When I wrote the poem, Ghosts, which is the story of my friend’s passing and subsequent visit to me from the afterlife (if you don’t believe in this sort of thing, you’re welcome to stop reading now), I mentioned finding dimes. We had a remarkable flurry of finding dimes in the months after he passed, too frequent to be coincidental. The dimes would show up at random times, all by themselves on a table-top or the middle of the floor. If we talked about Phil or finding the dimes with someone, we’d notice a dime when we walked into another room, or returned home. The placement of the dimes appeared deliberate, neatly lined up in the center of a surface, heads up, very visible. It got to be that we’d just say, “Oh, hello, Phil!” when we’d discover one. Just joking around, but really not, you know?
The most telling example of this phenomenon was when we returned from a long bike ride with friends. We had ridden the trail from our house to downtown Minneapolis, enjoyed dinner on a rooftop overlooking the city. On the return trip, my friend and I left our husbands behind on the bike trail, and I confided that I’d been “visited” by Phil’s ghost and that we’d been finding dimes everywhere. I mentioned I was reluctant to share this, but she assured me she believed every word. As we rolled up the driveway to our house and lowered our kickstands we looked at the cement step of our front stoop. Right in the middle on the step’s edge, heads up, was – you guessed it – a dime. Other placements were in the middle of the driveway directly in front of the garage door, and on the side door’s step. It must have been that Phil was hanging around outside as well as visiting inside.
After a while, the dime discoveries tapered off a bit, but there were still occasions where Pete and I would discover a dime during a meaningful moment. One of the most significant was when we were seated getting ready for takeoff on our trip to Alaska. We always get adjoining aisle seats if we can, and there in the middle of the plane’s aisle right between us after we settled in, was a dime. I pointed at it during takeoff and we just looked into each other’s eyes. There was nothing to say.
I wish I would have researched this phenomenon back then, but it never occurred to me to do so. On occasion I would share these examples with people and just as likely as not, would get a condescending little smirk in reaction. There were some who believed that there was a correlation with the beyond, and some who most emphatically did not. I tended not to mention additional sightings to those who did not, but did share a couple of instances with Pete’s family when we sat around the dinner table and the subject of ghosts came up.
Fast forward to this year. In June I returned to Michigan to attend what my side of the family was calling “CousinFest 2010.” We were on the main outing, all we cousins, which was a Leelanau County winery tasting tour. Getting into the back seat of a vehicle with my oldest cousin, I spotted a dime on the floor between us. ”Look,” I said, jokingly. ”Someone is telling us they’re pleased we’re together today. I wonder if it’s your mom or mine?” We chuckled and I put the dime in my purse, thinking surely it fell out of the console where they might keep spare change for a toll or something. We proceeded into the next stop and were gone for a while. Back in the car again, and there’s a dime on the seat between us. Now that was spooky. I wouldn’t put it past one of my knucklehead rellies to have put it there as a joke, but they would’ve ‘fessed up by now.
In July, we lost Pete’s mom, Joan, not unexpectedly, but still rather suddenly. In the shock of the next few days, a family friend, Jill, whom Joan had treated as a daughter, was very distraught as they’d been on vacation when Joan passed. They rushed to our home without stopping at theirs upon arriving into town and we had an emotional visit. Then, they proceeded to their house to unpack and settle in. Turning down her bed covers the night before the funeral, Jill found a dime.
Pete’s dad began finding dimes right away, too. One appeared on the table beside his favorite chair, one of a pair in their living room where they would frequently sit together while Joan was ill. Another was under his shoes as they lay beside the bed ready for him to swing his feet into upon awakening. Another dime was discovered in the lawn at the cabin, just at the moment he looked down at his feet.
By now, we were all on the lookout for dimes. We suggested everyone make a clean sweep of tabletops and landing places, so we could start an analysis from scratch. Several more were discovered at the cabin, which is the family’s favorite place, and at home.
In August, Pete and I decided we would retreat to our beloved Minnesota North Shore. I wrote about our meaningful experiences in our series, Looking Into Forever – Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4. Those posts were very difficult to write, as they contained very powerful experiences, messages and reminders. What I didn’t tell you is that while Pete was breaking our camp for the last time on our last day, he found a dime all by itself in one of the tent’s mesh pockets. We had never used them for spare change whatsoever.
At findingdimes.org, we’re told by a commenter,
Another commenter responds,
Another reference I found provided these anecdotal insights:
and this (wishful?) insight:
Evidently, many people tattoo themselves with a dime and a significant date after a loss. There are many comments supporting the practice and acceptance that this is a sign throughout the older entries in InkedBlog.
Wilder theories abound in another forum:
It’s quite a lot to think about, isn’t it? So much so, that I’m not sure what to think. However, I remain very willing to believe these instances are not mere coincidence.
A couple of weeks ago, a friend was over and mentioned she and her husband were going up to the North Shore on their anniversary weekend. Did I have any recommendations for her? I walked into my office and picked up our heavy North Shore notebook to get out a brochure for her. A dime flew out. It had been on the top page in the looseleaf binder.
And, more recently, in an attempt to declutter, I’ve been consolidating. When I opened a dresser drawer that hadn’t been used in months, amid all the other items was a lonely dime. No other spare change.
Can all these instances be explained by a non-believer? Certainly. I don’t think we’ll ever know, even though there are anecdotes and tales of dimes appearing mysteriously and literally in thin air, while people were showering (with no pockets for a dime to fall out of), in locations far away where they were unlikely to be, and in places where your first glance would fall.
We’ll probably never know for sure. I’m hoping, though, I’ll find out once I reach the afterlife so that I can continue the practice with those for whom I care so much who remain here after me.
Have you ever had a similar experience that you took to be a message from beyond? Did you know there is even a Facebook community on Finding Dimes?