The spirits of our lost children came back to bring us comfort: parents tell their own stories

Known for her serious attitude, city heroine Nicola Horlick is someone who doesn’t suffer for fools.

However, this week, she shared in The Mail her stunning account of how her daughter Georgie, from paintings that mysteriously fell to the floor to more profound encounters, came back to help the family after her death from leukemia at the age of 12.

Her engaging and deeply poignant words struck a very personal chord with some of you, readers, who have lost their children. Your responses came pouring in, telling us how you too were visited by your sons and daughters from beyond the grave.

“Our lovely Lisa only passed two weeks ago when she first visited us,” says Cliff Wilson. We were in bed crying ourselves to sleep when Trish saw Lisa’s face showing and heard her say very clearly, ‘Mom, Dad needs you. “

Lisa used to be worried about me. Since then, she has been visiting us regularly. Sometimes it is clearly present. But there were also strange incidents that had no other explanation.

Special presence: Lisa Wilson as she graduates in 2001, a year before she died in a car accident in Australia

As with Nicholas, the deaths of Lisa convinced former skeptics Clive, 70, and his wife Trish, 72, of the New Forest – who they say aren’t deeply religious – that there is an afterlife, and that the dead can communicate with the living.

Lisa was only 23 years old when she died in a car accident in 2002. She saved enough to go travel after graduating in 2001 from Solent University in Southampton with a degree in Business Administration.

She traveled through the United States, Fiji and New Zealand, throwing herself into feats that Clive admits “left us neurotic like climbing glaciers and bungee jumping.”

When Lisa arrived in Australia and home extension, her parents finally felt able to relax. However, in November 2002, Lisa was driving to Uluru with friends when the car veered off the road. Lisa, who was in the passenger seat, died on the spot.

“It is impossible to describe our shock and devastation,” said Clive, who also shares two sons with Trish—Scott, now 46, and Ross, 44. “We flew straight to Australia to bring Lisa home.

“That’s when Trish first felt her presence – when Lisa told her to comfort me.”

Over the next few months, Lisa visited her parents several times. “When I couldn’t sleep, I found comfort in her bed,” Clive tells us. Once, I felt her lying so conspicuously by my side that I carried her on my back, along the descent, so she could rest Trish as well.

Her presence was very intense. It was like waves of electricity charging through me, and Trish said I was glowing all over. It was unusual.

But in addition to being physically present, Clive says Lisa presented herself in physical ways — even giving gifts to her parents.

“A few years after her death, Father’s Day approached and I was especially disappointed,” he says. I happened to be visiting a whiskey distillery in Scotland where I picked up 15 miniature bottles to give as gifts.

When I came to empty it later that day, I found an extra bottle that I didn’t carry or paid for. I think it was Lisa’s Father’s Day gift. Since Lisa’s death, the couple has raised £300,000 to fund scholarships, the Lisa Wilson Scholarship Fund, for students at Solent University.

“It was a huge relief,” Clive says. “But the greatest comfort is knowing that Lisa is still around – still watching us, and still loving us as much as we love her.”

Lillian McDaid knows how it feels. It was the visits of her youngest son, Daniel, that helped the retired teacher from Glasgow through her unimaginable loss.

“Since his death, Daniel has visited me regularly and sent hundreds of calls. We were very close when he was alive and I think he still wanted to show his love,” says Lillian, 75.

Daniel McDaid died of a viral infection that traveled to his brain, at the age of 21, in 2002. His mother, Lillian, said the visits of her youngest son helped the retired teacher from Glasgow in his unimaginable loss.

Daniel McDaid died of a viral infection that traveled to his brain, at the age of 21, in 2002. His mother, Lillian, said the visits of her youngest son helped the retired teacher from Glasgow in his unimaginable loss.

The family’s child, who comes after siblings Jamie, now 46, and Angela, 43, Lillian describes Daniel as “the light of my life.”

He was a handsome young man with a huge circle of friends, and did a great job in the fashion retail business. I love clubbing and sports.

When he died of a viral infection at the age of 21, just six days after I fell ill, I was in complete agony. I honestly didn’t know how I would live until six months after his death, I had the most wonderful life-affirming experience.

Lillian describes how Daniel got back to her one day for a winter outing.

“I saw him standing on top of a snow-covered hill surrounded by fir trees, all shimmering with colorful lights,” she says. He was wearing the long black coat that was still hanging in his closet.

He walked towards me, smiled and said, ‘Look at the winter wonderland I made for you. Then he put his arms around me and hugged me a lot.

I felt at peace for the first time since his death. Daniel and I loved winter time, so the gift made perfect sense.

The visit sparked the beginning of Lillian’s healing process, and other signs from Daniel, both directly and through other people. “After that, I started getting calls from several different sources,” she says.

Daniel’s friend’s teacher is back from a ski trip in the Dolomites they were scheduled to take together.

He told me he clearly felt Daniel standing on top of the mountain by his side – ready to ski together. Someone who doesn’t normally believe in this kind of thing, was dumbfounded.

