From tragedy to healing

Out and about

This past year I embarked on an unexpected spiritual journey that began with a devastating family tragedy. Our family was like many others in the Chicago suburbs. My husband and I were busy raising our two daughters, Hilary and Kendall. Hilary, 16, was beautiful, compassionate and intelligent. She was always all girl, with a flair for fashion and love of everything pink. Her clothing and jewelry often reflected her love of hearts. She even signed everything"heart Hilary.” Kendall, 9, was an intuitive, spirited animal-lover with a mind of her own. Ours was a child-centered family full of warmth and love.

But then on a typical fall day, I came home to find our beloved Hilary dead. Our family was plunged into complete despair and grief. We never had a chance to say goodbye or finish our story together as a family.

I spent months struggling with the question,"Why my child, my family?” I took one day at a time, but often it was more like one moment at a time.

Kendall began noticing hearts everywhere we went. She pointed out heart clouds, heart-shaped potato chips, hearts made out of snow and ice and a patio stepping-stone shaped like a heart. I dismissed her observations, but she insisted the hearts were from Hilary and photographed them. I finally opened my mind to the possibility these hearts were no coincidence. We found Hilary hearts during our most difficult moments.

It was a"coincidence” that led me to Therese Rowley, a psychic-intuitive in Chicago. Yes, me, a conservative suburban mom, made an appointment with a psychic. I was skeptical yet open minded and hopeful. I kept thinking to myself,"If it is really you, Hilary, roll your eyes at me, the way you used to when you were exasperated with me.” Therese started our reading without probing questions, then said,"I don’t want you to be offended by this. I’m doing this because I’m being told to.” She rolled her eyes just like Hilary. I felt happy tears streaming down my cheeks. I knew in my heart that my daughter was there with me.

This understanding and spiritual awakening was a turning point in my grief and changed my life forever. I felt an immediate sense of peace and healing. Hilary was still a part of my life. I still miss her physical teenage energy, that dazzling smile, her unique"Hilaryness,” and yes, even the rolling eyes. But now I feel her love with me all the time.

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