My niece was born in 1988. She was a beautiful child and not just because she looked more like me than she did her mom. When she was 3 and I was 31, her mother started a new relationship and I was given the opportunity to spend most weekends with her. I had not yet had children of my own so I welcomed the time.

In 1992 I married to a man who had a daughter from a previous marriage who was also born in 1988 and very quickly she and my niece became besties. My niece continued to spend a lot of time with us.

In late January or early February of 1994, before my niece turned 5, I awoke from a terrifying dream. The details were not clear, but for the first time in my life I woke up in tears. I was inconsolable, screaming to my husband that my niece was dead. He assured me it was just a dream and that she was not dead, that she was fine.

In July of ’94, I got a call from my mother, telling me she needed me to come to her house, insisting I come right away. When I got there, she told me that my niece had been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

For the next 6 months I helplessly watched in horror as my sister and I took her to multiple appointments in an attempt to identify and treat whatever type of tumor my niece had. The tumor was never identified and my beautiful niece died in January, 1995. She was 6 years old.

Dreams filled with dread

After she died, I thought about other times I had dreams filled with dread, dreams where a loved one had died. The first dream was about the man who would become my husband. He and I had broken up and he was moving to Colorado. I knew he would never make it back alive.

He did come back, safe and sound. I didn’t think much of the dream until years later when his younger brother was killed in a freak accident in of all places, Colorado.

For the past few weeks, I have felt a strong need to spend time with both of my sons who are attending the same college that is about two hours away. It was strange because we talk all the time and they have only been gone for 6 weeks. It took a while to coordinate, but yesterday we made it happen and we shared a great afternoon together.

Today, I woke up in tears from another dread filled dream of death. My eldest son had given his life to save his brother from cancer. While it made no sense that his death would somehow prevent his brother from dying, it scared me deeply.

When I woke up and when I stopped crying from the fear that this could be another premonition, I called my best friend. She was aware of my previous dreams and I knew she would not think I had gone crazy so I told her about the dream. She said it was probably just a protective mom dream and that she had experienced that same type of fear when she was pregnant with her son and had a dream of death. She told me it was probably because I had just spent time with them and it was just my brain processing recent events.

I hope she is right and that by telling another person, somehow it will prevent another “dream come true.”

— Carolyn, Virginia