Little Black Bird

I met a remarkable woman last night who shared a story that will send chills down the spine of even the most recalcitrant skeptic. Like me, Becky lost her 20 year old son to suicide and we share many of the same struggles. She recounted many stories, but this is one of my favorites.

As most of us bereaved mothers do, she longed for a sign from her son that would assure her he was at peace, that he was still around, somehow. One day, while lying on his gravesite, she pleaded for him to give her such a sign. Right away, a black bird flew across her, followed a moment later by the rest of its flock. Okay, so that could be explained by coincidence, right? I mean, birds do fly in the sky, even the sky above a gravesite. But this is where the story defies explanation.

One day, she found a little black bird perched on one of her son’s bookshelves…in her home! She knew it was him. She felt his presence. Furthermore, the bird didn’t flinch, much less fly away, when she gently scooped it up in her hands. She carried it lovingly to the door and let it go. As the bird flew away, she said her grateful goodbyes. How did that little bird get into the house? There were no open windows. Becky wasn’t in the habit of leaving doors open. And why a black bird? Couldn’t it just have easily been a sparrow, a bluejay? I do believe it was her son trying to let her know that he was free from earthly bonds, that he was okay, at peace and with her. What do you believe?

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About Author

Elisa Medhus


  • Elisa, Thank you for this. What a hauntingly beatiful version of Black Bird. I’m touched.

  • weena

    Elisa, this is the first time i read a blog from the beginning, i just cannot stop reading it. Thank you for sharing and giving me validation about my beliefs. I cannot even fathom the idea of loosing one of my little children, so i think you have much love and courage to share all this.
    I think the black bird in this post was a sign. I have a loved one who died recently and i asked her to use a symbol when she wants me to know she’s there and she has already done that once.

    I’ll keep on reading your entries. Thank you so much for writing all this. You don’t know me but I send you much love, from one mum to an other. Take care.

    • Hi Weena, of course I know you. We are connected now and forever. Thanks for joining the family. I so look forward to comments and insight from you. Much love.

  • weena

    Dear Elisa, thank you. I have been reading all the entries of the first three months and just about to start reading the ones of April. You (and Erik!) have so much to share. I can feel your soul and your radiating Love in all entries. Much love to you, you are indeed a Light who can better the world. Hugs.

    • Weena, I’m no Light, but thanks for that. I don’t ever want this to be about me or even Erik and it’s hard sometimes to remember that. It’s my hope that this will be about all of us helping others who are perhaps not as enlightened and are hurting. People who gravitate to blogs like this tend to be so much more evolved than the average soul, and it’s wonderful and exciting to pool that source of wisdom and use it for good. But I’m as flawed as anyone else, perhaps more so in my slightly broken state. And Erik is also just a flawed soul who struggled, gave up and is trying to make things right at least in some small way. I love you for your love, Sweet Weena.

      • Denise

        We are all of us Light.

  • Kimberly

    Elisa,

    Another amazing moment. Just Friday night, the night after my dream, my guitar player brought the “Blackbird” song up and said we should learn it.

    • OMG, Kim!!! I’m talking to Erik tomorrow, so I’ll ask about the Kim-Erik connection!

  • Kimberly

    Thank you Elisa! I did talk to my friend that was in my dream. I found out she is flying back home for the holidays on the same date that was mentioned to me in my dream. I told her about my dream. I was kinda freaked out yet I didn’t want to freak her out. She talked to her mother and her mother told her she didn’t feel any negative vibes about it (apparently her mother is very spiritual). I am just thinking positive thoughts about it. Maybe I misinterpreted something?

    • Could be a good thing. What was the date, her first name, the city she’s living in and her age. That’ll help Erik hone in on it. If you don’t want to publish it on the comments, just email me. No last names, though if you decide to just post it here.

  • Melanie

    Dearest Elisa,
    This morning I read your article in the magazine “Paradigm Shift” which told me all about your blog. I was immediately struck by it as my own day to day life is constantly governed by the after effect of losing a cherished friend to suicide in June 2009, just shortly before you lost Erik. David was 28 years old when he ended his life and not a day goes by where I don’t experience regret and ponder how things could have turned out differently if only I’d been there for him at that moment in time. The one consolation I do have is that since his passing I feel him with me constantly in a way that’s not possible on the earthly plane. His love and protection shining down on me now inspires everything I do.
    It’s a rare sunny Sunday afternoon here in England as I type these words to you and I have spent much of my day reading the posts on your wonderful blog right through from the beginning with a smile on my face. I shall continue to do so and thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your experiences with the world. Knowing that other people have gone through similar experiences truly heals and comforts the soul. Bipolar Disorder and Suicide are not things you can openly discuss with others on a daily basis so I have found Chaneling Erik such a refreshing relief from the hurt which most of the time I have to keep inside.
    Sending you love, light, peace and happiness.
    Melanie x

    • Sweet Melanie, I’m so glad you’re part of our family now. Once you connect, David and Erik will connect too. Not sure why this happens, but it does. Let me know if Erik comes to you bringing David along or if he plays any silly pranks. If you like, there’s a place to introduce yourself in the discussion forum. Now, go outside and enjoy that sunshine, girl!! Love you!

