Gary V's ADC
I lost my father (Joseph V) on September 12, 2006 to a
rapidly advancing illness where he was 79 years of age, and died in a nursing
home. His diagnosis was Lewy Body dementia and normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH)
(too much cerebral spinal fluid in the brain) that took him from living and
functioning at home under the support and care of my mother (Mary) to his death
in only four and a half months. His body weight went from about 170 to 75 pounds
when he died. Needless to say, my family and I were not prepared for his rapid
Admittedly, I have always been a skeptic when it came to my beliefs of dying and the afterlife. Quite honestly, I never really knew what to believe. I am born and raised Catholic, and although not self-described as devout, I do attend weekly mass and raise our two boys in the Catholic faith to the best of my abilities.
Prior to my father's passing, my mother wanted to be assured in some way that he was going to be OK. She asked him to give her a sign that would be unique to her or our family and that she would understand and know it was him telling her he is fine. He promised her he would.
Within a day or two of my father's passing, my sister (Cindy) was driving my mother home in the evening after being at the funeral home to make final arrangements. My mother does not drive, and never has, so my sister was dropping her off. As they pulled into the driveway, my mother made the comment, "It's very dark out here, those darn lights still don't work. C'mon Joseph, can't you do something to get those front lights to go on?" My mother was referring to a series of accent (Malibu) lights along the front walkway that used to work but for some reason, had not illuminated for many months. I can personally attest to this, because I installed the lights years ago myself, and have labored many times with them attempting to get them to work. They were supposed to go on and off automatically by way of a photo cell, but just simply did not function.
My mother got out of my sister's car, entered the house, walked upstairs and looked out the front window. To her amazement, the front Malibu lights were on! They were all illuminated, just as they had been when they were first installed. In the few minutes of time it took to make the statement to my father about the lights not working, and to enter the house, the lights had somehow turned on. How can this be explained? The story gets even better.
A couple of days later, my family had all gathered at my mother's house, waiting for the limousine to pick us up and take us to the funeral home for my father's wake. As with the lights, both the front and the back door doorbells did not function at my mother's house. I personally had checked them out many times, reconnected the wires to assure a sound attachment to the screws, but for some reason the doorbells just did not work. My mother had actually resorted to leaving a hand-written note at the front door that said, Please knock, doorbell out of order.
I was in one of the bedrooms getting dressed for the funeral, when I suddenly heard what sounded like the doorbell. I ran out of the room to find my other sister (Donna) and her family entering the house from the front door. When I asked if she had pushed the button for the doorbell, she said, "Yes, but I know it doesn't work." That's when I said, "It does work!" All the other people in the house heard it ring too. Out of curiosity, I went to the back door to test the doorbell there as well. I pushed the button, and to my utter astonishment, that doorbell rang too! We all just remained silent with shock and looked at each other, quite amazed that both doorbells had suddenly decided to ring again. How can this be? Could it be coincidence? Why would both doorbells begin working at the same time when neither of them worked for the longest time? We commented on it being the intervention of my father, who jokingly used to comment on the lights and doorbells not working.
During the time we were with my mother for the funeral, we stayed at her house. A third strange incident occurred, related to electrical devices not working. There is a small touch-pad attached to the garage, that when a code is entered, the door should open. Again, for some reason, this touch-pad device had not worked for my parents for years. They never used it, because it never would open the door for them. It simply didn't work. As many times as they would attempt to enter the code, it just would not open the garage door.
One night, coming home, my son (Carter) said, "Hey Grammy, let's try to open the garage door by entering the code." My mother responded, "Don't waste your time, honey, it doesn't work." Nevertheless, my son entered to code on the touch-pad, and surprisingly, the garage door began to open up right in front of all of us. We stared dumbfounded at the door rising upward as if in disbelief. Of course, having been the third such strange occurrence within a few days of my father's passing, we commented that it was the work of my father in helping make these devices function where for years they had not. Only my father and our family knew of any of these devices and the stories behind them, and it had become a family joke.
