This story is part of The Fever Dream Series: More than Coincidences, Something like a Dream.
For the person grieving, this one is for you. May you be reminded that you are never actually alone.
“Your dad is here with you,” I felt something remind me. It stopped me dead in my tracks. Immediately, I sat down and acknowledged the inkling. I said out loud, “Hi dad.” A moment later my phone vibrated and I couldn’t believe what the text was about.
Recently my friend who is a medium told me, You are surrounded by angels. Jokingly I said, Well I would hope so since half my family has passed away. Dark jokes aside, this is nothing to take pity on.
There has always been part of me that believes those who have crossed over are actually still by our side. For me, it’s breathtaking to think some of the people who have loved us the most in our lifetimes now watch over us daily. It grounds me in so much hope. When you come to believe that your loved ones are with you in spirit every day you start to float through life as if you’re protected, untouchable even.
Call it a coping mechanism to get through grief, but too many moments like what I’m about to tell you say otherwise.
The night before I got the text, a nightmare left me a little shook. It wasn’t the type of nightmare that’s straight up terrifying. More so, the type of nightmare that leaves you slightly scared, disoriented, and asking , Did that really happen? Then once you see the sunlight and sip your coffee you’re right back to reality and all becomes well.
Before reality could even hit, I settled into my morning writing corner, grabbed my journal, and jotted down the dream. The coffee could wait. I didn’t want this dream to slip from my memory. Frantically, I scribbled what had happened in the nightmare. In the dream, a medium had told me that all my angels abandoned me for some reason. No one was coming through anymore. No one was watching over me. It was indescribably heartbreaking. When I woke up, I felt emotionally abandoned.
Once I finished journaling, I began a little meditation to remind myself that we are always being guided and protected by family that has passed on. I prayed, took a deep breath, and became calm. Reality set back in, reassurance fell over me. It was only a bad dream. Feeling better, I leaped from the couch to make a cup of coffee. That’s when I was stopped right in my tracks.
Before I could even make it to the kitchen, something reminded me, “Your dad is here with you.” How it was so delicately placed on my heart was breathtaking. This year, it’ll be twenty one years since we lost my dad. Despite how long it’s been since he passed, something made me feel like I should acknowledge the possibility. So, I sat my ass right back down on the sofa, and as tears came to my eyes, I whispered “Hi dad.” Then, suddenly, my phone vibrated.
“I found your dad’s rosary beads.”
It was my mom. She had been in the attic moving stuff around to put Christmas decorations away and something incredible happened. A few weeks ago she had just told me a story about how dad used to donate to Native American tribes when he was alive. In return as a thank you gift, they would mail him handmade rosary beads. She didn’t know where any of those rosary beads had gone. Well, don’t you know what she texted me that morning.
While she was making room for the decorations, she moved a few things around. One of those things being a shirt that was my dad’s. Not a special shirt, just an old flannel. It had been tossed around plenty of times by all of us when we’ve gone up in the attic. But, what fell out of the shirt pocket left my mom floored. A pair of handmade Native American rosary beads. I couldn’t believe the timing.
The morning following a nightmare where I was abandoned by my guardian angels, I woke up feeling a bit startled. After journaling, meditating, and praying, something told me I wasn’t alone and that my dad is still here with me. Moments after this inkling, my mom tells me she found his rosary beads that have been missing for over twenty years—in a shirt that’s moved around all the time no less. Call it what you want, but that is no coincidence in my book.
There’s no telling me otherwise, that morning a father saw his daughter shaken up and did the impossible to let her know that she’ll never be alone. A thing any parent would do for their child after a bad dream. It was the closest thing I will probably get to a hug until I am able to see him again. It brings me so much comfort knowing that even though I cannot see him, he is still here, because as the poem goes, he did not die.
The things loved ones have told us before they’ve passed always fall in line with something like, I’ll always be with you and I’ll watch over you. It’s up to us to believe them, call on them, and welcome them. When we open our hearts to believing that there was some truth to those statements, miracles happen right before our eyes. You’ll find that you are never alone. They’re still here with you and they want you to know that.
In Loving Memory of Timothy Francis Hagan
January 27, 2000
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there.
I did not die.