The Cardianl Experience


 

On Red Wings to Heaven

Three months ago, to this very day, my husband, Jack passed away in a hospice care center. Until today, I have been unable to write so much as an email. The circumstances have been to say the least, difficult, as I'm sure you can imagine. At any rate, while I am trying my best to understand and accept the process of grieving, there has been one unanswerable question that has continued to plague me, why have I not heard from my husband since his death?


Three months ago, to this very day, my husband, Jack passed away in a hospice care center. Until today, I have been unable to write so much as an email. The circumstances have been to say the least, difficult, as I'm sure you can imagine. At any rate, while I am trying my best to understand and accept the process of grieving, there has been one unanswerable question that has continued to plague me, why have I not heard from my husband since his death?

Before he died, Jack promised to call out to me, just to let me know that he had made it safely to heaven. While I do realize that for some, a voice from the grave may sound a little strange, but as I spent the better part of my life working as a clairvoyant helping to find missing and murdered children, hearing a few words from the man I love after his departure was something I truly expected. While I have still not heard the sound of my husbands voice, something odd did begin to occur about a month ago.

In hopes of relieving some of the heaviness of my grief, I decided to walk down a wooded trail a few of blocks from my home. It was there that I heard a voice calling down to me from a large oak tree. It sounded like he was saying "here, here". When I looked up, I was surprised to see a beautiful red cardinal. I acknowledged his presence and his beauty, but for some strange reason he would not stop yelling at me. Of course my first thought was of Jack, but I did not have clue as to what a red bird could be trying to tell me.

The next day as I got into my car I heard the same call coming from the tree next to me. I wasn't sure it was the same bird, but he certainly called down to me in the same passionate manner, and for an entire month now the same feisty cardinal has relentlessly pursued my attentions. So much so, that I have actually begun referring to him as my little red stalker. Then came the next surprise.

My daughter, who lives about a mile away asked me to come over as the baby was having some health issues. When I arrived, the child’s fever was high and my daughter was understandingly distraught. As I began pacing the floor with the baby in my arms, I attempted to lighten the atmosphere by telling her about my recent cardinal encounters. Within a matter of seconds, I heard the very same call coming from her backyard. We immediately headed out to the patio and there he was, in all his crimson glory sitting on the fence and letting us know, rather loudly, that he was there. My daughter and I, and even the baby laughed, but inside, I couldn't help to wonder, what on earth this crazy cardinal thing was all about?

Later that week, I began sinking a little deeper into my grief. I was sitting alone in the house with the all of the window blinds closed tight around me when that incredible little red bird perched himself on a bough of a oak tree and peered over the top of the blinds through the opening of an arched window. From there he began calling out "here, here" until he literally called me out of the house. The little red crested stalker had been coming around every day, but on this day he was so demanding that there was no ignoring him. As I stepped out into the sunlight I had to smile at the persistent little creature, who was more and more reminding me of Jack himself.

The truth is this was a little disturbing as I didn't want to think that somehow Jack's spirit was inside that little red bird. He was supposed to be in heaven, not sitting on a fence in the back yard. Besides, cardinals were not special to Jack, he had never even mentioned the word cardinal to me. If all this actually had something to do with him, why a cardinal?

Now my husband was a former pilot, and one his favorite things on earth was flying in his red and white Barron. Even his business logo was a little red winged airplane. On that last cherished evening he told me not to worry. He let me know that he aimed to get his wings back, and that he would soon be  "flying to heaven, on his new red wings". Certain that he was alluding to his beloved red airplane, I encouraged him in those last moments to let go and fly into the endless blue skies before him. Together we imagined a great and wondrous flight into the clear blue heavens on his 'red wings'. Surely God had not taken this literally... or had he?

Could it be that those red wings actually belong to a bird? I had to ask, who is this cardinal and what does this all mean? That's when I began digging. Just this morning I discovered that the cardinal has a long history as symbolic messenger of the heavens. He has always been associated with bringing cheer to the world in the midst of barren winters, hence his regal image appearing on Christmas cards and ornaments throughout the season. In Christianity the cardinal is a symbol of faith, signifying the blood and resurrection of Christ. Even his name is significant as it comes from the ancient Greek word kardio, meaning heart. It all suddenly makes perfect sense.

I understand now, that in the same way the cardinal brings hope and cheer in the bareness of winter, he beacons us to rise above our grieving hearts and know that there is a full and happy life beyond death and sadness. This little red bird is a messenger of hope and all this time he has been shouting "cheer, cheer", how foolish I feel now that I could not hear what he was trying so hard to tell me.

As I sit here now, with the keyboard on my lap, I can hear the sound of melodic bells from the neighborhood church and I am suddenly reminded that, today is Good Friday. Today is the anniversary of the death of Christ himself, the ultimate day of sadness and morning! How can it be that I have received hope on such a somber day? Or could it be, that that Good Friday was always meant to be the cardinal day to recognize that that death is a part of our lives, and while hope may be temporarily hidden from our sight, it will always be alive in our heart.

Something in my heart is telling me now that it is important to share these events, and the entire cardinal experience with others. The cardinal experience is a phenomenon, one that is not mine alone. This very same uplifting cardinal encounter has been experienced by countless others and I am suddenly inspired to write, discover, share and help others to share this wondrous expression of hope in the world.

If a little bird with tiny red wings and a one word vocabulary was able to lift a grieving heart as heavy as mine, how much more can I do with what I have? While I may not have much, I can create a web site, perhaps a blog? I can also write. Maybe I can write a book, and include the stories of others who have shared in this cardinal experience. Perhaps I could share the books, and give a portion of the proceeds to hospice?

Just registered TheCardinalExperience.com and my confirmation has arrived! As incredible as this may sound, I have no doubt that this is the right thing to do as the benevolent little cardinal messenger himself has just flown back, seated himself on the fence adjacent to my window and begun in his own words to "cheer" me on. I am so excited that I actually just ran outside and took a picture of him sitting on the fence, just before he flew towards the heavens on his beautiful "red wings".

Here are the pictures...                                                

Where there is love, there is hope!

 

 
 

 

 


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