Bryans' story - Let his light shine

Helen Simpkins avatar   
Helen Simpkins
Have you sensed the presence of a loved one near/watching over you after they have passed? <br>Lights that flicker or turn on and off, coins, objects that move around, familiar smells, butterflies, r..

Let his light shine 

Have you sensed the presence of a loved one near/watching over you after they have passed? You may have had similar or different experiences. Some people believe in spirits, while others do not.

I am sharing my personal experience with a touch light that came on by itself and other happenings, including those of our friends, in hopes this might bring comfort to others. But first, I would like to share a little of our story. I call this article "Let his light shine" because Bryan played with the lights.

Writing our story has been on my mind for many years (Bryan passed in 2001). Maybe I wasn't emotionally ready until now. Interesting ... I am enjoying a cup of tea as I start to write. I look at the tea leaves and near the top of the cup I see a large owl. I am not in the habit of looking at tea leaves, however I had a feeling. This is what a tea leaf book had to say. "An owl is a wise person who will pay an important part in your life during the time period. The influence of this wise person will last for the rest of your life. The owl will be your "teacher". The owl is a very important, positive symbol to have in a cup because it opens the door to your expanded awareness and learning" (The Leaf Reading by William W. Hewitt). I believe Bryan is telling me I have the strength to share our story of true love and the tricks he played.

I met Bryan after my divorce. We were both self employed. My business was typesetting and graphic design and his was direct mail advertising. We spent a lot of evenings and weekend working on his customers’ ads and getting to know each other. A year later, we became a couple. Since we spent a lot of time together, it just made sense we should live together. This was how our 14 year love story started. 

Bryan liked to joke and tell stories. One of his favourites; "Helen says I don't listen. At least that's what I think she said."  

The last few years, we weathered many storms. We lost my parents, his mother, my amazing dog, were forced to close our businesses due to a recession, and the hardships of trying to pay bills. Bryan said he was sorry because he couldn't buy me a dozen red roses for my birthday, like he always did. I told him to pick one from the backyard. He did, and he gave me an amazing birthday card with it. That's true love.

The Saturday that Bryan passed, I had asked a friend to come visit with her 2 girls (11 & 13) and enjoy the pool. Bryan and I were sitting on the patio at the front of the house enjoying a sandwich for lunch when he asked what time they were coming. I said an hour or two. When they arrived, we went to the pool in the backyard for about 10 minutes. The girls stayed at the pool while their mom and I went into the house. She needed to use the washing. I opened the bedroom door and Bryan was having an afternoon nap. The last words I spoke were, "I'm sorry, I didn't know you were having a nap. We're going down the street to the coffee shop, we won't be long. The girls are in the pool." About 30 minutes later, we can back and sat on the patio. One of girls came to ask about the BBQ for supper. I said I would wake Bryan. They came into the house to use the washroom. I opened the bedroom door and found Bryan. The hardest part was getting him on the floor, doing CPR and mouth to mouth as instructed by 911 emergency. My friend and her daughters waited outside for the ambulance and then left for home. The fire department arrived first. I was told Bryan had passed about 5 minutes before while we were sitting on the patio.

It devastated me. I never got to say goodbye. I never got to say I love you. 

Three 3 days I did not sleep. My friend took me to the doctor to get sleeping pills. I didn't want to watch tv or listen to the radio. Everything was a reminder. A retired neighbour keep me company for hours every day, drinking coffee and playing her favourite dice game. An older couple (John and Joan) we'd been friends for years would come most evenings for a few hours. They had a board game they like to play. 

A year after Bryan passed, the neighbours told me they had a suicide watch on me. They told me they helped Bryan plan a surprise 50th birthday party in their backyard. Bryan pasted 12 days before my 50th. 

I wasn't interested in food. For three months, I ate an apple a day. Two neighbours talked me into going  with them to a restaurant, thinking they might get me to eat. It was a good plan. They did this often and little by little I was able to eat again. They introduced me to another neighbour who was dealing with the loss of her husband 6 months before Bryan. We understood the pain we both felt. She went for grief counselling a few times but said it made it worse. 

