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Experience description:  

About 10 hours after my husband died - peaceful, conscious and at home, surrounded by family - my 2 daughters and I went to a favorite restaurant for dinner. One of the things we'd always liked about the place was the blank place-mats, which we created art on while waiting. We decided to follow tradition and create art in his honor. My pen drawing, which I called Mark 3 (cubed), was in the style of Cubism, with various body parts recreated all over the paper. I started, though, with a simple heart - half on one side, half on the other, to show a broken heart (mine, of course).

The following morning, we went to a popular restaurant for coffee. It was very busy - their computers were down, so it took a long time to get the cappuccino I ordered. The barista made it quickly, automatically, and when I opened the lid on the paper cup, there was a perfect, beautiful, and intricate heart, formed from the interlaced white and brown foam. I showed the girls, and we agreed that it was a message of comfort for me. My daughter then said that the previous night, on the way to the restaurant, she'd felt a definite warm presence beside her in the back seat.

Since then, I've felt his warm presence several times - especially when I put on a favorite tune and dance. He loved to dance.

A yogi friend also reports having seen him in her meditation. He was surrounded by  white light and said, sounding surprised, "I am myself!" He indicated that, although he could leave, he would choose to stay around for awhile.

Was this experience difficult to express in words?          No


Did you ONLY sense an awareness of presence of the deceased without actually seeing, hearing, feeling or smelling them?            Yes

Did you feel a touch or experience any physical contact from the deceased?            Uncertain

Did you see the deceased?         No

Did you smell a distinct smell, scent, fragrance or odor associated with the deceased?      No

Could you sense the emotions or mood of the deceased?           Yes  love

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:           It is possible to create coffee foam art, but it's very difficult and time consuming. The odds of the foam just arranging itself in a heart shape are quite small!

            Was the experience dream like in any way?   No

Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience:           Relieved and happy


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

My husband had a brain tumor, and probably small strokes following intense radiation treatments. He had not been very communicative for months, and we'd had relationship difficulties due (I now know) to personality changes caused by the tumor. Although we'd reconnected in the hours before he died, I still felt sad that our wonderful marriage had ended that way. I needed to know that he still loved me - and he found a way to show me!

What was the best and worst part of your experience?      knowing he lives on 

not being able to have him physically with me

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      more convinced of persistence of identity

Did the experience give you any spiritual understandings such as life, death, afterlife, God, etc.?            Yes     I believe he lives on.

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

What emotions did you feel during the experience?            More sadness, but tempered by the experience

Was the experience witnessed or experienced by others?           Yes  Both of my daughters witnessed it

Did you see a light?           Uncertain  no, but our friend did (see above)

Did any part of your experience seem to occur in a place other than the location described above?            No

Have you shared this experience with others?         Yes     mixed, but mostly positive

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

Were there any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience?            No

Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience?         No 

Did you ever in your life have a near-death experience, out of body experience or other spiritual event?           No 

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

Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire.    The only question I couldn't answer was the one about God. That's just too loaded a word, and many of us don't like to use it because people assume they know what you mean. I believe there's something greater than ourselves, but I don't think it's an all-knowing, all-powerful being that intervenes in our affairs.