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On Death, Dreams and Dragonflies

Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my father’s passing. And today, not coincidentally, I’m launching my long overdue blog site.

What does all of this have to do with this crazy post title? Hopefully this story helps it make some sense…

In the two years since my dad’s death, I have had many dreams about him. In some he’s alive, in others he’s sick, and in some, he has died. But (and here’s the part that may cause you to think I’m crazy), there have been two dreams that didn’t really feel like dreams at all. There were more like “visits”. I’m not going to share all the details because that would make for a very long post, but believe me, these dreams were different than any I have ever experienced in my life. And, I really am sane…at least most of the time.

In each of the two dreams, I could tell that my dad was sending me a message. The first time, it was letting me know that he was healthy, happy and okay. Considering that he was not able to communicate with me before dying, that he was on a ventilator, that I had to have “that talk” with the doctors in ICU and make the decision to take him off it, this was information that I needed – badly. That dream was about a year ago. It gave me a lot of peace.

The most recent dream was about two weeks ago. In it, I could tell that my dad was sending me a message about my life and how I’m living it. You see, ever since his death, the loss of my business, and some other personal issues in my life (all hitting right around the same time), I’ve been in a bit of a funk. I’ve suffered from, at times, a debilitating lack of self-confidence and inability to move forward with my life. In this dream, my dad was sort of saying to me – “you are here, make the most of it, live life, pray, be happy, and I’ll see you again.”

Then (okay, again, don’t think I’m crazy), right after that, one red dragonfly appeared in my backyard and began to fly over our pool all day…and the next day…and the next…and the next. Each time my husband, my kids or I went into the backyard, there was that dragonfly. (Note: my dad loved dragons. He had a collection of them, some of which now reside in my son’s room). It took me days to make any connection. The kids even noticed the dragonfly – “boy that dragonfly sure loves our backyard” my son said one day.

Finally, I googled “meaning of the dragonfly“. That is when the light bulb went off and I got it. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.
  • The dragonfly exhibits iridescence both on its wings as well as on its body… The magical property of iridescence is associated with the discovery of one’s own abilities by unmasking the real self and removing the doubts one casts on his/her own sense of identity. This again indirectly means self discovery and removal of inhibitions.
  • The dragonfly normally lives most of its life as a nymph or an immature. It flies only for a fraction of its life and usually not more than a few months. This adult dragonfly does it all in these few months and leaves nothing to be desired. This style of life symbolizes and exemplifies the virtue of living IN the moment and living life to the fullest. By living in the moment you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t and make informed choices on a moment-to-moment basis. This ability lets you live your life without regrets like the great dragonfly.

The dragonfly has much to teach me – about life, love, loss, forgiveness, and most of all – living in the present. Last week, I picked up this little necklace at the Sawdust Festival as my daily reminder:

I’m incorporating the message of the dragonfly into many aspects of my life, this blog being one of them. I’ve been thinking about launching this site for about a year but have hesitated – “But it’s not ready yet. It doesn’t look the way I want it. What if no one reads it? What if no one cares? What if everyone hates my writing?” – my inner voice has told me all of these things.

Well, here’s the thing I have realized – none of that really matters. I’m not doing this to make money, sell products, or land some book deal. I’m just trying to use the space I take up on this planet to do some good. That’s it. Period. So, if only my mom reads (which of course she will), it’s okay. Eventually, someone else will read, and care, and maybe make one small change to take better care of this planet.

And one small change, made right now, in this moment, is a good thing.

Or maybe someone else will not think I’m crazy … and will learn to love dragonflies.

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38 responses »

  1. Totally in tears right now. I am glad you have found your wings! I am also happy that his message got through to you! It is a beautiful story! p.s. I already knew you were crazy! 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you Jennifer. I’m glad that you liked it and it reaffirmed what you already know to be true. Be well friend.

      Reply
    • I have the dragonflies follow me as well , as much as 30 were on my grandmothers coffin and “scanning” all the family members. IMy first dream of her was also telling me that she was ok , and just fine,along with other extremely vivid dreams. After that, and till this day I have had dozens of “encounters ” Thank you for your share ,

      Reply
  2. Faith is believing when you cannot really see something. Your Dad talking to you is real, even if you cannot really see him. The dragonfly is real and so is Art. Don’t doubt yourself, you are a very, very special person. We all know it, you should too! If you have half as much faith in yourself as we all have in you, wow! The sky is the limit. We all believe in you more than you know. And we all love you more than you know. From (your other Dad)

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  3. Thanks for posting this Allison. Around the same length of time after my dad died, I experienced similar dreams, including a dream that my dad called me to tell me everything was OK. He couldn’t talk when he was dying either and before he died I asked him to give me a sign that everything was OK. Believe it or not, every time I have seen a dragonfly since he died, I’ve had the crazy thought that it was my dad communicating with me. I never knew the meaning, so thanks! Keep the blog posts coming.

