When God sends signs in the natural world after the death of a loved one


By Mark Ellis —

David & Kathy Buskirk

Could the appearance of a hummingbird, a flock of geese, or a beautiful sunset bring comfort and peace to grieving loved ones following an untimely loss? Does God send such signs to his beloved to help the process of mending their hearts?

Recently our dear friend Kathy Buskirk passed into the waiting arms of the Lord after a valiant battle with cancer. At the relatively young age of 60, her loss was devastating to her friends and family.

In the days leading up to her passing, family members noticed a hummingbird had constructed a nest in a palm bush next to their front door, something that had never happened.

“I would jokingly refer to Kathy as my ‘hummingbird,’” says husband David, “as she had so much energy and was always busily doing so much.  In fact, to commemorate this reference she bought a metal hummingbird for our kitchen wall.  Later she attached a cross to the bottom, how ironic!”

The appearance of the nest by the front door struck several as unusual. “It was very strange that a hummingbird would nest in such a busy location,” David thought. “She would sit on her eggs and allow us in and out throughout the days of Kathy’s passing.  She was always there watching us, allowing us to watch her, and giving us comfort.”

After Kathy’s memorial service, a reception was held in the backyard of Kathy’s brother’s house. As friends and family stood in the backyard – several miles away from Kathy’s and David’s house – they noticed a hummingbird perched in the branch of a tree that overlooked the gathering.

“We were there for hours and the hummingbird stayed perched looking down on us for most of the time,” David notes. “Hummingbird sightings are relatively rare and certainly they rarely just perch as they are usually moving, rushing from here to there.  This bird seemed to just be watching, listening, and comforting us.”

Two weeks after Kathy’s passing, the eggs hatched next to the Buskirks’ front door, as David continued to watch in wonder. “She’s back and forth feeding her babies,” David says. “I am alone now in the house and she continues to give me comfort.” His departed wife was very nurturing – a woman who always seemed to be focused on meeting her family’s needs.

Shortly after the babies hatched, David took their golden retriever, Gracie, on a walk to the park. “I sat on the bench while throwing Gracie a ball.  I felt a little sad and alone,” he recalls.

“Right in front of me appears a hummingbird; it hovers, then floats to the sky out of sight.  Then out of the blue another one — or the same one — hovers in front of me, then floats to the sky out of sight.”  As David watched in amazement, the bird appeared and reappeared five times.

“I don’t think Mom likes it when I’m sad,” he says.

David sees the hummingbird as a symbol of love, joy, and beauty. His spirit-filled wife gave off these same qualities because of her close walk with Jesus.

“The hummingbird is also able to fly backwards, teaching us that we can look back on our past,” he notes. “But, this bird also teaches that we must not dwell on our past; we need to move forward.”

As the Apostle Paul said in the Book of Philippians, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

“When the hummingbird hovers over flowers while drinking nectar, we learn that we should savor each moment, and appreciate the things we love,” David says.

David also notes that in the South American Andes the hummingbird is considered a symbol of resurrection. “It seems to die on cold nights, but comes back to life again at sunrise.”

When Jesus went to the tomb of Lazarus, he said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

David doesn’t believe these unusual signs after his wife’s passing could simply be by chance. “We are at peace that her spirit lives on.”


Related: Dove sightings remind cancer patient of God’s love


  1. This is beautiful! I miss my dear sis-in-law very much and I know her spirit lives on comforting us all. God Bless You!!

  2. This is so special! Inspirational to read about People with open hearts, who are willing to receive the Daily Blessing of Comfort and the Re-assurance of Divine Presence.

  3. Thsnk you David for this beautiful story . I am very sorry for your loss. I also loss my husband to cancer not to long ago. The humming bird is my favorite. I have one that vist every day. After reading your story I will see them differently. Thank you for sharing and God bless you.

  4. Man is ignorant of his ignorance, you should NEVER trust your current perception of things, but alas, you must stop somewhere and accept by the time what is front of you and be grateful about that. A STORMING of very very precise “coincidences” happened, we are talking about synchronicity on synchronicity, detail on detail, multiple of these things, 50% more precise at least than the hummingbird that is Kathy’s soul! These could not have happened by seer chance. Only if I went in detail I could give a much clearer picture and clear even minor doubt, I can do so if asked, it would take a big text to do so, we are talking about a combination of highly improbable things, defying possibly the “laws of physics” on EXACT dates, EXACT moments with a very precise overall scheme. If asked before I would say 99% “there is no god” etc Well yes I don’t care about the dogmatic institutional part of religions or, I discovered that actually believe it or not religions are just nothing either way… they are non fundamelistic, they can’t be fundamelistic, they explain all throughout the world things on a very abstractive level and at any rate that something appears inside doesn’t mean it’s false… or true. You have to have evidence first, whatever type of, which I now have in contrast to previously. You have to be at a certain intellectual and mental level to be able to interpret and accept things, or even not in some cases.

    again something with a dove(!) happened and not only!!

    god bless Kathy’s soul, be at your best and accept this gift of reassurance anc comfort, it doesn’t happen to and with anyone.

  5. A few days after my mother died, a hummingbird would come to the window in the kitchen when I was doing the dishes. He would flutter inches from the glass, as if looking at me. He remained there several days before flying away. He never returned.

