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Michael Newell Photography

In Loving Memory
Mom and Dad
"Mom and Dad"

A True Story

I wanted to share an experience I had this weekend as a reminder to all of you that life not only does not end at death, but that there is a world on the other side far greater than we could imagine. Please consider this a tribute to my Mom and Dad, as well as a gift to all of you.

Thursday night May 24th my Dad passed away after 93 long, wonderful years. After getting the news I immediately packed and wondered how I would deal with this and the anniversary of my Mom's death coming up this weekend. Knowing that my Dad was always there for me I asked him for help in getting through this. I wanted to visit the shared living facility where my Dad had spent the last three years of his life to thank them for all they had done and how much they all meant to my Dad. I was informed by one of the nurses, with tears in her eyes, that my Dad had thanked them all on the way out to the hospital that Thursday morning. It appears that not only did my Dad tell everyone goodbye before leaving, but had told everyone at dinner the night before that he had talked to my Mom the night before and she told him that it had been far too long since they had been together and that it was time for them to be together, again. He told everyone at dinner the night before that he was not only ready for it, but was looking forward to it. He said that my Mom had tried to prepare him for his passing and said that everything would be fine. When my Dad left for the hospital the next morning he knew it would be the last time he would have to endure the aches and pains of a 93 year old body. He was in good spirits and seemed to be so at ease about everything as he left the facility for the last time. He said Mary (my Mom) had prepared him for this and he was looking forward to it.

The morning of the funeral, while waiting for my niece to arrive, I stepped out of the motel room into the parking lot. I stood there in the parking lot, early morning, birds chirping all around me. In an instant, like a bolt of lightning, and from a force outside my own I was touched by something more real than vision, or sound, or touch can describe. From a force outside my own and a presence more knowing than me I was given a very brief feeling of what it was like for my Dad. Like my Dad's spirit passing through my heart I had a brief sensation of heaven. It was over-powering, over-welming, and nearly knocked me to my knees it was so intense and came from out of nowhere. In a form of communication greater than words, I was told, "This is what it's like." For a fleeting moment every cell in my body danced, every worry erased, every question ever asked was answered. It was a place so familiar, yet I don't remember being there. I can only describe it as unsurpassable peace and happiness. It was the lost child finding the parent, the loved one found, it was returning home without ever remembering leaving. It felt so familiar and the feeling was so intense that it was beyond peace and happiness. It was the natural state of being that we have all forgotten. It was a state of conscienseness that erased all negative. It was a state of being where everything made sense, everything was just, everything was beyond any experience capable on earth. It was beyond words, or senses, or taste or smell. It was the place we all come from and all go back to in time. It was home.

I immediately turned and walked back into the motel room. My friend standing on the other side of the door, looking at me, asked "What just happened to you?" As I tried to explain an unexplainable event, I settled for, "I just had a spiritual experience I can't describe." I could only describe it as the most peace I have ever felt in my life.

Later that day, after the funeral, and being the only four people left in the parking lot, my niece, her husband, myself, and my friend were about to get into our cars to say goodbye when two butterflies of the same color, the same size flew into view and circled us all, before coming back together, again, and flying off into the distance.

As I sit here and write this, on the 14th anniversary of my Mom's death, I know they are together once again, as we all shall be.

Feel free to share this with as many people as you like. People need to know that there is indeed much more to life than what we can see, or explain. There are greater forces than ourselves who are watching after us all. "Happy Father's Day Dad...Tell Mom I love her!"

                                                                       -- Michael Newell