Poem Follows Vision of Departed Son


At The Meaning of Forever Project, we were privileged to received this poem among the writings of a long-dead grandmother, who found faith in a dream-vision she had of her departed son. He had died in an accident, and grief over his lost confined her to bed for four years. But a dream of her son in a new life brought her back to life, too, and eventually inspired this poem called “Faith”.

The Meaning of Forever Project is compiling a book about comforting experiences with loved-ones after they have passed on. Find out how you can contribute. You can contact us by email, or through our website.

Want to Keep Up With The Meaning of Forever Project?


Welcome to our new blog! And Thank You for contributing to the Meaning of Forever Project–or for considering contributing–or for just being interested! We thought the best kind of thank-you might be an update on our progress. To keep up with what we’re doing, please click “Follow” on the right of your screen. We will be periodically posting adaptations of stories and poems, along with any bits of wisdom we happen to gather along the way. Please feel free to share these posts with others who might be interested.

As you know, the aim of The Meaning of Forever Project is to create a collection of stories from people like yourselves who have had experiences with departed loved-ones—human or animal—that have helped you heal and move forward in your grief.

You have sent us stories and poetry about children, siblings, spouses, parents, grandparents, relatives, pets and friends who have been able to communicate with you, even after death of their physical bodies. They have shown you that they continue happily in new worlds of existence—and that their love for you also continues.

You have described dreams, visions, auditory signals, lights, music, surprising feelings and insistent nudges. You have seen your loved ones represented by song birds, birds of prey, butterflies, animals, coins, phone calls, noises and music, and a host of other means.

You have given us accounts of unusual occurrences at the time of death, dreams and visions following death, continuing daily-life connections through such things as auditory and visual “jokes” that only you and your loved ones would know. Sometimes, your loved-ones have even stopped by to say you would be seeing less of them as they move on to other worlds or prepare to be reincarnated. You have written of your own near-death experiences that helped you lose your fear of death, or confirmed that you have lived before.

Always rising above the individual stories is the sense that, for everyone, life and love continue beyond this physical realm; that death of the body is not the end, only the beginning of a new existence.

And now, even with the wonderful collection of poetry and stories you’ve given us, we are still looking for more. We are seeking stories from all countries and cultures. In particular, we would like stories of reincarnation, near death experiences, and how life-threatening illness has helped overcome the fear of death.

We are also seeking stories that show how a continuing connection with a loved-one has inspired you to make positive changes in your life, big or small. So, if you have another story to send us, please feel free to do so. If you know someone else who may have a story, please pass on our website and Facebook addresses, this letter, or even a copy of our brochure, which is attached here as a PDF file.

We are happy to work with anyone who has a special story to tell and the will to tell it. We do not ask for prize-winning writing, only true stories told from the heart.

As we continue compiling The Meaning of Forever, the book, we may be contacting you about further preparing your individual story for publication. We may also ask you for permission to adapt the story for our blog. You can see examples of similar adaptations in the posts at the right-hand side of our homepage.

We have been pleased and honoured in the past year to be introduced to Joshua Black. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Brock University in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, who is making a study of “grief dreams”, dreams people have had of their deceased loved ones. Joshua writes of a series of dreams with his father that inspired his current study. His story is featured on our blog under “A Father’s Dream Inspires His Son’s Career”. In August, we were pleased to be guests on Joshua’s “Grief Dreams Podcast” and you can find our interview for Episode 6 here.

We also teamed up with author, speaker and bereavement coach Marybeth Haines, whose beloved cat inspired her in a career to help people deal with grief over their pets. She has established an organization called “The Power of Pets”, and at the bottom right of her home page, you can find a story called “Horses of a Lifetime” that Ruth shared with Marybeth’s online community.

We are happy to say that, while we might have liked it to come together more quickly, we are confident The Meaning of Forever Project is unfolding as it should. Your contributions are making this possible, and we are forever grateful to you.

With Love & Gratitude Forever,

Joan Olinger and Ruth Edgett

The Meaning of Forever Project



Kitty’s Inspiration


Photo and Story © Marybeth Haines

Ever since I can remember, growing up from a small child of about 2 years of age, there were always animals in my life.  From living on a hobby farm, I always had a pet of some sort.  My parents taught me to treat animals with respect and to threat them well.  When it became time for an animal to pass on, it was emotional, however I was a small child and seemed to accept that as a part of life.  And it was a part of my life right from the beginning.

I have memories of my father taking us out to where we would bury our pets and say a prayer.  This became what we would refer to as our pet cemetery to many years to come.

As time progressed and the older I became, I grew closer to these beautiful friends I called pets.  Realizing that these loving creatures were not just animals, I would see much more in them and would soon learn that they were my teachers and had many lessons to teach me.

A more recent and beloved furry family member was Kitty.  Kitty came to live with me when he was nine years old.  A beautiful silky black colour with green eyes and a purr that would make you just want to listen.  Your whole body would relax in the meditative sounds of this stillness.  I would often refer to Kitty as an ‘old soul’ as there was something in this eyes that told me he has MUCH wisdom to share.  Kitty had the gift of ‘talk’.  He would say “hello” so clearly and would sound like a young boy.

