3yo: Guess what mama? I had pretty dreams in my sleep!
Me: That's great! What did you dream about?
3yo: I was a beeeeeautiful ballerina and Grandpa and Kelly came to watch me dance. It was sooooo wooooonderful.
Me: Aww that sounds amazing! Were you dancing on a stage with lots of lights like that show we watched?
3yo: No we were dancing in Heaven because the angels needed us.
Me: *chokes on coffee* That's so nice, honey...
3yo: But don't tell Kelly, she'll be sad because she wasn't dancing with me. It's ok because I gave them hugs in Heaven and she just watched.
Me: You gave Kelly and Grandpa hugs? That was a good idea.
3yo: Yea and I hugged that dancing angel. She was very sparkly. Can we dance now, mama?
Me: *crying* Sure honey...
Now, what you don't know about this conversation is that a close friend of "Grandpa and Kelly" (my Dad and his wife), Dena Monroe-Miller, took her own life on the afternoon of November 7, 2013. She was an acclaimed dancer, the Artistic Director and owner of Inspire Dance Company (where Kelly is the Assistant Director and an instructor) and beloved by so many people. Dena struggled with depression and most recently with a late term miscarriage. Her husband, Doug, was by her side through it all, in addition to many friends and family members. She was on medication and in counseling but it just wasn't enough.
I shared this with my Dad the day after Dena's death:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
My daughter did not know Dena and she did not know of her passing. She also did not know about the scripture passage. And yet, it seems as though she dreamt of Dena.
Not convinced? Let's continue.
I sent the above conversation to my Dad and Kelly. In response, my Dad sent me the following text and picture:
|"When I read the convo to Kel, she immediately thought of what Dena gave her for helping her teach the first year [at Inspire]. The wings ARE sparkly!"|
That afternoon, Doug, Kelly and my Dad had the heartbreaking task of telling the Inspire Dance kids about Dena's passing. My Dad noticed a plaque in the lobby he had never seen before. Upon closer inspection, it had this quote on it: And wherever they are, the angels will dance.
Oh, I'm not done.
After their talk with the kids, they gave the kids and parents a chance to talk and share stories or memories of Dena. One parent mentioned seeing Dena at the studio that week wearing a black jacket that no one had ever seen her wear before. Guess what was on the jacket? The back of it had sparkly angel wings on it.
I kid you not.
Finally, at church on Sunday, this was said by my pastor in his sermon: "For we never truly die. We are resurrected, reborn, into the house of the Lord where we shall forever live among angels." After church, I immediately sent a text to my Dad to tell him and he simply replied: "Same at ours!"
If you're not convinced yet, that's ok. I'm not here to push my religion or beliefs on you. I'm not here with an agenda. I'm here to share a story - a remarkable, comforting story - that will hopefully help people feel a small sense of closure.
Regardless if I've convinced you or not, I believe. I believe that Dena came to my daughter in her dream because she knew my spirited, dance-loving, kind-hearted little girl would be the right person to help spread her message through a series of unmistakable events:
She's an angel now.
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicidal thoughts, PLEASE get help. If you need help personally, do NOT be ashamed. Reach out, even anonymously, and get help as soon as possible. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7, whether you are calling for yourself or for someone else. The lifeline is also available for suicide loss survivors, suicide attempt survivors and a special focus on Veterans/Military: 1-800-273-8255. Call today because you may not have a tomorrow.
For tips on how to identify Mental Health Triggers and for more mental health and suicide prevention information, please be sure to check out my friend, Cristi, at Motherhood Unadorned.