I’ve decided to start featuring an excerpt from one of my books on this blog! Below is a passage from Lamentations of The Sea: 111 passages on grief, love, loss and letting go. Additional information can be found here. Happy Reading! -BethAnne
I’ve started calling them Brent pennies and collecting
them in a cup as a symbol of love and luck.
It’s not unlike me to stumble upon signs and symbols that
are personally meaningful and interpret them as a reminder
from Life that I am not alone. I find hearts all the time, see 11:11 at
least once a day, have butterflies fly across my path, and often find
the symbols of the rose and rainbow in the most unusual places.
But a penny has never been one that I connected with
It began the week before my brother passed when I had
a series of bizarre dreams. A bobcat leading me through the
darkness to safety. Strange star beings pressing a triangle on my
forehead and trying to communicate with me. Two midnight
black ravens on the windshield of a wrecked car, one of them
bloody and dying, the other with a big red heart on her chest
weeping and wailing over the loss of her love.
This was the week that I had the impulse to watch the movie
Ghost, though I hadn’t seen it in years. It’s hard not to tear up when
Sam proves he’s real to Molly by moving a penny up the wall and
floating it over to her. “For Luck,” he says…
The day before my brother died, I was in the airport getting
ready to board the plane for Kauai. Unchained Melody came on
the overhead speakers reminding me of the movie we just
watched. “Hey, it’s Ghost!,” I excitedly said to my husband. And
right at that moment, I looked down, and there was a brand
new shiny penny laying at my feet. We remarked on the strange
synchronicity and the bizarre dreams of my week, and we
wondered at the meaning.
I kept that penny. It is currently sitting in a jar on my
nightstand along with a tiny scrap of paper that has the words,
“For Luck.” And now whenever I find a penny, especially during
those times I am feeling most low and thinking of my brother, I
pick them up and keep them.
Brent pennies. I will take comfort in whatever form it comes.
Strange things have been happening since he passed.
Sometimes I hear him in my mind like he’s speaking to me.
I suppose it would be easy to dismiss that as figments of my
imagination, but they’re not my thoughts; they are more
like text messages that just appear in my awareness. Words
of encouragement for me, instructions on something to tell
Mom and Dad.
Another evening the lights flickered, my television turned
off for no reason, and I had the most pressing urge that Brent
wanted me to contact my mother. So I did. Turns out she had
been crying all night and praying for a sign that Brent was safe
and well. I think I’m your sign Mom. The only reason I checked in with
you is because I felt like Brent wanted me to.
There have been all sorts of other oddities. Music disappears
off my phone, Hello and Halo are the songs missing most
frequently. After three rounds of discovering these songs are
gone when I go to listen to them, I have learned they always show
back up the next day.
I have a blue heart shaped stone that I bought after his
passing for remembrance, which always sits on my nightstand.
Yesterday morning I went to get coffee and found it had moved
from my stand to my pillow. Nobody else was in the house.
And most recently, a picture showed up on my phone of
a brilliant, turquoise-blue light. Sandwiched between pictures
of the desert mountain I was hiking that day is a photograph of
a glowing blue orb on my camera roll. I couldn’t tell you how it
got there, it just showed up: there are many spiritual traditions
that believe turquoise is the color of the Soul and the color that
represents the highest form of Spirit.
Last weekend I was in Sedona, Arizona with a friend, taking
a quick get away to get some sunshine and warmth for my tired
heart. On our trip, I decided to go see a psychic named Roz who
I chose, because her name and picture felt friendly and warm.
I didn’t go see her so she could tell me my future—I believe she
could speak to the possibilities of the future, but I don’t believe
most of the future is set in stone. Our choices determine the
course that comes next.
I just wanted to find out my possibilities. To see how they
resonate with my own intuitive sense. Which is how I find myself
sitting in an office filled with inspirational quotes, a fluorescent
picture of Jesus, angel figurines, and an amethyst crystal ball. Roz
is kind and welcoming, and as soon as I sit down she immediately
You’re a healer.
Yes, I say.
You have a tremendous gift, but you’re out of balance. There is
so much sadness in you.
Yes. My brother recently died.
You have strong gifts of clairvoyance and you hear things in
Yes, I reply. Though I do not think of myself as such—perceiving
and having words and pictures pop in my mind has been normal since
childhood. I never attached a label beyond intuition.
You feel constrained in life, boxed in.
Yes. I’ve been a Psychologist for almost 15 years, but there is so
much more that I want to do with healing work in addition to that.
You would make an excellent Psychic. You have all the gifts.
And this is the part where you should laugh too and insert joke
about the girl who goes to a Psychic, who tells her she has a future as
a Psychic. And the best part is—she didn’t see that one coming.
You were born to do this if you choose.
I smile. The Psychologist who became a Psychic. It makes a good
story, I say.
So our time went. And as she says many other things, she
pauses to tell me she senses another being, that I’m not alone
in the room. A male presence. Stubborn. Standing at my back,
pushing me to become all I can. He knows your gifts, she says. He
is not going to give up on pushing you to use them. This is the third
person—all parties independent of one another—who has had an
image of the spirit of my brother standing behind me. Bracing my
shoulders and giving me strength, as I brace and give strength to
those I help on my path.
And lately, that path has included even more curious
phenomenon than usual. I am beginning to get used to it, having
finally understood that such things are not easily understood
with the western mind, which has been trained all too well in
logical, rational thinking. Better to understand with the heart,
who seems to know the language of beyond and realizes that
anything is possible.
Today was one of those low days where I felt like a refugee
coming out of some terrible grief war, seeking safety and peace
and struggling to find them. I came home from work and saw the
chart of my brother’s star laying on the kitchen table. There was a
shiny penny sitting right on top.