Do you remember Mr. Snuffaluffagus from Sesame Street?  He was the brown mammoth type creature with a long trunk that only Big Bird would see.  Any time Big Bird saw him and would tell the rest of the Sesame Street gang, they would never believe him because he would never be there when they would look to see him.  Mr. Snuffaluffagus was never able to be seen by them until the 17th season, where finally the gang saw him and believed Big Bird.

I often refer to Kitty’s talking to be of the same.  Any time someone was around, there would be no talking.  If there was no one around, he would talk and as soon as I would get someone to hear him, he would stop as if to say “Who me? I didn’t say anything.”  It was quite comical actually how it would all work.  And the lesson for me was that I should be just listening and hearing his message instead of trying to show everyone that my cat could talk.

As Kitty grew older, he began ‘talking’ more and more.  I listened to him on a daily basis and had such joy and gratitude for his gift.  My husband Troy and I were blessed with his love for more than 11 years.

At the age of 20, Kitty was called home to the spiritual plane and was able to pass in peace and with us by his side.  Before he died, my husband Troy asked him if there was any way he could tell us he was okay in the afterlife, that we would really like that.

When we drove home from the emergency clinic, we sat in the car crying.  I put my head on Troy’s shoulder and we cried together.  As soon as I closed my eyes, all of a sudden I saw such vibrant glowing eyes and beautiful silky black fur… Kitty was there!  I remember the vividness of his image.  I immediately shouted out to Troy that I could see him and to my surprise, he gasped and said “I see him too!” 

We both described the same things we saw and how happy Kitty was.  It was such a peaceful message and it was our sweet boy telling us he was okay.  That brought us much comfort.

Up until this point, Troy had never had anything like this happen to him and this was his first experience.  It was a bonding and heart-touching moment and we both will hold that in our hearts forever…a message received from our little boy.

Two days later as Troy was sleeping, Kitty came to him and was purring loudly, yet calmly and gently in his ear.  He woke up feeling such peace and said the sound was so real…he had never had that happened to him before either.

To us, the message was clear…Kitty heard our plea before he died asking if he could let us know he was okay and he came through with that message.  We have since felt Kitty’s guidance and he is my inspiration for writing my first published book entitled The Power of Pets – 7 Effective Tools To Heal From Pet Loss.  Using his inspiration to help others in their experience with pet loss brings me the feeling of peace and has also helped me on my own healing journey.

Kitty, I thank you for your inspiration for uniting with fellow pet lovers on a global level.  It is because of your love, gifts and guidance that I am able to live, love and care for more animals I can also call family.  I hold a special place for you in my heart…always with me.

Marybeth Haines

The Power of Pets

For a FREE copy of The Power of Pets book, visit www.powerofpets365.com.
To join our pet loving community on Facebook, we welcome you with open arms at www.facebook.com/thepowerofpets.


A Presaging Experience Gives Ben Strength for his Family


Sometimes we receive assurance that our loved-ones live on AFTER they have left their physical bodies; perhaps, in a dream or an encounter with a symbol that we know is meant just for us. Other times, if we are open, we can be given reassurance BEFORE we even learn about the death of our dear one. That is what happened to Ben one late summer day in 1985.

Ben, his wife and young children had recently moved back to Ontario following a remote posting with the Canadian Armed Forces. They were delighted to be in the embrace of their extended family again. Ben was particularly close to his uncle, whom they learned upon their return had an ailing heart that would require surgery.

One day soon after reuniting with his uncle, Ben was strolling to work in a particularly beautiful area, delighting in the beautiful day, the lovely view and in his gratitude for being reunited with his family. Here’s how Ben tells what happened next:

“As the sun warmed my face, I became aware that my heart had opened. Just then, I sensed a great lightness approach at lightning speed…and embrace me! Suddenly I was awash with the vision, smell and energy of my uncle. (It) rushed through me like a bright light with an enthusiasm containing…feelings of surprise, elation, love and happiness. As I processed these shining impressions (and) this wonderful energy, I continued on my way.”

Back at work, Ben allowed the experience to fade from his mind. Later that day, during a class he was teaching, his sergeant came to inform him that his uncle had died and that his family needed him.

“The remorse I felt was for the loss my family was feeling,” says Ben. But, for him, “The messages I received during my Uncle’s departing embrace showed the way to freedom from sorrow and despair. This…enabled me to serve my family during the funeral with greater compassion, empathy and joy.”

At The Meaning of Forever Project, we thank Ben for this wonderful story, which demonstrates yet another way that we can be assured that death of the physical body is not the end—that the loving  connections we have with our dear ones continue even after their bodies have expired.

If Ben’s story reminds you of an experience you’ve had, we would love to hear from you! You can join the conversation on Facebook, visit our website, and email us at themeaningofforever@gmail.com.

