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Chapter 23 - Dancing Beyond Cancer - Messages from the Ethers

Chapter 23 -------- Messages from the Ethers

The first month after Danielle’s passing was a time that I filled with many distractions. I started to binge-watch everything that I had missed on Netflix over the past year. I even reactivated my Amazon Prime and Audible audiobook memberships. I then spent hours playing video games while listening to interesting audiobooks. I wasn’t ready to face everything all at once, and I needed to take breaks from my thoughts. I used electronic media as a means to cope.

My favorite was mixing video games with audiobooks. It made me feel like I was accomplishing more than just sitting around. Since I only listen to Non-Fiction, it helped me expand my mind into topics that were interesting to me. The combination was perfect at preventing me from thinking about anything else. I wasn’t ready to think about anything else yet. No one could help me because I had to wait until I was ready. For the time being, I was adjusting to an entirely new life.

Thankfully I wasn’t alone in this new life. Danielle’s “baby” Andora Wells Luxemburg St. Clair Strabala joined the adventure. She was a blessing in more ways than one. First, she kept me motivated after losing Danielle. She became my daily inspiration because she wouldn’t let me sit around all day. Andora forced me to go on adventures with her.

My first purchase for her was a chest harness that would allow me to strap her to my chest. I was hoping that I would be able to take Andora on my pedal street bike. Surprisingly, her front paws fit perfectly on the handlebars while she could balance her hind feet on the frame. I quickly built a front footpad and padded the frame so she would be comfortable during a ride. It was so successful that Andora stopped wanting to go on walks instead she would sit by my bike. She would look at me saying, “I’ll wait for you to put your harness on.”

I discovered quickly that she enjoyed going everywhere with me. I was relieved to have a little ball of love that wanted to do everything with me. I couldn’t have asked for a better companion to help my depression. The support I received was invaluable, which is why I had to make it official.

I had to get Andora her emotional support dog card. Thankfully I knew all the doctors in town, so I made an appointment to get a prescription. I found it nearly impossible to be depressed while Andora was around. Everyone would stop to smile or laugh while she was strapped to my chest. The bike rides always produced hilarious reactions from motorists. The joy that she would bring people was contagious.

We would often ride out to a trailhead and then hike up a mountain where she would run around for twenty to thirty minutes. It was highly therapeutic for me to get out into nature with Andora. I don’t know what I would have done without Andora’s constant companionship. She could cheer me up, no matter how sad or depressed I would become. The love we shared was the one thing that kept me from slipping into any prolonged state of depression.

Danielle was also going to be helping me through the grieving process more that I could imagine. My openness to contacting those that have passed was something that I expected to start right away. It didn’t happen quite as I was anticipating. It would be sometime before I started to center myself. This centering would make me more capable of contacting her in the afterlife. It didn’t stop her from sending me messages, and some of the messages were so incredible that I now know death is not the end.

I continued to suppress many emotions after Danielle’s passing. I was still using tobacco and medical marijuana to prevent dealing with my anxiety. I hadn’t recognized it yet, but my PTSD was still very present. It was far too exhausting to try and process so many unresolved emotions. It was a daily practice to work on my emotions so I could open up to those emotions again. I now realized time was the only solution, and Danielle had thankfully given me that.

Danielle had requested that I be allowed to live in the house for six months. Rose’s parents never once made that an issue, because they were amazing. I also had just enough money left over after paying for the cremation expenses, to survive for at least three to four months. I wasn’t ready to work the first few months after Danielle’s passing. It was important to me that I start to connect with my wife. I didn’t want more distractions or stress to be in my life. I needed peace with no worries.

After about a month of avoiding my spiritual self, I started to meditate again. It wasn’t easy for me, considering I still had so many unresolved questions. The thoughts that would arise would often trigger anger or regret. As I addressed these emotions, I began to operate with more clarity. It was right away that I started noticing strange synchronicities.

