By Louis Savalli —
“I’m sorry to tell you that your father had a heart attack today,” said my mom. “He didn’t make it.”
It was a gut-wrenching week. My Dad had died of a heart attack at the age of 65. He left behind my mother (his wife of 35 years), three children, and six grandchildren… or did he? In the days and weeks that followed, I’d come to learn that he didn’t go anywhere. In fact, he was closer than ever – and always had been.
In the days following my Dad’s passing, I had been staying at my parent’s house with my mother. I would constantly expect to see my Dad at every turn and through every door. On one of those mornings I was sitting at the kitchen table and randomly looked to my left. I fully expected my Dad to be in the room. It felt instinctual. But I saw nothing. Why was I so sure he’d be there? Was it out of habit? What gave me that impulse to turn and look?
Then I realized it. He did – my Dad. He was there. The real Dad was there, in Spirit, in his original, native form. In a clichéd instant, I understood what had just happened.
The feeling of the other person – the feeling you miss so much when that person has died – is within you. It’s your own feeling. Yet, at the same time, those feelings are the spiritual presence of your loved one, which now exists in its truest form – as energy you feel. And this energy is just as much a part of you as it is them. And it is always with you, and will be there when you look for it. It is you, too.
One of the greatest misconceptions about our physical life is that the feeling you get when you’re with a loved one is only possible in their physical presence. And once their physical presence ends, those feelings end. We often say that “a part of us has died.” When really you are at funeral homes all we are doing is saying goodbye to the physical. Taking one last live look at a loved one.
Since that one morning at the kitchen table, I don’t believe that anymore. What I believe now is that those feelings of love and the loved one’s presence are within us – they are our own feelings, and they are accessible at any time. At the same time, that feeling is distinctly the spiritual presence of your loved one – that is to say, the true essence of that person – their soul. Yet, it is also part of your soul and experience.
For all of the moments where I’d swear my father was in the room, or even right next to me, I’ve come to understand that those feelings are correct – he has been in the room, and he has been right next to me. Those times where I’ve felt his presence the strongest were the times I felt no grief, because he might as well have been leaning on me. I realized I still could and do have a relationship with him. It is a relationship with my Dad and a part of me at the same time.
In those moments following the death of a loved one where you temporarily forget they are gone and everything feels normal, however briefly – those moments are closer to reality than anything else. The loved one is still there with you, and only leaves you when you tell yourself they are gone, and close yourself off to that feeling – which, as I have been saying, is really closing yourself off to a part of yourself.
Physical reminders assist greatly in experiencing this. Perhaps some pictures, maybe clothes, or a special hat your loved one used to wear. When you look at the pictures or see the hat hanging in the hallway, you’ll feel for a split second like your loved one is still there and nothing has changed – and THAT is the truth of the situation. That split-second feeling you get is your loved one and their presence – and it is within you – and it always has been, whether or not your loved one is/was physically present. And you can always contact them, and to talk to them, because they are ever-present so long as you acknowledge their presence – that part of you.
My hope in writing this is to help people rekindle relationships with loved ones who have passed. I’m hoping that you’ll read this, and it’ll make sense to you, and you’ll open yourself to the idea that your loved one is closer than ever and always has been. And that every inkling you’ve ever about your loved one being nearby was true. Simply acknowledge their presence and you’re in it. You can feel it.
Life and its relationships do continue after physical death. You can call on your loved one and talk with them anytime you want, as well as seek counsel and comfort, too. The truth was that you always could, but the illusion of our physicality leads people to believe that’s not possible unless there is a physical presence. But my father’s passing has shown me otherwise. Connecting with loved ones after death is, indeed possible.
Louis Savalli is an enthusiast of all things related to personal growth and spirituality. He has been learning and writing for 17 years and enjoys sharing his insights with others. He currently resides in upstate NY with his wife and two children. Connect with Louis at www.savalli.me.