Until then, May the Blessings Be,

Ruth & Joan

The Meaning of Forever Project




This “Non-Poet” Feels Compelled to Write



Meaning of Forever Project contributor David maintains he is not a poet; nevertheless, he says that because he opens himself to them, “ditties” keep coming, and he feels compelled to write them down for sharing.

David says this particular verse, “The Loss of a Loved One,” was originally written “…[F]or all of the people that I know who are going through all the stages of cancer, life threatening conditions or the ones who are at their later stages in life…This poem can be for any Soul, human or animal.”

At the Meaning of Forever Project, we believe this poem may also bring comfort to those of us whose loved ones have already passed on.

The Loss Of A Loved One

Few words can bring comfort to those feeling the sorrow and pain
Of a loved one who has left this Earthly plane

Their passing leaves a void deep within your heart
Caused by the shared experiences and by those feelings they impart

As this unique Soul departs this Earthly plane for those above
Their gift we will miss the most, was their way of giving out God’s Love

Take comfort in knowing that this departed Soul has It’s lessons learned
For they are continuing on a path to a place that they have well earned

So how does one cope, now that you and your loved one are physically apart
Open yourself to Divine Spirit as God’s Love gently soothes your grieving heart

© David Minton, 2016




Grandpa Turns Somersaults in Paul’s Dream


Paul sent us a story about a dream experience he had with his grandfather, who died of cancer when Paul was 20 years old. During his grandfather’s battle with the disease, Paul would take him for doctor and hospital appointments. Even though he knew the older man was dying, Paul was unprepared for the news of his death when it actually came.

“I remember the shock of all the emotions,” wrote Paul. “I was sad, I was scared, and strangely curious about what I was going through.”

In the hours and days that followed, though, Paul’s attention and that of his mother and sister turned to the pragmatic, as they prepared for the funeral. But, a few days after the funeral, Paul had a dream that felt so real it didn’t seem like a dream at all. Here’s what he wrote about it:

“I was standing in a massive station, like a train station, but I saw no trains. The ceilings were arched and as tall as skyscrapers, the walls were golden, and thousands of people were coming and going. I was standing in the centre observing the movements of all those people, when I saw Grandpa. He wore the blue t-shirt he always wore at home. He looked fantastically fit and healthy. He did a series of somersaults toward me and said, ‘Look at how well I am!’ He laughed and smiled and asked me to let everyone know he was okay.

“We embraced and it was so real, so warm, I could feel all the love flowing from him. Then he said he had to go and tumbled away into the crowds of people with his newly found gymnastics. I awoke in bed with tears on my face, sad to see him go but happy he was okay.”

Paul has learned a lot about spirituality since then and he says, “I now recognize that the experiences helping my grandfather taught me lessons about service and love.”

Thank you for this wonderful story, Paul. At The Meaning of Forever Project, we are seeking stories of people who have had comforting experiences with loved ones who have passed on. Our hope is that these stories will comfort others as well.

If you have a story to share, please send it to themeaningofforever@gmail.com

We would love to hear from you!


A Mother’s Inspiration Uncovers a Daughter’s Hidden Talent


Whimsical Tree | © Lena Montecalvo

Sometimes when loved-ones pass on—if only we open our hearts—we find they’ve left us gifts greater than anything we could have imagined. Here is a story of one such gift.

Lena has always felt there is more to life than we see with our eyes, so the possibility that her deceased parents might communicate their love to her, even after their deaths, has been easy to accept. As a young woman, she felt and smelled her father’s presence during her deepest sorrow after his passing. In later years, Lena has seen and heard the presence of her mother during some of her most difficult times.

But something Lena could not have predicted is the way her mother would help her make a new beginning and reveal a talent she did not even know she had.

“My mother was a talented artist who didn’t share her work widely. She was a little on the shy side and suffered depression in her later years. Painting water colours and folk art gave her great personal reward and comfort.”

After her mother passed away, Lena wrote her eulogy and concluded with words she’d found scribbled in one of her mother’s sketch books: “Mantra for new beginnings.” Then, needing to know something about her mother’s next journey, Lena consulted a set of rarely-used angel oracle cards.

“I said out loud: ‘Mom, if you want, and if you are able, please help me pull a card that will tell me you’re alright; that you are here with me.’”

Lena shuffled the deck and, “I pulled The Butterfly. I turned it over and read a comforting and completely fitting passage about ‘new beginnings’. It was clear: It was Mom.”

Later, she and her sisters sorted through their mother’s belongings as they prepared to sell her house and give away the things they could not use. For a reason Lena could not explain, she kept the art supplies.

“One night, I decided to try a tiny painting,” she says, and this led her in a direction she could never have predicted: “I had no idea I was able to paint!”

A few years afterward, “I have found I possess a definite and recognizable style, and it makes me happier than anything I have ever done.”

Lena is now an active participant in her local artistic community where she gives art classes and sells her own work. She also makes a few prints and cards of the water colours her mother left behind.

“I know for certain this comes from my mother’s inspiration. I feel her close when I pick up the brush,” says Lena. “It’s a perfect legacy to me.”