The White Dove


My mother’s family believes very strongly that departed spirits return to the physical world in winged form. This belief was handed down to me, and is so deeply ingrained that I am always keenly aware of the presence of birds and insects I encounter when a loved one has recently passed away.

When my favorite aunt passed away last December, I didn’t feel her energy around me at all. This was in stark contrast to when my dear friend Rob Willhite passed away in April of 2014. Right after Rob died, he hovered around my meditation table and my bed, and left coins on my bed, bathroom counter, desk chair, and car seat. His energy was heavy, palpable.

I began to accept the possibility that I wasn’t as spiritually connected with my aunt as I had always thought. I traveled to Oahu the third week of January and spent the days leading up to my aunty’s funeral getting reacquainted with the island. I still felt no connection with my aunt’s spirit.

The day of the funeral arrived with a vengeance, spewing rain and strong winds which were the exact opposite of the balmy, sunny days which led up to it. The funeral service was odd, and seeing my aunt’s embalmed corpse was alarming to me. It was definitely an empty vessel.

For the first time ever, I served as a pallbearer. As we carried the casket out to the hearse, the rain began to fall again. By the time the funeral procession had arrived at the cemetery, the rain was steady, and the winds were so fierce that it threw a few of the folding chairs at the site into the air.

During the burial ceremony, the priest stood in front of the casket, with his back to the interment site which awaited my aunt’s body. While he spoke, the winds whipped furiously, pushing the rain into us and rendering the protection of the tent we were sitting under completely useless. One particularly assertive gust of wind hit, and I looked up despite risking getting a face full of rain. As soon as I glanced up, a single white dove flew up from the exact position where my aunt’s final resting place would be, made a sweeping arc behind the priest, and flew up into the sky. That was the sign I was looking for. Aunty was there.

The next evening I returned to Los Angeles, and because I was battling a wicked case of bronchitis, I chose to sleep on the sofa downstairs so that I wouldn’t wake anyone upstairs. By some miracle I actually got a decent night’s sleep that night. When I woke up the next morning, I put my left foot down onto the floor, and noticed a single white feather right next to my foot. Another sign.

That feather is now in a pouch with a mala my friend Rob gave me.

One thought on “The White Dove

  1. Hello Dr. Naito,

    Your WHITE DOVE story really got to me. I have my own experiences with death and birds. It was late July 2004 and two of my sisters and I were following an ambulance that was transporting my mother from southern Tennessee to Nashville. During the drive, two of my sisters observed a “white bird” (I assume it was a dove) flying parallel to the ambulance as we moved down the highway for several miles. We got her to the hospital, but the doctor wanted to wait for my mother to get stronger (based upon some initial tests) before he would perform any type of heart surgery. I sat and slept in a chair in her room over the next week just watching her day and night slowly slipping away; it was heart breaking for me. As her only son, we were very, very close. When I returned to California, other incidents began to happen. I would start my mower and out of no where this brown bird (I’m not sure what kind of bird it is) would first land on the roof near me and would just sing and sing. As I moved around from side to side and to my back yard, the bird would follow me slowly moving closer too me for most of the time that I stayed outside. It happened time and time again. I wanted to believe it was somehow my mom’s spirit or something. A third sister that lives in northern California has a bird that comes to her garden too and has also experienced the moving of pictures on her dresser more than once. Therefore, I tend to agree with you that there is something to these instances. Thanks for sharing!! Jay

    Liked by 1 person

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