3: Walking Her Daughter to Heaven

3: Walking Her Daughter to Heaven

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven

Walking Her Daughter to Heaven

An angel can illuminate the thought and mind of man by strengthening the power of vision.

~St. Thomas Aquinas

The phone rang. It was 11:30 p.m. My sister Yvonne was calling from Iowa, but why so late?

“Hello?” I said, half-asleep.

“Regina is in the emergency room. I don’t know what’s wrong. Just pray, right now. Get on your knees and pray. I’ll call you when I know something. Someone is calling in,” she said as she hung up.

Four minutes later, Yvonne called again. “She’s gone!” she wailed. “Oh, my God! She’s gone! What am I going to do now?”

Regina was one of my four sisters — a daughter, mother, wife and twin. She was forty-three years old when she died from a ruptured ovarian cyst. Her departure was so sudden, no one had an opportunity to say goodbye. In the hours and days that followed her passing, my family would experience an unbearable sadness. Yet in the flurry of confusion and despair, a miracle was unfolding — an unexpected glimpse into the realm of eternal life.

My brother-in-law called just after dawn the morning following Regina’s death.

“Denise, you need to get over here. Your mom has been acting strange all morning,” he said. When I asked what she was doing, he replied, “She’s talking to Regina.”

Twenty minutes later another sister, Kristen, and I arrived where the rest of our family had slept the night before. Mom was sitting at the kitchen table, slumped in the chair, head resting in her hands, crying. She lifted her head when we came in.

“Thank God you’re here,” she said. “This is one really screwed up dream. But it’s over now.”

She paused and looked around. “Where am I?” she asked. “How did I get here? Is someone gone?”

Regina’s twin sister Yvonne tried to console her. “Mom, you’re in Peoria. You and Dad flew here on an airplane because Regina has died.”

“What? That’s not possible,” she said. “I was just with her.” I looked at my other sisters, dumbfounded.

“Is someone gone?” Mom asked again, eyes searching the room for her daughters. “One, two, three, four,” she said, counting.

“She’s not here,” I said softly. “Regina is gone, Mom. She died.” Mom stared at me in disbelief.

Without warning, Mom’s position and demeanor changed dramatically. She sat upright in the chair, fixed her eyes on something directly in front of her, and began talking. I didn’t know what to do at first, because the dialogue was so strange. But as I listened intently, I realized that when Mom’s behavior shifted, Regina was speaking through her.

“Quick,” I said. “We need to write this down. Mom isn’t crazy. I think she is telling us a story.”

The following is an edited transcript of the words that Mom spoke over a two-hour period. The breaks in dialogue represent the times Mom’s connection to Regina was temporarily lost and she would return to a state of confusion, repeating the same questions, not understanding where she was or why. It was during those “down” times we finally realized what was happening. Mom was traveling between dimensions. She was confused and disoriented, because she was experiencing two worlds simultaneously: the physical realm, and the ethereal. One of my sisters was able to write it all down. While all the words were spoken by my mother, it appeared that she was speaking for Regina half the time and also there was another unidentified voice.

Mom: Regina is right here and she is telling me, “Mom, hold my hand.”


Mom: Where are we going?

Regina: We’re going on a journey.

Mom: We’re all together. Everything is going to be okay.

Regina: Mom, I woke up and you were the only one there.

Mom: Okay, come here, because we have to bring Regina back.

Regina: We’re all in Peoria, because I am here.

Mom: I didn’t know I was in Peoria.


Mom: I don’t want anyone to go. I want to know about Regina’s dreams.

Regina: Mom, you have to let go.

Mom: Okay, we’ll go back to the beginning.

Regina: We have to find out where the heck this road is going. I think the spirits are calling.

Mom: The heck with the spirits.

Regina: Mom, I see everything.

Mom: Let’s slow down. (Pause) Okay, let’s go look at that light. Regina: Mom, just walk with me.


Mom: I don’t want to let her go. She’s not going anywhere.

Mom: Regina, how come I’m here?

Regina: Because you have to hear my story.

Mom: Why listen to your story?

Regina: Just listen, Mom.


Regina: It’s time for me to go. Mom, you have to pick up the light because I’m leaving.

Mom: If I need to keep telling the story, you need to stay here. I need to hear this so I don’t forget it. Regina keeps saying we all need to see the light so we know who is telling the story.

Regina: Mom, do you know the story?

Mom: I want out of here. (She hears a voice.)

Voice: You need to talk to Regina about the light.

Regina: Because you have to remember.


Voice: You have to remember the story, and just know you were here.


Mom: Okay, I’m going to go with her now.

Startled, I screamed, “NO, MOM! You can’t go with her! It’s not your time!” My eyes were wild. “Everyone, hurry, call her back!”

Just then, Dad lunged across the table and smacked Mom’s cheek.

“Suzanne, it’s me, Mike. Please don’t leave me. I’m not ready for you to go. I NEED YOU! Please don’t go! Please wake up!” But Mom’s eyes remained fixed, looking straight ahead.

Mom: I am holding Regina’s hand tight, but I’m losing grip. Regina’s hand is falling and the light is fading.

Suddenly Mom blinked her eyes. “Is the light still there?” I said softly, “Can you see Regina?”

“No,” she said sadly. “She is gone and the light is gone.” She started to cry. “Oh why did I have to do that? Why did I have to walk her to heaven?”

My father, who is normally not an emotional man, had displayed enormous gentleness and patience throughout this two-hour encounter. He wrapped his arms around Mom, as the rest of us joined my parents in a big group hug. While Mom didn’t understand what had happened yet, the rest of us recognized that we had just witnessed a miracle, following an enormous family loss.

Mom prayed for weeks to the Blessed Mother to let her know Regina was okay. A few months after Regina’s passing, three dancing fairies appeared to my mother as she was lying in bed, reading. As they danced at the foot of her bed, Regina appeared in full form and stood near the window. Mom said she looked beautiful. Mom woke up Dad, but he couldn’t see what she could see. Regina and the fairies stayed for a minute, maybe two, and then they left.

Mom has never seen her again. But we’re all convinced God gave her the privilege of walking her daughter to heaven, assuring all of us that Regina will one day be reunited with the rest of her family that misses her so much.

~Denise Bernadette Fleissner

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