I recently ran into a customer — her dad died a little over three years ago.   I know her family pretty well, so we started chatting about how everyone was doing and what changes have transpired since her dad’s death.   “Mom bought herself a baby grand piano,” she said, “believe it or not, she spotted it in the window of a store called Heavenly Pianos.   She said it was a sign from dad that it was time to make music again.”

That was not the first time someone told me that they received a sign from their loved one after they died.  I’ve heard stories of animals repeatedly showing up in yards, birds tapping on windows, roses blooming where no bush had been, and rainbows — lots of rainbows.

One of my favorite stories has to do with pennies.   It was told to me by a friend who has been living in Canada for the past ten years.  She explained that when she came home to Chicago for her father’s funeral, she overheard someone saying that if you find a coin on the ground, it means that a departed loved one is thinking of you.

A year or so later, still having a hard time coping with the loss of her father, she remembered what she had heard about the coins and found that it brought her some comfort.   She told me, “The idea of connecting with my dad again in some way suddenly made me feel better.  And sure enough, over the course of the next few weeks, I started finding pennies everywhere — but while it made me smile, I still didn’t think that it was a sign from my dad.   It was too coincidental and the pennies were found in places you might expect to find them; seat cushions, sidewalks and places like that.”

“Still,” she continued, “I tossed them in a little bowl on my dresser and said a silent ‘hello’ to my dad just the same.   Then one afternoon, I was having a particularly bad time of it; worrying about my mom and generally feeling sorry for myself.   Hoping to drown out the sound of my crying, I turned on the shopvac and began cleaning the garage floor.  I know I went over the entire area at least three times, so it came as quite a surprise to look down through my tear-filled eyes and spot the penny in the middle of the garage floor.”

“Finding the penny at that exact moment wasn’t what awed me,” she explained.  “It’s when I looked at it… then looked at every penny in the bowl… and realized that they were all U.S. pennies.  None of them were Canadian.”

As I said, I hear a lot of  these kinds of stories.   I don’t presume to be an expert on the subject, however, just because I’m a funeral director.  In fact, most of the time, I don’t quite know what to make of it.  What I do know is that when I hear these kinds of stories, when I see the joy on their faces and when I hear the emotions in their voices, I am certain of one thing:  that the spirit of our loved ones truly do live on in us