Life’s greatest mystery is that of “life after death.” It’s an unanswerable question, though many claim to know the answer. A vast array of people, ranging from charlatans to holy men, have theories about the topic, and audiences of souls ready to listen to them all. One such individual is John Edward, a psychic medium who relayed messages from “the other side” on his weekly show, Crossing Over.
After watching this show for many months with great skepticism, I became fascinated. My own belief system could be classified as “weak but hopeful”. I did not attend church as a child, except maybe at Easter. I do not find churches “comforting” in that way that many people do. But I have a strong spiritual belief system and an even stronger hope that there is, indeed, life after death.
On one show, John spoke in length about signs that he receives from his mother, usually in the form of white feathers found in unusual places. He emphasized that he often asks for these signs, when he feels the need to connect with her again. Something in his words touched me, and I decided to try my own “experiment of faith”. I began talking to my departed family daily. I emphasize that I was not “praying to God”. I was talking to my father and my grandmother and others, whom I hoped were able to hear me and respond.
My request was for a black feather. That is not an unusual request, I admit, but I also asked that it be left in my front yard, someplace “out of the ordinary”, although I was not certain what I really meant by that phrase. These conversations went on for about three weeks.
I found the feather when I returned from a drive one Sunday afternoon. It was laying on its edge, tucked into the narrow space between grass and the edge of the sidewalk running from my driveway to my front door. Just a plain black feather, but my heart stopped! I picked it up, hearing my husband say, “Don’t take that thing in the house. Birds are filthy!”. I hadn’t told him about my experiment, so I stopped and explained the feather’s significance to me. Even being the cynic that he is, he was dumbfounded, and had to admit that he couldn’t remember seeing feathers in the yard before, let alone lying right next to the house. I took the feather inside and tucked it into a favorite piece of driftwood which I had sitting on a shelf, where it is to this day.
Was this feather a “message” from heaven? I won’t know until I die, when it will be too late to tell anyone! But I know that feather is a comfort to me when I am feeling down. It is tangible, and it has a more personal meaning to me than a cross or a bible, because I specifically asked for it and I received it in response to that request. It is a comfort to me, and I am thankful for it, regardless of its source. Perhaps if more people had their own personal “feathers”, there would be less fear of dying and more peace of mind in the world.