What Happens to Love When We Die?

David Minton - For Blog.

In his story below,  David provides another perspective on what is left of us when we leave this earthly life, and what remains–both here and in the worlds beyond.

The Passing Of A Loved One

I had been studying an issue of when Soul passes from this Earth world into the higher Spiritual heavens of God; of what is left behind and also what is “kept as part” of Soul. Those of us still on this Earthly world, have the memories of even the littlest things of what that Soul did, of how they brought to us a subtle awareness of their Love and how that Love touched those around them.

In a recent instance, a lady I shall call Rose, passed from this Earthly world. I didn’t know Rose very well as I had only worked with her about a handful of times, but it was still a sadness to hear of her passing. It is my memory of her openness, her smile and twinkling in her eyes as she spoke of Divine Spirit and the Love that uniquely flowed from her, that stuck with me. To “lose” her from this physical world, well, lets just say I cried a little. As usual, it is the thought of the physical separation that troubles one’s heart.

Soul does not die, only the coverings that protect It from Its environment in the lower worlds are left behind and there is an understanding that the Soul we knew as Rose had not really left us. It was my memory of her that I carried into contemplation one night, that led me to ask my Spiritual Guide how she was doing in the higher worlds.

As I closed my eyes and asked my Spiritual Guide of her passing, a calming peacefulness settled over me. As if in a very real dream, I found myself in a high Spiritual heaven, looking out over a parapet of a Spiritual Temple at a sparkling Golden Ocean, with a white mist rising from It. Another Soul came along the parapet and through Its shining Light Of Love, I recognized Its Golden Flow of Love as that which came from Rose.

How does one describe, that joyous recognition of a friend and the beauty of their unique Golden Light of Love flowing from their being?

As we stood “there”, I became aware of another presence, that of my Spiritual Guide, in which his own blue-white Golden Light Of Love appeared from within the mists above the Golden Ocean. Looking to my Spiritual Guide, I sent forth a wave of Love, as an expression of my own gratitude of being shown in that moment, we never “lose” anyone, Soul lives on in eternity. I perceived a smile and watched both my Spiritual Guide and the Soul I knew as Rose, rise and slowly fade into the mists of Divine Spirit.

As I became aware of myself sitting on my couch, the tears streaming down my face were not of sadness, but of joy. I realized that the memories I had of Rose will live within my heart, her helping me in some small way on my own Journey to God. I also realized it is her own unique way that she brought Love into this world; and, that it was her uniqueness of giving Love which will be recognized by all Souls who meet in the higher Spiritual heavens.

It is Love and only Love, that we bring with us into this Earth world but it also Love and the greater capacity to give Love, that we take with us as a “part” of Soul when we depart the lower worlds.

The Meaning of Forever Project continues to accept stories of comforting experiences with loved ones who have passed on, and of near-death experiences that have helped to show the continuation of life beyond the physical body. You can email your story to us at themeaningofforever@gmail.com and you can find more about our project on our Facebook page, and our Meaning of Forever Website.


Can Dogs Fly Away Too?

Patti McCulloch - Pampas

If humans can happily leave their bodies behind when they no longer function, what about dogs?

It took a while for Patti to realize it, but her dog answered that question with a resounding “yes” one sad day in 1998. The message came in the form of a light rising from the box that contained her beloved Pomeranian’s ashes.

Sandy had been her constant companion for nine-and-a-half years. He’d taken her mind off how much she missed her friends and family after she’d moved with her husband and children from New York to North Carolina.

“I worked at home from the day I got Sandy, so we were together all the time, inseparable,” writes Patti. The little dog’s attachment was evident. “He loved the family and everyone he met, but not anyone to the degree he loved me. He was always nearby…We chuckled how he followed me from room to room, especially if I was very busy and moving around a lot.”

When she and her husband took Sandy for walks, he would allow only Patti to hold his leash; when Patti was out of town, Sandy would mope by the front door until she came home. After one extended trip, Patti returned to a distraught daughter and a normally fluffy-tailed dog who, in his anxiety, had chewed his tail raw.

So, when Sandy began to develop health problems in 1997, Patti was more than willing to spend thousands of dollars on procedures that included cataract surgery and a blood transfusion. Finally, though, Patti had to let Sandy go as he suffered a massive seizure in her arms during yet-another visit to a veterinarian. Patti describes this as “one of the most difficult days of my life.”

