Monday, October 25, 2010

Heaven & Signs

Heaven...I think that the idea of Heaven is individual.  Everyone probably has different dreams about what they hope Heaven to be like.  I don't think anyone's vision of Heaven is right or wrong, just personal.  For me, I have never quite been on board with the idea of St. Peter in a white flowing robe standing at the pearly gates with streets of gold behind him letting the forgiven have passage and striking the sinners down to Lucifer in the fiery pits of hell.

Until Harper died, I had never given a ton of thought to what Heaven would look like for me.  I just knew that I as long as it included loved ones who were happy and healthy that was enough.  Maybe it included pearly gates and maybe it didn't.  I don't think any of us will know that for sure until we get there.  Now, I think about it a lot.  I want to know of the place where my baby girl now resides.  Her Heavenly home where she will spend eternity.

Recently, I was reading Life Touches Life by Lorraine Ash.  It is a great book about a Mother's journey to healing after her first and only child is stillborn.  For me, it was a very inspirational read.  As she touched on this topic of Heaven and eternal life, I felt a wave of comfort come over me.  I will share an excerpt from her book that she actually took from John O'Donohue's Anam Cara, a book of Celtic wisdom.

"The dead are our nearest neighbors; they are all around us.  Meister Eckhart was once asked, Where does the soul of a person go when the person dies?  He said, no place.  Where else would the soul be going?  Where else is the eternal world?  It can be nowhere other than here.  We have falsely spatialized the eternal world.  We have driven the eternal world out into some kind of distant galaxy.  Yet the eternal world does not seem to be a place but rather a state of being.  The soul of the person goes no place because there is no place to go.  This suggests that the dead are here with us, in the air that we are moving through all the time. The only difference between us and the dead is that they are now in invisible form.  You cannot see them with the human eye.  But you can sense the presence of those you love who have died.  With refinement of your soul, you can sense them.  You feel that they are near."

I have always felt that souls are all around us in a way but didn't know how to articulate it properly.  I think that this passage does so perfectly.  They are in the wind, the stars, the trees, the ocean.  I truly believe that our loved ones are with us even in death sending us signs showing us that they are never far from us.  I believe it because I have witnessed it.  I do feel Harper with me and maybe that is her Heaven, to be here with her parents who love her and miss her so deeply.

On the day that Harper was born we received a beautiful gift and sign from her.  It was in the photos taken by the hospital photographer.

The photographer assured us over and over that she did not pose Harper's hand.  Chris being an orthopaedic surgeon said that there aren't any ligaments in the hand that would involuntarily make the "i love you" sign.  That this must be some divine intervention.

It gets even more special.  Through out my pregnancy with Harper, Chris would make that sign with his hand and put it on my belly at night before bed or when we were just hanging out on the couch.  That has always been our 'thing', even before I was pregnant.  When ever we would bid each other farewell, we would hold up our hand to give off one last silent "I love you".  It turns out that Harper knew her Mommy and Daddy well.  I think that would make even a skeptic believe in signs...

I posted this quote a couple of posts ago but felt it was very relevant to this post also...

"And if I go while you’re still here…
know that I live on, vibrating to a
different measure behind a thin
veil you cannot see through. You
will not see me so you must have
faith. I wait the time when we can
soar again, both aware of each
other. Until then, live your life to
its fullest, and when you need me
just whisper my name in your
heart…I will be there."
-Author Unknown


Dana said...

Wow, it sure makes me believe. It takes my breath away that her hand was like that. Amazing.

I love that excerpt. I love thinking that Jacob is right here with me.

rebecca said...

Wow, I have chills reading that. This was a very comforting post for me to read, thank you for sharing. What an incredibly beautiful way for Harper to show you how much she loves you both ((hugs)) my friend.

Andrea said...

What a beautiful photo and amazing sign. It gave me chills too. Thinking of you <3

Glo said...

Your post gave me chills, a lump in my throat and tears in the corners of my eyes.

Michelle said...

I just gasped for air..that took my breath away. How precious is her little 'I love you' sign? Thanks for sharing that.

Jessica said...

I totally believe in signs - but given I am a Christian that isn't that odd LOL. Harper was definitely making sure that you both knew she loved you very much! Great post <3

Olivia's Mom said...

I love this post. It put such a smile on my face. What an amazing sign left by your daughter!

Amanda said...

Amazing, Rhiannon. The photo and story and everything.

I love the quote too. I'm not very religious so I often struggle with "where is my daughter?" and I always say she's with me but that so perfectly puts into words that feeling of having our loved ones close even though they're gone.

Drew's Parents said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes! What a heart warming and powerful sign from your little girl. I got chills when I saw the picture and read that you and Chris used that sign during your pregnancy.
Thank you so much for sharing the excerpt and poem. I find so much peace thinking that Drew can hear me if I am aware of and connected to the world around me. A beautiful post for your beautiful daughter <3 Sending love your way!

Jennifer said...

How amazing! Like Allison said, what a powerful sign from sweet Harper. It's such a comfort to see that somehow she was able to communicate her love for both of you through a handsign you and your husband are both familiar with and used in your daily life. She is truly her parents' child. :) Thank you for sharing that excerpt from Lorraine Ash's book. It's one of the first books on grief that I read during the first few weeks of my loss. And it really goes well with the poem you posted at the end.

KWombles said...

What a beautiful post and sign from your sweet daughter. ((())) I am sorry for the loss of your Harper.

Radiant Readhead said...

WOW!!!! so i ventured over here from Precilla's blog, and ended up crying after the first entry I read (Oct 25th). First off, I am so sorry. Harper seemed like a very special little girl. The I love you sign was AMAZING< and definitely a sign that she is still with you. Second, Anam husband and I had matching rings while he was deployed that said "Mo Anam Cara" and the calladah on it. Mo anam cara is gaelic for "My Soul Mate". When our precious Rosalynn passed, we bought her a matching ring, (thankfully the Irish store had them still in their shop 3 years later) and laid her to rest with her holding it in her hand. I cried when I read that on your post (and i am at work, so NOT a good I am honored to have found your blog, and look forward to following in your journey from here on out.

Post a Comment