What does it mean to be a “spiritual” person? Is spiritual a close relationship with a god? Does it require an understanding or personal theory of immortality? Perhaps it is a belief in the incredible power of love, knowledge and the spirit of man. The human soul is vast, complex, and overwhelming. I believe in some way we all are spiritual.
Therefore, I wish to relate a remarkable story told to me by Karen. I do not understand this story, but I sense the deep belief of Karen in the moments she experienced. No matter what “spiritual” may mean to you, this story should have a place.
Karen was very close to Jill for many years. They shared wonderful days and events of life. When Jill became stricken with incurable cancer, Karen was devastated. However, as a loving friend, she walked cancer’s path with Jill. Karen helped in Jill’s day-to-day life, in her care and most importantly in giving moments of joy to her life. Tragically, Jill did die, leaving behind not only Karen, but a very close family.
The day after Jill’s death, Karen was working in the yard, pulling up weeds and remembering Jill. Suddenly a bird flew low over Karen’s head, settling half yard away on a mailbox. After watching the bird for a moment, Karen realized that it was not leaving. The bird stood still on that mailbox in apparent expectation. It suddenly struck Karen that the bird was Jill.
Karen stood up, slowly, moving across the grass to the mailbox, walking to within a couple feet of the bird. As she drew close, she was astonished to observe that the bird’s tuff was the color of Jill’s hair. Karen was silent, sharing that perfect moment, and then she began to talk to the bird. The bird turned its head from one side to another, watching Karen with alternating eyes, opening and closing its beak, almost seeming to talk back, gossiping with an old friend. A warmth and calmness settled over Karen and she felt a deep sense of peace, love and the sure feeling she was, again, with Jill.
They “talked” for five minutes, the bird mouthing silence and Karen speaking to her friend. Karen told Jill how much she was missed. Karen talked about the times they had shared. Most important, Karen thanked Jill for the wonderful life they had together. Karen found closure. Then the bird, apparently satisfied at having reached its friend, flew off into the distant blue sky, leaving Karen alone again, in that front yard, beside the mailbox. Karen stood crying, tears of remembrance more than sorrow.
Is this a story of the spirit of man, or the spirit of god? I do not know. It is absolutely a story of the loving soul and its tremendous power. It would be wonderful if we all had such friends and shared such moments. I can only wish for Jill the freedom to fly and peace for friends like Karen.
As published in Sunrise Rounds.
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