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Cardinals at the Funeral: Signs and Symbols a Loved One is Near

by | Jun 6, 2017 | For Families

A cardinal sits on a branch in the snow

A few months after my grandfather passed, I remember taking trips out to the rural cemetery to visit the gravesite with my family. One of the distinct memories I have of those trips was from my grandmother.

“Keep an eye out for cardinals,” she would say. Then she went on to say that seeing the bright red bird was a sign that our grandfather was visiting us from heaven.

Her story about the cardinal was something that always stuck with me, and it got me thinking. What other signs and symbols show us that our loved ones are near?

The Many Different Signs of Animals

It turns out cardinals aren’t the only bird that’s a messenger from our loved ones. Other brightly-colored birds, like blue jays or red-tailed hawks, also are common signs. Birds represent the idea of the soul soaring up, an idea that dates back to ancient Egypt. Different birds often represent different things, too. For example, doves represent a spirit of purity and devotion. Meanwhile, seeing an eagle represents a soul of bravery, possibly a soldier.

In fact, it’s not just birds. Butterflies are meant to represent the rebirth of a person into a new life. So seeing a butterfly fly by in the cemetery is a sign your loved one has passed on in peace.

Below are some other common animal symbols about the departed:

  • Rooster: A soul’s new awakening or resurrection
  • Owl: A soul watching over loved ones
  • Dog: A sign of loyalty and that your loved one is guarding over you
  • Deer: A soul’s faithfulness

Signs from Mother Nature

Mother Nature is a great comfort to those mourning, and has been known to show signs that a loved one is at peace. Here are a few signs you might have seen:

  • We don’t typically associate thunderstorms with good things. But if you ever hear thunder at a funeral, it’s a sign that a loved one has been accepted into heaven.
  • Rain is another symbol that a loved one is in a good place. In the Victorian era, rain symbolized that heaven itself was mourning the departed and accepting them into heaven.
  • After the rain, seeing a rainbow is another sign that the soul has ascended to a better place.
  • And of course, flowers have a long history of symbolism and meaning in funerals.

Loved Ones and Pennies

Another common belief is that pennies or other coins are signs from a loved one. It’s believed if you find a random penny somewhere, it’s your loved one trying to get your attention or offer guidance. The pennies appear whenever you’re feeling alone or anxious. Or they might appear to let you know you’re on the right path in life.

So the next time you see a penny, pick it up. It could me a message from your loved one.

What are some other signs you’ve seen? Share with us in the comments below!

1 Comment

  1. Oliver

    When my Great Grandfather passed there was a Cardinal at the funeral singing as loudly as it could My MawMaw and I have always thought it was him, since then we’ve seen many Cardinals flying next to us while we are driving. Sitting in a tree near us when we are outside, we’ve grown to call them Pawpaw birds rather than Cardinals due to it. It feels as if he’s there watching over us whenever I see one.

    When my 2nd Cousin’s Mother passed we were driving to the service, it’s in the country and we were on a narrow dirt road with trees and bushes on each sides of us. We were near the funeral home, once we passed through there we would be arriving. Before we did an Eagle swoop down and stopped on the Dirt ahead of us before taking off again. My cousin and his father were in the car with us but they didn’t think anything of it. We told them about the Cardinal at my PawPaw’s funeral and the occurences after but they didn’t care much for the idea. I still like to think that was her dropping down as if saying a final Goodbye before leaving again. She was Native American, full blooded and an Eagle represented her strong and wise spirit well. She was a kind Women with strong instincts for life.


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