spirit comes in feathers

A few nights ago, I got a text message from Brad, my friend Brenda Baker’s son. If you don’t know her or if you’ve not read of her here before, Brenda is my dear friend who died of bile duct cancer on May 9 of this year. She’s been very much present ever since, so when Brad said, “I have an interesting bird story if you have time,” how could I refuse? I called him up.

The interesting story he wanted to share was really pretty crazy, yet his voice sounded light and happy. Brad was sitting in the office in the front of his house ~ which used to be Brenda’s house ~ the night of Thanksgiving. It was nearing midnight and he was doing something online with lights off and the blinds closed. Suddenly, *POW!* something hit the window, hard, just a foot or two away from where Brad was sitting. It was startling, to put it mildly. The house sits at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. Having spent months and months in the front bedroom of that house in the last year of Brenda’s illness, I can attest to the fact that after 7 or 8 pm, 50th Drive is a ghost town

Being a young man and smart, Brad thought it best to investigate, but first he picked up a pistol just in case. What, after all, would be banging on the window on a quiet street at midnight? Brad opened the front door a few inches, peeked out, and was instantly overwhelmed by the onslaught of heavy feathered body and wildly flapping wings. A “really big” bird hurtled through the few inches of opening and shot into the house.

A bird in the house is a long-time nightmare of mine and Brad was just as unenthused as I’d have been. He was stunned to see the big thing flying erratically around the great room, finally coming to rest on the far wall, where it clung to the smooth stucco before slipping down behind the television. Brad couldn’t quite believe what he was seeing, so he rushed to look and, yes indeed, there were dark little bird eyes shining up at him in the dim light.

Though I don’t want one in the house, I am an avid bird person and I had to know what kind of avian critter would exhibit such odd behavior. There are mourning doves by the hundreds in Brenda’s neighborhood but they rarely fly at night. The two most common nightflying birds, owls and bats, are easy to identify and Brad knew it wasn’t one of those. As I quizzed him about the bird’s appearance, he just repeated, “it was big, really big.”

And so commenced the extraction, with Brad thinking all the while, “Mom, really? Did you do this??” As a show of “I’m here!” it’s funny, extraordinary, and it fits with two other instances in which Brenda has sent somewhat irritating or alarming messages to her son. In each of those cases she later confirmed to our friends who are mediums that she did indeed make the lights dim in the kitchen (no, son, you don’t need an electrical overhaul. I just dropped in to say hi!) and sure enough popped the bathroom lightbulb off its base as cleanly as if it had been cut (ta-dah!).

Why would someone in spirit send a sign like this? It’s not every day a big bird knocks on the window, then rushes the front door the instant it’s opened. In Brad’s case, I wondered if it took that to get his attention. He wants to believe his mom’s with him. He feels her at times. But the random penny or butterfly or rainbow isn’t enough for him. Enter the big personality of Brenda on her cherished son’s first Thanksgiving without her, and the dramatic, wildly flapping evidence of “I am really here, son!” If she was trying to get his attention, it worked.

As soon as I heard this story, I recalled the experiences of two gifted mediums, Suzanne Giesemann and Susanne Wilson, both of whom work with Dr. Gary Schwartz, a prominent afterlife researcher at the University of Arizona. On two separate days, before they knew one another, both of these tested, highly evidential mediums received messages describing how spirit is able to use creatures in the natural world to get our attention.

No, that’s not your mother sprouting feathers and beak, hurling herself at the window and flapping through the front door. But it is your mother (your child, husband, sibling, beloved friend, all of our loved ones in spirit) using the creature to connect with you. The spirits told each of the Sus/zannes, on two separate days, we control the birds with their permission. It’s kind of like remote control. And the birds think it’s fun! (You can read more of that here, in Susanne Wilson’s book, Soul Smart, page 83.)

This blending of consciousness sounds like madness if we’re thinking that, as humans, we’re a cut above the average feathered creature. But the truth is, we are the creature and the creature is us. I am you, you are me, we are all The Divine, in its many incarnations, and knowing that ~ really knowing it, gut-and-heart level ~ is to know with certainty that there is no death, no separation, and thus no permanent loss of love.

How does it work for Brenda to take over a bird and send a message to Brad? The quantum physicists would suggest it’s a matter of intention. Brad’s grieving, Brenda knows it, and the wish to comfort him manifests in feathers and raps sharply at the window. Message delivered and, in this case, received.

There’s one mind, one energy of love in the entirety of what we think of as the universe and beyond. It is infinite, everywhere present in all things, always. Separation is not possible except in our humanness. It’s why our minds can be trained to get out of the way so the consciousness of a living being can connect with the consciousness of one we think of as dead. Mediumship is simply expanding consciousness beyond what we think is real ~ these human suits we wear, our busy little brains ~ and joining with all that is.

So oneness, consciousness, whatever. It sounds nice in theory, but can we trust it? Since Brenda departed in May, her friends and loved ones have been getting signs from her and having those messages regularly confirmed by Brenda with evidence that she was behind them. Though I was sure that this crazy bird was sent by my friend, I wanted certainty, so I texted Suzanne. She’s the most skilled medium I know and she connects with Brenda regularly. “When you get a chance, Brad had a really bizarre encounter with a bird. I think it was Brenda but maybe you could ask? I’ll tell you the details after.”

