Chapter 3: Together Again


We landed, I was handed the picture package I had purchased, and we left the terminal. We had a relaxed drive home, stopping for dinner along the way. It was a few days before I had an opportunity to view the photos and, as I was looking at them, one caught my eye. It was taken from inside the airplane, overlooking the wing and showed a very clear shadow—a silhouette—of Justin sitting on the wing of the airplane. I could not believe my eyes! I emailed the photo to Linda (my trusted anchor) to see if it was just me or if I really saw him. She responded immediately, and said she saw him too! It was no wonder that I was completely calm; Justin had been with us the entire time.


While I’m not “over” my son’s passing, I’m still standing. I’m still communicating with him and learning from him. We are still loving each other and taking care of each other…he’s just the one who has more experience now. He will “pop in” when I’m driving and hold my hand when I hear a song that he used to play on his guitar. I can feel it like he is in the car with me. He lets me miss him, when the grief comes in, but he doesn’t let it go on for too long. He keeps reminding me that there is much more to do, and too much to enjoy, to spend any time missing him…especially when he has been right here all along!


Dan continued to help me with things such as making sure his old car passed the emissions test so I could register it in my name and eventually sell it. He gave the thumbs up on a new car I found, so I would have more reliable transportation. He was also in favor of accepting the offer on our house but less impressed with where I hastily decided to move. I probably should have asked a few more questions about that. We had lots of conversations as I was wading through the mounds of paperwork he had saved, thanking him for being so organized and scolding him for hoarding every paper that had ever come across his desk and using so many paper clips. I painfully let go of most of his stuff during that move, but in the end, his “things” didn’t matter.


I remember so clearly one early evening driving down one of our two-lane roads, off in la-la land, not really paying attention to where I was or how fast I was going. I felt the tickle on my scalp. It was so intense that it really did feel like he was pulling my hair. I asked him if it was him, and very loudly in my head, I heard, “SLOW DOWN!” Well, that jarred me out of my stupor. I looked down at the speedometer and I was going fifteen miles per hour over the limit! I took my foot off the gas and coasted down to the speed limit. I came to a rise in the road, and right over the other side was a sheriff. I thanked J.T. for the literal wake-up call, and he said, “No problem, Mom.” Startled that I heard him again, without prompting, without meditating, without clearing, and without setting intention, I said, “Whoa. Is that you?” “Of course, it’s me!” and we continued to have a conversation for the duration of my car trip.