Since Nate's passing, I've been looking for some sign from him, some sort of proof that he isn't completely gone, that he's somewhere. I am not a religious person and don't have any solid beliefs concerning an afterlife, but I wanted something. Friends and family have stories of animals visiting them in the following days after the accident. A tiny snake, a grasshopper, a song, and an owl, all of them sighted with a certainty that it was no regular animal, no random happening.
I wanted one, needed one, and have been waiting or my sign, my visit. Last night I sat on the porch, listening to the crickets, and I asked out loud for Nate to come see me.
I went inside, worked on my tattoo design, and went back outside. It felt spooky in a way that my porch has never felt before. I was a little scared to go throw out the trash, but I did. I'm very brave. I sat on the porch, and after a while I realized I was looking directly at some sort of animal in the tree only ten feet away from me. I couldn't tell if it was a trick of the darkness, so I walked closer.
It was a small brown owl staring motionlessly at me. I'd never seen an owl in our backyard before, and never one this close anywhere. As I walked around, it's head swiveled to follow, so slowly I could hardly tell it was moving. I went inside to get a camera, couldn't find one, came back with a small lantern to get a better look. The owl was gone.
The weight of what the owl meant hit me, and I sat down, stunned. I realized that the owl was gone, but something was still there. I felt a presence. I've never felt this way before, and possibly was searching for it so hard I made it happen. Either way, I was certain something was just behind me, over my shoulder, no matter which way I turned. It made the skin on my back crawl.
Hoping he could hear me, I talked to Nate. I told him I hoped he was doing well, that he deserved to be doing well, and that I hoped our paths would cross again someday. Seeing the owl gave me an odd certainty that more is possible in this world than I had previously thought.
I went to bed with the feeling that someone else was in the room with Mollie and I. A frightening and comforting feeling at the same time.
Having had my visit brings me some comfort, though I still can't believe that Nate's gone, that those we love WILL step off the face of the earth any minute now. We are temporary, disposable, unable to hold onto anything. Nothing means anything then we die. But maybe there is something afterwards, that life doesn't actually end. Maybe an owl staring at you in the middle of the night means something, and maybe it doesn't. I'm still really sad about thew whole situation, either way.