"I realized that Eastern thought had somewhat more compassion for all living things. Man was a form of life that in another reincarnation might possibly be a horsefly or a bird of paradise or a deer. So a man of such faith, looking at animals, might be looking at old friends or ancestors."
~William Orville Douglas
While I have never studied the Eastern religions and have no concept of what Douglas is saying, it is something I have thought about over the years. My first experience happened upon the death of my youngest brother many years ago. He died as a result of a car accident. It was the night before his funeral and I prepared to go to bed. The house I grew up in had an outside cellar with a room built over the top. Since the house was full my husband and I were sleeping in that 'extra' bedroom. When I went out the backdoor to ascend the steps to the cellar room I shone my flashlight up to the top. There in the open yard above was a red fox. At first I was stunned and then paused. You see, my brother used the name "The Red Fox" as his CB radio name. I had struggled for days at his being in a coma and then finally having his life support removed. For me this red fox was a sign that he was ok, wherever he was.
Years later before my Dad died I traveled all night from Virginia to West Virginia to get to the hospital where he had had a heart catherization . When I got to the hospital in the early morning my oldest brother told me that he had been up all night with Dad. He had had a bad reaction to the anesthesia. My brother said it was like he was deer hunting. He would say there was a deer here and there over and over through the night. On my drive through the night there had been groups and groups of deer along the highway just past the car headlights. There was not one just here and there, but two or three at a time and sometimes on both sides of the road. My husband and I had remarked it was the most we had ever seen. It was very unusual. After hearing my brother tell about Dad, I wondered if he had been with me the whole way.
And then, something else happened after Dad died when my Mom came to visit me. Of course on this trip she was alone. When Mom and Dad would come visit me Mom usually drove. Dad was older and he got nervous in traffic so for the most part Mom did the driving on the long trip. My Dad would sit and look out the window and on numerous times when he arrived at some point in conversation he would tell me how many hawks he had seen in the trees along the roadway. I have since picked up his habit of looking for them and am always amazed at how many I can spot. I think my trip from Virginia last week I spotted around twenty. They have tremendous eyesight so stopping to get a picture proved almost impossible. But back to Mom's visit. She and I were sitting on my backyard patio talking and we both heard a screech. Looking toward the back yard we saw a hawk fly from one of the tall pine trees. Never before had I seen one in my yard. Never. Moving back to West Virginia a few months ago I caught sight of one soaring at the edge of the woods just off my deck.
If you ever watch psychic Sylvia Browne on the Montel show you know she believes that those who go before us sometimes visit. She always says to pay attention to what you would not ordinarily see or least expect.
I don't know if any of this has meaning or truth, but if God or the angels send us signs I think I've received a few in my lifetime and I continue to keep my eyes and my mind open to the possibilites of what lies beyond.