The experiences were extremely far out with a basis in science fiction versus science fact. I started having bizarre coincidences involving time travel, reincarnation, and past lives. Each time something would expose itself as a possibility, it would provide additional coincidences to support each topic. The time travel was still one of the more interesting messages from Danielle.

All of a sudden, there was a multitude of sources that I was following from the Gaia TV network, in addition to some audiobooks. The books and documentaries were describing ideas I had observed in fictional movies. However, the new information had facts to support the theories. I discovered that remote viewers claim to be able to visit the past and have shown surprising accuracy. Then we get into secret space programs and wormholes, and it becomes a real possibility. It opened a new realm of possibilities for me.

It was a plethora of Time Travel, and for several weeks I couldn’t escape it. I started to believe that maybe something would happen that would cause me to go back in time. The possibility of seeing her again was all I could consider. I found many stories about random portals appearing that cause people to stop or travel in time. Stories of fairy rings go back centuries. I started to prepare my backpack for any situation that could send me into the past.

One of the biggest synchronicities came on a trip to Vegas with some friends. It was the first time I had left Sedona since Danielle passed. Several of us had rented a room for the weekend. There was a dance festival that they invited me to, which seemed appealing. I wasn’t expecting Danielle to send her first message five minutes after we arrived at the hotel.

I had recently found a theme song from a movie about time travel. The movie had been out for years, and I never once had heard the song from the end of the movie. The song was about going back in time to be with someone they love. It was crazy synchronistic to hear the song played over the speakers at the Casino we were staying. Danielle would often play songs to send messages to me, and this one of the most significant.

Even though I never traveled in time to see Danielle, I felt everything happened for a reason. The hope I gained while thinking I could see my wife again was priceless. That hope might have been the only thing preventing me from spiraling into a deep depression. I started to see more and more the influence Danielle was having in my life. She always seemed to have my back.

Danielle delivered messages in many ways. A personal favorite was little messages she would send as I cleaned up the house. One day I found a card that said, “nothing is more the child of art than a garden.” -Sir Walter Scott. That day I had started work on cleaning the backyard to plant a beautiful heart garden. The added inspiration that just fell into my lap gave me a message that she was with me. Danielle knew how to send me messages, and the more I paid attention, the more profound the messages would be.

I didn’t talk or communicate with many people over the first six months after Danielle’s passing. The daily trips to the water store or grocery store were all the socializing that I needed. Andora would usually attract attention, forcing me to interact with people. If someone recognized us, I would usually reaffirm that Danielle is still very much with us. Many of these interactions would tell me about their own personal messages that Danielle sent.

Many people who knew Danielle had received messages in their dreams. Some were quite interesting personal messages that she delivered. It was always great to know that I wasn’t the only one having crazy experiences. Since most of my paranormal experiences happened while I was completely alone, it was exciting to know I was not completely crazy. The signs I witnessed defied any scientific explanation.

Every time I was looking for a confirmation, I would have a butterfly or hummingbird appear. I had this occur more times than I can count. A more memorable experience happened as I was sending my friend a message about the butterfly synchronicities. Just as I was typing that statement on my phone, a butterfly flew in front of my face. The butterfly flew directly in between my phone and my face, which has never happened to me in my life. It all seemed crazy, but it seemed crazier to deny what I was experiencing.

I found peace sitting outside finding unique experiences with wildlife. Never before had I noticed all sorts of birds and butterfly’s doing things that just brought a smile to my face. It’s like they knew exactly how to cheer me up. I’ve even heard of many other people having similar experiences, not even associated with Danielle. These experiences were the most beneficial to my grieving process.

There were several people in town that I had developed casual relationships with for conversation. These people helped discuss some of the more metaphysical topics that many people find bizarre. As much as I don’t mind sharing those stories, I also understand that many of them can be a bit farfetched, especially when approached from a traditional world view. Some wouldn’t see the coincidences the same way that I do, and therefore wouldn’t get the same messages that I receive. When I finally had someone appear in my life that I could talk about anything with I was super excited.