“I cried more than anyone knows.”

While she waited for Sandy’s cremated remains, Patti spent a week making a collage of her pet’s photos—and crying. “I cried more than anyone knows.”

Despite understanding and support from her family, Patti was beside herself with grief the day Sandy’s ashes were delivered. At the time, her husband was away on business. They had agreed to wait for his return, and to bury Sandy near a pampas bush in their back yard. The plumes would remind them of Sandy’s fluffy tail. So, Patti placed Sandy’s ashes in one of his favourite spots in the master bathroom.

“I returned to my home office and, two hours later, walked into the bathroom. As I was standing looking down on Sandy’s remains and telling him how much I missed him, a light rose from the ashes.”

Patti didn’t know what to make of this, so she returned to her typing. “I delivered my finished work, and when I returned home I called my son and told him about my ‘miracle’, which, by then, I felt it was. Then I called my husband; and, then I called my sister-in-law. Interestingly, they all seemed to believe my story.”

But Patti was not so sure. By the next day, she was doubting that a light—perhaps representing her beautiful dog Sandy—could have risen from his ashes.

“I wear a gold nugget necklace and saw some reflections from it in my office and thought, ‘maybe that’s what I saw in the bathroom yesterday.’” So, Patti went into the bathroom and tried to duplicate the light she’d seen the day before. “I could not,” she says. “There is no window in that area, only overhead light and no reflection could be duplicated.

“Then it struck me: The reflections in my office came off of something. The light I saw was suspended in free space, above the ashes, not reflected from something else.”

“Just accept it for what it was.”

The following morning a friend called to express her condolences and Patti told her of her attempts to disprove the experience. Her friend’s response surprised her. She said, “Why are you trying to disprove it? Just accept it for what it was.” Her friend then told her how she’d heard her Doberman’s claws on the floor after he’d passed away.

“An hour later my brother-in-law called and said, ‘So, I heard about your light.’ I told him of my doubt and attempts to duplicate it. He said, ‘Why are you trying to disprove it? Why don’t you just accept it for what it was?’ Almost the exact words of my friend.

“Then that night, when I picked up my husband at the airport and told him of my doubts, he said, ‘Why are you trying to disprove it? Why don’t you just accept it?’

“Three people in the same day using almost the exact words was a true message to me. I found that almost as amazing as my experience with the light.

“I have never, since that time, doubted what I saw. In fact, I would say the light became clearer in my memory.”

Patti describes the light as “a little larger than a golf ball, gold centre, lighter colour around the edges.”

“I began to feel very blessed that I was the recipient of one of God’s miracles.”

Looking back, Patti now believes she was being prepared for her San Dog’s departure before he fell ill. On an impulse one day, she picked up James Van Praagh’s popular book Talking to Heaven while in a bookstore. “I had no idea there were animal stories in there,” she says.

“I stood in the book store for three hours reading… I bought many more books and every single one of them had animal stories. I have absolutely no doubt that God, or a higher being, assisted me in what to purchase, because I have read some of the most wonderful stories; for example, of pets greeting people who have had near-death experiences, or about pets welcoming children who have passed on.”

About a month after Sandy’s passing Patti went with her husband to Hilton Head, SC, for a weekend. Patti took a book to the beach. It happened to be Hello From Heaven, by Bill Guggenheim and Judy Guggenheim, which gives accounts of what the writers call after-death communications (or ADC’s).

“There were lots of walkers and people with their dogs. This made me very sad because my Sandy always loved to walk on the beach with us and chase the seagulls.

“I was reading about ADC’s and was moved to talk to Sandy. I told him I wished he would send me an ADC.”

Not long after, Patti observed a man walking his large dog. “If you saw Turner and Hooch, he looked just like the Hooch dog,” she writes.

The dog would stop to urinate every few feet, but he never approached any of the people on the crowded beach. “They passed by me, and I watched until they were out of sight. The dog did not approach anyone.”

“That dog came right up to me…”

Later, Patti looked up from her reading to see the man and his dog returning along the beach. “Most dogs were on leashes, but this dog followed behind his owner. Again, he stopped to mark his territory. Then, suddenly, he came running towards me.

“I was stunned. For a split second I was frightened, he was so huge and menacing-looking.” But, says Patti, “That dog came right up to me and licked my left arm. He made three or four long licks, the whole length of my arm.”

