Call me crazy…but…I’m not a big believer in death. If widowhood has taught me anything, it’s this:

When one’s body melts away, the soul is set free.

Free from pain.

Free from sorrow.

Free for bodily limitations.

Free to soar!

Until illness consumed him, my husband (Dick) gleefully tested bodily limitations on a variety of playgrounds. Ski slopes, bike trails, sailing seas, back roads where he could drive like…well…like no one should. The only force-of-nature that could keep him off a golf course was lightening. (And it took lightening bolts—plural!) His vibrant, adventurous spirit invigorated and inspired all of us (especially me) to loosen up. Play more. Be more alive.

Now…stay with me here…

This is a big ask, but try to relax when I use the ‘S’ word.

My husband died…by suicide…after a 12-year struggle to heal a profoundly deep, all-consuming clinical depression. His strength was awe-inspiring. He used every ounce of energy, science, and self-discipline to heal. In the end, he did not give up, he wore out trying to live. Today, his soul is free from a body and mind that could no longer take playground field trips.

Still here despite the ‘S’ word? Great! I’ll reward you with a magical glimpse of ‘call-me-crazy’ wonder.

About a year into widowhood, a dear couple came over to enjoy a glorious summer evening. As the husband recalled a sailing adventure he shared with Dick, a hummingbird directly flew to me. Literally eye-to-eye. The hummingbird stayed. And stayed. And stayed. My soul knew better, but I seriously thought about raising my wine glass to protect my eyes.

When the hummingbird finally flew away we sat us speechless.

Breathlessly, my friend said, “I think that was Dick!”

I honestly don’t think he meant to say this out loud, but he was soooo right! Worth noting…this is NOT a guy who could possibly THINK his deceased buddy just did a hummingbird fly-by. But this wasn’t a moment to ‘think’. This was a miraculous gift to FEEL.

Dick, in hummingbird form, was telling us he was happily healed—there is NOTHING depressed about a hummingbird! And…he wants us happily thriving too.

About two years after that première hummingbird appearance, I had that same couple over. It was winter, not hummingbird season in Oregon. As they watched the sunset (my back was to the window) I thanked them for their extraordinary, unwavering friendship—before Dick’s illness, throughout his nightmare, and after his suicide.

As I spoke, the husband turned alarmingly ashen. His wife burst into tears and ran to the get tissue.

“Your hummingbird,” he gasped, “…your hummingbird just came to window.”

“No,” I smiled, “That was YOUR hummingbird. Dick is thanking you too.”

We shared tears of knowing…tears of wonder.

Love never dies.

Love can never be silenced.

Receptivity to wonder is optional…but, I know you’ve felt inexplicable magic too. Please, please, please, dance with the wonder. Your soul will teach you how. You’ll be blessed with a healing tenderness that can only come from a pure, divine love.

Dance. Dance with all of your heart!


p.s. Throughout the years, Dick has continued to show-off his freedom. He particularly LOVES doing hummingbird deep-dives. Quite reminiscent of the way he ended a day of snow skiing. He’d take the last chairlift up the mountain and wait until skiers had cleared the slopes. While everyone else was in the lodge or loading up to leave, he’d dive bomb down the mountain—giggling all the way. Very hummingbird.


Truly, love never dies. And apparently, joyful playing knows no limits—fabulous indeed!


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