Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Life is a very narrow bridge between two eternities. Be not afraid.
Rabbi Nachman of Braslav

Autumn is returning.  Here in the Northwest, we seem to have been plunged into it more abruptly than usual. Seemingly overnight, we have gone from warm, clear 80-degree days to gray skies, high winds and sheets of rain. Below I am going to share a story that recently happened to me. If you are a skeptic on what happens after we die, you may want to skip this. For those of you who know me personally, you know that I am not a terribly woo-woo person. I believe most people think I’ve got my feet more or less on the ground. But I also believe that there is way more to life than what is currently before us, and this little story offers a tad more evidence of that.

On one of the first days that this change of weather occurred, I was driving down our highway heading back to work after an assessment. I was also feeling a bit melancholy. Fall has always been my favorite season, but as I wrote about last year, it will be forever bittersweet as it is the time that Matthew died. So as I was driving, I was feeling the heaviness of the season settling in on me, and I began to talk to Matthew. I tend to talk to him in the car when I’m alone, mostly as a way to process my thoughts out loud. Anyway, I noted to him that we were just about at the time three years ago when he first got sick, and that it was hard to believe that so much time had passed since we had last seen him. I told him how much we missed him and how we just wished we knew he was okay.  I said I wish he could show us a sign. (Just a note: I typically have this “one-sided conversation” with Matthew about eight or nine times a year, and it's always in the car.) Anyway, I got back to my office and went about my day as usual. After work, I went on some errands and noticed as I was wrapping up that I had missed a call from my daughter. So when I got into the car, I spoke into the Bluetooth speaker “Call Aviva.” I always place a special nasal emphasis on her name and draw it out, mimicking how the Bluetooth Lady sounds (A VEE VAA). Right then, my dashboard lit up with the word “Matthew” and the Bluetooth voice came back at me and said: “Would you like to call Matthew?” I was so shocked that I immediately said “no,” and then I quickly said, "I mean yes” But it had already heard the “no” and disconnected.

Well you can imagine how I felt. Or perhaps you can’t. I felt like here was the sign I had asked for.  The only other time that the Bluetooth device gets it wrong is when the name sounds similar. For instance, it has asked me before if I “would like to call Anita” when I’ve said Aviva, which is why I tend to draw out her name when I make the request. But Matthew and Aviva do not sound alike. So, while there may be skeptics out there reading this, I will tell you that hearing that voice ask me “Would you like to call Matthew?” made my day. I don’t even think if someone comes forth with some sort of logical, electrical wonky wiring hypothesis, that I will be swayed. I will hold on to it as a sign, and I’m grateful for it.

When our world was turned upside down three years ago, the mystery of the universe was suddenly foremost on our minds. What happens when we die? Where do we go? More specifically, where is Matthew now?  Obviously, we don’t know the answers to these questions. We don’t even know what tomorrow will bring. But perhaps by embracing the mystery of life (and the possibility of an afterlife) we can live our lives more fully right now. I know that I am trying to do this. And when I get a sign that literally causes goose bumps on my arms, I am filled with wonder and gratitude for it all. I was given a glimpse of something that appears inexplicable, and I am okay with that. It makes the future seem full of endless possibilities.

If you have ever had some kind of sign happen to you, I’d love to hear about it (and I'm sure others would too). Feel free to post it as a comment, or e-mail me.


  1. How absolutely scrumptious and wonderful Robin, I believe whole heartedly in the signs I get from Bon. Some have been funny and others achingly sad and I treasure every one... and I talk to Bon in the car, on my walk ( silently)....My thoughts are with you at this time.... Chris

  2. What an awesome story, Robin! I love it! Can you imagine if you had said, "yes" to the Bluetooth lady? I believe signs do happen--we just have to be open to seeing them. I'm so happy for you that you got a sign from Matthew. -- Peg

  3. What a wonderful gift! My heart opened as I read this...I talk to my brother, Chuck, and my mom frequently. I glimpse each of them on occasion when I turn my head and peer over my shoulder (Chuck always on the left, my mom on the right). I know they are right there somehow, just out of reach. My brother also died in October...I am with you, my friend.

  4. I welcomed reading your blog about signs. I to had a sign, but guess I was somewhat afraid to tell anyone. I was searching for someone in my people directory of my phone. The name began with the letter M. My phone immediately went to my son's name Adam. It was the week of his Birthday. We lost our Adam on January1st. I quickly hit the letter M again, and it went again to Adam's number. I pulled my car over, and cried as I felt his presence so strong. The same week, my phone continually suggested I play Adam in Words with Friends. Each time I felt that maybe he was really trying to reach out.
    A friend of mine shared your blog with my husband and I and it has been very comforting to read through your thoughts. Thank you.

  5. My husband and I learned of your blog via a friend. It has been so helpful to us. I especially could appreciate your blog about signs. I to had a sign, but was reluctant to talk about it. It was the week of my Adam's Birthday this past May. We lost our son January 1st. I was searching for a contact in my phone, and the name began with the letter M. My phone immediately went to Adam's contact. I hit the letter M again, and the phone went again to Adam. I had to pull my car over and cried as I felt his presence so strong. The same week my phone continually suggested I play him in words with friends and that has not happened again. I felt that it was a true sign of his reaching out and I wait for more.
    We thank you for posting your very personal thoughts as it is truly helpful to us.

    1. What a wonderful sign you received Debbie. Thank you for sharing. I'm glad that you have found my blog. I am also so very sorry for the loss of Adam.

    2. Sorry for the double posting!! I posted once and did not see it, so did it again!