It was funny because this person was one of the first people I worked with when I started back working part-time after three months. I didn’t get to know her at that time, and because of my orgonite business, I didn’t have to stay working at the restaurant. It had been several months since I had seen her. She was now living two houses up with a group of people.

The house always had people rotating in and out, so it wasn’t unusual to see a new face. I was often outside greeting anyone who walked up or down the street. I had met or introduced myself to most of the people who lived on the street because of Andora. Since I spent a few hours a day gardening, it wasn’t unusual to see several people a day making trips up and down the street. I eventually got to know the new roommate, and we connected immediately on a spiritual level.

I found her fascinating because she had worked as a spiritual guide for several years. She did things like tarot readings but also did deep spiritual work for her friends and family. Due to our connection on spiritual topics, I opened up to her about everything that had happened with my wife. There wasn’t a single experience that she found bizarre or untrue. She showed honest support by sharing similar experiences from her life.

This also let her open up about some of her past trauma’s, one of the most recent being the loss of her brother. I felt super comfortable around her because of this issue. She had told me how upset it made her that her brother’s fiancé moved on to be with someone else after a couple of weeks. From I Love you with one person to I love you with another person in under a month. I couldn’t believe it.

I told her that I find it disrespectful not to show a time of morning for a significant other. In my opinion, I felt that waiting a year to move on from a spouse is probably very healthy. It is unlikely that someone who loses the love of their life would be in a place to move on in any less time. People need time to readjust to their lives. Rediscover themselves and move on properly.

I also felt I still had stuff to deal with, regarding losing my wife. I know it wouldn’t be fair for me to be in another relationship yet. I really felt like that conversation with my new friend created a safe space for me to mourn my wife. The year was an easy commitment to keep. I had promised my wife a year of mourning, which I intended to keep with all my heart.

It was shortly after we started to hang out that I had an experience with Danielle. It was a rather unusual dream and, in that dream, she gave me something. At the time it really didn’t make sense, because she gave me some blue spiritual armor. I didn’t think much about it other than I really enjoyed feeling my wife’s presence in that moment. The armor didn’t mean anything significant nor did it lead to any other experiences over the following weeks. I just wrote it off and never considered it again.

It felt like I had truly developed a strong friendship which was all I expected out of the relationship. I didn’t feel that even though I was hanging out with a girl that it would be construed as anything other than friends. I wasn’t attracted to the person, and she was not my type. When compared with my wife there wasn’t any comparison, and I say that because Danielle was that incredible. Our sharing was really helping to come to terms with some of the pain that the past several years had caused both of us. Loss, struggles, and pain were similar experiences we shared.

I even decided that since in another month or two I might be needing to find a roommate; I made the offer. It was about this time that she started bringing some of the drama from her house down to my house. It was mostly just her venting about the behavior that some of the roommates had such as dirty comments or inappropriate behavior. I knew a couple of the guys, so it didn’t surprise me. This kind of fed my anger towards the behavior that men show towards women. It is the lack of respect that bothers me, if all parties are fine with crude behavior then I am fine with it. The problem is that many people force that behavior on people who don’t approve.

This was the start of her pushing my buttons to distance myself from that house. It took about a week, but she convinced me that she had to get out of there and created a situation that really seemed plausible. After only a week of her living at the house I started to notice that something was up. There were little things that I noticed but didn’t put together.

First off, she was making a lot of promises and not fulfilling any of them. I figured I would be patient and just see what happened, no need to worry. Until she said something bizarre and completely out of the blue about our friendship being just friends. It was odd that she made that statement. As strange as the statement was, I still didn’t worry one bit.

It was then that she came home one night and told me that my friend from two houses up was spreading rumors that we were dating. I almost lost it right there, not only did he know my wife, but after our trip to Vegas, I thought he knew that I was truly waiting a year. Not to mention that I thought he knew me better than dating someone like the person I was now roommates. I assumed he knew it would never be anything other than that. I had to wait almost three hours for my friend to get home.