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  4. Susan Doyle-Steffens

    Tears and words cannot express what is in my heart and how proud I am of you and loving what you wrote. Of course I read and loved it beyond reason…and you know I have had visits both from your Dad and Gary and I would swear your Dad was here last night. I love you!

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  5. Way to go Allison. You are a strong woman, an amazing mother, a loving wife and a wonderful friend. After my grandfather passed, I too had a few of those “dreams”. I cherish those to this day. (Ilost my grandfather when I was in 7th grade. ) I love your new blog. Way to go!

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  6. Susan Doyle-Steffens

    I need the add that there are dreams and visits and they are differnt from each other. Your Dad always said that is he could visit he would.

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  7. Allison, As you know, I’d be the President of your fan club if you had one, and am happy that you have chosen to share this beautiful story. Your father’s visits are a gift and I only hope to experience this with my grandmother some day. Art wants you to know how special you are to all of us. Your friendship is held in a very special place in my heart. Thank you for being the amazing lady you are! XO Sylvia

    Reply
  8. Wow, this is such a powerful message! I’m truly impressed with your writing skills and your strength. You are definitely making a positive impact on the world 🙂

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  9. So proud of you – keep going. Love

    Reply
  10. Pingback: My Twelve Week Challenge: The Results, Part One | OC Green Mama

  11. Allison, I had no idea of this dragonfly story until watching your video in completion of your 12 week challenge. (Had to keep reading, love your depth and openness.) Wow, tears are filled in my eyes. What a beautiful story! The dragonfly actually is amazing, we gave one to my mom when she was officially in remission of her stage III Ovarian Cancer journey. The beautiful thing about your blog, is that you are sharing the stories that help others feel validated, brave and find their voice too. My girlfriend in Santa Monica and I have been talking about starting one for over a year now. Your strength is palpable and inspiring. Thank you for being you, so grateful to know! Hugs… from frozen Utah 🙂 Love, Jules

    Reply
    • Oh my gosh, thank you so much Jules. I am so happy that you feel that way. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate it. Hugs back to you friend. Stay warm.

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  12. I am friends with Devon Tescher and stumbled upon your blog this morning… I am in love with it and your writing! The same kind of thing happened with dragonflies when my grandma passed and I’ve been contemplating getting a dragonfly tattoo and will one day soon… Figuring out where to put it… I LOVE your info about all the good stuff at Costco and can’t wait to go! I have recently started eating clean(I’m on my 12th day & last night at Devon’s celebration was my only exception) and I’m loving it and feeling great! I have added your blog to my home screen and can’t wait to follow along… Thank you!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Jeanine! I really appreciate you checking out my blog and giving me feedback. I also broke the rules last night at Devon’s party. I’m learning the balance between eating clean and indulging from time to time. It’s a work in progress. Good job to you and keep up the great work!

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  13. Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post. Thanks for providing these details.

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  14. Great article! We are linking to this great post on our website.

    Keep up the great writing.

    Reply
  15. Hi,
    You write so meaningfully ~ truly resonated with me!
    Your Dragonfly necklace is beautiful and would be perfect for my daughter. Please tell me who designed it? I’d love to order one.
    Thanks,
    Heidi
    Fromme311961@gmail.com

    Reply
  16. Thank you for your story, I too have faced so much in 2 yrs. Due to financial struggles and the inability to secure a good paying job I lost my home and have been living on a friends sofa 2 yrs this month. At 59, 6 mos after my journey started, I lost my beloved 28 yr old daughter. I have watched my other daughter suffer through the loss of her sister getting a tattoo on her side reading “A sister without her sister is like a bird without wings.” A yr and a half into all this my son in law passed he was 30, leaving my grieving daughter of her sister and husband/ best friend, with a 5yr old and baby on the way. I also broke my neck last December and unable to work. All of this has pulled us together and I will help her raise her babies and hopefully we can financially pull this off. While sitting on my porch, a dragonfly stayed near me flying back and forth with no water sourse in sight. I had always thought they were good luck symbol but after googling & reading different sourses including yours, I am now optimiztic that maybe this will work, or one of my beloved deceased ones is telling me to carry on, it will be ok. I am now hopeful that we can afford housing which is much needed. Thanks again for your beautifully written story. Barbara, N.J.

