ForeverMissed
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This memorial website was created in memory of my daughter, Dana Joan Clay, born on May 7, 1964 and died after suffering a heart attack (a complication of alpha-one/COPD) on March 5, 2017, at the age of 52. She was my only surviving child.

Dana Joan was a caring and generous friend to all those who knew and loved her.

During the last few years of her life, she accumulated hundreds of friends on Facebook, charming them with her buoyant spirit and positive attitude, her caring and generosity. She posted many images of gorgeous scenery, beautiful people, and enchanting vistas of fantasy. She always gave encouragement to her friends and even helped them financially, although she could scarcely afford it.

Dana never knew how much of an inspiration she was to others.

Dana was careful to keep her terminal illness secret from her friends, and with the few who knew about it, she underplayed her suffering. She never complained about her trips to the ER, the constant pain, the panic attacks due to the lack of oxygen, or about her struggle to walk, to even breathe comfortably. In her words, "I don't want people to feel sorry for me." She wanted to be a positive influence in the lives of others, making them laugh, making them happy.

"I hope when I die," she once told me, "all my friends will have a party. I don't want anyone to be sad. When I die, I want everyone to to celebrate my passing, and be happy for me."

May 6, 2023
May 6, 2023
Not long ago, I dreamed of heaven. It was beautiful ...
May 7, 2022
May 7, 2022
Happy birthday today to you, baby, in your little corner of paradise where everything is beautiful and there's no pain or suffering. Get your rest and remember always how precious is your spirit. You know you were heaven's gift to me. I only wish you had loved yourself as much as we loved you.
May 7, 2021
May 7, 2021
Today would have been your 57th Birthday - hard to believe it's been 5 yrs since you left us all.  I miss you my friend. Very much.
Happy Birthday In Heaven
xoxo
Always
G
March 5, 2021
March 5, 2021
I often think of you and recall our moments conversing. I often think of you period.
You will always be in my heart & I love you.
Miss you until we reunite eternally.
May 7, 2020
May 7, 2020
"Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die."

Love you, honey, always.
May 7, 2020
May 7, 2020
Miss you doll; always in my heart