After the owner apologized and continued up the beach with his dog, Patti watched them go. The dog did not attempt to approach anyone else. “I was the only person on that beach the dog came even close to.”

This experience was particularly important to Patti, because her San Dog used to lick her entire hand in long, loving strides, “like this dog had done to my arm.”

“I got tears in my eyes and thanked Sandy for visiting me through this dog. I was so touched that I did not even try to dry my arm with a beach towel. I was relishing the ‘slobber’ left behind as a message from my beloved Sandy.”

Patti now shares this story with others and has found that most of the people she tells actually believe her.

The story of Patti’s experience with her dog first appeared on the website of the After Death Communication Research Foundation (Http://www.adcrf.org/). We’ve re-told it here with Patti’s permission after she read about RuthAnn’s experience in our last blog.

 The Meaning of Forever Project continues to accept stories of comforting experiences with loved ones who have passed on, and of near-death experiences that have helped to show the continuation of life beyond the physical body. You can email your story to us at themeaningofforever@gmail.com and you can find more about our project on our Facebook page, and our Meaning of Forever Website.




Can Leaving the Body Behind Be Joyful?

Ruth Ann S-W - 1 - for blog

In this story, the writer gives us another perspective on the concept of Soul as an eternal being. This viewpoint asserts that we are not primarily physical beings who have Souls; rather, we are Souls who have physical bodies. And, not only that, says RuthAnn in this story: When death is inevitable, Souls will sometimes leave their bodies behind before the final physical processes have finished.

by RuthAnn Schallert-Wygal

 As I entered the dimly lit room with my nursing equipment, I found a frail elderly woman, unresponsive and partially curled into a fetal position. There was no sign that she was aware of my presence, so I took her vital signs and found them all within normal parameters. Then, I began to gently wash her face and hands as part of the evening bed prep. I felt tender compassion for this Soul who seemed trapped in a body she could not move; probably she was unable to speak either.

I had been employed as a nursing aide at this care facility for several months. This was back in the mid-1970’s when hospice care was unknown in most parts of the US; and, in homes like this one, we did the best we could to make our dying patients comfortable. It was a demanding job, but I enjoyed interacting with the mostly-elderly patients. It was rather like having forty grandparents to assist me with the tasks of daily living. I had always thought it wise to learn from other’s successes and missteps. I was fascinated to hear stories of their youths, and the troubles or joys they had encountered throughout their lives.

My usual assignment was on the first floor, where many of the patients were alert and oriented, with chronic but not rapidly progressing illnesses. Due to a staff shortage on this particular evening, I was sent to the second floor, where I was unfamiliar with most of the residents. Many of them were severely impaired, close to dying, or in coma.

As part of the normal evening routine, I entered the room of this elderly woman. Suddenly, I became aware of a feeling of great intensity. It seemed as if a powerful spotlight was bathing the bed in bright golden light although, outwardly, the room remained dim. I knew something very significant was about to happen.

Next, there was a sense of eruptive movement, and with my inner senses, I perceived this Soul leaping out of her body in a great exclamation of joy and relief. I had just a quick glimpse of a bright, sparkling being before she zoomed rapidly upward and vanished from my perception. I was awestruck. I knew I had just witnessed a Soul leaving her body.

Nonetheless, the woman’s physical body continued to breathe shallowly, just as before. There was no outer evidence of her departure. I continued the bed bath routine, yet I had been transformed by the experience and filled with Divine Spirit. I was exquisitely aware of being Soul operating a physical body, rather than being a person who “had” a Soul.

As I gently tucked in the patient’s blankets and turned to leave her—still physically alive—another aide entered the room and cried out in dismay before hurrying to summon help from the nurse on duty. I later learned that this patient (let’s call her Joy) was normally alert and much beloved by the staff. Although death was a common event that staff usually took in stride, Joy must have touched many hearts deeply, because her regular care givers were very distressed. They grieved openly when her physical form shut down completely a few hours later.

For my part, I tactfully removed myself to the other wing of the building where I continued my work. I had experienced such incredible awe and joy at the moment of this woman’s transition into the heavenly worlds that I did not want my happiness for her to offend the other staff who were grieving so deeply. With quiet wonder, I treasured this experience in my heart.