By the time my friend arrived home, my new roommate had already gone to sleep several hours before her typical bedtime. I could tell she was a bit frightened by my anger, and I figured she was trying to give me my space. It was a quick trip up to their house as I stormed through the gate and immediately started accosting my friend in front of five other roommates. Almost twenty seconds into my rant, the entire group had to stop me. All four people almost in unison told me that my new roommate was the one telling everyone in the house those things.

I immediately stopped my rant and asked for them to continue immediately. I was completely shocked at what was occurring as everyone told me the numerous things that this girl had told them. On top of that, I also found out that the spiritual reading that she did in private to connect with my wife was now public knowledge. Every single person in the house knew about her doing the reading, and even more appalling was that she even shared the details. For a spiritual worker, this was such a violation of trust that I couldn’t believe that I had even allowed such a dark person into my space.

It also made me realize that all the signs I was getting about dark magik weren’t about the other people in Sedona but was about her. During the time she appeared, my life was littered with signs about magik or dark spiritual practices. It was much like the signs about time travel. This time it involved someone that had manifested into my life.

I discovered that she had been practicing dark rituals that were meant to win me over. I knew that despite my normal intuitions that I was drawn to her in weird ways. Since I have great self-control, I always discontinued the thoughts the moment I recognized them. Either way, I had no intention of acting on these strange feelings. The promise to Danielle meant more to me than any temporary moment of gratification.

It wasn’t until after this group disclosure that I started to see the whole picture. I began to see the elaborate lies that had been used to deceive me. I was pissed, I was angry, and I was ready to kick this person out of my wife’s house. Everyone was sympathetic to my situation and were equally appalled. I thanked them for letting me know the truth. However, I would have to wait until the next morning to speak with her.

She asked me almost immediately if I had talked with the neighbor. I told her that I did and that it didn’t go well. I then stated, “I’m going to ask you a question, and I recommend that you don’t answer that question right away, and you think about it.” She acknowledged this statement, and I proceeded to ask, “What is going on here? and I need you to tell the whole truth, and I mean all of it.”

She looked at me like she didn’t know what I was talking about. I was honestly surprised after six people filled me in on the other side of the story. They had nothing to gain by lying to me and even told the same stories. She was fighting an uphill battle to convince me she was not a liar. I could tell she was lying again by playing dumb to what had happened. I could finally see through her crap. I told her that it wasn’t best if we talk about it right away, so I asked again, “Are you sure that you want to talk about this?” She nodded affirmatively.

I then lost it on her, full well knowing that I allowed her to let me cool down, or for her to come clean. Either of which needed to happen for me to communicate productively. I didn’t want to communicate with her productively, and I was happy to end the friendship. I had to call her out first on all her lies, on the fact that she shared private information with people I didn’t approve. She betrayed my trust and on top of that hadn’t done one thing at the house that she promised she was going to do since she moved in. It was embarrassing that never once fessed up to one of her lies, continuing to pile more lies on top of it.

The conversation ended with me recommending that if what everyone at the other house said was lies that she should confront them and get them to tell me the truth. It seemed the most logical solution because if there was simply a misunderstanding than she could remedy the situation. I didn’t see her for the next five hours. At which point she returned to tell me that she spoke to the neighbor. Explaining he was unable to communicate, and I later found out that the only interaction they had that day was her flipping him off when he drove past the house. Considering the only answer she had for me was a garbage answer, and even worse a complete lie, I lost it one last time.

This time I didn’t hold anything back, I told her, “Get the Fuck out of my wife’s house.” After all the disrespect that she showed my late wife in her house, I wouldn’t tolerate her for another minute. It was unforgivable, it was disgusting, and I wasn’t going to stand for it. I exploded into a fit of rage that had her unable to speak or get a word out, and I told her to take everything she owned and leave. She told me her ride was on the way. I told her, “That’s great, then take all your stuff to the street. I don’t want you inside Danielle’s house one minute longer.”

I proceeded to tell her that it was best that we do not speak, ever again. It may take weeks or months before I will be able to talk to her without becoming extremely upset. The damage that she did with her choices were something that I couldn’t believe even happened to me. To have someone come into my space and disrespect me in such a way was hard to believe. Now I was also faced with the regret of not controlling my anger.

