From Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul

A Message from the Angels

. . . and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

The Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 13:2)

Angels and people, different entities, or are they? Angels. Just the word brings soothing comfort to those who have experienced the pleasure of meeting them face-to-face. Though I have read many stories of people and their experiences with angels, that was what I thought they were, stories. But my skepticism was turned around by my experience with angels.

At some point and time in each of our lives, some of us will be placed in a situation where we have to make a life-and-death decision regarding a loved one. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be placed in such a position. But life is a challenge for both the living and the dying. My mother always told me that God gave us only that which we could handle. I never truly understood that until I was faced with the biggest decision of my life.

Death. We tremble when we hear that word spoken. It’s a violent word. It’s a violent action. It’s a word whispered rather than spoken aloud. But it comes to each and every one of us, eventually.

In May 1995, death came to my husband. It was not a quick death, though in reality it was, for late one evening my husband’s heart stopped functioning. A call was placed to 911 and the paramedics arrived at our home. Since my husband was not breathing due to the stopping of his heart, he was without oxygen for a dangerous amount of time. The paramedics worked on his body until they eventually had his heart functioning again. A considerable amount of time had elapsed, and though his heart was pumping with assistance, his mind and body were gone. He was placed in intensive care, and put on life support equipment. I knew what was coming, the decision.

My husband and I were very close. He had polio, and throughout our many years of marriage, I took care of him. He always told me that he never wanted to be hooked up to life support, and to please let him die with dignity. I knew this, but I loved him very much. The final decision, the right decision, was up to me. I always tried to protect him in life and was so afraid to let him go. I did not know what would happen to his soul, and that concerned me. I fought and fought within myself to do the right thing, to do what he wished, to do what he wanted. I was selfish, afraid for him, afraid for myself.

I was at his bedside every day, except to go home to sleep. My daughter was my strength, and she was at my side every minute of every day. On the third night, daughter and I came home from the hospital exhausted and went directly to bed.

While I was sleeping I had a dream, and in that dream my daughter and I were met by two angels who came down from the heavens and spoke with us. I told the angels that I could not let my husband leave this earth because I did not know where he would go. The next thing I knew we were upon their wings, and we flew through the air, and as we were flying we began to see a bright light and the higher we seemed to go the brighter the light. It was so intensely bright that we could no longer look at the light. Though no words were spoken to us, our minds were filled with their words. We were engulfed by this bright light and as the angels released us, the light was no more. What we saw was so beautiful. The angels were shimmering light, and as we gazed upon them we could see that each one was engulfed in a bright light, but this light did not hurt our eyes. One angel came up to us and she spoke, not in words, but through our thoughts. She told me that it was time to let my husband go, that he was needed there, and that his work on earth was complete.

The words that were communicated from her were very comforting, with a gentle soft voice she spoke again and asked if we would like to see the place they had made there for my husband. Yes, we so wanted to see, and with a flash we were standing in a garden with beautiful flowers, and then she pulled back what seemed like a sheer curtain, and she said, “We are building this brook for your husband,” and we could see the angels working on the brook, laying rock, and making bridges. I told her that my husband cannot walk, and she said that in heaven everyone walks, and everyone is free of all pain, and that each angel has a specific job to do, and that my husband’s job was waiting for him there in heaven. I asked what was the job, but of this she would not say. We were able to see clouds all around us and when we looked down at our feet they were floating; we were not standing on anything solid. I held my daughter’s hand tight and we both started to cry, not because of sadness, but because we were so happy that at last my husband was going home, no more pain, no more crutches, no more machines.

When I woke up the next morning, I ran into my daughter’s room and woke her up to tell her about my dream. What she said to me made my blood run cold. She said, “Mom, it wasn’t a dream, I was right there with you.” We just hugged each other and started to cry.

At last I was able to let my husband go, because I knew what a wonderful place he was going to. You might think this was the end of my story, but in fact it was the beginning of a whole new meaning to my life. The love that my husband had for me on this earth was so strong that it carried over after his death. Yes, I believe in angels, and yes, I believe that our souls continue to watch over our loved ones after our death. To say that heaven and earth are not joined by a link is greatly understated—for what happened to me after my husband’s passing greatly enforced my belief that love never dies.

Mary Ann Stafford

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