    Reply
    • I am so very sorry for your losses Barbara. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am so glad the dragonfly gave you some peace too. Hugs.

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  17. Kim Winkler Snay

    This has touched me so much. I have always loved dragonflies and last night I saved one from drowning. He sat on my finger and flapped his wings to dry and cleaned his face. It was amazing. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Kim. I’m glad it touched you. The red dragon fly visited me the other day – on Father’s Day. 🙂 They are beautiful creatures indeed. Thank you for stopping by and taking time to comment. I appreciate it.

      Reply
  18. GUMBY(NICKNAME)

    I JUST LOST MY NEPHEW WHO FOUGHT CANCER FOR OVER 4 AND A HALF YEARS AND HE WAS A SINGLE FATHER. ON THE DAY HE PASSED HIS MOTHER AND FATHER WERE BY HIS SIDE HE WAS OUTSIDE AFTER HE HAD A SEIZURE AND FELL AFTER THE PARAMEDICS GOT THERE AND SAID HE WAS GONE IN SEVERAL GROUPS OF ALL KINDS OF DRAGONFLIES GOT TOGETHER AND CAME DOWN OVER HIS BODY AND THEN FORMED TOGETHER AND IN A LITTLE BIT FLEW STRAIGHT UP INTO THE SKY…ONE OF THE PARAMEDICS SAID WE HAVE SEEN A LOT OF DECEASED PEOPLE BUT NEVER HAD SAW ANYTHING LIKE THAT BEFORE. ONE SAID GOD IS HERE. EVERY SINCE THEN THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN CLOSE TO HIM OR FRIENDS HAVE BEEN HAVING EXPERIENCES WITH THE DRAGONFLIES….HE WAS 26. THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE.

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  19. My fiancée recently lost his mother, yesterday. It’s been somber around here. I’ve only been in her life a very short two years. We were alike in many ways. I grew to love her and simply adored her. The last three weeks of hospice was very hard on me for the simple reason that I no longer connected with her in the same manner prior to her illness. That late afternoon after her passing, I sat on with my son to reflect and chat. He pointed out a small blue dragonfly next to me on the screen door. Usually, I notice dragonflies every time they fly around me. I love the symbolism and meaning they bring. At that moment, I really do think she came back to let us know she’s ok. Her gift to the world is a wonderful son, my fiancée, that inherited her generosity and compassion. I’m truly blessed to have known her and spent ample time with her. She was a very spiritual woman that helped people with her gift. I hope that seeing the dragonfly was a confirmation that she loves us and delivering a message for me to live life in the moment and stop worrying. This post has been very therapeutic for me in understanding a little bit more in this time of grieving for my fiancée and his family. Thank you for the blog.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for sharing this with me Liz. I am so happy that this post was helpful to you. I hope the dragonfly brought you some peace as well. Hugs and prayers to you and your family.

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  20. My best friend (who I have known for 26 years; since we were 4 year old) passed away last week. We lived 450 kilometres from each others since 2003, but called/sent messages daily.
    I walked to home on Monday that day. I had started my new job and was calling to my mother. I noticed big dragonfly on the door. I even said to my mother “wow, so beautiful dragonfly here”. I saw several today (flying over my balcony, landing on it), too, but not like the one I saw week ago.

    So, now, I googled about dragonflies… My friend and I both love(d) fantasy literature, games, so “dragons”… She esp.loved dragons, more than me. She was always asking me to send her more texts to read, and she did read them as I asked her suggestions about anything. She usually said “add some dragons” or similar. I was scare to write about dragons, as I thought I wasn´t good enough to write about them (no idea why it was like that; I wrote about other classical creatures, too…). She told me being silly and asked me to stop underestimate myself.

    I´m happy that I find this post. I thought I had very odd thoughs, as thinking about that dragonfly or dragonflies made me felt somehow… safe and that I´ll survive this.

    Reply
    • Thank you for reading and taking time to comment. I am so sorry for your loss. I am happy that you found the dragonfly comforting too. May they continue to bring you peace in your time of grief.

      Reply

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