I was recently asked by a reader of HEAVEN KNOWS whether our departed loved ones really do respond to our requests for confirmation that they made it safely to ‘the other side’.

“Aren’t these just coincidences that we read too much into because we want to believe them?” this borderline skeptic asked.

Perhaps. Sometimes. But put yourself in the shoes of a departed loved one who is trying to let you know they made it and are safe and happy. How might you get such a message through? I’m constantly amazed at the creative ways such messages come through, and often disappointed that a skeptical little voice in our heads can dismiss them so easily.

When my 94 year-old aunt heard about the book I was writing, she told me a story she had never shared with anyone. Over 60 years ago, she sat by her mother’s bedside and held her hand as she passed, then silently asked a question: “what happened to you, Mum? Are you still alive somewhere, in a place I can’t see?”

She then felt compelled to go outside and sit by herself to tearfully process what had just occurred. While there, she happened to glance down at her feet and noticed what appeared to be a cocoon having convulsions. It was a strange place for a cocoon as they are usually attached to branches of trees or some other safe place above ground.

coccoonMy aunt was so intrigued that her tears ceased as she watched a beautiful butterfly slowly emerge from its cocooned prison.

A few moments later, after spreading its wings to dry, the butterfly took flight, circling around her head once before it flew away.

Had this merely been a coincidence?

A few years ago, a close friend who is very much a non-believer in the afterlife lost her husband to a debilitating illness that had limited his movements for months. A few days later, she told me how she had awoken that morning with a song playing over and over in her head – a song she had not heard for many years.

Believe it or not, I’m walking on air

Never thought I could feel so free.

Flying away on a wing and a prayer

Who could it be?

Believe it or not it’s just me!

(theme song from the TV show The Greatest American Hero)

We all get ear-worms occasionally, but they can usually be explained by having heard a song on the radio recently. This verse seemingly came out of nowhere!

Or did it?

Readers of Heaven Knows may recall Murielle, a friend who is mentioned in the book. Murielle’s brother in law, Bill, was a world-renowned medium, and Murielle was a firm believer in the existence of the afterlife.

Even so, when Murielle’s husband died a few years ago, that nagging little skeptic in all of us prompted her to beg for a sign. “Just let me know you’re ok and that you made it safely.” Murielle begged while meditating one evening.

The following morning, she walked outside to get into her car and noticed that the previous night’s rain and wind had covered her windscreen with leaves and twigs, so she returned to the house to fetch a bucket of water. Once she had cleaned the windscreen, she took the bucket and sponge into the house, then made her way back to the car. What she saw made her knees go weak. In the few moments she was gone, and without rain and wind, three twigs had returned and adorned the windscreen she had just cleaned. They formed a large A. Her husband’s name was Arch!

When I heard this, I silently reprimanded my recently-deceased mother. “If Arch can do it Mum, YOU can do it. Come on! Send me a sign. Let me know you’re ok. Find a way to send me a large capital P (for Phyllis).

My mother and I had always loved reading a column called In Black and White in the daily newspaper. It featured interesting and humorous anecdotes and always provided us with a few giggles to start the day. The morning after Arch’s amazing windscreen signature and my request for one of my own, I opened the newspaper and as usual, began to read the In Black and White column.

Here’s what greeted me:




Notice that the name Phyllis appears FIVE times (4 times in text and once in a heading) and belongs to THREE different people! (And it’s not a name one hears often these days!)

So much for a capital ‘P’ !!

The headings are also interesting:

“Boy, it’s tough” suggests that providing messages from that side to this isn’t an easy task.

“Phyllis bows out” is self-explanatory. She had!

The Phyllis in the first story was “now 88”. My mother was 88 when she died!

The only anecdote that did not include her name was the one about the Ceylon Tea Rooms in the Block Arcade, Melbourne.

Ah, but sometimes there are messages within messages that the eye and brain doesn’t  recognize!

When I told my aunt (the same one who watched the butterfly emerging from the cocoon) she read the column and then reported back to me.

“That’s amazing!” she said. “But, you missed one of the messages!”

