As a little girl you think your parents will never grow old, be frail or die, because I never believed in death and still don’t. Yes, our bodies die but we live on in spirit.
15th of December would have been my dad’s 74th Birthday. We went out to dinner to celebrate it with him in spirit. There are many ways to keep our loved one’s memories alive, this is one of ours.
My dad was a practicing catholic who help many people in his lifetime, from wanting to be a priest in his younger days. He was a very clever man who loved reading and learning about mind power, owning his own business as a gas fitter, to joining the union as a union organiser helping so many workers. He then retired from that and did taxi driving for a while before becoming St Vincent De Paul's manager at a hostel in Darwin City, to help and council those in need. Then he started his own business which helped people with their mind on a subconscious level.
The day my dad graduated from this lifetime on earth was in March 2011, my world shattered, my heart broke into a million pieces and I did not know if I could survive such a thing. At the time I had 3 of my 4 children and they would be the only thing that kept me going. So, I get how hard grief is. I only had my dad and my children who were my rock. When I lost him I felt like I couldn’t breathe any more.
Flash back a year before his passing and weird things happened. Dad started talking about my childhood we discussed a lot of deep things that happened. But that’s another story. I had started having dreams about my dad sitting at his desk and then having a heart attack and dying. I told my dad, and he would laugh it off. I’d be putting the washing away and I’d drift off into a thought about what flowers I’d have at my dad funeral or what songs I’d chose for him, then I’d realise what the hell am I thinking. But more importantly why was this popping into my head. Our massive glass table shattered in the middle of the night while we were all asleep, it woke us all up so I rang my dad to see if he was ok, he said yes, we are all ok, and then he said huge change is coming if that has happened. I didn’t know what that meant at the time. My dad was very intuitive himself, so I just trusted his words.
The Ex and I had planned a road trip and went on holidays with our kids, which was a drive from the top end of Australia to the bottom of South Australia I would talk to my dad every day on the phone as I was still concerned about his heart and the fact, I was having these feelings and he needed to get it checked but he still insisted he didn’t need it checked out even though I was still having these dreams and visions. On our way back from holidays I got bad reflux, but I knew it did not belong to me as I’d never get that, and I hadn’t eaten anything to cause it. I was picking it up from someone else. Unknown to me at the time it was my dad having pains, weeks leading up to his death. As we drove back home into the Top End I had a moment of deep thought that I needed to not rely so much on my dad anymore as he was starting a new business and I needed to support him more. Little did I know it was my soul letting him go.
He did so much for me, helping me with my business and the kids, and helping with the yard and just pretty much everything. He was at my house every day without fail as we were best friends and he just loved hanging out with the kids. He also was my mum’s carer which I then took on after he passed but that’s another story to come in time.
When we got back from our holiday, dad came over and gave me the biggest hug I’d ever had from him, as I pulled away, he held on tight and said I might not be here one day. I thought mmm that is weird.
One week after we got back, dad came around to pick up some reflux medicine and I said stay for coffee, he said I can’t I have clients, then he came back and quietly said to me, grief takes 3 years to recover from and off he went, I looked at him and was like hmmm ok, and thought why you are telling me that? It was so random, yet it was like he knew something.
I’d been so tired from our trip and was organising to get back to work that I’d hardly caught up with him. This was me distancing myself without knowing at the time. The 3 kids were sick, and dad had come to visit, but this would be the last time he saw the kids, I told them not to go near grandad as I didn’t want him catching a cold.
Friday night my mum said dads not well he’s put himself to bed and he doesn’t want anyone coming around. My gut said call an ambulance, but I didn’t listen. My dad’s never this sick. Then I thought I need to go around. So, I grabbed my key and something stopped me weirdly I can’t explain. I thought no he will be fine if he says so.
I’d had a text war sort of with him the night before arguing that he needed to go to the doctor, but he was stubborn. Yes I wished I’d done something more, but at the end of the day it was his time.
D-Day. Saturday morning l was in a meeting with one of my wedding clients and the phone rang, my dad rang to asked to be taken to the hospital. My now ex husband took him. The kids and I were going to meet them there. I got another phone call it was the ex-saying the Dr’s said he’s only got a few hours to live. My heart sunk, surely this cannot be. I could not find my car keys anywhere at all. I was stressed out and not really in a state to drive if I did find my keys. So I called my best friend and she came and picked us up and took me straight to the hospital and she took the kids as I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.
When we got there the Dr’s seemed calm and did not say much to answer my questions, they did say he is fine, then they said they were moving him up to the cardiac ward. I thought oh that’s a good sign he will be fine. My dad said come here I need to tell you something, He said your psychic, I said well that’s no good to us if you didn’t listen to me for all these months.