This was my first personal experience of the reality that Soul can leave the body before physical death. I wondered whether my loving presence or gentle touch had, in some way, assisted this Soul’s release from her body. I was grateful to receive such dramatic personal proof that Soul survives the death of the physical body. Most of all, I was thankful for the privilege to be a witness to this Soul’s joyful departure.

The Meaning of Forever Project continues to accept stories of comforting experiences with loved ones who have passed on, and of near-death experiences that have helped to show the continuation of life beyond the physical body. You can email your story to us at themeaningofforever@gmail.com and you can find more about our project on our Facebook page, and our Meaning of Forever Website.


More News From Heaven

Joan Olinger - Dr. Mary Neal

For those of us who haven’t had our own experiences to assure us life continues after death of the physical body, Dr. Joan Olinger has found another book that might help. In 7 Lessons from Heaven: How Dying Taught Me to Live a Joy-filled Life, Dr. Mary Neal writes about her own near-death experience and how it has allowed her to take more joy in the life she has right now—despite the fact it prophesied the death of her son. She even takes things a step further by providing exercises she hopes will help readers find that same joy.
Dr. Joan Olinger, who thoroughly enjoyed the book, summarizes parts of it below.

By Dr. Joan Olinger

Dr. Mary Neal, an orthopedic surgeon in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, writes of a near-death experience in which she drowned and was brought back to life. This is her second book based on that experience. The first is called To Heaven and Back. In this latest book, she states that her purpose is to help others benefit from what she learned during that near-death experience.

“The most important point—and one I urge you to consider as well—is that these glimpses into heaven are meant to change how you and I live now.”

Dr. Neal is a Christian, so her book contains many references to Christian traditions and symbols; but, the insights she offers can be useful for anyone, regardless of faith.

“…[W]e forget that we are beloved children of God…We forget that God’s love is for all people…and we forget that we are meant to be agents of God’s peace, love and joy.”

In 7 Lessons, Dr. Neal writes about how her experience helped her deal with the death, years later, of her son. She titles this chapter “There is Hope in the Midst of Loss”. She says that, while in heaven during her drowning experience, she was told her son Willie was going to die at a young age. She kept that information secret for years, not even telling her husband, because she thought it would be too much for him to bear.

She says that, even as she hoped that God’s plan for Willie would change, she wondered each day if that would be the day her son would die. Finally, at the age of 19, Willie was struck by a car and killed. His body was badly shattered in the accident; but, after his death, Willie came to visit his mother in a dream. There, he was whole again, just like others she had seen during her near-death experience.

For anyone who has lost a child at a young age, or for anyone who has lost a loved one, this chapter may offer great comfort, even as you grieve.

7 Lessons from Heaven consists of 18 chapters in which Dr. Neal discusses many things. For example, she takes us on a tour of heaven, talks about the presence of angels in our lives, and discusses the reality of small and large miracles that happen all the time. She writes that God has a plan for each person’s life and how, in the fullness of God’s time, beauty blossoms from all things.

Regardless of our personal belief systems, taking realizations like these to heart can give hope—even during times of loss and suffering.

Dr. Neal writes about forgiveness and gives a new take on “Judgement Day,” calling it also a “life-review.” In her case, she expected that, when her day came, she would experience much remorse, guilt, regret and disappointment, even though she had tried to live a good life. Instead, during her near-death experience, she found love, compassion, and understanding.

She writes that her life-review has much in common with others who have reported similar experiences of dying and being brought back. She says a “being of light”, who might be identified as Christ, or God, the source of life, or pure love,  lets the dying person review their life from a variety of perspectives, along with an awareness of the “backstory” for all the individuals involved—including what motivates them, and what needs they were trying to fill at the time.

For the experiencer, this becomes the basis for a new level of compassion and love for themselves and others. Dr. Neal says the lesson she learned from her review was that everything was understandable from the perspective of heaven. She also discovered that she did not have to “earn” the right to be in God’s presence, and that, “God’s grace is His love in action—continual forgiveness, encouragement, mercy, compassion, and kindness…”

In part 2 of her book, Dr. Neal describes in detail what we can do to lay the foundation for a joy-filled life, based on the lessons she learned. In Part 3, there is a guide to questions for discussion that can enable further exploration of how her lessons are relevant to anyone.

Did reading this book and doing some of the exercises allow me to have a more joy-filled life? Actually, Yes! It helped me become more aware of the small and large miracles that are happening in my life all the time. And, it helped me take to heart that, in God’s time, beauty blossoms in all things.