I did initially feel bad about how much I had yelled at this person. Despite being rightfully upset, it didn’t mean that I had the right to assault this person verbally. I felt that I had restrained myself just before it became outright abuse. Once I said the things I needed to say, I was done. There was no need to keep rubbing it in, because I was ruthless. However, considering the crime, I still felt like she deserved worse. It was not my decision what her punishment would be. I would leave that up to the universe.

Sitting on the porch pondering about if I became too angry, I had a hummingbird fly a few feet in front of my face. It did nothing but take my mind off of what I was thinking. A few hours later, I was sitting in the same spot still having the same regret. Just like before a hummingbird flew directly in front of my face, this repeated sign of reassurance gave me some peace that maybe I did do the right thing. The second confirmation from the hummingbird helped me realize Danielle was sending me a message. It wouldn’t be till a couple of days later that it would start making sense to me.

It all started with my recalling the experience with the blue armor. Danielle had given me the blue armor just before I met my former potential roommate. I didn’t notice it until I looked back on our friendship and saw that I never wanted to touch her. I had a strange subconscious aversion to touching her.

When we would share deeply emotional experiences, I did not want to hug her like I would with most people. I would hug any of my friends if they were feeling down, but I didn’t want to hug her. It happened on a completely subconscious level. I had zero awareness that I was behaving that way until hindsight. Now finding out that she was using dark magik while lying and manipulating me it all came together.

Danielle somehow knew I was in a bad situation. She gave me something that would protect me during this period of growth. The blue armor must have been a gift she gave me to repel the energy used against me. There was no other explanation for my aversion to this person. I have never knowingly avoided anyone in that way before.

On top of that, because of the hummingbird, I realized that the explosion of anger wasn’t just my anger but also Danielle’s. She was expressing her anger through me, and this person needed to understand how she upset Danielle. That understanding helped me feel a little less responsible for the actions that I had done. I knew I was sensitive, but I didn’t think that I was that in tune with Danielle. The rage I felt was on a whole different level.

Even in my worst emotional breakdown, I had never gotten that angry in my entire life. However, I remembered that Danielle told me how she used to blow up on people who were being stupid or dangerous. Her students and friends confirmed these stories. I had done the same thing she did in many other instances. I had to accept the experience for what it was, much of the guilt melted away.

I found out shortly after this that I was not going to be needing a roommate. The family had finally closed on the transfer of ownership and was preparing to remodel the house. It had a lot of issues that needed to be addressed before they wanted their daughter living there. The house inspections turned up more problems than we had initially anticipated. The walls in several rooms had black mold, and the wiring throughout the entire house needed to be replaced. The work required that the whole house be emptied.

After finding out that I was going to have to move out of the house, I decided to create a yard sale. I will admit that it felt weird going through my wife’s stuff. She was a bit of a packrat, so her house was full of all kinds of interesting things. She never bought new things and was a huge thrift store shopper, which was what most of her house contained. There wasn’t much that I found I wanted to keep. I also asked Rose if there was anything she wanted to keep, and there weren’t many things she wanted either.

I mostly kept some of her art, including a headless Buddha. My favorite was a classic piece of history containing all the original newspaper articles from the JFK assignation. Danielle also left me one of her stained-glass windows, which was the only thing that she said was worth any value. I will cherish the piece of art for the rest of my life. Out of a full household of stuff, there was only a small handful of things that I wanted to keep.

It still felt strange selling her stuff, so I decided to donate her personal items to the local women’s shelter thrift store. No space for storage was unused and there was so much to sift through. It was a monumental task. I didn’t ask for help because it was a task that I felt obligated to perform. I made sure that I kept most of her writings and photos because I felt those memories should be preserved. On top of that, I really found the whole experience therapeutic. However, I still had a lingering doubt about if I was doing the right thing.

