The one thing you can count on during childbirth is the unexpected. Even seasoned couples, like James Van Der Beek and his wife Kimberly, who are parents of six, can be in for a surprise. During the home birth of their youngest child, Van Der Beek says the couple received a sign from his late mother, Melinda Weber, in the form of spilled candle wax.
It might sound far-fetched, but keep reading.
As Kimberly labored in the bathtub last October, Van Der Beek explained in an Instagram post, “one of the candles she’d lit somehow caught the base on fire as it burned down, and she asked me to handle it. Wax had fixed the base to the counter, and when I pulled it up, hot wax splashed the mirror.”
Kimberly, remarkably lucid for someone about to give birth, Van Der Beek reports, “immediately gasped and said, ‘Oh my God, it’s your mom!’”
On Instagram, the actor juxtaposed photos of the dried candle wax and the couple’s “favorite picture” of Weber, smiling and surrounded by her grandchildren. Van Der Beek also included a close-up of the shawl she is wearing in the photo, “just in case we were ever tempted to pass it off as coincidence.”
“I felt visited. Held. Watched over. Loved. And so did Kim — at an incredibly vulnerable moment,” the actor wrote.
The actor’s mother, who worked throughout her life as a professional dancer and a gymnastics coach, died in July 2020 at the age of 70.
“I often ask people if they’ve discovered a connection to those who’ve passed. And it doesn’t have to be this obvious — can be just a feeling, a song on the radio, anything, really. But this one felt undeniable.”
When “someone unknowingly” removed the “wax angel” months later, Van Der Beek says, “I fell apart.” But this new wave of grief also brought about new healing for the actor.
“The ‘signs’ aren’t the magic,” he concludes in his Instagram post. “They’re just invitations to forge a new connection in our hearts. And that connection is an ever-evolving magic that deepens, shifts, and transcends what we think we know about life and our spot in the circle.”
Shortly after Weber’s death in 2020, Van Der Beek shared a carousel of photos on Instagram, revealing images of his mother as a young girl, a dancer, a parent, and a grandmother, writing, “all I know is anytime my kids — or any of her students — want to dress up, or get on a stage, or dance, or even just think of her... they’ll have a little extra love from the other side backing them up.”