  6. 4 days after my mother passed away, she lost her battle of Scleroderma (auto immune disease) I was walking from the laundry room in my friends complex and out pops this hummingbird in front of me it flys it stopped me in my tracks it came within 2 feet in front of me. I stopped and watched it, I didn’t have much time to process my mom died because I had to leave town with my son for a prior commitment. But the hummingbird some how gave me peace in my heart that it was ok to support my son in his commitment and everything will be ok. I was far away from my family and to mourn was not the time while away.. Needless to say my sons commitment went well we arrived home safely. All I could say is Thank you
    Mom, I knew it was you and was so happy you got your Wings.

  7. My husband passed away from a rare cancer… he worked up to the day he got so sick and was in so much pain and was gone in 7 weeks. The night before he passed both of my sons were at the house. They went out on the porch around 1 am in the morning. When they came back in they told me there were 2 hummingbirds flying around their heads and up in their face
    I never gave any thought to it other than it was odd. The nexted morning my husband passed away at 9:00 am. That evening when family came to the house there were at least 20 plus hummingbirds flying around the walk way up to the porch. I truely think that Ron letting me know he was pain free and happy

  8. On Thanksgiving Day, our family saw a hummingbird thru kitchen window , we felt our mother was there in the spirit with us on the past Thanksgiving Day, it was our first without her.

  9. Wow, today, 15 minutes before I got an emergency call from the hospital for my boss regarding his mother, a hummingbird flew in the window. I work in lower Manhattan on the 13th floor. He was at a meeting offsite and I had to get a hold of him. She passed away. My working relationship with him has not been the greatest the past few months. This was no coincidence.

    I managed to grab it gently and place it on the outer ledge of the window. It seemed like it wanted to come in. I was talking to it in a gentle tone and then it finally flew away.

  10. Late January/early February 2015 we found a hummingbird nest with two eggs in a tree right outside my bedroom window. So during this time my family was fascinated watching the momma bird sitting on her eggs. When the two babies were born we marveled at witnessing her care for these babies for weeks as they grew. Then out of nowhere my mom got sick. I took her to the ER on 2/18 and we were told she had cancer in her liver and was admitted to the hospital for further testing. The next day before I left to go visit her in the hospital the babies were sitting on the edge of the nest and practicing using their wings. When I returned home that day, they were gone, never to return. But during the hospital visit, I was crying in a courtyard and noticed a hummingbird fly into a tree. I went and looked closer…another hummingbird momma sitting on her nest! Wow!
    I have always believed in the connection between hummingbirds and heaven. My mother lost her battle with cancer March 18, 2016. That same day I went for a walk on our street and found a hummingbird nest abandoned on the ground. Is it a sign? Then today 3/20 I walked that same route, and in the same area where I found that nest a hummingbird flew right in front of my face and stayed there staring at me for a full minute and started to fly off but hesitated and came back. I know this one was a sign from my momma. She always told me she would be sending us signs. I truly believe she did.

  11. My husband, ,Michael passed away October 19, 2015. At his memorial service, a hummingbird appeared out of nowhere. The hummingbird hovered over the piano player,then the trumpet player and finally landed up front by, my daughter. He sat there for a moment as if he were listening to what was being said. You could hear the voices of the people in the sanctuary in awe of seeing the hummingbird zipping around the place. He zoomed off and headed out to the lobby. Several of our relatives arrived late to the service, they saw the hummingbird perched on the table which had been set up as a memorial. Michael was an artist. His artwork is placed on that table and the humming bird landed there admiring the drawings. They took a snapshot of the hummingbird and sent the picture to me. When I get lonely, thoughts of God’s gift of this little fellas appearance just lets me know that God is with me and to thank You Lord Jesus,for that special love You showed and gave to the six hundred people that attended the service. I will always remember. It is a sign God gave to everyone who was a part of the memorial service. Amazing uplifting joy and peace! ?

  12. Thank you for your beautiful and inspiring story. Our beautiful baby boy went to Heaven to be with Jesus a few weeks ago. During this time of grief, I’ve been spending a lot of time in our backyard. Since he’s passed, I’ve been visited by a hummingbird everyday. My husband have also been having hummingbird sightings when he’d take our dog on walks. I’ve also noticed white butterflies fluttering through my yard. Every time I’d see a hummingbird or butterfly, I’d feel a slight tug in my heart and know that my baby is ok and he’s just flying by to say hello to his mommy. I’m a firm believer that the Lord sends us signs to remind us that his grace is never too far and our loved ones’ spirits live on. Sometimes I question if that was my baby just passing by. But every time I do, I feel a peace in my heart telling me to just believe and trust that that was him. Until I see my baby again, I welcome all the signs of his presence showing me he’s thinking of me too and that he’ll see me one day. May God comfort you all who have lost a loved one.

  13. Such a beautiful gift. I lost my son 9 years ago, and God’s given me a swallowtail butterfly in the same miraculos way. So much so over the years and other things as well that I am writing a book about my grief walk and God’s grace in healing. I am on the last chapter, doing a little research when I found this story. Be blessed. Coleene VanTilburg

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