The Meaning of Forever Project continues to accept stories of comforting experiences with loved ones who have passed on, and of near-death experiences that have helped to show the continuation of life beyond the physical body. You can email your story to us at themeaningofforever@gmail.com and you can find more about our project on our Facebook page, and our Meaning of Forever Website.


When the Experiences of Others Aren’t Quite Enough

David Olinger - For Blog

Most contributors to The Meaning of Forever Project believe that love and life continue after death of the physical body—because experiences with their own dearly departed have proven it for them. Some have even died and come back to tell about what the academic world now refers to as their Near-Death Experiences (NDE’s).
But—much as many of us want to believe there is more to life than what we see before us—we aren’t all fortunate enough to be given convincing glimpses of “the other side”. In this short piece, David writes about how it feels to want to believe but how, for him, the evidence falls just-that-much too short of the mark.

“My father died of a heart attack a number of years ago.

“It wasn’t his first heart attack. He described his first to me after coming home from the hospital. That started with feeling like a horse was standing on his chest. It hurt like hell, and he nearly died.

“But he had a revelation before returning to life. He saw a great white light before him, and it gave him peace. He was not a religious man, but he did not fear dying after that.

His story gave me some peace as well.

“I had entered college planning to be a Methodist minister, but as I studied religious philosophy, I felt my faith slipping away like grains from a torn bag. I stopped going to church, except at family reunions where my mother’s two brothers were both Methodist ministers. One of the brothers told me he made that choice after seeing the ghost of his kid brother and chasing him into a South Dakota barn.

“All I know, after all these years, is how little I understand life and death. I know that within my own body, the space between proton and electron is comparable to a soccer ball in a stadium. My daughter tells me that astronomers believe the universe is expanding faster than the speed of light. I can’t imagine a beginning or end of time.

“A fortune cookie wisdom taped to our refrigerator asserts the only certainty is that nothing is certain.

“But I still take comfort in my father’s story. I have talked to others who related similar near-death experiences, and I noticed a strange white light and ghostly figures in late Van Gogh paintings.

“When my time as David Olinger ends, I hope to see that same light myself.”

The Meaning of Forever Project continues to accept stories from people who have had comforting experiences with departed loved ones–either human or animal–that have shown them how love and life continue regardless of whether there is a physical container for it.

In our next blog post, Dr. Joan Olinger will review a book by Dr. Mary C. Neal, an orthopedic surgeon from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, whose Near-Death Experience changed the way she lives her life. Joan will be reviewing Dr. Neal’s second book about her experience, called 7 Lessons From Heaven: How Dying Taught Me To Live A Joy-Filled Life.

“Many questions people may have about what happens after death may be answered by this book,” says Joan in her review.  


Lori’s Mom Finds an Unconventional Way to Send Her Love

Lori and the Toilet

In this story, Lori tells how her Mom’s sense of humour plays an important part in letting Lori know that the love between mother and daughter continues long after the mother’s physical passing.

My mother and I were extremely close. I love and miss her dearly. I know she is never too far from me. She sends me signs all the time.

I recall talking with her before she got really sick. She let me know that she was not afraid of dying. She told me that, when she was a little girl, she became quite ill and was pronounced dead briefly. She said death was not scary, it was peaceful and calming. I knew she was reassuring me that, when the time came, she would be fine.

I asked that she send me a sign after death to let me know she was okay. She took on a mischievous grin and I quickly said, “Don’t you dare come as a ghost!”

She laughed and assured me she wouldn’t. “I know you pay attention to your dreams,” she said, “so I’ll visit you there.”  

My mother visits me often, but dreams aren’t her only method. She had a wonderful sense of humour and continues to give us laughs long after her death. One of her favourite words was “toilet”. Don’t ask me why. It just was. She would say the word and laugh, then make you say it. She said it would just roll right off the tongue.

One day, long after my mother’s passing, I had trouble with the toilet in my townhouse unit. Instead of calling maintenance, I decided to fix it myself. (My father was not a handy man at all, so Mom and I would often tackle repairs before calling in the experts.)

This day, I was focused on the problem at hand, trying to figure out the issue and how I could repair it. Out of nowhere, I heard my mother’s voice: “TOILET!” it said. I started to chuckle. The voice came again. “Say it with me: TOILET!”

