One night in 2007, I had one of those dreams, the vivid kind you can’t shake. In the dream, I was the front passenger in a car and my daughter Aly was sitting behind the driver. Suddenly, the car missed a curve in the road and flew off into a lake. The driver and I managed to escape the submerged car as it sank, but Aly did not. Desperately flailing through the deep murky water to find my daughter, I failed. She was gone. Aly was gone. The only relic left behind was an open book floating on the water’s surface in the exact spot where my beloved daughter disappeared.
The dream shook me up so much I sought out a psychic to put my fear to rest. And she did, for she didn't see the dream as a premonition or a heads-up from God. To her credit, I believe that she wasn't supposed to see the truth, because I would have quit living right then and there.
Come 2009, Aly knew something was about to happen. Over that spring and summer, she repeatedly asked me, "Mama, we're always going to be together, right?" I never told her about the dream, but she was very concerned that somehow we would become separated. "Yes, Lovey. We will always be together," I reassured her each time, reveling in the love from my teenage daughter.
On August 5, 2009, my daughter, my third born child, died at age fifteen as a backseat passenger in a car accident. Two years after having that terrible nightmare, it had become my reality.
This summer marks the seventh year without our beloved daughter. But I've never forgotten that dream. But now, because of the book floating on the water's surface over where Aly disappeared, I now believe the dream was a glimpse into a divine plan, something bigger than myself.
For you see, one morning last summer I woke with the idea of creating a book series for people in need of comfort. Not inspiration. Not instructions. Comfort.
Not one book, but an entire series sharing peoples stories.
Not just any stories; their sacred stories sharing the hardest moments of their life.
Because I need to know others are out there, even if I can't see them.
And thus, this is how the Grief Diaries book series began.
My idea didn't begin because of an open book floating on the surface where my daughter sank. No. It began following a convention where the power of people sharing their heartfelt losses with one another left me wondering what to do with such sacred stories.
Each story was so powerful, so heartfelt. Imagine what an entire series exploring such journeys would do for those in search of others who wear the same shoes? Yes, that's how Grief Diaries began as a book series.
But the dream will always stay rooted in my heart. For now I truly believe it was a divine glimpse into something bigger than myself.
I would give anything to go back in time and hold my beautiful daughter once again, but I cannot. She left this realm and moved on to heaven in order for us to fulfill our part.
Honestly, some days I still struggle mightily with my loss. But it comforts me greatly to be surrounded by all the Grief Diaries stories. And I find solace in knowing that there is a purpose. A divine plan.
A plan linking together the hearts of the heartbroken. Including mine.