Signs From Heaven

Victoria Gisondi

I used to have a strange, very naive idea that I would be closely united with my father after his death. I know that we are united with the communion of saints, and that death no longer separates us (Romans 8:38-39). I believe we can pray to the saints, and even pray to and pray for our relatives who have gone before us. But I guess my interpretation of what that union would look like differed from reality.

I thought that all I had to do was pray and that my dad would visit me in my dreams, or that God would send me endless consolations to constantly comfort me. I believed that my father would send me signs of his present happiness from “the other side” in big ways.

I probably picked up this idea from other people’s anecdotes. I’ve heard of people smelling their loved one’s cologne, or of finding an old voice message at just the right time, or of visits in dreams.

I was so sure of how things worked that, when my sweet atheist brother insisted that we stop trying to comfort him with talk of heaven, my sister boldly assured him that he would be surprised and change his mind when my dad visited him in his dreams from the afterlife. He looked pointedly at both of us, and told us we would be surprised when he didn’t.

I had a friend who told me that her mother appeared by her bedside one night. This friend had cancer, and she was in deep anguish over leaving her children behind. Her mother appeared beside her in bed, and came to comfort her with a smile. I asked her if she was terrified; and she told me she wasn’t at all. I believed every word of it. My friend has since died.

People talk about lesser signs. They find pennies on the ground or see monarch butterflies or cardinals as signs from heaven sent by the deceased.

I saw all these things but the cynic in me brushed them away, hoping for something bigger. I didn’t need an actual appearance, like my friend had; but I wanted something big enough to satisfy every doubt in me. I’m  not sure what, if anything, would have ever satisfied me.

On the two-month anniversary of my father’s death, I did dream about him. I barely remember the dream, but I did capture his last words, which were in Spanish: “No lo dudes” (“Do not doubt it”). I think it was a message about my dreams to finish school, but it took a bigger meaning in general.

The truth is, I won’t be satisfied until I see him again. We were not created to be satisfied until we reach perfect communion with God. Earth is an exile; we cannot expect it to be heaven. We must wait patiently, and exercise faith that we will be reunited again. Jesus came so that those who trust in Him would pass from death to life. In the meantime, those of us who have been left behind still have to live on earth.

It occurred to me that this is where I need to trust God and put my faith into practice. I can’t expect daily consolations or signs from God in order to trust.  Believing in what we cannot see, and having the patient assurance that what God promised will indeed come to pass, is what separates us from non-believers.

We must persevere in faith, in the the hope of his promise. The details will be revealed later.

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV)

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7 thoughts on “Signs From Heaven”

  1. You must know that it so true that there is an afterlife. I have a testimony of when I was a child. I was around nine years old and I lived at 998 East, 157th st., Bronx, New York. I am now 61 years old. My parents went to visit a friend and they had a daughter, Carmin. It was a time of wondering about the birds and the bees. I was extremely curious on the subject. To make it short, I decided to tell Carmin what I knew. She was in shock at what she heard me say. Later that night I remember that I felt bad and in tears I prayed to “papa Dios, ” as I called God the Father in spanish. I really repented from having told Carmin that the stork story was a fib. I cried with deep sorrow with my face hidden downward on my pillow. Then I started feeling like a little light grew inside me and even though my eyes where closed I saw a light growing around me too. I never opened my eyes and had my face facing downward on my pillow. I stopped crying and could not cry anymore. Then I felt a hand with long fingers touching me gently from the tip of my head to the tip of my toes while facing downward. The touch was human, but it gave me a surge of like electricity all over my body and a peace that is beyond words. This lasted a while and I wanted to pull my head up and open my eyes, but I felt Him tell me inside , ” You don’t have to do that. You know who I am.” I would describe the peace that I felt as deeper than the peace a baby portrays as he sleeps. For years I didn’t fully grasp the meaning of this. I was so young when this happened. Now I understand that this was Our Lord comforting me. Also, He let me know that He is alive. So, because He is alive, yes there is an afterlife. Yes, there is a Kingdom of God. It is a real place. Yes, our relatives that have passed away are alive too. This is so true. We must not doubt it. It is in scripture. I hope and pray that this helps others believe.

  2. I am searching for a sign and have echoed every word you wrote, but my pain is so deep that I find myself doubting all that I have ever believed. I pray everyday and it is my hope that endures. We recently lost our beautiful son, and finding my faith and trust has been harder then anything I could have ever imagined, but if only for the belief in God’s promise do I get up every day and wait for the day when I am once again home with Jesus and can embrace my boy in heaven.

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  5. After my Mom passed away, I found the most awesome book! It is: The Other Side, by Michael H. Brown. It is interesting and uplifting. When I started reading it, I could barely put it down. I was so completely absorbed by it. I have since purchased about 60 more copies and I give the books away to people that have lost loved ones.

  6. “Signs from the other side?” “Something bigger?” Victoria,
    every day your Father in heaven sends you the most outrageous, biggest impact,
    most extraordinary signs, signs He sends so that you will see them and spend
    eternity with Him. To paraphrase CS Lewis, the signs He sends you, next to
    Jesus in the Eucharist, are other persons made in His image that you encounter
    every day. And this is true for you –
    you are a sign to others and it is clear that He had given you your gift of
    writing words with heart and soul to bring those who read them to Him. I am
    sure in important ways, your ability to write like this is because of your
    father. Your words are signs from him to us. Boy do I identify with your
    wanting to even in some minimum way be with your father now – I miss fishing
    trips with my father in law, early morning coffee at work with my sister, and
    just laughing with an Aunt who had the same wacky mind wavelength as me. And
    there are children and grandchildren I dearly want to hug and kiss. What you
    have done with your gift in writing and going to all the trouble to see that we
    receive your words is generous and profound. Thank you. Guy McClung, San
    Antonio

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