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Dan Gives Me a Sign

posted May 24, 2010, 1:42 PM by Sheri Perl   [ updated Jun 9, 2010, 3:11 PM ]

 There are numerous ways that people connect up with loved ones on the other side. While some people experience the feeling of  a presence around them, others can hear thoughts in their heads.  Most of us can catch a glimpse of our loved ones once in a while through our nightly dreams however all of these experiences are subjective.  We can never prove them and they are basically not apparent in to anyone but ourselves.  They are all internal, subjective experiences, however now and then our loved ones will send a sign that is actually viewable in our physical reality.  Of course, you have to be open to it.  You can step right over a very valid sign and missing it entirely.  But there are those cases that you can’t ignore, when a sign occurs in your reality that is so evidential and meaningful, that you can’t help but take notice of it. I had one of those outstanding signs from Dan approximately 6 weeks after his passing.  I think it was outstanding, however I will present all the specifics to you and you can draw your own conclusions.

 A few days after Dan had passed I was lying in bed, unable to bring myself to get up or get dressed.  My heart was heavy and I could think of no way to lighten it.  For lack of anything else to do, I opened my computer and began to look at the music that      was listed in my itunes library.  My eyes immediately fixed on a song entitled “Free Bird”.  I didn’t know the song, but it was on a soundtrack that I had imported into my computer and now, for some inexplicable reason I was very interesting in hearing the lyrics.  I hit play and proceeded to listen to “Free Bird” which blew me away, because it made me think of Dan.  Followin are the lyrics:

Free Bird

If I leave here tomorrow

Would you still remember me?

I must be travelling on

Cause there’s too many places I’ve yet to see

But if I stay here with you now

Things just couldn’t be the same

Cause I’m as free as a bird now

And this bird you cannot change

Whoa and this bird you cannot change

Lord knows I can’t change

Lord knows I can’t change

It felt to me as if Dan was sending me a message through the song. Of course, this was one of those very subjective experiences and I knew I couldn’t be certain of it.  None-the-less I decided that from then on I would think of Dan as “Free Bird” and call him “Free Bird” to others.  It felt right, although at the same time I knew that it might all be my own imagination.   Six weeks later, however, the plot thickened.

It was a warm late afternoon in August when Jerry decided to play golf at the country club near the home in Ardsley that we had recently moved from.  Feeling out of sorts and wanting to stay close to Jerry I decided to accompany him to the club and ride around in the golf cart with him while he played.  Now that we lived in the city, being on the golf course was a respite in the country and I have always found dusk an enchanting time of the day, so we drove up to Westchester together.

As soon as Jerry pulled off the highway, I was hit with a wave of sorrow.  The familiar streets and stores where Dan and I had been together so many times were all around me and my heart began to ache.  The pain literally felt like a knife in my chest, making me gasp for air.  All I could think of was Danny and how much I missed him and how unbearable it was to accept that he would never drive his car down these streets again, or cook dinner for me the in Ardsley house kitchen.  I could feel myself regretting that I had come up to Westchester at all and feeling such a burden in my heart when I felt this huge, warm presence around me, and thoughts entered into my mind quickly and moved fluidly from one idea to the next and this is what I heard:

Mom, stop idealizing me.  It was not a bed of roses and it was never going to be.  And whether you realize it or not, I am with you more now than I ever was then.  Think about it Mom.  I didn’t usually get up before 3.  When I did I could be very grouchy.  Later in the day I would often go out with my friends and then stay up way late.  Now I am with you all the time.  Think of it this way…you used to worry about me all the time.  Now you just miss me.  That’s not so bad. There are things worse than death like incarceration Mom.  Things were not going to be easy with me.  I’m better now and that should make you feel better too.  You don’t have to be so sad.  I’m okay, I still love you and I know that you still love me so feel better…please.  When you are so sad, it makes me feel so guilty for screwing up.  You have to try to feel better if you want to help me.

I was blown away because it all made so much sense and it sounded so much like my boy,  It comforted me enormously and the pain in my chest began to ease off.  As we pulled into the parking lot of the country club, I blew my nose and wiped my face dry from the torrential flood of tears that soaked my cheeks.  Jerry took off to the locker room while I began to make my way to the path that leads to where I meet him with his golf cart, by the first tee.  As I am walking along the tree lined path I spot a group of men approaching with their golf carts.  Always the vain female my thoughts turn to all that crying in the car.  “Oh my God,” I think. “I must be a mess” and as I think of pulling my pocket mirror out of my purse I hear:

“They are probably all assholes Mom, why do you care?”

Now, I can’t even begin to tell you how much that is Danny and not me.  I started to laugh out loud and mentally I answered him back by saying, “Well Danny they might not all be assholes but you’re right, why do I care?” and I left the pocket mirror in my purse and met Jerry at the first tee.  Jerry played for a couple of hours as the sun set and the birds chirped and my heart felt a greater peace than it had felt for a long time.  However, as we are driving back to the city, doubting Thomas that I am, I begin to have those nagging doubts as to whether Danny had really been talking to me, or if it wasn’t just my imagination.  So, I decided to do what any logical mother in my situation would do, I asked Danny to give me a sign.  As we continued to drive south on the Henry Hudson Parkway with the Hudson River just to our right I mentally said, “Danny, if this was really you and not just my imagination that was telling me all those good things back there, give me a sign”.  No sooner had the words passed through my mind when I had the impulse to gaze out at the river and to my astonishment sitting right there, in plain view was a big white sail boat with the name FREE BIRD written across the side in big bold royal blue letters!   “Oh my God”, I thought and I shouted out for Jerry to look quickly and fortunately he caught a glimpse of the boat before pulling the car off the highway.  “Okay my boy”, I said to Dan mentally, “You’re on.  For now on I will take you at your word and I won’t doubt you, ever”!  Of course, doubting Thomas that I am, I have not be able to live up to that promise all the time, but for the most part, when what I hear makes sense, brings me comfort and sounds like Dan, I take it on faith that it is.  After a sign like that, what would you do?

Because I believe that personality survives death, and because I believe that our prayers benefit our loved ones on the other side have formed The Prayer Registry. This free website service is dedicated to all of the families who have lost children, whatever age that child was when they passed. This site registers the anniversary day of our children's crossing. The members of this online community, the Prayer Team, have the opportunity to honor their child's legacy, connect with other bereaved parents, and participate in world-wide group prayer for every registered loved one on the anniversary day of their passing. There is no charge for this service; it is my sincere hope that every bereaved parent who registers a child will join the Prayer Team and be a source of prayer for all of the children on the other side. Each time another child is registered, the Prayer Team grows larger and stronger.

Please email Sheri at to register your loved one on The Prayer Registry. By registering, you will have a forum to connect to other bereaved parents and you will be able to upload comments, photographs, biographies, or any other information you want to share about your child with our community of bereaved parents. Once registered, you will be a member of the Prayer Team and will receive Prayer Registry reminders one day before the anniversary day of one of our kids.