Remembrance Day for Shelagh, 2008
Today is the fifth anniversary of my daughter’s death. Up until now, it has been a hard, gruelingly sorrowful day for me. But not this year.
The relationship between us has changed ever since I dreamed of her about 10 days ago. She looked amazingly well – serene, calm, and joyful. There was a kind of glow to her and to the younger woman who was with her.
In this dream, I was having some kind of get together and lots of people were moving about. It was reminiscent of family parties we had when Shelagh and her brothers were children: lots of kids running in and around the adults, chasing one another while the grown-ups tried to carry on adult conversations over the noise.
As I was making my way through the crowd, I came upon Shelagh. Suddenly she was just there, obviously with another woman who was shorter and younger than she was. They were both dressed in either white or pastel dresses, loose and comfortable. They both also seemed to have an inner light, a dimmed radiance surrounding the two of them as they faced me.
The sight of her was startling. “Shelagh, you can’t be here. You’re dead, remember?” She laughed, put her arm around me and assured me that all was well. “Oh, Mom, you’ll be okay. And I’m fine now.”
At that point the dream ended. The Baron had come in the front door, returning from church, and the rattle of the doorknob wakened me. The dream itself was so vivid that I was disoriented for a few minutes after I came back to the surface.
Since then, things have been the same, but different. I don’t grieve any more. Instead, I remember all the things I loved about my daughter and how fortunate I was to have been her mother – as rocky as that road was sometimes.
She has taught me to forego judgment; it’s very freeing. And knowing she’s all right brings its own unutterable peace.
Is the dream “real”? It depends on what one considers reality. I think of it as a gift, and I don’t inquire as to the source.
A fellow-blogger remembered what today was and sent me a long, comforting note. At the end of it, he said:
BTW my own view of the afterlife is that souls have work to do just as they did on Earth. They become a welcoming committee for new souls and also are guardian angels for those of
us who are left behind. I have a story from [his son]’s closest high school friend that definitely says they act as guardian angels.
Shelagh would have liked that idea. She’d have opted to be Ahnold’s guardian angel. Well, whoever gets her had better have a sense of humor. She enjoyed teasing people. After listening to the Baron and me sing while doing dishes, she remarked drily, “love isn’t blind, it’s deaf.”
She was right, but we’re still singing…no doubt, she’s singing too, wherever she is.