As we started to head to the cardiac ward dad was in fine spirits chatting to everyone saying this is my daughter, she a success in her business etc, you know proud dad moment LOL.
Then when we got to the room, I was so stressed out I just didn’t have any words.
Then my mum wanted to go and make a phone call and I needed a smoke as I smoked at that time. And dad was having a bit of pain, so the Dr’s came in and we went out to give them some space. We had no idea what was happening. Why did we leave the room to go downstairs will make sense soon.
As we were downstairs, we heard the siren Code Blue, I instantly knew that was for my dad. We raced up stairs, magically and to this day I still don’t know how, we took some path that got us back up there instantly. As we walked in the Doctors were doing CPR on him and I just started praying, praying to everyone one and thing I could think of I felt my dad’s parents come in from the other side I felt their presence so strongly and I begged them not to take him, but I just knew it was his time. The Doctor came out and said we have been going for 45mins, if we bring him back, he will be brain dead. I knew my dad never wanted to live like that, he had told me so many times, so I told them to stop.
Few mins after we went into the room where my dad’s body lay and after a minute of collect myself, I said well if there is anything dad has taught us is that he is no longer in this body. He is not here anymore. We went home, I told the kids who were 18mths, 6 and 9 at the time. Obviously, you can’t sleep, and I just waited for a sign, but there was nothing. Not one single sign from my dad.
The next day for some weird reason I keep needing to go to the bathroom, I was not drinking so not sure whether it was nerves or what. But I found out quickly enough. While I was sitting there something like an energy force pulled through the toilet door and as I looked up there was my dad, in a red shirt pants with my 2 childhood dogs and my cat who were also in spirit form. I instantly covered myself up and thought oh my God is this really happening here on the toilet can they see me, then a strong thought came in my mind that was not mine at all, it was my dad, he said to me, we only see spirit to spirit so don’t worry. So I relaxed then he said your will be fine, your mum will be fine as she is strong, look out for Emily (my eldest), and when you start your business, I will make you bigger better and stronger, I will be by your side. He did say more but I have not got the best memory in a situation like that.
And then he left.
Now obviously I was in shock, did this just happen sitting on the toilet? I mean really did this just happen. Yes, yes it did.
I went to pick up my Aunty (my dad’s sister) from the airport and told her, she said yes, your dad was looking after me all the way here.
If you have lost someone close, you’d know that every morning when you wake up in the first few weeks that your first thought is, was this all a dream. And then you have to relive it again every day until one day it subsides. As I went to get dressed that morning I had nothing in me to even think, I was on autopilot, I thought what am I going to wear? And then someone answered me, it was my dad again. So I asked another question and there he was, in my mind answering me.
If I asked a question my dad told me the answers where to go what to do, he answered all my questions and helped me plan his funeral. At his funeral, my Aunty said she could see him standing in the church’s doorway looking upon everyone.
After the funeral I was lost, and thought to myself, I’ll be visiting you every day at the cemetery, dad strongly said no, I’m not there I’m here with you. We still obviously go for special occasions.
After the funeral, a few months passed things started to settle down, my dad said to me, I must go now as you need to grieve on a human level, but I will be back. I did not understand at the time, but I do now. If my dad stuck around, I would not be able to grieve properly with a human experience as he was still with me in spirit. He got me through the tough time but there were more hard times ahead. As we know the even harder time is when everyone goes home, and we are left with our grief and to try and get on with our lives. As my dad said life goes on. When he went it just felt so different, I cannot explain it in words. And after a while the flood of grief set upon me.
A few months after not hearing from my dad I reached out to a world known credited medium, who connected with my dad. She told us things only we knew, and she was halfway around the world. But one important message was that there is a book, it will be sticking out of a bookshelf and it will explain something your dad wants you to see. I went to my bookshelf this one particular book was sticking out. I picked it up and just opened it to one random page. On that page I read, was about how some people like to pass by themselves with no one watching, it’s a personal choice, for me this meant that we were sent downstairs, dad didn’t want us watching him die. And when we got upstairs, he’d already gone. I’d been feeling guilty and punishing myself, this cleared it up in a massive way.
To this day I still have contact with my dad in a more subtle way. His main sign on my birthday is he sends me a hummingbird in all different ways. He visits me in my dreams or pops into my head through meditation and during the day. He always has my back still to this day. He is steering this crazy ship of ours. And is our guardian angel for the rest of our lives while we are here on earth.
Rachael Burgess has been inspired by working with spirit/Universe/God