The first thing I saw when I walked in was the black feathers all over the kitchen floor. The cats had killed a bird, brought it in and devoured it. I fetched the brush and pan. I mopped up a tiny patch of blood. I guess I should be thankful they take their kills to the kitchen to eat, rather than on the carpet. I did not give them their usual lunch! (Nor did they ask for it.)
I had taken a little vase to the market, in case my friend Patsy should come by with a gardenia for me, as she used to do in the old days. I was too lazy to stand on a step ladder and fish out the little metal vase I used to use. Instead I took Andrew's little vase from China, a pretty shape in dark green with a delicate drawing in gold of bamboo leaves. His trip to China was before I met him, but he treasured the souvenirs. I gave others to his grand-daughters after he died, as mementos, but kept that little vase, moving it from what had been his office to the kitchen windowsill. I had the thought that, bring breakable, it might not be safe, but I wrapped it in a tea towel. Patsy didn't turn up, so it stayed wrapped.
By the time I came home, I forgot there was anything in the tea towel. Emptying my bags, I shook it out. The vase smashed on the floor. Little shards went everywhere, one into my foot under a strap of my open sandals. In getting the sandal off, I pushed the sharp fragment further in, and ended up limping to the bathroom for disinfectant and band-aid, leaving a trail of blood. I cried like a child, calling, 'No, no!' Then I recovered myself and managed to shrug it off. I realised that vase still felt like Andrew's, not mine. I was upset at the breakage, not for myself but because he had treasured it. Yes, I liked it, but it didn't have the same sentimental associations for me. Still, it was an upset, what with the cut foot and all, and because it followed immediately on cleaning up the remains of the bird. My own lunch was very late in the end.
I'd just about got over all that when a fierce thunderstorm hit. Usually I love storms, but the cracks of lightning this time were loud and startling enough to make me fear for the electronics. I switched off the wireless modem and unplugged the landline phone. Damn! I'd been just about to connect with my online poetry groups, after being out or otherwise occupied most of the day.
Oh well. I turned to some writing on my laptop, which didn't require the Internet. I was a bit down in the dumps though, having had such a troublesome afternoon after such a brilliant morning. I went from feeling confident and competent while I was at the market, to feeling inept and despondent after all.
Then I felt the light pressure of a hand on my right shoulder for a few moments, as if someone had come up behind me and rested a hand there reassuringly. I didn't need to turn my head to know there was no-one physically there. But I knew it was Andrew. It was exactly what he used to do, coming up behind me just like that when I was at my computer, to lay a reassuring hand on my right shoulder. Imagination? You could think so, but I felt the touch physically, albeit briefly and gently. It is not the first time I have felt such a thing from someone dear who has gone, but it's rare. I think it must take a lot of energy for someone in spirit to create a physical sensation like that, and that it would take a lot of love to be willing to try.
I had been feeling that he wasn't exactly hanging around any more, but busy with his work in spirit, whatever that is. Unfair and irrational as it may be, I was also in a bit of a sulk, angry with him for leaving me. I was vaguely aware this could be pushing him away, but unwilling to let go of it all the same. Then a very psychic friend said she'd had a vision of Andrew and me. She said, 'You were walking arm in arm in bright sunshine, and flowers were falling all around you both. You were obviously having a very joyful time in Spirit with him.' The fact that I had no consciousness of this didn't bother me — I seldom bring any astral travels back to consciousness. It comforted me; I thought, 'Oh, he's not coming to be with me, but I'm going to be with him!' and I was delighted. Maybe that opened the way for him then to come to me after all with that touch on the shoulder ... or maybe he was around me all the time and I finally softened enough to perceive this.
What I do know is that he would want me to be well and happy. He always wanted that. But those are things one must achieve for oneself.