You may have read my post from October about Eric communicating with me through sound.
(For those of you who might not know, my husband Eric passed away in March of this year.)
Well, he’s at it again. Eric is talking to me, reassuring me that he’s right around the corner, just over there through the veil.
It was an average day. Nothing mind-blowing going on. But as grief will do, it visits in seemingly random moments, and it surprised me. It came up fast and for no particular or present reason in my awareness.
Before I knew it, I was under the wave. Big, sweeping emotion bowled me over, so I just let it take me out to sea until I could come up for air. No use fighting a big wave.
I was simply missing Eric. Nothing fancy. Just missing him.
A few hours after the wave, the AirBnB notification sound went off on my phone, which means that someone inquired about staying with me, or they booked.
I reached for my phone and read the message.
“Congratulations! Eric is booked with you on November 10-12 for 2 nights.”
Given the timing of that message, I had to sit down. I couldn’t remember the last time an AirBnB guest named Eric stayed here. My curiosity got the best of me. I checked all of our past reservations.
In two years of offering the bottom level of our home for AirBnB, no one named Eric has ever stayed here.
I was so stunned by the reservation from Eric, that I didn’t do what I would normally do, which is write back and say “thank you for booking with me.”
A few hours later, I came to my senses.
As I went on my phone to write to this new customer, I noticed Eric’s last name. It was “Livesey” which is a family name on my mother’s side (ours is spelled Livezey).
In case I had any question about my Eric reaching through the veil to touch my heart, that did it.
Eric would know very well that punctuating the moment by using a significant last name was the way to make sure I knew it was him reaching out to me, that it was not a lucky happen chance. It was deliberate.
Clearly, my Eric was sending love.
A few days later I got another message.
“Congratulations, Terri is booked with you…”
I had to laugh. So now Eric and Terri are staying at my AirBnB! Ok, I get it! We’re still together!
A few more days go by. “Congratulations, Eric is booked…”
Yes, he sent a second Eric. Not a bad idea to make double sure I knew it was not an accident.
And then just for fun, a little wordplay — this is SO how Eric would roll — “Congratulations, Erin is booked…” He changed one letter to make me smile.
It worked. I smiled.
Just for good measure, these “Eric’s” (and Erin, too) hailed from places he loved and lived, like Washington, D.C., and the Northeast. The guest named Terri is from Florida. I lived in Florida for a couple of years. (Again, so Eric!)
When the AirBnB game was over, I thought, “Well then! If my Eric is so close, maybe there are other ways we could communicate, things we could “talk” about, things we could “do” together…”
A very nice thought, don’t you think?
THE WATER BUCKET
A few days passed and I was preparing the AirBnB space for new visitors. The dehumidifier, the kind where you must empty the collecting bucket, needed to be emptied.
Several weeks prior, I had noticed that the bucket needed cleaning, and tried twice (unsuccessfully) to open the lid. It looked easy enough — that was the irritating part. There are about a dozen plastic clips holding the lid on, and I’m sure they are needed to safely lift a container holding 70 pints of water.
But even when I loosened them all, it wouldn’t open.
I gave up.
This is where I would normally hand the whole thing to Eric and say, “Honey, could you get this open for me?”
And he would. In no time at all. He loved puzzles.
But unfortunately, my fix-it guy has moved on to other things, and with no sign of an instruction booklet in the original box, I checked the internet. There were directions, but they weren’t helpful. They didn’t tell me how to get the lid off.
This particular morning as I was cleaning and preparing the AirBnB space, I was extra determined to win attempt number three, but try as I might, the lid didn’t give.
Alright then. Plan B.
I put vinegar in the container and shook it. At least the vinegar would deter whatever yucky stuff was growing in the bottom.
THE BIG SPEECH
While I was shaking the container, I started giving Eric a little piece of my mind.
With full enthusiasm and fun, I talked to him, right there at my kitchen sink. (It must have looked pretty wacky.) I gave him a speech about how he should come here and help me right here, right now.
“C’mon! Help me here, Eric! You know how to do this! Go ahead and slide over to this part of the Universe. Come see me. Come visit. Fly over here, honey! You know how this darn lid works! Show me. Come here — right now — to my kitchen and help me with this.”
Happily and with great drama, I went on and on. It was quite a speech. It was fun to pretend he was listening.
DANCING ON PLASTIC
As I dumped out the vinegar solution, my fingers starting playing with the lid and they felt suddenly smarter.
It was weirdly pleasant, like watching a live action movie starring someone else’s fingers. Actually, it felt rather awesome.
I stopped thinking. That was nice. No thought, no figuring out, just fingers dancing on plastic.
As I released the familiar dozen or so clasps, I discovered two more itty-bitty ones I hadn’t seen before. Then, my fingers began to play with the handle. I had tried this handle-wrangling thing before, but I could never get it to let go. For one thing, the plastic tabs holding the handle were too tight, and I couldn’t move them enough to get the handle undone for fear of it snapping.
This time, the plastic was pliable.
My fingers undid the handle in a whole new way and the dehumidifier lid lifted like magic.
Now I felt a wave of a different sort. No tears, no sadness, not even heightened joy.
I felt like I was “livin’ on a prayer.” (Thanks, Bon Jovi.)
I felt quiet inside. Reverently astonished. In awe. My appreciation for this clear connection with Eric flooded my heart, the kitchen, and I’m sure the entire house and maybe, just maybe, the known Universe.
Eric had helped me through my very own fingers.
This was a different kind of happy dance. It was understated. It was subtle, but uplifting and astonishingly beautiful like the sun rising, this idea of knowing that I could talk to Eric directly, even get his assistance any time I needed it.
YES YOU CAN
Yes, you can get help from people you love who have died. It is natural, actually. You talk to them and they hear you. They are still with you.
Ask for what you need. Start small. Practice listening. Practice receiving. Get your antenna up. Smile more. Get happy-go-lucky about talking to them.
Practice believing that they will hear you.
Then, open your heart completely to what is offered. Help will flood in.
Death is not the end of a life, nor is it the end of your loved one’s love for you, or the end of your love for them. Death is actually the beginning of bigger love.
Grief deserves a mention here as well. These days, it is my direct understanding that grief is not a negative thing to muscle through or tolerate or wish it was over.
I believe grief is, in fact, one of the most life-affirming, character defining, heart-opening experiences in the lifetime of any human.
Grief is the beginning of loving more deeply that which you cannot even see.
Think about it.
Grief is a doorway to knowing God within, all that is true forever, all that is.