I laughed. “Hi Mom! Look at me, I’m fixing my toilet! There I said it with you!”

So, I was able to fix the toilet—and to enjoy an auditory visit with Mom at the same time.

      The Meaning of Forever Project continues to accept stories of comforting experiences with loved ones who have passed on, and of near-death experiences that have helped to show the continuation of life beyond the physical body. You can email your story to us at themeaningofforever@gmail.com and you can find more about our project on our Facebook page, and our Meaning of Forever Website.


Mel Overcomes Skepticism to Recognize Signs that Babz is Okay

Mel Kazonoff for Blog

Mel tells a story of how he asked for signs that his departed wife was well and happy in her new existence, then allowed his inner skeptic to take over. However, a set of happenings too strange to ignore finally got through to him and brought comfort.

“Six years ago, my wife Babz passed away after several weeks of intense pain due to cancer.  It was a horrible time for all of us.  On her last night, she seemed to find some peace as I played a recording of a HU chant*, and she slowly drifted into a coma-like state before her heart and breathing stopped.

 “I have believed for a long time that death in the physical is a moment of rebirth into somewhere else. I wanted—maybe even needed—to know if she was okay in this somewhere-else place. So, I sang HU* and asked her to confirm that she was all right.

“Over the next couple of weeks several unusual things happened; things which had never happened before, although I didn’t put them together as being an answer from Babz. Despite my request that she give me a sign, my natural skepticism had kicked in, and I convinced myself these incidents were simply coincidences.


“At last I took the situation in hand—which really means I took myself in hand and formulated a definitive process to get the answer I so desperately wanted. My spiritual belief includes several masters as guides and helpers. After Babz died, I had placed images of nine of these masters, printed on a sheet of heavy-duty paper, by my bedside.

“Now, as I embarked on my plan, I thought that—if anyone could answer my plea—these spiritual guides surely could. That night I asked, ‘If Babz is well and enjoying a new life on the higher planes, please give me an unmistakable sign.’ Then I went to sleep.

“Next morning all was as usual. It was cool for mid-May in my part of British Columbia, Canada, so I had kept the bedroom window closed. I showered and then made breakfast. Once done I headed for the bedroom to dress and found the picture with the nine masters on the floor. ‘Strange,’ I thought. That paper had been on my bedside table for two weeks and there had been no breeze to blow it off. I picked it up and returned it to its place. 

“A couple of hours later, I had reason to go back to the bedroom and, once again, the page was on the floor. Could this be the sign I had asked for? Nah! Just a coincidence. I replaced the page once again.

“When this happened a third time, I paid attention. I had asked these nine spiritual masters to give me a sign; the page had pictures of all nine of them. Together, they were giving me a sign. I replaced the picture and smiled.

“‘I get it,’ I said aloud and turned to leave the bedroom. 

“As I did, Babz’ purse, which had been hanging on a large hook on the back of the door, fell down.  By the laws of physics, it is not possible for a purse to rise by itself over a hook and fall. But, there it was: on the floor. 

“And I could swear that—at that very moment—I heard a tiny laugh, just like Babz might have made when she played a fun trick on me. 

“At last I was convinced, and my mind and heart were at peace.”

* In our blog of November 13, 2017, we mention an exercise that Harold Klemp recommends as “a spiritual exercise for soul travel”. The exercise involves chanting a word he says is an ancient name for God: HU (pronounced “hue”). The benefits of using this word are said to include a calming and comforting effect.

The Meaning of Forever Project continues to accept stories of comforting experiences with loved ones who have passed on, and of near-death experiences that have helped to show the continuation of life beyond the physical body. You can email your story to us at themeaningofforever@gmail.com and you can find more about our project on our Facebook page, and our Meaning of Forever Website.

Dream Visits Assure Lidia of Mother’s Love and Protection


Lidia Adaman-Tremblay for Blog.

Lidia’s story illustrates how the connection between a mother and daughter continued in dreams long after the mother’s passing; and, how those dream visits helped Lidia feel loved and protected.

“I was almost 30 years old when my mother passed away in the early 1970’s from a very aggressive form of stomach cancer. Since then, she’s appeared in my dreams a number of times—often in the most mundane places. She might be sitting next to me on the bus, or making tea in the kitchen, or casually sorting through my collection of fabrics.