  • Tiffany

    This story reminds me how my son has communicated with my husband and I through music several times. The most amazing example is how he once communicated with us before he was born & before he passed. Penn was stillborn. I carried him the full 9 months and had a very healthy & wonderful pregnancy. Because my sister has Down’s Syndrome, I had additional medical care that most pregnant women don’t receive, which means we had a very watchful eye on him and many tests were run, including weekly sonograms, stress tests, etc. There were no health issues and there was no warning. The cause of death was an in-utero cord accident, which is almost unheard of. I explain all this because I feel he always planned on leaving and never intended to stay. We had an agreement from another time and place and he was just holding up his end of the bargain.

    So the story starts here. When I was pregnant my husband wanted to buy me some music to deliver the baby to. He knew that I loved kd lang and he heard a review of her latest album called ‘Hymns of the 49th Parallel”. It was a cover album and he really liked her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. I loved the album but we never did listen to it during labor. I arrived at the hospital ready to give birth to my first child only to find out that he had passed away in my womb a few days before. I was not in the mood for music after that. But the album became known as Penn’s cd and we listened to it countless times after his passing. We didn’t have physical things that bonded us to him because he was never here, but we did have this music. As part of our grieving process we took a trip to Canada while I will still on my 6 week medical leave for maternity. On our long dark drive down Alligator Alley on our way to the airport, we were listening to Penn’s cd, asking the question “why?”. As we talked, I noticed a lyric in one of the songs that I had never heard before. It was another Leonard Cohen cover of “Bird on a Wire”. It said “Like a baby, stillborn, like a beast with his horn, I have torn everyone who reached out for me.”

    I could not believe my ears and I rewound the song and played it again. Then again. I was in shock. I have never heard a love song (no matter how desolate) sing about a stillborn baby. Was Penn sending us a message from before he had even passed? Why did Tim buy that album from among the 1,000’s he had to choose from? Why did that one jump out at him as ‘the one’? Then I started to listen more closely and the next song seemed to offer some answer to the question we had just asked. “Why? Why did you leave me?” . This was the answer given to me from the very next track on the cd “Love Is Everything”:

    Maybe it was to learn how to love
    Maybe it was to learn how to leave
    Maybe it was for the games we played
    Maybe it was to learn how to choose
    Maybe it was to learn how to lose
    Maybe it was for the love we made

    And then throughout the many stages of grieving different songs held different and important meanings to me that helped me heal. I know Penn gave us this music as a gift to remind us this was the agreement we always had, and I had done nothing wrong and could not have avoided it. And this was just one of the many we ways he contacted us to let us know he is with us.

  • Jan Drake Bakke

    Oh that is so sweet!!I love this song. How beautiful that he did that!!xoxo

  • Jeanette DiPasquale

    My son last night had a friend who he had not seen in awhile. His friend is struggling, been in trouble with the law and just wanting to know where he fits in. My son listened him, gave him some encouraging words, let him know that he believed in him. His friend teared up and thanked him, because, he needed to hear that. Black bird goes out to him and every teen who struggles to fit in. Thanks for sharing. Peace!

    • That really touches my heart. Erik used to do the same thing with his friends. He was a wonderful listener. 🙂

      • Jeanette DiPasquale

        I think I just figured out the blog, thanks. Peace!

  • lauren

    My sister Brittany left this world in September 2009, Blackbird was one of her favorite songs. I cried when I saw it attached to this post, and then cried some more when I saw the imagery. The ballet dancer (we took ballet classes together as children) and the “Time 9” at the top (she passed on 09/09/09) and the girls kissing (I came out a year and a half after she passed, and met my first true love, who told me about your blog today, 2 years after). Brittany had told me via my Grandma, who is a medium, that I would fall in love and that I’d understand in 2 years. And I did. I miss her a lot today and your blog has brought me a lot of comfort and emotional release. Thank you. ~Lauren

  • lettyStarWorld025

    I BELIE THERE ARE SINGNS THAT OUR LOVED ONES GIVE US…THIS WAS BEAUTIFUL.I BELIVE MY FATHER COMES IN BUTTERFLYS OR LEAVES PENNIES IN THE GROUNG FOR ME.JUST TO LET ME KNOW I AM NOT ALONE.

    • We’re probably surrounded by a throng of lovely spirits all the time!

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