Just because we’ve never sensed the presence of a loved one who passed away years ago doesn’t mean they haven’t visited us in the past or won’t in the future.

Some readers have told me they desperately want to encounter a family member or friend’s spirit, and they’re upset because it hasn’t happened. I believe there are a couple reasons why people find themselves in this state:

  • the ethereal visitor may believe their loved ones are not emotionally ready to handle an encounter or
  • the spirits have come around, but haven’t been obvious about it.

Recently, a friend of mine suffered through a trying emotional episode. Amid this crisis while preparing breakfast, she noticed movement at the window: A beautiful yellow butterfly hovered in front of the pane. She noted it was strange that it didn’t flit from plant to plant, but instead maintained its position for minutes. Thoughts of her mom crossed her mind, but she didn’t focus on that. She needed to get to work.


Later that day in her second floor office, she glanced at the window. Strangely enough, a butterfly identical to the one she witnessed at home fluttered in place, once again remaining for some time. Then, without warning, an overwhelming sensation of love, caring and support enveloped her. She realized then the butterfly was a message from her mom, letting her know she was there. Her mother had crossed over six years earlier, and until that day, my friend had believed her mother hadn’t ever come to see her.

The death of a loved one’s physical body is devastating to those of us left behind. The inability to touch that person or to clearly see or hear them is difficult for us. We should remind ourselves to stay aware and open, and to understand that just because we don’t sense them, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. And that once we’re emotionally ready or need their comfort, they’ll be more likely to announce themselves.