I have been thinking a lot lately about death and the grieving process. I read in The Atonement by Beverly Lewis that
Grief is unique to each person… at times it maybe so distracting that you feel like you’re trudging blindly through the day.
I believe it. Although it has been 21 years since my sister’s death and a little over a year since my dad’s I still mourn them deeply. I can’t seem to think of them without breaking down in tears. I know to some people it may seem like I am holding it together but in reality, I am falling apart inside.
Someone once told me that there is an old Catholic belief that when a cardinal shows up it is the spirit of your loved one coming to you in your time of troubles. I will admit that I didn’t think much of this until a few months after my dad died. I was having a particularly rough day. I was coming home from running errands and I was driving down the road to our house. And just before I drove up the hill, two cardinals playfully came into my line of sight. I stopped for a moment as I watched those majestic birds play in front of me. I realized that those cardinals were sent to me by my dad and my sister. It was their way of telling me that they were together and they were watching over me. What a comforting thought!
Since then I have seen this pair of cardinals several times and always when I am at my lowest. I love this idea and I cling to it. I now have 2 cardinals that go on my Christmas tree every year and I purchased one for my mom. She leaves hers on a china plate ( the design name is Karen, my sister’s name) on her table. So that every holiday and family gathering we know that they are with us in spirit.