Friends and family tell you to get over it, move on, find someone else. It doesn't work like that. Each person has to go through grief their own way. Sometimes we blame ourselves. Neither of us had children. I cannot possibly know the feelings of children who grief for the loss of a parent or sibling. Or how a parent deals with their grief while helping their children. Family and friends don't know what to say so they stay further away, when we need them the most.

This is how I knew Bryan was watching over me. 

Most times I would watch tv before going to sleep. Bryan would be watching his sci-fi shows in the other room. About 11 he would come into the bedroom and sit facing me with one leg touching my leg. We'd talk for a few minutes, say good night, see you later, sweet dreams, and he would leave, coming to bed an hour or two later. About a week after Bryan passed, I woke somewhat, feeling his leg against mine. Not really being awake enough to realize Bryan had passed, I told him I was very tired to go away and let me sleep. He never did it again. When I mentioned this to his friend, she said I should have told him I was happy he was here. I should not have said go away. 

About two weeks after Bryan passed, I came home after dark, from the neighbors' house. The touch light on the metal file cabinet in the basement was on. I didn't remember leaving a light on when I went out, as it was still daylight. I didn't give much thought to it at the time. This happened a few times. I thought a touch light on a metal cabinet, maybe it should be on wood. I put it on an end table, but it continued to turn on. I then decided to move it to the main floor (we had a bungalow). Sometimes it came on in the middle of the night. I told his sister, and she said Bryan believed in things like that. I told him how happy it made me having him turn the light on. After I said that, the touch light in the bedroom would come on. One night I woke after midnight, and it was on. The phone rang, and the neighbour told me I had left the garage door open. I documented every time I noticed a light on and what I was doing. This continued for a number of years.

Maybe a month after Bryan passed, I woke to the sound of a typewriter. We didn't own one, but the computer was in the other room. I listened for about 3 minutes, then decided I would peek around the corner to see. There was nothing to see, and the sound stopped. I never heard it after that. The computer wasn't turned on.

I have never smoked, but sometimes I could smell and taste cigarettes. Since Bryan smoked outside, I knew he had to be around me. 

Another time, I decided to change an electrical plug that was not grounded. John had told me how to do it. I called Joan (his wife) and told her what I was going to do. I went to the basement and turned off the main. When I was finished, I called Joan back. I told her I was going to test the light. It was a touch light. I touched it once, took my hand away. It got brighter, then brighter, then it went off. I would touch it once (low) and then it would go to medium, high and off. This happened a few times. I thought I had done something wrong. Joan reminded me that Bryan liked to joke, and he was just playing with me. I asked him to stop for a minute so I could test the light. He listened. I didn't hear him laughing, but I knew he would be.

One of Bryan's good friends came to visit. I told him about the light coming on and off. He said he wished Bryan would do it while he was there. I asked Bryan if he could turn the light on. I had a small crystal attached to a thin chain hanging on a stand sitting on the coffee table. It started moving slowly and then as fast as it would go. That was Bryan's way of saying I am here and I can do other things to get your attention.

We met John and Joan years earlier and became the best of friends. They were 20 years older than us, but we had a lot in common. Joan had 2 small Hummel figurines in a china cabinet sitting side by side. Every time I told Bryan I needed a hug, or he knew we needed to know he was around. She noticed they would move.

Sometimes back to back, sometimes, feet to feet, and sometimes facing the back of the cabinet, like they had a secret to share. One time the crystal spider (on a small mirror) was in the way. Bryan turned the spider over and pushed the mirror just enough so he could move the little boy and girl. 

Joan had a cloth doll handing on the outside of another cabinet. Bryan would flip it so the back was facing the dining table and the doll was looking inside the cabinet at the Lepracon. Another joke we all shared. Other times, he would flip the ring around the dining room light so it was slightly slanted. Bryan and I had installed the same light for my aunt. Joan also had a small Dutch boy/girl figurine that Bryan would move around in the cabinet. A few years before Joan passed, she gave me the small figurines. When they were on the dresser, sometimes they would move, but not as often as they did at Joan's house.  I was concerned they might fall off and break, so I put them in a plastic container. I have not noticed them moving since. Maybe it works better through glass than plastic.

