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Monday, June 3, 2013

The Burden of Premonition

I have a rather unique and cruel gift for knowing when someone is about to die. I've had this gift most of my life, but the cruel part is that I rarely know who it will strike.

The following story began three weeks ago.

For two solid weeks I hadn't been sleeping well. At first, it started as restlessness. I'd wake from a sound sleep, upset, but unable to remember why.

Every night it got worse. By the second week I started remembering the nightmares. I will not share the details with you because they are too gruesome to repeat. Suffice it to say, Stephen King's idea of horror pales in comparison to what my subconscious can conjure. This is normal for my brain, trying to tell me something is terribly wrong.

By week two, I was frantic, trying to figure out who was going to die on me. My guess was Tank. He is frail and deteriorating steadily. I braced myself for the inevitable. But despite his weakened condition, he is a happy boy who still enjoyed his meals and walks. If the omens were true, he should've shown some sign of worsening.

Night after night this went on, each nightmare more disturbing than the last. Someone was going to die, but I didn't know who. I even phoned my elderly mother and asked if she wanted to come down and visit me--afraid it might be her. (She's with me now, spry as ever.)

Sunday morning at 3am, I woke up in a cold sweat. Another nightmare, worse than all the others. Unable to return to sleep I got up and answered email, waiting for daylight. As soon as it was light out, I went to the garden and started weeding.

At 9am, I got a call from my best friend. Her dog, Princess was showing signs of distress. From what she described, I speculated that the little dog's body was shutting down.

I puppy-sat Princess many times and she had become part of our family. Tank and Princess were like an old married couple. They enjoyed each other's company immensely and I'd often find them sleeping next to one another.

Within hours of getting the call, Princess died in the arms of the people she loved most. For that I'm grateful. There is no greater gift than being with those you love.


I didn't realize this until a few days ago, but I have not had another nightmare since Princess passed away. Apparently, the omens were for her.

Rest in Peace, dear little Princess. You had the best life and were surrounded by people who loved you with all their hearts.


Have you ever had a premonition? How did you handle it?

UPDATE: I'll be off the rest of the week. Talk to you Monday!


Darke Conteur said...

I'm so sorry to hear. She looks like she was a good dog.

I had a horrible feeling of dread for about a year before Hubby's grandmother died. It was so strong at times that I thought it would be Hubby! I even told my Mom about it. It eased up shortly after, but it's hard to shake that feeling once it's been with you. :(

Jennifer Shirk said...

Aww...poor Princess. She was a cutie.

I only had a premonition once--before my dad died.

Monday morning I woke up from a nightmare with actual tears in my eyes because I was crying in my dream. My dream was that my mom was going to die and I didn't know if I should tell her or not.
So that morning I kept asking my mom if she felt okay. And she would look at me weird.

Tuesday morning: same dream, same waking up with tears in my eyes. My mom seemed fine and I ignored the dream.

Wednesday I left my parents house ( I was visiting) then Saturday morning I got the call that my dad passed away in his sleep.

I kept thinking it was going to be my mom because of the dream and never thought it would be my dad. But because of those dreams, I had an overwhelming urge to make sure my parents knew I loved them before I left. So because of that, I really had a lot of peace with it.

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: Princess had so much personality. For such a little dog, she was bigger than life.

Re: feeling of dread
There's something very raw and primal about dread. And you're right, once that feeling comes over you, you can't shake it.

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: Oh, your story struck a chord with me. I know exactly what you mean. I don't understand why we can't pinpoint the person actually leaving us.

I'm so glad you got to spend time with your parents before your dad passed away. That was the best gift you could've given him.

Angela Brown said...

Praying for Princess's family. I'm sure she'll be sorely missed.

I can't say I've had a premonition. Though I have an aunt who has premonitions similar to yours, though not as strong.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Hugs for Princess's family.
When i was a pre teen i woke up one morning knowing that my grandma had died. When we got out of bed, our dad told us the sad news. I've never had anything like that happen to me before, or after.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: Thank you. They are hurting a lot right now.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: Isn't it strange how we pick up on only certain people. You were obviously psychically connected to your grandma or very close.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I was thinking it had never happened to me when I remembered the day I left my parents California house as my husband, son, and I headed toward our new duty assignment in NJ (back in 1982). I turned and looked out the back of the car and just *felt* like I would never see my mom again. The following year she had a brain annurism followed by a stroke. She survived, but became a totally different person. So in a way I was saying goodbye to the old her, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I knew the moment both of my parents passed away, though with my mom I wasn't sure if it was her or my dad. I knew my aunt was going to pass and kept pestering my hubby to let me go see her (I'm in TX she was in UT). He said wait til spring. I said it couldn't wait. She died 6 weeks after my visit. I had the same feeling with my grandfather, though he only ended up having emergency gall bladder surgery about 4 months after our visit. Hubby doesn't even question now when I say we have to go see someone. Oh, and I have that same feeling about hurricane season on the Gulf Coast this year. I hope to every god and deity my gut is wrong on that one.