Then she told me something I had no way of knowing!

“When my mother and my aunt left Tasmania and came to Melbourne around the turn of the (20th) century,” she explained, “they worked as waitresses. Where? In the Ceylon Tea Rooms in the Block Arcade! The very same tea-rooms mentioned in the column!”

Then she added: “No doubt Phyllis is letting you know she’s having a nice cup of tea with Mum and my aunt!”

I think she was probably right!

Have you ever had an ‘uncanny coincidence’ that left no doubt in your mind that your loved one was sending you a message? I’d love to hear about it, as I’m sure other readers of this blog would, so please feel free to leave a message in the comments box.  You are also invited to click on the ‘about’ button at the top of this page and read a few pages of my book, Heaven Knows.

Cheers, SandyC



  1. Great post! Certainly, I have had lots of communication. Whenever I am in need, my father and his parents send comforting messages from the afterlife. When my first marriage ended and I needed to leave quickly I followed my grandfather’s guidance to a jewelry store. I walked in and asked if the man bought used wedding rings, only a year old. He said he could polish mine and sell it online. He gave me more money than a pawn shop would’ve given me and I was able to leave safely. I would have never thought to try a jewelry store without his guidance.


    • How wonderful, Triciabarkernde! Even more wonderful is that you listen to those subtle messages. How frustrating it must be for our loved ones who are trying to get our attention and are being dismissed as imagination! Thank you for sharing. 🙂 Cheers, Sandy

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks:-) I’m so grateful for the confirmation of certain moments. I think it is important for us to write about these moments so that others know to believe in their connections. My grandmother tends to give a sweet, kind love—much like she was in life. My grandfather knew he would die when I was young, only ten, and he worked hard to give me concrete things to remember him—like ten 10 dollar bills for my 10th birthday. When he helped from the other side, the man who owned the jewelry store gave me ten 100 dollar bills for my wedding ring. I desperately needed that money to move. I felt my grandfather with me completely. He even told me to call my dad and tell him about my husband’s abuse. My dad made it very clear that my husband would not be alive if he hurt me again, and the marriage dissolved with ease. I didn’t realize my dad was capable of that kind of protection because he wasn’t around much when I was growing up. I felt protected and helped with this connection to the other side and my grandfather’s advice and guidance. I hope others might look to their ancestors, guides, and angels more often and believe….


  2. Thank you for your blog Sandy! I too have had many signs from my loved ones that passed that I at first, I dismissed. That nagging doubt that maybe we imagined it b/c we read too much into it. It’s so easy for doubt to take over once you start thinking more about it. But, I think when you couple these experiences with other validation like what a reputable Medium says to you that she just couldn’t have known, it is more convincing. I imagine It has been frustrating to my loved ones in spirit, when I start to doubt the signs. Although I have been going back and forth with belief for the past four years, I am slowly coming to know they are still with me. I’m a tough nut to crack i guess. 😉


    • Thank you jrmgem, and you’re not the only tough nut! It took ME 24 years of research to accept that life does goes on and that our loved ones are always watching over us and sending little messages from time to time. Cheers, SandyC


  3. Fiona Downie

    My mum always wore a butterfly broach that I bought her it was green with unusual markings like spots on the wings , when she passed we went back to the hospital to collect her belongings , I was distraught because the broach was not there on any of her clothes until my daughter yelled its here mum in her glasses case , I was so pleased as I feared it was lost for good , I bought her the broach . every year since she has died I get a butterfly with the same markings and coloured green , it doesn’t stay very long but its always placed in front of my eyes , this year it was on my door step and the next day on the grass , then it disappears . my daughter took over my sons bedroom when he got his own flat and that year it stayed for a whole week on her window , I am due to move to retire to Cornwall I am wondering if it will be the same when I have moved , I hope so this is my sign , I think shes telling me she is free to fly now she is stronger .Fiona Downie.


    • What a beautiful story Fiona, thank you so much for sharing it. I’m sure your mum will find her way to Cornwall or anywhere else you are in the world.:-)


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