“We would chat, and she would always say that she knew she was passed from this world, but that she was simply taking opportunities to come back and check up on me. In one of the dreams, we actually went to another world together, saw ancient ruins and even some flying beings in the distance. That was a very exciting dream!

“Finally, after many years of visits, she came to me one last time in the early 2000’s. It happened one afternoon as I lay down for a nap on the couch in my apartment. Suddenly I, was overwhelmed by a golden light emanating from the folding white doors of my closet.

“To this day, I’m not sure if it was a dream or whether it actually happened. Regardless, I knew I had to pay attention. I could feel my mother’s presence, and I remember thinking: This is a very unusual way for her to make an appearance.

“At that instant, she stepped from the light into the room. As always, she asked how I was getting along and we chatted, as we normally would. Then, my mother said something totally amazing.

“She told me this would be the last time she would visit me, because she had a chance to be reborn—reincarnated into a new physical body. Instead of feeling upset that I wouldn’t be seeing her in my dreams again, I was delighted.

“We high-fived each other, hugged, and after a little more chatter—in which she assured me that I am, and always will be taken care of—she went back into the light and the closet doors became closet doors again.

“Since then, I have had one other dream in which someone who looked like my mother appeared, but I knew it was not her. I called this being out, saying I knew the truth about my mom, because I’d had that earlier experience. Immediately, the dream being morphed into something nasty before fading away. I found this dream to be one of my first ‘lucid’ dreams in which I remembered a previous dream and wove it into this one.

“This dream taught me not to doubt myself, nor doubt my mother’s message.

“I also learned through these dreams that soul and spirit may be two different parts of people—the spirit is forever, while the soul goes on in a different body and life.”

The Meaning of Forever Project continues to accept stories of comforting experiences with loved ones who have passed on, and of near-death experiences that have helped to show the continuation of life beyond the physical body. You can email your story to us at themeaningofforever@gmail.com and you can find more about our project on our Facebook page, and our Meaning of Forever Website.

Bianca Credits Help from Beyond with a Miraculous Escape

Bianca Mallon 2

Bianca has suffered three great losses in the course of her young life, and these deaths have hurt her deeply. Still, she is buoyed by the certainty that her loved ones are still with her when she needs them.

In the second of two stories, Bianca tells how she and her mother escaped catastrophe on a snowy winter highway, and how she believes her departed Nonna and Nana had a hand in it. (See the first story in our post from December 10, 2017)

My Nonna (grandmother) passed away on December 8, 2006. She was an amazing, beautiful woman, and very special to me. From the time I was four or five years old, she taught me how to cook and sew, and we would spend a lot of time with each other. I was at my Nonno (grandfather) and Nonna’s house almost every single weekend, right up until she passed away.

Her death has been really hard on me, but I know that she is still here.

The evening after she passed away, the sunset was the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. It was all kinds of reds, oranges, and yellows with the clouds that just made it so much more beautiful. I knew that was my Nonna telling us she’s at peace, and that she’s okay, and she’s still here.

Now, when I’m having a hard time, I sometimes smell her scent. I just know that it’s her, because I recognize the faint powdery, flowery smell. Sometimes I feel like she’s just giving me this huge hug. It’s like she’s saying, “I’m here, I love you”.

My Nana passed away on July 14th, 2010. She was a very good friend of the family, and she was truly like another Grandmother to me. Like my Nonna, she was a very special and beautiful woman. When my siblings and I were younger, she would often babysit us, and I remember always looking forward to it, because we would always have such a fun time with her. She was a kind, gentle soul who loved nature and animals.

In our backyard, we have an area of cement that leads out to the driveway. Beyond it, there’s a small area with patio stones, and the rest of the yard is grass. Shortly after Nana passed away, a single little pansy-type flower popped up between the cracks in the patio stones. It was a beautiful, bright yellow with a chocolate brown stripe up the middle. We searched all around to find other flowers like it, where it might have come from. We even looked in the neighbours’ gardens, but found nothing similar.

Also around this time, a small brown bird perched itself in the corner of my window outside, and it stayed there for about three days. To us, these unusual gifts from nature were a huge sign from Nana, saying she’s still here and that she’s okay.

The winter following my Nana’s passing, my Mom was driving both of us home from Toronto after dropping my aunt off at the train station. The highway was covered in snow, ice and slush, but traffic was still moving at between 90 and 110 kilometres per hour. It is a divided highway, and we were on a section that has four lanes going in each direction.