Once again I was at the place where we scattered Daniel’s ashes. I was walking home, crying, when I heard Daniel’s voice clear as day says, “I’m not there, mom. I’m going home with you.”

Others also reported seeing Daniel.

Eight years after his death, Lillian receives a startling report from a friend who has been tending to her home while she was on vacation.

“Again, someone who was usually a suspicious of ghosts told me that, on several occasions, they saw a young man standing in the corner of the living room,” she says.

In all communications – whether direct to me or through other people – the most amazing thing is that Daniel’s personality shines through. His kindness, energy and sense of humor are very lively.

I miss Daniel dearly and grieve for the life he should have lived. But I am so grateful to have these great experiences. They are less frequent now, but Daniel still checks in on me about four times a year and always when I need him most.

However, many of the parents we spoke to also shared how they saw their child in forms other than a physical image.

For Lucy Heard, who lost her 23-month-old son Jack in 2010, after he tragically drowned in their garden pond after climbing over a wall, her little one always appears to her in the same magical way.

Jack Heard died, at the age of 23 months, in 2010, when he drowned in a garden pond after climbing a wall.

Jack Heard died, at the age of 23 months, in 2010, when he drowned in a garden pond after climbing a wall.

Born after Jack’s death, says the 46-year-old from Wokingham, Berkshire, who also has a 25-year-old son, 20-year-old daughter and seven-year-old Noah.

I went to visit him at Comfort Church and when I came back outside I found myself looking up and screaming into the sky, like a wild animal in pain.

I blamed God for taking it from me. World crash: I had no idea how I would live again.

But as I was screaming at this clear blue sky, a rainbow appeared out of nowhere. He stopped me and I stood there looking. It was a bright and warm day. Why was there an incredibly lively rainbow above me?

As soon as I saw it, I had this overwhelming feeling of peace. I knew it was Jack who was trying to tell me that everything was going to be okay.

It proved to be just the beginning.

In the first year after Jack’s death, Lucy saw more than 150 rainbows.

“Before that, I had only seen a handful,” Lucy says.

But now there’s been a lot of them and they’ve appeared on occasions where you’ve never seen a rainbow, which is why I know it’s Jack. I saw them before me in the mist when I walked with dogs, I saw “moon bows” at night and “fire rainbows” on clear days.

This is the so-called rainbow that arrives without rain, I’ve since discovered. It is not common and usually appears to sailors at sea or in icy places.

She adds: ‘Rainbow is a perfect fit for Jack because his character was so colorful and charming. It was a little ball of energy, a boy with an infectious laugh saying hello to everyone and sending kisses to the old ladies in the supermarket queue.

“When he’s with me, I sometimes get this almost childish energy — I can feel his life-damaging excitement.”

Of course, Lucy says things were not the same after his death.

Like many couples who have experienced such a loss, she and Jack’s father struggled to grieve together and their relationship didn’t last. But all along, Rainbow Jack was comfortable.

“If I’m looking for a rainbow, I’ll never see one,” Lucy says. “But when I need it – on his birthday, on anniversaries, when I’m feeling low or in need of reassurance – somehow it always shows up.”

Always by my side: Beth Deacon-Bates with baby Roy in 2019

Always by my side: Beth Deacon-Bates with baby Roy in 2019

Tragically, Beth Deacon-Bates and her husband Jack never had the chance to really get to know their little boy Roy, who died at the age of five days in 2019 after being born at 28 weeks.

However, Beth swears she can still watch Roy grow up.

“Food has always been a huge passion, but after Roy passed away I lost the desire to bake,” says the 28-year-old from Colchester, Essex.

Then, one day, two months after his death, as I stood looking at my baking equipment, I felt a presence in the doorway.

More than that, I could see a mist around her as well, inexplicable by anything that was going on in the kitchen. I just knew it was Roy.

It was incredibly relaxing and gave me a makeover to move on with life. I started baking again and started seeing him regularly after that.

Beth acknowledges that “it might seem strange to anyone who hasn’t felt this,” but adds, “It’s almost as if he’s on the edge of our world watching over his family.

“He can’t be fully present in our dimension, but he’s definitely there and having my son in the doorways around my house gives me solace.”

Since Roy’s death, Beth, who has sons Vincent, four, and Edmund, one, has begun fundraising in his memory. She says Roy was present for that too.

Training for a half marathon wasn’t easy. However, every time I go out for a run, I see a fox, even in the middle of the day when they rarely go out, she says.

We were making eye contact with each other. I just knew it was Roy’s way of communicating.

When we sold our house in October last year, I was afraid I wouldn’t see Roy in our new home. Fortunately, I can still feel his presence lingering in the entrances.

“I’m having him in what age he should be, so at the moment I see him here as a little kid, although I don’t see him in detail.”

Although Jack does not share his wife’s view that Roy is still with them, Beth says he is supportive of her.

“For me, when I die, I know I have my next chapter with my son,” she says.

“As Rui’s mother, this gives me great comfort.”


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