That wasn’t the time for a confirmation. Nothing came through from Brenda. I told Brad to trust his gut and I was, for once, trusting mine too. That was my message in this, when you know, you know. I knew without doubt it was her. And then today, an email from Suzanne. Brenda turned up to affirm that she did indeed send that bird.

Suzanne said, “She had me laughing out loud as she took credit for the bird and showed me the remote control.  She acted silly and apologized for just getting the hang of it … She showed me it was as if her guidance of the remote control had gone a little crazy and the poor bird ended up behind the television.  All the while Brenda is loving that it’s working, but a bit freaked out that the bird has crash-landed behind the TV.”

This made me laugh out loud, because Brenda and I used to talk about the birds and the concept of directing them by remote. We’d mimic holding remote controls in our hands, driving birds into walls, windows, cars. Oops! It was a source of much hilarity in the year before she became ill. That she was having trouble getting the hang of it also echoes a statement she made a day or two after she quit breathing. Though a student of mediumship in life, she found communicating from the other side a bit of a strain. “It’s as hard to learn communication here as mediumship was over there.” Clearly she’s mastered it now, but this new thing of driving birds? She hasn’t exactly nailed it. Not so far.

And yet the love that flew through that door was felt. I heard a tone in Brad’s voice that I’ve not heard since before Brenda got sick. It makes me weepy to think about it now. There is such a gift in knowing our loved ones continue. It doesn’t entirely remove the pain of loss, but it helps. It’s a promise. “I’m still right here, still with you.” That sound ~ of hope, of coming to believe that she’s not truly gone ~ I’ll hear that tone in his voice forever. It resonates deep in my soul. It’s the sound of love and trust, of a broken heart beginning to mend.

We are so very deeply loved. That will sound like a cliche until we actually get it, way down deep. And usually, when that happens, the very thought makes the heart swell and the eyes get teary. The love that is Everything revels in the wonder and beauty of all of us. We are constructed of that Love and we ~  you, me, all of us, even that fat flapping bird ~ are the direct result of Love expressing itself with so much joy it can’t be contained. It’s a wonderful, mysterious, magical world. Trust that. Let it settle in. I hope your heart expands. I hope your eyes leak.

28 thoughts on “spirit comes in feathers

  1. I read this in the middle of the night and laughed for 20 minutes. What an amazing and purely perfect Brenda story. I am beyond happy for Brad and I will forever think of him with that secret magical smile. I am so grateful that you shared this, Lynette.


    1. Every time I read that part about the bird “crash landing” I crack up. It’s one of those things she and I would have laughed about forever, like the Dick and Flo picture and so many other things. Too short, the physical life together, but we are always connected to her and for that I’m so grateful. Yes, the sound of Brad’s voice. Wow! Thanks so much for reading, Patty.


    1. She’s doing a lot of that of late. I think it’s especially hilarious because she had little patience for stupidity and yet she pretty much failed at handling that bird. So funny. Thanks for coming by, Bev. Aren’t we so lucky to be living this life knowing what we know?


  2. Lynette, I love this post about Brenda and her driving a bird into her son’s home. What powerful love she has to reach out to him!

    I do appreciate your discussion of birds and spirituality. Recently I had two very powerful encounters with a black bird and then with a great horned owl. After their visits I was awe struck for weeks and just knew in my heart that they were conveying messages. So thanks for confirming that thought. It is very reassuring. I love your posts!
    Mickey Robertaccio


    1. O Mickey, how divine! Sometimes you just know. It’s a bird, yes, but it’s so much more. About nine months after Mike left, I was in Mexico getting our house ready to sell. I was crying in the front bedroom, looking out at the ocean, and suddenly there was a little creature. A dolphin swam way up to into the shallow water. We used to see them a lot. They’d pass on the horizon heading to the docks in the morning, then go back to wherever dolphins go in the evening. But this one just swam into the (very) shallow water and hung there, gazing at me. I was riveted. It was so clearly an extraordinary experience and I knew it was a gift of spirit. You just know it, as you said. “Awe struck for weeks and I know in my heart …” Yes. Thank you for coming by. So grateful for this life.


  3. Loved every word!! So happy Brad is coming around to knowing woowoo isn’t really all that woowoo. It’s so much easier to accept loss of a loved one when you know the loved one was never lost.
    Love you Lynette. You are helping me open and expand up my consciousness.


  4. Thank you so much for writing this, Lynette. So happy for Brad’s “ opening” the door — to the bird/Brenda and to the possibility of more. It also reminded me to pay more attention to what’s happening around me: if spirit doesn’t get our attention to the small stuff, they may have to use bigger, and more dramatic, stuff to get it!


      1. As dear Emily Dickinson wrote: “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.” Love that visual.


  5. Omgosh! This morning I received this text from my sister : ” I was just sitting in the group room across from the huge window talking to everyone and an eagle flew across the sky and right to the window and then up towards the roof when it got close to the window.” She said it was amazing. How ironic to read this tonight! I love it!!!! ❤


  6. What an inspiring story!! It is perfect for a newspaper article to spread the news to awaken the masses. We are not alone. Just loving it❤️


  7. Lynette, I just read your blog, thinking about birds and Love, and visits both physical and spiritual. My son and daughter in law and five of their children were here for Thanksgiving week. We spent the visit in Phoenix ( needed the warmer weather) We were out for lunch one day, sitting outside under a tree. There was a bird in the tree, screeching away. Both James and I were commenting on the very noisy critter when all of a sudden it pooped on my leg. Leigh, joining our lunch!!!!!


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