When our friend John died in 1996, his roommate Charlie shared a story at his memorial service. He said he’d once been told that when we lose someone to death, it’s important afterward to “watch for the signs” that show us comfort is being offered–perhaps even as messages sent by the ones we’ve lost. The day after John’s death, Charlie was on a transatlantic flight when a woman he’d never seen before placed a small green stone inside his palm. “I can sense that you’re sad,” she said. “This will help comfort you.” Of course it did, because for Charlie, that little stone was a gift from John.
I believe in those kinds of signs, too, and have my own experiences with them. Recently my lifelong friend Riley, who died a few months before my mother in 2008, has been very much on my mind. There are so many times I wish I could pick up the phone and call him. I want to hear his unique perspective on things that have happened this year–the stuff only he would say.
Several times I’ve blogged about Riley and our connections, including the Beatles. One post was this memory about Riley, George Harrison, and me.
Tonight Tom came in and handed me a guitar pick he found on the street outside our house.
Front and back of the guitar pick. Or vice versa.
Who knows who dropped it or when? As a sign, I’ll take it.
Thanks, my old friend. I have an album I should listen to now.
It can hit you
It can hurt you
Make you sore and what is more
That is not what you are here for
George Harrison, Beware of Darkness