A big transport truck was in the farthest right lane, and we were in the lane next to it. The truck was kicking up a lot of snow and slush, so my Mom slowed down in order not to be so close. As she did, our car began to swerve all over the road. We almost went in the ditch, then spun around so we were now facing the oncoming traffic. Still moving very fast, our vehicle started sliding sideways. We were heading for a cement barrier, so Mom told me to brace myself, because my side of the car would strike first.

Then we said, “I love you,” because we both thought we were going to die.

But—suddenly for no apparent reason—our car just came to a complete stop. It was as if something stopped us. We were only inches away from the wall. Miraculously, at that moment in the middle of the day on a section of Ontario’s most-crowded highway, there was no oncoming traffic for miles. We sat there a few moments, just trying to process what had happened before Mom carefully turned the car around and continued driving us home.

Mom and I truly believe that my Nonna and Nana were with us that day, because there is just no other explanation for our car stopping like it did, when it was sliding at such high speed—then to have no oncoming traffic besides!

When things like this happen and others hear about it, they might say it’s just a coincidence that doesn’t really mean anything. But I truly believe everything happens for a reason.

The Meaning of Forever Project continues to accept stories of comforting experiences with loved ones who have passed on, and of near-death experiences that have helped to show the continuation of life beyond the physical body. You can email your story to us at themeaningofforever@gmail.com and you can find more about our project on our Facebook page, and our Meaning of Forever Website.



Bianca, a Mermaid and a Bushel of Butterflies


Bianca Mallon

“When somebody passes away, people often think that person is gone, and that they have to say goodbye,” says Bianca, “but I truly believe that’s not the case.”

Bianca tells stories of how she has known through the years that her departed grandmothers have been with her. She’s known it through their scent, a bird, a flower, through colours in the sky—and, even, through unexplained help that prevented a serious car crash.

But, this story is about how the shape of a mermaid and an abundance of butterflies have comforted Bianca and assured her that her best friend Aliesha is still with her.

“March 11, 2015, my best friend Aliesha passed away,” says Bianca. “She and I were like sisters…super close, and were always there for each other. We both had medical issues, so on rough days we would always vent to each other, knowing that we were venting to someone who truly cared, wouldn’t judge, and would really understand.

“In my room, I have the sewing machine that my Nonna taught me how to sew on, and that we would use all the time together. It folds up like a desk, so I often will do my homework on it.

“The day after Aliesha passed away, I was working on one of my school assignments, which was a painting, so I had all my watercolour paints and paintbrushes out, along with a small bottle filled with water.

“In the painting, I included a quote that Aliesha always would say to me: ‘We will fight our battles, and we will win!’

“At one point, I accidentally knocked the bottle over. When I stood to mop it up from the carpet, I realized that the coloured water was in the perfect shape of a mermaid sitting on a rock. This was very powerful to me because Aliesha used to call herself a mermaid. By that, I knew that my best friend/sister was still with me.

“I was given the huge honour of presenting her eulogy. As I was spoke, the lights in the funeral home flickered; and, after I finished presenting, the priest made a comment that Aliesha was definitely there with us.

“Aliesha and I always had some sort of contact. We lived a couple of blocks apart, so we would often hang out, but we also kept in touch almost every single day through text messaging, FaceTime, and Skype.

“Since she has passed away, once in a while my phone will go off as if I have a notification, but when I check, there’s nothing there. To me, this is definitely a sign from Aliesha, as if she’s saying, ‘He-y-y-y, what’s up? How’s it goin’?’

“Like my Nonna and Nonna, who I know are also still with me, Aliesha would call me her ‘Little Butterfly.’ Shortly before she passed away, she told me she would haunt me with butterflies. She has definitely kept that promise. During the warmer weather, whenever I look or go outside, I always see at least one butterfly. Even when I am at the mall, or browsing online, I will always see something that has a butterfly on it.

“I am constantly surrounded by beautiful butterflies; and, I hold this sign that Aliesha is with me very close to my heart.”

The Meaning of Forever Project continues to accept stories of comforting experiences with loved ones who have passed on, and of near-death experiences that have helped to show the continuation of life beyond the physical body. You can email your story to us at themeaningofforever@gmail.com and you can find more about our project on our Facebook page, and our Meaning of Forever Website.