by Jeannette Olson

Black River Falls, Wisconsin

Several years ago, I experienced three great losses within a period of only 15 months. The first was my mother who passed just 10 days before Christmas in 2006. Then, I lost a very dear aunt in October of 2007. Easter Day in 2008 my father passed away. Needless to say. my grief was overwhelming.

My father loved cardinals which appeared often in his yard. Not long after his death, we began to see several cardinals in our yard. Shortly thereafter we moved across the state. My grief was extreme, and it continued until a vibrant red cardinal started to appear regularly near our home. I would hear his call and felt as if he was calling for me to look out the window, and I did. He would sit on his perch and stare directly at me through the window.

I decided to learn the call of the cardinal. While outside, I call for him and he calls back from a distance. Eventually he flies toward my direction and lands on a tree branch directly above my head. We continue calling back and forth for several minutes each day.

I believe it is my dad, mom and perhaps other family members who have passed on and were reaching out to me with their love and support until my grief had passed. I always feel so blessed when calling back and forth with this gorgeous red cardinal, and it has most certainly peaked my belief in the afterlife!

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