I also have a couple more experiences that I feel are worth mentioning. Almost exactly one month following my father's passing (October 14, 2006) , my mother, sister and nephew were over our house having dinner in celebration of my son (Carter) having made his Confirmation at our church. With the memory of my father's passing being so recent, it was inevitable that the discussion would eventually turn to my father. As we were eating, reminiscing about him and mentioning that we miss his presence but know he is "with us," the chandelier lights over the dining room table suddenly dimmed and went out for a couple of seconds as if we had lost power, then suddenly came back on again. No one was near the light switch which is on the wall as we were all seated at the table. The lights that were on in an adjacent room never changed, remaining illuminated the whole time. We went around the house checking the clocks, but none of them had indicated that we had experienced an interruption in electrical service. How is this explained? Why would only the light above our dining room table go out, leaving all other lights continuously illuminated? Was it a sign from my father that he heard us and was with us that day?
My final experience is the one that personally means the most to me. About three months after my father's passing, I had what I will call a "vivid" dream about him. I am one of these people that has always had great difficulty remembering my dreams, and usually within minutes, can no longer remember what it is I dreamt of. I must admit, after he died, as much as I wanted to dream of my father, I just never did. It almost made me feel kind of bad, that I could not even experience a dream of my beloved father. However, on this particular evening, I experienced a "dream" that felt so real, unlike any other dreams I have ever had. In fact, I remember it as vividly today as I did the moment I woke up from the dream. It will not leave my memory.
In my "dream," I was standing in the bathroom of my parent's house, looking out the doorway into the hall. I saw my father standing in the doorway, facing me. He looked so good, so hearty, so solid and full of life. He was wearing one of his typical button-down shirts and jeans, in full color. He looked at me, smiled and said, "I'm right here." I said, "I know, I miss you Dad." I reached out toward him and wrapped my arms around him. I could feel his warmth and he felt so solid and real. I didn't want to let go. I felt so happy, so content, as my mind raced to rationalize that he was actually back. Then, very suddenly, he disappeared from my view and my embrace and I abruptly woke up. Confused and saddened at watching him fade away, I turned to look at the clock on my bed-side table and it read 6:55 am. My father had died at 11:55 am. Was this a visitation from my father? I have had no other experiences since this "dream."
Since my father's passing, I have read numerous books about death, dying and the afterlife. I read Hello From Heaven, and enjoyed it very much. I have become very intrigued by this phenomenon, and want to learn more about it. With these experiences, I have moved from that of skeptic, to that of a "cautious believer." I am keeping an open mind to all of the possibilities that may exist. I find it difficult to believe that all of these experiences can be coincidence, and am more convinced than ever in a life after death and the fact that our deceased loved ones can, somehow, return to communicate with us in various ways.
Since these experiences, I have felt compelled to seek out my first experience with a psychic medium. I did so, and had the most wonderful experience of my life. This 30-minute session with the psychic revealed information that only I could have known. That half hour has done more for me in terms of dealing with my father's passing than anything else. I understand much better now, and no longer grieve as I had. It has also helped me to deal with the eventuality of my own death. I no longer fear dying as I once had, as I now believe that one truly does not die, rather, it appears you simply wear out the shell (physical body) you used in life on this earth and enter another form, another dimension where your spirit continues to live on.
Unfortunately, not everyone, including my own wife, shares the same beliefs and it has been difficult for me to speak to others about my experiences. It bothers me to "hold it in" but I am afraid mainstream society would think of me as a "little off." It appears society is not quite ready to accept this phenomenon as it has scientifically not been able to be proved or recreated under controlled laboratory conditions. I am hopeful that the future brings a better understanding of such occurrences and that society in general can open up more readily to accepting these possibilities.
I would very much like to learn more about this subject. I appreciate your work in this area, and would welcome speaking and/or meeting with you someday. These experiences have significantly changed my views of grieving, death, life after death, and the knowledge that our loved ones who have passed on before us can and do communicate with us.
Keep up the good work.