Tag Archives: signs from beyond

Can Stinkbugs be Signs?

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops a dead stinkbug, her house is inundated with stinkbugs, dead and alive.Can stinkbugs be signs from The Other Side? The psychic medium told me to watch for hearts. Hearts would be signs from my daughter who died. But I’ve had no sightings of hearts since the conversation with the medium. And I’ve looked.

In fact, I went looking for some sign of hearts in Marika’s old bedroom. The only ones I found were on an ancient mug of mine that was holding up Marika’s prom bouquet of silk roses. I lightly stroked the fake flowers, and a dried-up stinkbug fell on my hand. Shortly after, I found another dead stinkbug lying belly up in the dog’s bed (Marika’s beloved dog that I inherited). And just a few nights ago, I was reading on the couch when one landed in my hair. I was so shaken and disgusted, I quickly captured it in a glass, ran outdoors, and shook it out into the snow. Finding them dead is a lot easier on my karma. The DustBuster is full of dead stinkbugs.

With temperatures hovering around zero, the house has been inundated with them. Yes, they’re just trying to escape the cold, but it wouldn’t be so unimaginable to think of these icky things as gifts from Marika. Who on several occasions told me she hoped I’d fall off a mountain. Told me to go f— myself. She was never going to send me roses.

Maybe I should look up and say, Thank you Marika, every time I encounter one of these hideously ugly bugs. It might make me feel more hospitable to them. Always opposing my sentiments on everything, Marika would probably insist, Mom, I think they’re cute.

In the two months since I spoke with the medium, I’ve spotted rainbows, feathers, ladybugs, cardinals, and dropped coins. Things others count as signs from their deceased loved ones. Things Marika might just as easily have considered sending me. None of these ever smacked of Marika though. Not like this spate of stinkbugs. Dead and alive. Lots. Still, no hearts.

Valentines Day is coming up. The holiday that makes me want to hide under the bed. Marika loved that day. The time when sweethearts send flowers and chocolates, and friends show off the new jewels they received from their husbands. In the stores, red hearts are pasted all over everything. But that doesn’t count as a sign.

 

What signs have you received from deceased loved ones? What signs would you like to receive? If you could, what would you send to someone you loved who died?

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Australia Trip: Beyond Appearances

Robin Botie of ithaca, New York, hops around a barricade that conceals a construction site in Adelaide, on her recent trip to visit with bereaved mothers in Australia.“I’m kinda nervous about this,” I confessed to the leader of the tour group, as I waited for the stranger I was to drive off with. Before going to Australia I’d put out pleas on Facebook to meet up with Australian bereaved mothers on my free days, “to make my trip more meaningful.” This was my first. Dianne. Complete stranger, all I had was a name and phone number. She had messaged back, “No worries, hun,” to everything I’d written, which made me feel icky, reminded me of extinct relationships with men. But when Dianne pulled up in her shiny black RAV, I plopped into the passenger seat, and immediately knew I’d found a sister.

“Where d’you want to go?” she asked. Envisioning a peaceful quiet place to talk, I replied, “Can we walk along the Yarra River?” She took me to the Crown Casino.

She paid $50 to park in Crown’s endless garage below the snazzy scene of casino, hotel, shops, and restaurants. Huge dripping chandeliers, Prada, expensive jewelry displays…. As we trotted by I snapped photos of the colorful lights and our distorted images reflected in the mirrored facades of slot machines. I wondered if photographing was permitted in the casino. Trekking up and down escalators and elevators, we finally found ourselves outside, on a boardwalk lined with oyster bars and ritzy cafes. There was the Yarra.

We strolled, sharing the stories of our kids who died, and then sat on the edge of the Crown dock with our feet dangling off the edge. It didn’t look like the quiet clean river I’d thrown a good portion of my daughter’s ashes in, five years before. An old, bloated tennis ball floated by. It didn’t feel at all like I was littering when I tossed in my daughter’s dolphin necklace and tiny gold ring.

At a nearby outdoor café, I bought lunch for almost double what Dianne paid for parking. As we sat, a butterfly hovered between us. Long enough that I suspected one of us would get a visit from The Beyond. It was a butterfly like no other I’d ever seen. Giant. Rugged, like a moth. Its colors, blues, browns and gold, matched Dianne’s outfit perfectly. It flitted around her, and finally landed near her heart. The butterfly rested there, like a precious opalescent brooch. And then it perched on her hand. I snapped photos.

As we retraced our path through the casino and the dazzling courts of the palatial Crown to the RAV in the depths of the garage, I clicked away until we drove off to my hotel.

And when I got back home after my trip to Australia, I found that all the photos I had taken that day with Dianne disappeared. The picture you see here of me hopping around barricade panels concealing a construction site was taken by the next mother I met up with, two days later, in Adelaide. Miserable, in disbelief, I took my camera cards to various technicians but they found no trace that I ever took photos that day. I still see them in my head. The casino lights. The butterfly. The Crown chandelier shining, like starburst. All ghosts now. But so clear in my mind, I sit at my computer, stunned, still awaiting their appearance.

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