PS: Dana DeLoach - please keep in touch - FB disabled my account in Oct. and the phone #(s) I had for you are no longer in service apparently. I am on Twitter now - https://twitter.com/GeorgeSchmidt67 or email me : gpschmidt67@gmail.com
Miss you
March 5, 2020
March 5, 2020
You've been gone three years as of today, but in some ways you're always with me. Miss you and love you.
May 7, 2019
May 7, 2019
I've never stopped making mental lists of things I would buy for you, for Christmas, all the holidays, and especially your birthday. Every time I see something I know you would have loved--a piece of clothing, a book, a DVD--the sadness I feel deepens a little bit. I miss you, baby. - from Mom
March 5, 2019
March 5, 2019
I miss you very much - 2 years now without you - and I think of you often.
March 5, 2019
March 5, 2019
Cherishing the good memories we had together.
Love, Mom
August 23, 2018
August 23, 2018
I dreamed about you recently. You were healthy and so very happy and full of life. You looked wonderful. The dream was very vivid and I could see you clearly. You were walking around, dancing, and having a great time. I'm not so sure it was a dream... I think you were sending another message to your friends and loved ones that you are very happy in your little corner of heaven. I often sense your aura near, and it's always a positive presence. Dana Joan, I love you. - Mom
June 16, 2018
June 16, 2018
It's hard for a mom to have to sort through her deceased child's things. After Dana passed, I sent a few things to her friends, like pieces of jewelry and other little keepsakes. She had a closet-full of clothes and shoes I had bought for her that had never been worn, most of which I gave away to the local charity that had helped Dana in the past. Of course, I keep some of her clothes and other things packed away. A few days ago I looked through the special place where I keep her stuff, and came across her wallet. A dollar and sixty-four cents, that's all the money left in her wallet. Someone at the hospice facility, probably a visitor, had robbed her of several hundred dollars, several expensive pieces of jewelry I had given her, as well as clothing and other items. I held the coins totaling $1.64 in my hands and broke down in tears. So sad to think of the ways she had been taken advantage by others. My daughter deserved so much more. She deserved respect. She deserved kindness. She deserved birthday, Mother's Day, and Christmas presents from those members of her family who ignored her except when they wanted something of her. She deserved a family who would honor her by sobering up and staying out of trouble, so she wouldn't have to worry all the time about them, and wouldn't have to give them money from her meager disability check to bail them out of jail, buy them cigarettes, pay their debts for them. I cried for my daughter because she deserved love and respect from people who used her. *I love you, honey, and I know you are at peace now. I wish I hadn't been limited by my own health problems. I wish I had been able to do so much more for you, and give you much, much more than I was able to give. I love you, and I miss you.*
May 7, 2018
May 7, 2018
Thinking of you on your 2nd birthday in Heaven; miss you madly
Happy Birthday dear friend
May 7, 2018
May 7, 2018
I remember one time when she came for a visit and brought a book and album about the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. She was really into that musical. We would listen to the album and she had me read as much of the book as I could during her visit. She is the one that got me hooked on musicals to this day. Rest is peace big sister.
May 7, 2018
May 7, 2018
May 7, 1964, began as the scariest day of my life. Scary because you weren't due to be born until June 26th. You came into the world 7 weeks early, weighing less than 5 lbs. You were incredibly tiny, but perfect. You were given a 50% chance of survival back then, and I couldn't rest easy until several weeks later, when your weight finally caught up with that of a full-term infant. After your birth, you spent 11 days in an incubator at Methodist Hospital before we could finally take you home. My first Mothers Day I spent at the hospital nursery, holding you in my arms. I loved you even before you were born, and I love you now, after death. I miss you, baby. Love, Mom
March 5, 2018
March 5, 2018
I don't know what is harder to process - that Dana Willow Clay is no longer with us or that it has now been one year since she left us. I do know I was made the richer for having known her (even though we never 'met' in person - Facebook - the gift that keeps on giving). I think of you often and while my heart continues to gain scar tissue whenever I suffer a personal loss it gains another beat of joy in having been your friend. I miss and love you - always - xoxo --- G
March 5, 2018
March 5, 2018
Hard to believe a year can fly by so fast. Believe it or not, you are still wishing me a happy birthday - this year your FB message from a couple years ago can up in my ON THIS DAY feed and made me smile. Always think of you whoever I see a beautiful post I know you would have loved to share. God bless you my sweet friend...you are missed.❤️
March 5, 2018
March 5, 2018
Missing you today and every day, with love, from Mom.
December 19, 2017
December 19, 2017
First Christmas without you. How strange and sad, not to buy presents for you this year; I see so many things I would have bought for you, things I know you would have loved. I miss you, baby. Sending my love to you in heaven. From Mom
October 27, 2017
October 27, 2017
Found scribbled on a scrap of paper among Dana Joan's things that were given to me by the hospice, where she spent her final weeks:

"I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works
of the Lord."
      - Psalm 118:17
August 30, 2017
August 30, 2017
Dana had one big wish that never came true. Even after she was placed in hospice care, she dreamed of getting her own apartment so that she could a adopt a kitten. Sadly, the cats she had in the past she had to abandon, after circumstances forced her to move where pets were not allowed. She desperately wanted the chance to adopt a kitten and keep it with her until the end of her life. She broke down in tears when talking to me about this wish, which she feared would never come true.

She died with that wish, that meant so much to her, unfulfilled.

As a friend and loved one of Dana Joan, would you please consider adopting a kitten of your own, if you have room in your heart and home? To give a kitten or cat a "forever home" would be a beautiful way of paying tribute to her. She would bless you for it.
March 14, 2017
March 14, 2017
Joanie..You were like a sister to me. when you moved from Utica to Nashville I counted the days til I would visit you. You were too young to go. So beautiful. I love you Dana...you are always Joanie to me. My forever friend..my sister. I love You....so sad you left this world.
March 13, 2017
March 13, 2017
Sweeter [my lifelong nickname for my daughter]: You made a lasting impression on everyone you met. Everyone I've spoken to at the medical facilities where you stayed the past two years expressed shock and sorrow over your passing. Everyone talked about what a kind and beautiful soul you are.