It was the first day of the yard sale that I met a woman with whom I shared a piece of orgonite. We ended up discussing the topic of medication sensitivities and I told her that Orgonite was helpful against EMF sensitivities. Other than mentioning Danielle’s passing and her experience with medication sensitives, we didn’t talk about Danielle any further. The woman was sad to hear, but I think I brought her more comfort to confirm the reality of those sensitivities.

That night the woman went home and had an experience that she had to share with me. The following day she returned to tell me all about her experience. However, I wasn’t working the yard sale due to friends that were visiting for the day. My friend and neighbor from two houses up were watching my sale for me when she arrived. She told him that she was there to tell me about her experience. She explained that a woman had appeared to her and started dancing while she was holding my orgonite.

After sharing it with him, he mentioned that my wife was a Dance teacher and pointed to the dance studio. The little old woman lost it right there. My friend told me that she freaked out for a good ten minutes before finally settling down. She, in all the years living in Sedona, never had a Sedona experience. This was her first metaphysical Sedona experience, and one of the most powerful messages I would receive from my wife.

It just so happened that when the woman went home that night, my wife decided to pass on further messages to her. She was told to come back to the yard sale and pass those messages to me. When she showed up Sunday, I was shutting down the yard sale for the weekend. I wasn’t anticipating any more people showing up, but she showed up at the perfect moment, and we took a seat.

I could tell that she was a bit overwhelmed by the situation that had happened. I was informed about what had happened the previous day and let her know. She explained to me that there, even more, that happened, but she didn’t want to, “Freak me out.” Her apprehension was cute, and after explaining some of the crazy experiences that Danielle and I experienced, she relaxed a lot.

She proceeded to tell me that my wife had appeared to her, describing Danielle perfectly. Then Danielle told her, to give me a message. It was a message that I would find so powerfully perfect. She told me that my wife was happy that I was moving her stuff and getting rid of it. The woman explained this was because it was helping my wife let go from this plane of existence. It meant the yard sale was the right course of action.

I couldn’t believe this message because it also answered the only question that I was thinking for over a week. “Is it okay for me to be getting rid of Danielle’s things? Especially in a yard sale.” While I did donate most of her personal things, I didn’t have the means to move a ton of stuff, and selling it made the most sense. I could use the money, and it made the difficult work far more rewarding. I ended up making just enough money to survive the full six months without having to stress about money. It was synchronicity at its best.

The second most significant event happened during my first Thanksgiving alone. I was invited to join my dad’s side of the family for Thanksgiving Dinner in Los Angeles. My uncle invited my dad, grandfather, and I to join his family. My mom was visiting her mom for the holiday. It was nice to connect with extended family for the first time in several years.

The trip went trouble free for the first twenty-four hours. until a guy outing to the local naval retiree bar and restaurant. It was a beautiful yet dated place right on the ocean. I was surprised to find that they wouldn’t allow emotional support animals. Andora was with me, and the greeter told me she had to be a service dog to enter the establishment. I didn’t argue realizing it was a cool California day by the ocean. I left Andora in the shade with the windows cracked.

Just before we ate our food, I got a call from my roommate who I lived with when I met Danielle. She called to let me know that Danielle was visiting her regularly in her dreams and that she was in a beautiful place surrounded by love. It was great to hear from my former roommate and even better to get a message from my wife. It seemed a bit odd as I have never had a phone call or message happen like that again.

Almost immediately after I returned from my call, my Grandfather, who had always been a huge skeptic of everything I did, said, “if your orgonite works, then why did your wife die.” I was so taken back by the comment that I just responded with explaining how orgonite works. I explained the concept of cymatics and the difference it will make in many people’s lives. I don’t need proof anymore, considering I’ve personally heard hundreds of testimonials.

My grandfather wasn’t even listening to the proof. He continued his skepticism to a fault. He failed to listen to a word I was saying and telling me I had to be wrong. I was becoming increasingly upset by his level of ignorance. The truth is I still regret not saying, “the reason my wife died was because of shitty family, behaving exactly like you are right now.” Since both my dad and uncle just sat there without saying a thing, knowing full well that there is some science and truth to what I do, I felt abandoned.