Joan had 3 postal trucks of different small sizes on the large stair landing (half way up the stairs). Bryan would re-arrange them sometimes. One time he pushed one downstairs. These 3 trucks had a special meaning to the 4 of us. Not necessary to explain here.

John and Joan lived on their own, so we knew it was Bryan at their house. He liked to joke with them too. Joan would always call me when she noticed something. She'd say Bryan was here and then explain.

Bryan has since moved on and John and Joan have passed. However, in the nice weather when I am outside, I always see a white butterfly. Sometimes I see three. Usually I see them for about 10-20 minutes flying near me. One I believe is Bryan. Three I believe are Bryan, John and Joan.

John and Joan had a wonderful love story that lasted over 60 years. Jimmy was born on their first anniversary. He passed a few years after Bryan. When they hadn't heard from him, they went to his apartment. He had passed sitting on the couch with a bowl of soup in his lap. Jimmy had his own bedroom when he would visit his parents. One day when John and Joan came home, the cross hanging above his bed was on the pillow. This happened a couple of times. Other times, the bedside touch light would be on. Many times Joan would find coins. They would go to bed and in the morning at the bottom of the stairs, she would find a coin or two. Sometimes when they would go shopping, she would find one on the ground just at the vehicle door. Being short, Joan always watched where she put her feet getting into and out of the vehicle. She said the coin wasn't there when she got out.

Some people may have similar experience, and some may have none. I did not notice anything after my parents and other family members passed, but I wasn't looking. Maybe Bryan started turning the light on to get my attention. Our love was very deep and he knew I would need him. I think it really bothered him because we didn't get to say goodbye or I love you. Maybe because of some financial issues we were having to dealing with. I will never know why, but I know how happy it made/makes me feel just knowing.

I am writing this story instead of doing a video, as emotions and tears are still there. If anyone reading this has a story of how they sense a loved one is still near/watching over them and would like to share, please contact me.   

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With your permission, I would like to add your written story to my channel. It doesn't have to be much just first names and maybe a little history (how long together, how passed and what you feel/notice), you decide.

I hope this story, and any that are shared give comfort to those dealing with grief. At first I didn't want to tell anyone about the light coming on because I didn't think they would understand. One of our dear friends asked me if I had noticed anything. That is when I knew it was ok to talk about my experiences. The neighbour who lost her husband 6 months prior to Bryan didn't believe because she didn't experience anything. Maybe we have to believe it is possible to have the experience, maybe we just need to talk to them as if they are still with us, or maybe we just have to pay attention to things that happen.

Lights that flicker or turn on and off, coins, objects that move around, familiar smells, butterflies, repeated songs, dreams, a sudden gust of warm or cold air, seeing cardinals and other animal repeatedly.

Helen Simpkins
Helen Simpkins 9 months ago
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Daniel Marsolek
Daniel Marsolek 1 year ago
Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. ❤️
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Heidi Dean Wilcox
Heidi Dean Wilcox 1 year ago
I love your story! I’m so glad you had that experience with Bryan! I asked my mom before she died to come talk to me and to keep bugging me until I knew she was here. I’ve been so disappointed cuz I’ve tried listening and seeing things but I haven’t yet. So now I’ll watch for other things moving and lights coming on! Thanks for your story!!!
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Sharon Leonard
Sharon Leonard 1 year ago
Helen, thank you for sharing this beautiful story, Bryan is always with you. I believe in this very much! Bless you and Bryan.
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jerseymame976 1 year ago
Helen what a beautiful story, thank you for sharing it! Love is always present. ❤️
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Larry Hudson
Larry Hudson 1 year ago
Thank you for sharing your heart felt story.
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Ncbeachqueen 1 year ago
I tried to email you and email address could not be found.
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