I received this note yesterday from Gina whom I had spoken to over the phone recently. She wrote: "Dana had a huge heart and she was always trying to help whomever she could. She would come down to Activities and ask what she could help me with. We became pretty close. She will be missed."
March 12, 2017
March 12, 2017
I'm overwhelmed by sadness as I will no longer see your inspiring fb posts or have a private message from you my long time friend. I'm grateful for the friendship we made back in 1985 in Nashville. We had many good times, laughter and fun. I also taught you how to make Shepards Pie!
I shall miss you my friend however I am comforted by the fact that you are no longer suffering or in pain.
R.I.P. Lil Angel
March 12, 2017
March 12, 2017
As a new member of the group I'm saddened to hear that Dana has passed and send my condolences to her family and friends. R.I.P.sweet lady.
March 12, 2017
March 12, 2017
While I never had the chance to meet Dana in person, I will always remember her beautiful soul. We met on Facebook and share many mutual friends; I think our time online will be much more dark and dismal without Dana & her lovely posts. Godspeed & God bless you my dear friend; breathe easy now & suffer no more. We'll look for you in Heaven. Watch over your Mom and family - I know you'll be a bright shining star in their sky from now on. RIP...GBNF Xoxo
March 11, 2017
March 11, 2017
God was good to me and allowed Dana Clay to enter my life. We met on FB and became fast friends. She was a kind soul and we shared the same sense of humor and love of the X-Files. I talked to her on the phone several times and loved her laugh. She has left a big void in my heart but I know she is in a better place. Thank you for being my friend Dana.
March 11, 2017
March 11, 2017
Dana in many ways I felt we were soulmates and although we never met in person only via Facebook you fulfilled my life in many ways. I will forever cherish our sadly brief friendship but know that you are no longer in pain and in eternally at peace at last. Thank you for your love and communiques. Until we meet again some day - I love you - always -

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Recent Tributes
May 6, 2023
May 6, 2023
Not long ago, I dreamed of heaven. It was beautiful ...
May 7, 2022
May 7, 2022
Happy birthday today to you, baby, in your little corner of paradise where everything is beautiful and there's no pain or suffering. Get your rest and remember always how precious is your spirit. You know you were heaven's gift to me. I only wish you had loved yourself as much as we loved you.
Recent stories

Past life memories...

June 19, 2018

Dana believed in spirits and in previous lives. When she was a toddler, just learning to talk well, she told her aunt that she had a friend no one else could see, and he was her protector. This happened at a time long before she knew about her family tree, and years before she had ever heard of the fictional character called "Lone Ranger." Her imaginary friend she called 'Tonto.' He was an American Indian, although at the time she didn't understand what an Indian was.

As a young girl, she learned about her Native American branch of the family tree, and immediately identified with it. She felt out of place as a white girl, and felt a deep affinity with the original Americans. For a while, as an adult, she lived on an Indian reservation in South Dakota, which she described as one of the happiest times of her life. She told me that the Chief recognized her as a spirit of light, and a part of the American Indian culture.

A few years before she passed away, she told me more about her past-life memories, which involved a male warrior who was her mate, who went away with other men to fight the enemy. With tears in her eyes, she talked about how people came to the camp and hurt the women. The men wanted to know where her mate was, because he was a powerful leader they wanted to kill. They were cruel men who tortured her to the death, but she refused to give up her lover. "I died for him," she said. 

And when Dana temporarily "died" in the ER a few years ago, she experienced what she called "heaven," a quiet and beautiful place along a stream, with woodlands nearby. She was an Indian maiden, standing by the stream, watching it flow, listening to the rushing water and the bird songs. "When I die, I want to go back there," she said.

She found her paradise, I'm sure, and her place in the past, and the future to come. She found her 'Tonto' waiting for her there, and she'll live again—a happier, healthier life, I hope, filled with beauty, harmony, love and joy.

Tennessee visit

May 7, 2018

That smile. During one of our visits in Tennessee :)

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