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The Sweet Smell of an Angel

The night before her husband’s surgery, she dreamed a scent. The next day, he smelled it too, and she knew he was protected by angels.

I was giving a workshop a few weeks ago, and one of the participants shared the most lovely, unusual story of her single angel encounter.

“Can angels come as a scent?” she asked. “A fragrance?”

“I don’t know,” I answered. “I’ve never been asked that. I know that often when the spirit of a loved one comes to you, after it has passed over, it may bring the fragrance of a favorite flower. And visions of St. Teresa and other saints are often said to be accompanied by sweet scent. I don’t see why an angel might not come as a scent, but why do you ask?”

“Because I think my angel came as perfume, an odor.”

And then she told the story: On the night before her husband was to go into the hospital for surgery, she had a dream. In the dream an angel came to her and she smelled the overpowering aroma…of doughnuts! It was absurd! In the dream she knew it was an angel, but it also felt ridiculous that it would smell of doughnuts.

The next morning her husband was taken to the hospital and prepped for surgery. She prayed for him lying on the gurney. Suddenly he lifted his head. “Do you smell that? Where’s it coming from?”

“Smell what?” No one in the room could smell a thing.

“That smell. It’s…it’s doughnuts! I smell doughnuts. Don’t you smell it?”

She burst out laughing, remembering her dream and gladdened that—yes!—the angels would surround her husband during surgery. They expressed themselves in the form of a fragrance.

And then her husband was wheeled into the operating room and relaxed into anesthesia, while she sat waiting, praying, gladdened by the scent of doughnuts.

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