Cary S's ADC 

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Experience description:  

After making a hurried flight across the Pacific from Dallas, Texas, where I live, to Melbourne, Australia, where my mother was in a nursing home, I had sat by her bedside for 3 days, until she died in my arms at 4 pm on Monday March 22, 2004.    

While I was very saddened at her passing, I was also joyous because it meant Mum was now reunited with my Dad who had died 24 years ago.  There wasn't a day went by that Mum didn't miss Dad and she had mentioned several times in the previous few years that she felt she had lived too long and was more than ready to pass on.    My mother was not a religious person, however, she did believe there was something more after death, although she never specified what she thought that might be.

I was staying with a friend in Australia and woke up very early the day after Mum died.  It was about 5:30 to 6:00 am and I made some coffee and sat outside on the back patio in the dark, smoking a cigarette.   All of a sudden, I could smell my mother.   It was such a strong smell of Mum that I was a bit startled.   Everyone has a personal "odor" -- not a bad odor, just a personal odor that identifies them.  This smell was my mother.  There was a hint of her favorite perfume/talc as well, but mostly it was just the familiar smell of my Mum.   This experience lasted several minutes.

The exact same situation occurred the next morning, and the morning after that.  All early in the morning with me sitting in the dark sipping coffee and smoking.   The second time it happened, I talked quietly to her and told her I could smell her. 

Quite frankly, I felt like something of an idiot talking to the darkness and started to seriously question my own "sanity".   I thought that perhaps this was my own mind conjuring up the familiar smell to give myself comfort.  But I know that is not what it was.  The smell of my mother was way too strong and I must have looked quite odd because I was sniffing the air vigorously trying to make sure that the odor wasn't just a flower in the garden, my own perfume or whatever!

The next morning, it happened again, although the sun was up that morning so it wasn't even in the darkness that I could smell her.  I was starting to feel a little anxious for her and worried that perhaps she was not able to "pass on" to wherever it is the spirit goes.

Interestingly, right after Mum died, one of my mother's friends had asked whether she was going to be cremated and I said that was her desire.  The friend said, "Be sure to wait at least 3 days for the spirit to leave."  This struck me as nonsense and I told her that it is my belief that the spirit leaves the body pretty much right at death so I pooh-poohed this 3 day concept!

Mum was cremated on the Friday (4 days after her death) and I didn't smell her presence again while I was in Australia.   I did share what had happened with my cousin and voiced out loud my curiosity as to whether Mum would be able to "visit" me in the United States.  We decided that if it were indeed her spirit, she could probably pretty much go anywhere!

The fourth and last experience to date was on April 9, 2004, here in Dallas, Texas.   I was in my car, alone, driving down the highway in peak hour traffic and all of a sudden, I could smell my mother again.  Just as strong as on the previous 3 occasions.   I told her that I knew she was there, that I could smell her and that I was okay with her doing this although she should understand that it felt a little freaky.   Again, I felt very odd talking to thin air, yet somehow I had to let her know that I knew she was close by as I felt she might be frustrated that I couldn't see her and therefore might not feel her presence, which of course was not the case.   This experience lasted about 3 - 5 minutes and then she was gone.
Was this experience difficult to express in words?  No


Did you hear the deceased or hear something associated with the deceased?          No

Did you feel a touch or experience any physical contact from the deceased?            No

Did you see the deceased?         No

Did you smell a distinct smell, scent, fragrance or odor associated with the deceased?      Yes

            What smell, scent, fragrance or odor did you smell?           The smell was my mother's "scent" -- the personal smell that everybody has -- and the one that is usually what a child associates with the smell of a parent (or spouse) that they know really well.   Also, a faint hint of my mother's favorite talc (April Violets by Yardley).

            Was the smell, scent, fragrance or odor familiar?     Totally familiar.

            Was anything communicated by the smell?   Not really.   It was just that familiar smell of my Mum.

            Is there any possibility that the smell, scent, fragrance or odor was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience?        I thought of that also.  So I sniffed and sniffed in different places around me, trying to determine if it was a nearby flower, or my own perfume/talc/deodorant, even though the smell was quite distinctive as my mother and doesn't really smell like a flower or my own scent or whatever.

How long did the experience last?        In all instances, about 3 - 5 minutes each time.

Was the beginning and end of the experience gradual or more sudden?         It was sudden.  One minute the smell wasn't there, then all of a sudden it was there.  And after 3 - 5 minutes, it just disappeared completely.  After it disappeared, I kept sniffing the air for quite a while, trying to determine if it was really gone.

Could you sense the emotions or mood of the deceased?           No

Did the deceased give you information you did not previously know?  No.

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

            Please explain why you view the reality of your experience as real or not real:          I am a well educated, well-traveled, very down to earth realist.  I rarely accept anything that is not tangible.  I'm something of a skeptic when it comes to anything paranormal.  In addition, I worked with the police department in Forensics/Crime Scene for 4 1/2 years, and consequently have seen more than my share of both violent and natural deaths.  

Although I would like to tell my (skeptic) self that these experiences in smelling my mother close by after her death are just the result of my mind playing tricks on me in an effort to comfort, I know that it not the case.  There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that somehow my mother was indeed close by.

            Was the experience dream like in any way?   No

Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience:           The first time it happened, I felt disbelieving.  Then confused because my logic told me I could not possibly be smelling what I thought I was smelling.  Eventually the disbelief and confusion turned to acceptance that despite my skepticism regarding events such as this, evidently I had been wrong and it really was possible.

Was there any emotional healing in any way following the experience?           Yes

Sort of.  Some part of me feels "relieved" to know that Mum passed on safely and still feels able to "contact" me.   As she was so very attached to me during life, I feel like her being able to come to me as she needs to must give her some comfort and help her to let go.

What was the best and worst part of your experience?      The best part was the familiarity I felt when I could "smell" my Mom close by.  The worst part is wondering if she was able to pass on to whatever comes next or is still somehow stuck mid-way.  As there hasn't been an "event" for over 2 weeks, I'm hoping she has now passed on or decided that I am okay and she doesn't need to stay so close to me going forward.

Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience?         No

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

As stated above, I have to now try and wrap my mind around the possibility that after someone dies, they are able to "contact" someone in the living world in one way or another.

Did the experience give you any spiritual understandings such as life, death, afterlife, God, etc.?            Yes

It kind of makes me think there must be some sort of "afterlife" for the spirit.  In other words, the end of the physical being isn't really the end of the spirit.

Death Compacts are when two or more living people promise among themselves that whoever dies first will try to contact the other(s).  Have you ever made such a compact?        No

Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later?          No

What emotions did you feel during the experience?            Tentative acceptance and a vague feeling of relief.

Was the experience witnessed or experienced by others?           No

Have you shared this experience with others?         Yes

I shared this experience with a close friend, even though I know it sounded pretty weird.   She is also a realist, but was surprisingly very accepting.  She actually told me she had experienced similar events for about a year after her mother died, although she did not dare share them with anyone.  She did not "see", "hear" or "smell" her mother -- she just somehow knew she was there close by and another relative reported feeling a chilled area of air in the corner of a room at a family gathering.

Have you shared this experience formally or informally with any other researcher or web site?   No

 Is there anything else you would like to add regarding your experience?       If it had not actually happened to me, I would never have believed it could happen.   There's still a part of me that just thinks I've gone nuts, or the stress got to me or whatever.   But I know it's none of that.  It was real and I'm still not quite sure how I feel about that!

Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?               Yes