Thursday, May 08, 2008

Remembrance Day for Shelagh, 2008

at the partyToday 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.


At 2:28 PM, Blogger jillosophy said...

I understand this. And I believe it is real.
I too have had dream visits after someone passes on. They come in two's: the first time they look dishevelled, even roughed up a little. Then, soon after, they come back once more - and are clean, glowing, very happy, calm. I have had this experience with people, and even dogs and cats.
I understand that feeling of "same, but different". It's very healing. Very soothing.

At 6:56 AM, Blogger Wally Ballou said...

That's good news, D. I'm glad to see you have revived the Neighborhood, too. I hope you will be posting here at least weekly.

At 7:34 AM, Blogger Montag said...

God bless you and us.
It is indeed a gift, given by a great Donor.

When words fail us, there are older grammars and syntaxes of the soul which take over and re-establish the ancient connexion between God and His creation...just as they were at the dawn of life.

At 10:25 PM, Blogger airforcewife said...

Oh wow, that was so beautiful and wonderful.

When I had to say goodbye to my grandfather in October, he who had raised me as his own child through much of my childhood, I told him I was looking forward to him coming to visit me in my dreams.

I still am - and your post just reminded me of that.

Thank you - it was truly wonderful.

At 11:17 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

air force wife--

It's good to see you again...I hope you don't have to wait so long for your grandfather...they say alliances between children and their grandparents are very strong.



Is that...Dr. Feelgood??


Wally B --

That's my goal. At least weekly...right now it's still a goal. The Black Dog lurks around every darn corner, drooling.

At 6:55 AM, Blogger Montag said...

It is R.Crumb's "Mr. Natural" and I decided to use this particular picture since I am often preachy and pretentious.

I do not have any of the smarts that I recall Mr. Natural used to possess. People often say I resemble his side-kick, Flakey Foont, more.

At 4:21 AM, Blogger Mother Effingby said...

That was comforting and beautiful. I don't think I can add to what you have said. s

At 5:24 PM, Blogger The Gentleman Loser said...

Have only just read this - I find it fascinating. Five minutes after my father died I saw two rainbows and two magpies and his favourite football team (Glasgow Celtic won 2-1 against Dundee United the same opponents and the same result as his last ever Celtic game)On the night that my dear father died I had the best night's sleep I had ever had and felt profoundly reassured that he was at peace. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace, Dymphna.

At 6:04 AM, Blogger Bob said...

Dymphna--I came to visit your blog as you had come to ours, and read your account. I too think such things are real, or a revelation of the way things are. And not just dreams, as I have known a person who had a vision of her mom, not in her dreams, but in her living room. Keep your experience close, as I'm sure you will, in your mind and heart, it will serve you well.

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Joyful Catholic said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I have a friend, a mother of a priest who died two years ago, whom I've been praying to for his intercession every since his passing. I never knew him, but through a mutual friend, I've come to know his mother, via phone calls and letters. This is so comforting to read. I will be meeting her for the first time at the end of April as I'll be going to her house in Ohio for a few days. I pray for her daily, that she'll not be angry at God anymore for taking her son. She had 48 years with him, and though as a mother I can understand the grief of losing a child, though I personally don't know, a mother's heart 'knows' I want to bring her some comfort and consolation when I visit. We are all 'terminal' and the veil is so very THIN between those of our loved ones who've passed and we still here on earth. I know he's only "changed pulpits" and is working and doing the Lord's work now from a higher vantage point. We don't know God's ways, but I pray that she won't let bitterness and anger eat up her time left here.

I hope she can unite her sufferings to that of our Sorrowful Mother, who also lost a Son, and watched him die and knows Dorothy's pain more than Dorothy does herself. If she can only do that, I believe her inner healing will come and she can offer the pain up for the conversion of sinners and in that way, many more souls will be brought into the Kingdom through her son, Fr. Kevin, and her own offering.

A very vivid dream I had last year is still alive and fresh in my memory. It was short and so tender and like no dream I've ever had really. St. Padre Pio came around the corner of this building, he was sparkling, resplendent, white sort of translucent and brightly glowing. I was lying on the bright green grass, next to this building, and in the distance ahead, I saw another building I thought must be San Giovnanni Rotundo. I've never been there by the way.

Padre Pio knelt and tended my hurt or broken right foot or ankle, spoke in what I figured was Italian, and prayed for me, blessed me, rose, and walked back around the corner as quickly as he had appeared. I don't know what it meant for sure, though I speculate and was told by a friend, that perhaps I'd been wounded in "battle" but that I was to continue on and that I was on the right path, and to not give up. Pretty revealing actually. I've read many books about Saints, but he's the very first one that's appeared in a dream.

God rest the precious soul of your dear daughter. You are blesed to have a beautiful, personal "prayer warrior" in Heaven, cheering you on to the finish line! More alive there, than she was on this earth, and even closer to you in spirit than ever in the flesh. That for me is very comforting. The pain of not having physical touch, hugging, holding, hearing their voice does hurt. I miss my own mother so much, but I know she's always near.

Peace be with you,

At 5:03 AM, Blogger Montag said...

...furthermore, I was told that all the ancestors are especially present nearby in times of danger, such as these economic crises we love to go through.
They help and inspire their families.

There is God, there is family, there are friends......follow up with whatever you want after that: politics, ideologies, beliefs...
God, Family, and Friends are enduring.

At 10:41 PM, Blogger Indian Home Maker said...

Thank You for posting this.


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