Hummingbird vision

Reading the letterRick Beerhorst, painter. 
8 x 10 inches. Oil painting on wood panel. 


I was at school sitting on the floor of a big room cleaning out a closet when it happened.  A hummingbird flew in through a door I'd propped open and landed at my feet. 

I picked it up!

Bird stood in my palm seemingly not tired, nor injured. It looked at me, blinked, and moved its head side-to-side. When I saw a rogue feather sticking up on the top of its head in a spike hairdo, I thought of my son (who died unexpectedly). Life-loving mischievousness.

I expected the bird to dart off, but it stayed on my hand blinking while looking at me. I waited and watched. When it didn't leave, I began talking and if you were nearby you might have thought I'd lost my senses. I began proclaiming love for this tiny, gorgeous bird saying things like “I've been waiting for you” and “How can this be?” I spontaneously cried.

After about five minutes, I decided to go outdoors thinking it would certainly fly off. I waited. Bird moved its stance from foot to foot. Its iridescent red and green feathers sparkled in the sunlight. Another ten minutes passed. 

I decided to call to my friend and school director through the open window. “Mrs. Roshon, come here, you won’t believe this!”

When she saw the hummingbird, she fell to her knees and exclaimed, “This is a miracle!” 

That might sound dramatic, but in the months after Michael passed, awakened, she and I noticed incredible aspects in our day. Like the triple rainbow in bold, clear view the first morning after the funeral.

Eventually, this precious bird flew off.

That hummingbird woke me up. Woke me up as in shifted my thinking, cleaned out my thought closet.

I began to wonder about the energetic presence of all beings. You see, this visit was the first time I felt connected to my son. 

My relationship with him continues and I am grateful that this beautiful child was part of my life for 28 years. 
Death is not an ending; it’s a new beginning and continuation. 

With the help of family and friends, support groups, and grief workshops, I am able to feel and not get carried away. I willing to sit in my overwhelming sadness. And here is an awareness: if I can carry my love for Michael in my heart and think of him, or you, when I look up at the sky or count the stars at night, then I do not need things to invoke his memory or have because I'm afraid if I let go of the object, that he is gone. What fantasy thinking I held.

That was then. This is now. This week. 

Yes, this week I opened the cabinet holding letters, photographs, objects, and other memorabilia from my son's past. Twenty-eight years of his life experiences. I held each thing, read and looked, and sat holding the object. It took days.

Then I let everything go, except for a few pieces.

I was ready and I wasn't. 

Someone wise told me to feel my feelings. She said that feelings pass, and they transform. Through the process, I felt peace. 

I’ve read a lot about letting go. I remember Pema Chödrön telling a story of how she let go of her deceased mother's necklace by trading it from hand-to-hand, aware that each passing was practice for feeling, letting go, and making space for the present. Eventually the object is passed from one hand out in a final letting go. 


Like the hummingbird visit here and then gone. 

What remains is an understanding and feeling of connection. And that lives on.