Ms. Spiritual Matters

Dear Ms. Spiritual Matters,

I know this may sound curious, but I have to ask. This past holiday season was the first holiday we celebrated since my beloved husband’s death. My children, grandchildren, and close friends gathered together at my house on Christmas Eve.

I sat back in my favorite chair and watched as the children opened presents. Laughter and squeals of glee filled the room.

I smelled pipe tobacco. No one was smoking. My husband had always packed a special blend in his pipe at the holidays. All the celebration faded into the background when I sensed this distinctive aroma by my armchair.

It was like he was there. I felt love—his love—surrounding me. I did not tell anyone. No one else seemed to notice. Could he have made a visit?



Dear Lydia,

You are not alone in feeling the presence of a loved one who has died. Research studies show that approximately 46 percent of widows and widowers report they have heard, seen, smelled, or felt the presence of their recently deceased loved one. What you experienced happened.

What does this tell us? Quantum physics theory explains it this way. Events can occur even though there is great distance between the different places in the universe where they are occurring. Connections can be made even though there are no reasonable, rational explanations of pathways for travel of these manifestations.

Be assured that this “visit” was intended. Love cannot be erased by death.

Good wishes,

Susan Schoenbeck holds Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is an experienced educator and teaches nursing students at Walla Walla University — Portland, Oregon campus.  She is an oblate of a Benedictine Monastery where she learned centering and contemplative meditation practices. She is author of the book, Zen and the Art of Nursing, Good Grief: Daily Meditations, and Near-Death Experiences: Visits to the Other Side.

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