By Sean Fitzpatrick
My beautiful wife Linda died almost two years ago at a too-young age of 33. Ever since, that very number has been involved in many parts of my life. For many people who’ve lost loved ones, the symbolisms of significant occurrences can hold a strong spiritual and godly belief that are deeply felt. For me, these signs of 33 cannot be mistaken for anything other than an indication that my wife Linda is still with me.
I received receipts from ten different purchases in a row where the change from each ended in 33 cents. I constantly spot the number 33 on the license plates of cars that pass me by. Once, at a doctor’s appointment, the person before me signed in at the time of 1:33 PM—my doctor’s office was in front of parking spot 33 on the street and I was the 33rd person to have blood taken that day. On another occasion, an old religious book I was reading had some pages drop out; upon picking them up I counted 33 sacred, fallen pages.
One time, I found a penny that said 1974, and then went to the bookstore shortly after to pick up a movie – the movie was made in 1941, 33 years different from that lucky penny. As I put the movie back on the shelf, a young lady walked by with the number 33 on her shirt. When looking at clocks I will see the 33rd minute right before turning to 34. Another time when looking outside to check the weather a cab came by and its number was 33! My favorite singer is Elvis Presley and my favorite movie of his is Charro, which when he made when he was 33 years old. I have a baseball card of my favorite ballplayer, Jim Rice, which features a photo taken when he was also 33 years old. On the back of the card he had played in 1633 games with a homerun total of 331.
Personally, I think there are divine effects that even the world’s formal, organized religions can’t explain and should not attempt to take credit for. Some skeptics will say that all of these instances – meaningful symbolism to me – are mere coincidences, a result of life’s normal cycle. Even so, I believe these coincidences are happening for a reason: they remind me that Linda and I are still connected. There is a missing link after death we don’t know much about, and I personally don’t think organized religion has anything to do with this spiritual faith. When I see the number 33 in my life I feel like my wife is letting me know she is still with me and cares for me; our bond ever stronger.
Much of what happens in life is hard to understand – like why a wonderful woman like my wife would lose her life at the too-young age of 33. In my time of unbearable grief, I look further into my personal spiritual faith to guide me. I miss and still love you, Linda, so keep sending me those loving signs of 33.
Sean Fitzpatrick is an employee of Tufts and has been working in the Dewick-MacPhie Dining Hall for the past seven months. This is his first time published in the Tufts Observer.