I received a lot of advice on what to do and how to do it after I lost my 20-year old son, Aaron, to a fatal car accident on Memorial Day in 2010. See a counselor, sign up for a grief group, go here, go there, do this, do that. But I was completely lost and the only thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to follow any of those suggestions. I was too exhausted because losing my only child was utterly debilitating on every level.

One person, however, said something that resonated, “Listen, Mary; work if you want to. Don’t work if you don’t want to. Just do what you feel like doing for as long as you need to do it.” That felt like a license to do exactly what I needed to do and was immensely liberating to me.

So I picked up an empty journal and began writing. And I did this because the day of Aaron’s funeral, the most amazing things began happening. I knew I had to write them down because otherwise I would risk forgetting them, or worse, I might later tell myself I imagined what was happening. Thirteen years later, I’m still experiencing my son communicating with me in the most creative and mind-bending ways. And others who have left our time have also nudged me and others from across the veil.

Defying what we’ve all been taught about the finality of death and what we consider to be the very black-and-white laws of science, I have discovered that our loved ones can and do reach out to us to let us know they’re alive and well and to make sure we know they still care about us.