I’m not someone who looks for signs from those who have passed on. But I do like to keep my antennae up just in case. My mother has been dead for over 15 years now and although I have experienced more openness to her, more understanding, more love, it tends to be a one way street. But after reading Marion Goldstein’s wonderful book, Embracing the Sign, A Journey of Faith, Science and Experience, I realized that there have been times when I’ve experienced uncanny occurrences that seemed like a tap on my shoulder from another plane of existence. For example, during a particularly contentious time with my sister, I just happened to find a letter my Mother wrote me many years prior. I was going through a stack of miscellaneous papers, which always seem to populate my desk, and it just emerged. In the letter, she thanked me for being kind to my sister. It was very unusual for my mother to write such a letter, so I saved it. And there it was, to remind me how much I value kindness.
In Marion’s book, most of the stories about signs from a loved are just like this. A letter inexplicably emerging in a chest, a book with an auspicious message falling from a shelf, never before flowers blooming on a plant. In her extraordinary book, Marion has deftly intertwined her own story with the stories of others to create a living, breathing canvas to explore the connection between love, loss and the afterlife. The work is bravely personal, innocently curious yet grounded in scientific and philosophical ideas. Every once in awhile, I come across something in my travels (a book, a talk, a movie, a person, etc.) that goes right to my soul, that opens a channel to expanded consciousness and happiness. This book was that for me. It was the last thing I read at night and the first thing I read in the morning. The uplifting feeling of the book stayed with me all day.
Marion beautifully tells her own story of spiritual evolution with a deep sharing and openness that touched me deeply and called forth my own introspection. I found myself responding viscerally to the grief in the book, but I was in good hands. This book could be a blueprint about how to emerge from grief to hope whether or not we ever receive signs from “the other side.” We can’t control whether our loved ones will ever contact us. But Marion shows us how we can we ready to receive whatever is possible through the vastness of our love and desire to give meaning to the cherished lives of those we love.