On the morning of May 11th, my husband, Stan, was over at our neighbor’s house
on his deck. Our houses are up against a narrow strip of woods, along a busy street
in Maple Grove with lots of traffic. Our neighbor, Jim, was telling Stan that he and
his friend were planning to go up to the Boundary Waters next weekend. He said
his friend was worried about bears up there and wanted to take a dog along. Jim
told Stan he had told his friend not to worry. He said, “I’ve been up to the
Boundary Waters many times and I’ve never seen a bear.” Just then something in
the backyard caught his eye. He pointed and said “Jesus Christ! There’s a bear
right there!” A full size black bear was standing before them. Stan couldn’t believe
his eyes. They watched as it lumbered around, lounged on the tree, and climbed up
the tree. Stan ran home to get his camera. He called me at work to tell me. I have
lived there 26 years and never have heard of a bear around there. They called the
Maple Grove police and they came out but their policy is not to do anything to a
bear. Everyone stood around and watched and Stan got some really good pictures
of this very cute black bear sitting in the tree. After about an hour the bear came
down and lumbered over towards our backyard where it disappeared. It was seen
shortly after that near Maple Grove High School by a student and then it
disappeared and there were no more sightings.
I told a friend at work who told her boss, who told her neighbor who happened to
work for KARE TV. Before we knew it they had called Stan and wanted to come
out to interview him. He was on the 10 p.m. news talking about the bear. Pretty
soon friends and family were calling and we realized we were getting a little lift, a
little laughter, from the bear story that we hadn’t felt since Michelle died. The thing
is that Michelle’s beloved pet was a guinea pig named Pooh Bear, and she called it
Mr. Bear. She loved the little guy and spent a bunch of money on him when he was
sick to nurse him back to health. The other thing we realized was that the place we
had reserved for her wedding reception was the Bearpath Country Club. Also,
Maple Grove High School was where Michelle and I had our dance recitals. She
had danced since she was three and we were finally in an adult dance class together
at Northland Studio of Dance, and it was SO FUN to be able to dance together in
the same class. Dancing was one of Michelle’s real loves, as well as piano and
The bear publicity didn’t stop there. KSTP TV called and sent a reporter out to do
another live interview with Stan and two of our neighbors. His picture of the bear
was in the Star Tribune and they showed that picture on the TV news. There was a
story about it on a Cable 12 TV news, and on KSTP 1500 radio on Joe Soucheray’s
“Garage Logic” show. And KS95 radio called him and asked him to tell the story.
This time he told them that he believed there was a connection between Michelle’s
death and seeing the bear, and the story aired the day before Father’s Day.
Our hearts are broken. As you said, grief from the death of a child is extraordinary
grief. But we believe Michelle was giving us a message with the appearance of the
bear. We think she wanted us to know she was fine and she wanted to give us a
lift. It would be so like her to play a little joke to see if we “got” it. It is just too
strange for a bear to appear suddenly in a heavily populated area at the exact
moment our neighbor, Jim, would be talking about seeing bears. Now when we
look at the picture of the backyard bear he has a name – Mr. Bear.
Now, we know there is a lot of controversy over signs and messages from those
who have left us. Well, we say, think and believe what you feel comfortable with.
We think that there is more to this sort of occurrence than we or anybody else can
comprehend. There has been lots of research into this type of phenomena and you
can find information that will take either side of the debate. There is a very
interesting book I would recommend that is based on true life and near-death
experiences. It is "Forever Ours" by Dr Janis Amatuzio, who currently serves as
coroner for several counties in Minnesota and is a recognized authority in forensic
medicine. She is known as the "compassionate coroner." We have heard her speak
and her words bring great comfort and hope.
|From: Moon & Staci Show
On KS95 radio
Radio interview, click the play arrow to start.