Diane G's ADC

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Experience description: 

      My grandfather was a reserved, true Southern Gentleman. I remember him being VERY

reserved.  He was mostly serious about life worked hard and was dedicated to his hobby, his azaleas.

Even though he was very serious by nature, I saw a side of him since I was little that no one else seemed to enjoy or notice...he could be extremely silly.

He called me "Little Princess" and when he did a silly thing there was such a real twinkle in his eye. The silly things were far between...I don't think my grandmother liked silly. I think this was something that was just between my grandfather and me...I don't remember anyone else laughing with him or at his silliness.

I was not with him when he passed over.  I came from out of town the night before his funeral...the viewing.  I remember my trepidation before I walked into the viewing room.  I don't like seeing folks I know and love laid out in their casket.  I also was just getting used to the idea of my Grandfather being gone.  Now I was going to walk into this room and there would be my Grandfather, very dead.

The last time I saw my grandfather alive was about 3 months before his passing. I had come to visit and was staying the night.  My Grandfather,77, said good night to 33 yr old me.   My back was to him as he went up the stairs.  I was back to watching TV when I heard little noises like a squirrel and turned to see my Granfather hunched down with his face squeezed between the railings of the stairs...I laughed at such a sight...my Grandfather was in no way nimble to do this and it was so SILLLY...He said," Good night Little Princess" with that awesome twinkle in his eye.

Back to the viewing...as I walked into the room his casket was perhaps 20 feet from me.  I could make out his profile laying there on the white satin pillow.

My sister immediately came to me and I stopped moving forward.  My sister was so very sad and upset. She came into my arms, I was still facing my Grandfathers' casket, my sisters back was to his casket. She was just sobbing as I held her. All of a sudden I noticed some sort of movement as I was holding her...I looked at my Granfather's casket and he sat up like an old cartoon character...like the kind where there are lots of drawings and you flip the drawings and the character moves. I thought for sure I didn't see this, so I resumed caring for my sister.  It happened again and I thought all this sadness is too much for me and I rubbed my eyes.  It happened again and then I GOT it...this was really silly, my grandfather sitting up in his casket like an old cartoon character...I smiled and had a soulful silent moment of laughter in the midst of so much sadness. My Grandfather and I had made a connection and I knew it...what a perfect way for my Grandfather to show up and say Hello.  That's how it felt, as a hello and not a goodbye.

My sister was devastated by our Grandfathers' death.  This was her first experience of a loved one moving on. The family was really worried about her depth of grief. We all stayed at my mothers house the night of the funeral.  The next morning at breakfast we were all still absorbing the loss of my Grandfather, a pretty quiet bunch of folks, when my sister came into the kitchen. None of us could believe her demeanor.  She was starving and in a great, up mood.  My sister is never in an up mood at breakfast and where was the grief?  We all were amazed and walked gingerly around her not knowing what was going on with her.  As soon as she left the kitchen I followed. After a little conversation she told me with absolute certainty how Granddaddy came to her last night, they had a great talk and spent some time together. He was fine and she was fine.

Did you see the deceased?  Yes

Describe the appearance of the deceased:  My Grandfather sat up in his casket like an old cartoon character...he looked just like how he did the last time I saw him, except he had his funeral suit on.

How clearly did the deceased appear?  not totally solid, but more solid than transparent

How much of the deceased did you see?  Waist up...sitting in his casket

Did the deceased appear or not appear to be the age at which they died?  Same age

How healthy did the deceased appear to be?  Healthy...same age, 77.  He was not in good health before his passing.     

How long did the experience last?  30 seconds each time he sat up...he sat  up 3 times, until I understood...then he stopped sitting up.

Was the beginning and end of the experience gradual or more sudden?  Sudden

Could you sense the emotions or mood of the deceased?  Silly...a hello, not a good bye.
Describe:  Silly...a hello, not a good bye.

How do you currently view the reality of your experience:  Experience was definitely real   

Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience:  Did not believe this was happening. Thought my mind was playing tricks on me. The third time seeing my grandfather sit up in his casket I understood this was really happening and he was there being silly...a gift for me...something he and I had shared. He let me know he was OK and this was a hello and not a goodbye.    

Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience?  Yes

      Describe:  Certainty life goes on and "dead" folks can communicate with the living.

What emotions/feelings did you experience following your experience?  Peace...OKness...happiness my Grandfather had done this for me.

Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience?

      Describe:  Opened the door to valuing and understanding all folks who have similar experiences.