I finally had enough of my grandfather’s ignorance and blew my top. I stood up from the table and told him to “shut up,” and I believe I might have called him an “ignorant old fuck.” Honestly, I’m surprised I made is several minutes with him considering that is exactly how he behaved. I yelled my anger as I rushed off the patio to the parking lot.

I immediately went to grab Andora out of the car. It was ironic that the one place that I wasn’t allowed to bring my therapy dog was also the one place that I would need her most. However, before I could even reach the car, I had an epiphany. I couldn’t believe what had just happened and the likeliness of my wife delivering a message minutes before that interaction. My anger drained from my body like I had sprung a leak. My wife shattered my world and nothing but wonder and awe remained.

It was also clear that my grandfather did not have any respect for me. The possibility of me controlling myself under the circumstances would have been slim to none without Danielle. Especially when I considered he was the reason my family didn’t go to my wife’s second funeral service, a service which I performed. I would have been a raging ball of fury without a reassuring pat on the back from Danielle. She knew family could behave so horribly.

Thanks to an incredible need to pee after leaving the bar, I didn’t end up saying much on the way home. However, when my grandfather got into the car, I immediately asked him to not talk to me. Even though he was trying to make an apology I wasn’t ready to listen to it, I told him that he lost the privilege to speak to me after saying what he did about my wife. He didn’t want to be silenced and felt he had the right to talk. The car quickly came to a total silence after I told him to “seriously shut the fuck up.”

If it weren’t for the talk, I had with my aunt and uncle that night, and I don’t know how I would have felt about my family. First off, I felt my dad and uncle had practically condoned their father’s behavior. Second, I already felt enough guilt about not beating the disease to have a grumpy old man blame me for not beating it. It was cruel, yet I still found success in my failure in controlling my anger. I failed to control my outburst, but with Danielle’s help, I didn’t allow everyone else to suffer. No one would have known how mad I was that night despite sitting next to him at dinner.

It wasn’t until after everyone left that I was able to open up to my aunt. My uncle ended up getting upset back at me to get me to stop unloading my anger towards my grandfather. He yelled at me that he did say something to my grandfather. To his surprise, I thanked him. Little did he know, but all I wanted was someone to stand up to my grandfather. I left the table, and I didn’t hear my uncle reprimand my grandfather. How could I have known that occurred?

This opening of communication ended up, leading to a huge release for me. For too long, I was unable to share my feelings with family, due to drinking or inability to communicate. It was interesting to talk about the fact that my entire dad’s side of the family has a problem communicating their feelings. This inability to share or embrace emotions was one reason I couldn’t turn to my father for emotional support.

This realization about my family and the growing that occurred was beautiful. While I don’t know if my grandfather will ever change, I know at least his children have been forced to change. We all agreed that the Strabala boy’s all having girls was a great way to bring balance to force. Seven out of nine of my cousins are girls. Life finds a way.

Danielle also seems to find a way. There are times that her presence is undeniable. I feel her at all dance events and have had people express feeling her too. I have had people say they feel her energy dancing with me as I twist and twirl around the dance floor. In my most profound experience I was attending an inner dance meditation class.

The facilitator played the song “In the Arms of an Angel.” I immediately felt her presence flow through, over, and around me. I fell to my knees as tears began pouring down my face. After a minute, I laid back down on my mat. Only moments later I felt Danielle directly over me. I felt her pull me out of my body as she forced me to dance with her. I had the most incredible out of body experience of my life.

Several friends commented on the feelings they felt during that song. I could tell that others recognized her presence without knowing the reason why. One of my close friends was present, and she explained that it felt like water entered the room. Danielle was a water sign, so the connection was strong. Three years later and I have never had an experience like that again.

Every Danielle experience I have had brings me new levels of appreciation. The most recent being an event that occurred on the third anniversary of her passing. For over a year, I had started hosting a free ecstatic dance on the rocks every Tuesday evening. This year it just so happened that her third anniversary landed on a Tuesday too. I was excited to pay respects to her with my dance.

