When I was 16, my brother Johnny died. He had been camping with friends in Colorado when he was shot in the back of the head by a total stranger. He was only 21. Almost immediately after he died, I could feel his presence. I had a very real feeling that he was near and I would talk to him. I don't know that he talked back, but I knew he could hear me.
Twenty one years later, my brother Brian died. He committed suicide. He was 40 years old. Months before he died, we had made a pact. If either of us went before the other we would send the other a sign. Immediately after Brian's passing, I felt his presence too. Only his was different. It was as if he had moved to another realm, but still kept a part of himself in this world. He did send signs those first few days. He figured out how to make the wind chimes dance without a stitch of wind as witnessed by many. He made other objects move as well. Even as I write this I can hear him remind me that he made the garbage can lid move. He was mischievous and a bit clumsy in his presence, making things rattle and shake. I nearly had a heart attack when he managed to somehow make his tool belt slide off the table and crash to the basement floor.
As quick as his mischief came in the days after, it suddenly disappeared. I was sad for it and for him. I didn't feel Brians' soul was at rest. He had a very difficult life, and in the end couldn't shake the demons of his drug addiction and depression. I had a very strong sense that he needed to be in a place of healing, to repair the damage that this life had done to his soul.
About a year ago, I have began to feel him around me again. This time his presence is more peaceful and mature. It's like he's sobered up and got clean. Recent years for me have been very trying so it's not out of the question for me to wonder if this is just in my head and I am wishing him near to make myself feel better. Although in a conversation with my mom last summer, she said she had felt the same about Brian. That he needed time to heal, and now was at peace. This was great comfort for me.
What may seem unrelated to this, An interesting thing has happened over the years. I often find playing cards. It's totally random. They are usually in the street, but once in awhile I've found them odd places such as a coffee shop and the library. It had been awhile since I have found one, and as I was walking my dogs, talking to Brian as I often do, I asked him to send me a message by sending a card. I was sort of asking for validation that he was actually hearing me.
The very next day when I came home from work, pulling into my driveway I see what I think maybe be a playing card in the street. My heart was racing. I was almost afraid to look. It took me nearly an hour to work up the courage to check. When I did, I was blown away.
There in the street, right in front of my very own driveway was not just a playing card, but an entire deck of cards! Some were in clumps, a total of 10 little piles. Like a pack of cards had exploded. I remember ....
When we were young kids, Brian and I used to play war with cards all the time. Sometimes he would say "wanna play a game?" Then he would take the deck and throw it up in the air and say "it's called 52 pick up!" Then laugh and take off running. Finding those cards in the road was his way of telling me he was healed, and now he was available. The message that showed up in the 10 cards face up is personal, and I'm sure he was smiling watching me play 52 pick up again! As I think back to when I started finding cards, and where, It was only after he died, and the ones I can remember were in some of his favorite places, like the library.
Brian is my angel. Of that I am certain. The proof is in the cards ;)
Post Script; This article was written in November 2014. I am finally publishing it today May 27th 2016 in tribute to my Brian, who left 13 years ago today.