widow Wears Pink. This led her to write for other publications including Huffington Post, Today.com, Scary Mommy, Grown & Flown, Kveller, Modern Loss, Thought Catalog, and many more. In 2018 she started Living the Second Act with fellow writer Mimi Golub. Today, Stacy and her daughters are happily living their “new normal” while always keeping her husband’s spirit alive.