The night started as most nights did. Usually, several people would arrive early to help me get the dance started. After thirty to forty minutes, I had about seven or eight of us dancing around my speakers. It was a special day, and I was happy to have my dance family with me. For nearly two and a half years, I have been enjoying the ecstatic dance community in Sedona. I appreciate the no talking and no drinking rules of the events.

With my free dancing on the rocks, I am far less worried about enforcing the rules. My only intention is to encourage people to dance. We set up just off one of the major trails in Sedona. It is a perfect flat space to dance, drum, and watch the full moon rise. I invite all the hikers to join us for some dancing. Most people smile or laugh, but I do have quite a few people who will join us for at least a song or two.

On the day of my wife’s anniversary, I was in for a magical occurrence. It must have been around halfway through my playlist that a group of moms with their children walked down the mountain. As usual, I invited them all to join us, and this group accepted with smiles. The children practically ran down, while their mothers tried to keep up. There must have been six to seven kids that all of a sudden just showed up to dance. I couldn’t believe the synchronicity.

Most days, I was lucky if there were any children to join the dance. Usually, it is just a bunch of goofy adults expressing dance with amazing freedom. Ecstatic dance has no right or wrong creating freedom to express oneself in unique ways. Some people jump around like animals, others crawl or roll around on the ground. Children seem to express the most freedom in my experience.

The youngest children started dancing immediately with their mothers. I smiled at all of them and thanked them for joining us. There was an older boy in the group that was a bit skeptical of the whole experience. He spent a few minutes observing the adults acting just as foolish as the children he was with. Then he stopped worrying about what everyone would think and started dancing.

The boy inspired the whole group to unleash their dance. We had almost twenty of us dancing around on the rocks, and the energy was electric. It was one of the largest groups I had to date. I was almost in tears as I realized that Danielle must have loved having so many children dancing. I pulled two of my close friends aside to explain to them the situation. They almost cried too.

Then to make it even more about Danielle, two more children joined the fun. This was truly a special moment for me to experience on her anniversary. The magic she shared with me on those days was undeniable. She played the song “Good to be Alive Today” for the first time for me on the second anniversary of her passing. I put on a random playlist, and that song came on at the perfect time, in the perfect moment to make me know she is still there.

Even in death, Danielle is giving me the strength to overcome my weaknesses and control my emotions. She does this by giving me strength through messages or helping me feel her presence. I feel her everywhere now, and I know she is always looking out for me from the new place that she now calls home. A home that we will all one-day return.

I know that Danielle and I will be reunited, whether it is in this life or the next, it will happen. Our lives have been intertwined for longer than we can even imagine. The lives we lived showed me that connection would likely carry into the future. I have no idea what the future will hold, as nothing in this story worked out the way I expected.

I never expected to lose my wife because the alternative treatments failed. I never expected to face the problems we faced. I don’t think there is any part of this book that I could have predicted. My expectations were thrown out the window the moment I got married. I expected things to work out and for Danielle to still be with me.

It is ironic how my expectations were still achieved. It did all work out in the end, and Danielle is still clearly with me. She has proven herself to be an incredible dance guardian angel who has blessed Sedona with Dance. After Danielle’s passing, we had two days of Ecstatic Dance a month in Sedona. While now, we have two to four Ecstatic Dances a week. Dance is the one medicine in my life that has proven that I can express anger in a positive way, but I need to leave it all on the dance floor. Danielle passed that message to me from the ethers, as it was not a skill she mastered in this life.

She gave me the best chance possible to get myself back on my feet and thrive. I may have had to take a few steps backward with Danielle to move forward to the man I am today. That change is a gift from Danielle that I will forever cherish. Danielle allowed me to rise to the occasion. She allowed me to forgive myself and become a better man. The lessons she taught me will forever live in these pages. Now I have the privilege of sharing that knowledge with the world, and I thank you for joining me on this journey.

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