The first time I felt Zach near me was at the beach this time last year. I had been feeling really sad because being at the beach was just not the same without him. I was standing on the shoreline, enjoying the beauty of the setting sun, when suddenly this incredibly warm feeling came over me, almost like a tangible hug. I felt love, peace, and comfort. I felt that someone--Zach--was there. I could have stayed there forever, relishing this feeling. Just as surely as I knew he was there, I felt when he was gone.
The next time this happened to me was when I was driving down to St. George back in April. The song "I Drive Your Truck" by Lee Brice came on the radio. The first time I had ever heard this song, I immediately thought of Zach and the ways I tried to remember him. After all, it is about someone losing their brother. The moment this song came on, I felt this warmth come over me. Again, it felt like love, and it was so peaceful. I felt like the sun was warmer and brighter all of a sudden. It stayed with me throughout the entire song, and I felt like Zach was telling me that this was 'our song.' As soon as the song ended, the feeling was gone, and I knew he had left. But it was so special. The fact that I felt so different from when it started to when it ended told me that he truly had been there.
Today I was blessed with another sweet experience. I briefly shared the fact that Zach had died with a friend, and as usual, it brought the sadness I try to keep buried deep down, up to the surface. As I was driving home, 'our song' (I Drive Your Truck) came on the radio, and I immediately felt comforted and like I was surrounded by Zach's presence. Then, almost as another tender mercy, immediately after that song ended, Carrie Underwood's "See You Again" came on the radio. I felt like Zach was trying to tell me that he was with me and reminding me that we will see each other again someday.
There is such a unique feeling associated with feeling the presence of someone beyond the veil. I am so grateful that I have been blessed with these experiences and that I can with confidence say that I know heaven is real, and that our loved ones do live on. This life is not the end. I am grateful to Zach for continuing to be a presence in my life as well. I love you buddy!