Sorry for the loss of your extended family member. She looks like a sweety.

Melanie Macek

Anne Gallagher said...

Oh poor Princess. What a good little dog.

I don't have premonitions about people dying, but I do have them about other things.

When I was first pregnant with my daughter in 2004, I KNEW the Red Sox were going to win the pennant that season. No one would believe me.

I don't dream about stuff, but I get a feeling in my gut. I know enough now to listen to my gut.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: That's so sad, and yet so insightful on your part. Sometimes I think it's worse to have a parent deteriorate rather than die peacefully. It seems so unfair to have them suffer.

Maria Zannini said...

featherpenstartandreams: How I hope you're wrong about hurricane season. We still haven't fully recovered from Hurricane Rita. I'll be thinking of you if we do get slammed hard this year.

Maria Zannini said...

Anne: I think more of us should listen to our guts. As a society, we've lost the ability to be more intuitive.

Angelina Rain said...

Rest in peace, Princess. :-(

I'm glad to hear that Tank is still doing okay. Give him a big hug and kiss from me.

I have horrible instincts and no ability to predict the next five minutes much less more into the future than that.

Misha Gericke said...

I used to have them a lot, but am now mostly free of them. Thank God.

Maria Zannini said...

Angelina: Heh. Sometimes knowing something is wrong--yet not knowing specifically what is just as bad.

I'll be sure to give Tank an extra hug. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Misha: It is a burden, no doubt about it. But in a way, I'd rather have the nightmares, so I know to brace myself.

Rula Sinara said...

I'm so sorry! RIP Princess.

I've had premonitions too. They can be scary.

Giacomo Giammatteo said...

I'm glad she passed with those she loved. You're right, there is nothing more comforting for both parties than that.

Maria Zannini said...

Rula: Princess had a lot of health issues, but she couldn't have been in better hands. That little dog wanted for nothing.

My dogs always want to visit my friend. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Jim: So true. This is why we always insist on being present if any of our guys have to be put to sleep.

We're a family and we stay a family.

Mike Keyton said...

I dread a premonition like that. I have no pets. You're right, it's as much a curse as a blessing. Enjoy your week off.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: I've learned not to dread them as much as use them if I can. But sometimes the signs are so abstract, I can't figure it out--so I'm nice to everyone in case it's them. :)

Anonymous said...

I've always had repeating dreams, usually some aspect of them comes to pass. I've never had anything remotely close to what you just described, however.

{hugs} to Princess' family.

Gwen Gardner said...

Awww, God bless little Princess. And Maria, I can't imagine what it's like to have those kinds of dreams where you don't know what's going to happen. It would be so scary and unsettling. I haven't had premonitions, but I've had other "visitations." A voice calling my name. Visits from the recently passed in my dreams giving me messages.

Shelley Munro said...

No premonitions for me. What you describe sounds horrendous, Maria. I think I'd rather be without a premonition!

I'm sorry to hear about Princess. She looked like a cutie.

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: I'm a firm believer that many of us have some level of prescience. It actually saved my life once--but that's a story for another time.

Maria Zannini said...

Gwen: How nice that someone thought so much of you to pass on messages. I like those dreams.

Shirley Wells said...

So sorry to hear about Princess. All my thoughts are with her family. It's such a difficult time. :(

I would hate to have a premonition like that. I can worry for England as it is without adding fuel to the worries.

Maria Zannini said...

Shelley: In the early days, those dreams would terrify me, but once I started to connect the dots between the dreams and actual events, I learned to accept them. Didn't make me feel any better, but at least I knew why they were there.

Maria Zannini said...

Shirley: She was a sweet little girl, but she couldn't have picked better parents. Princess lived up to her name.

Re: England
Same here.