George J's ADC

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Experience description:

Before I describe my ADC, I feel I should give you some information about myself, describe a premonition I had about my wife's death, and discuss certain aspects of my wife's personality and character which might have a bearing on my ADC.

MY BACKGROUND/VIEWS

            Most people who know me would probably say I am a reasonably level headed individual not given to emotionalism or wishful thinking.  I am intellectually curious and a voracious reader of non-fiction.  I am interested in history, different cultures, new and old ideas, concepts and just about anything which might shed light on who we are, where we have been and where we might be going.   I have only limited scientific and technical expertise but I do have the average layman's interest in scientific/technological developments and discoveries.  In my professional life I have been required to look at facts, assess them and make reasoned judgments and decisions based on those facts.  I am a linear thinker and am comfortable with that fact.

            I am a practicing Christian.  Not dogmatic or inflexible in my beliefs.  I am spiritual in the sense that I believe God and a spiritual realm exists and there is a thin line which separates the temporal world I know and the spiritual world I sense.  I believe the spiritual world (the Holy Ghost, if you like) sometimes touches us directly. It has happened to me a few times in my life.   I am always surprised when it does.  It is not something I expect.

PREMONITION OF WIFE'S DEATH

            One night, about six months (I am not sure of the exact date) before a lump was discovered in my wife Judy's left breast, I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night.  I was wide-awake and alert and was lying on my back (I always sleep on my stomach).  I sensed something or someone directly above me near the ceiling.  I looked at a specific spot directly above me but the room was dark and I saw nothing.  Suddenly a voice, which came from where I was looking, said, "Judy is going to die." It was man's voice.  There was no emotion or modulation in the words.  It was as if someone said, "It is going to rain."  I am not sure whether I heard the words with my ears or telepathically.  I believe it may have been telepathically.  I had never had an experience like that before nor have I had one since that night.

            My first reaction was to mentally scream, "Oh No!"  I was stunned and had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.  By then I no longer sensed the presence above me.    It was not a dream.  I had been wide awake and alert from the moment I  woke up.  It took a few minutes to calm down.  I then began to rationalize/deny: "that's ridiculous; Judy's is as healthy as a horse; you're imagining things; you're borrowing trouble, don't be stupid" etc.  It took awhile, but I finally managed to convince myself that I was imagining things.  I turned over and went back to sleep.

            I did not mention the experience to anyone.  As time passed, I would sometimes think about it but always managed to convince myself it hadn't really happened and there was no cause for concern.  When Judy told me the doctors had discovered a lump in her left breast, the sinking feeling I had felt that night returned like the kick of a mule.  I said nothing about the premonition because I didn't want to frighten her.  Judy had a radical mastectomy followed by chemotherapy.  She took both in stride and was full of energy and as positive as always.  Her oncologist was pleased with her progress.  She seemed to be well on the road to recovery.  Upon completion of her chemotherapy, we had a marvelous trip to Europe.  She was full of energy, enthusiasm and her usual joie de vie.   Once again, I managed to put the premonition out of my mind.  All seemed to be going so well. 

            Judy was scheduled for her six-month post-chemotherapy checkup on March 13th.  A week before the checkup she suddenly became very tired.  During the checkup, her oncologist became visibly concerned when he examined her liver.  He arranged a number of tests.  Following those tests, he told us on March 16th that the cancer had spread to her liver, was incurable and her life expectancy was one to six months.  The oncologist suggested that Judy consider a new chemotherapy treatment that would not cure the cancer but might prolong her life.  She agreed and began chemotherapy that same day.  She told me that she wanted to do it because it might help her to live until our daughter and her husband returned to the area in one year and would "be able to take care" of me.  She died unexpectedly but peacefully in our marriage bed thirteen days later surrounded by her loving family.   I was devastated.

COMMENTS ON MY WIFE'S PERSONALITY AND CHARACTER

            Judy was an intelligent, charming and attractive woman with a delightful sense of humor.  She had a lively curiosity about everything and was genuinely interested in other people. I am not putting her on a pedestal.  Those who knew her have said the same thing to me many times over the years and since her death.   For most of our thirty-six years of marriage, she was a homemaker.  She took pride in caring for her family.  From the first days of our marriage, she brought domestic order into my life.  Shirts and clothes were always washed, ironed and placed neatly in closets and dressers drawers.  Shopping done; errands run; rooms swept, dusted and tidy; meals prepared; clothes mended; children cared for, disciplined, encouraged and loved.  She did all those things and much more in quiet, efficient way without fanfare or complaint.  Outside the home, she was an active and enthusiastic volunteer.  She was the kind of person others could count on.

            During the first twenty-six years of our marriage, my job required that we move fourteen times including moves overseas, sometimes to remote and backward parts of the world. She supervised and organized the Herculean tasks of packing and unpacking for each move.  When we arrived at a new location, she managed to quickly establish a comfortable home and domestic routine for her family. She was a gracious, kind hostess and a definite asset to me in my professional life.  I am ashamed to say that while I did appreciate how important her efforts were, I too often took them for granted.  I regret that now.

        Before I begin my ADC account, I would like to describe an incident, which has some bearing on my wife's role as a homemaker.  Anyone familiar with the grieving process knows that anger is often part of that process.  One evening a few months after Judy's death, I was sitting in my bedroom feeling terribly lonely.  I was also angry because she had left me alone and because I had been thinking about real or imagined slights common in any marriage.    I asked myself, "Did she love me?"  At that moment, I sensed that I should go over to the dresser Judy had used.  It was not a powerful sentiment but rather a gentle urging.  I did and, without thinking, I opened the top drawer and began to rummage around looking for something (I didn't know what) that might answer my question.  I didn't expect to find anything.  I had been through the drawer earlier trying to decide what to keep or discard.  As I rummaged, I was surprised to find a copy of a poem I had given Judy over twenty years before.  It was a poem by Archibald MacLeish ("Poem in Prose") dedicated to his wife.  As I read that beautiful poem for the first time in many years, two lines leapt out at me:

"Love's lovely duty,

The well-swept room"

My anger disappeared and I wept.

MY ADC ACCOUNT

            One Christmas in the late 70's, Judy gave me a cotton nightshirt.  It was payback for an inexpensive, bright red negligee I had given her the year before as a throw away gift.  I wore the nightshirt that evening and became an instant convert to the comfort of nightshirts. I have worn them ever since.  As anyone who wears nightshirts knows, they are almost impossible to find in stores since few men wear them.  Judy solved that problem by managing to find a nightshirt pattern and, from then on, kept me supplied with homemade nightshirts.

            When Judy died, I had two nightshirts, both beginning to show signs of wear.  One of them literally came apart at the seams a year later and had to be discarded.  The remaining nightshirt was also on its last leg because of constant wear and washing.  I knew I had to get new ones made but I procrastinated.  My old nightshirt was an emotional connection to Judy.  I didn't want to part with it.  Sometimes when I was putting it on before bed, I imagined what Judy's reaction would be if she could see me in my pathetic nightshirt.  I could almost hear her say, "For Pete's sake get off your duff and have some new nightshirts made."  Sometimes I would laugh and say, "Ok, Ok, I'll do it but you don't have to be so bossy!"

            Then one night I couldn't find my nightshirt.  It was not where I always put it.  I literally tore the bedroom and closet apart looking for it. Between the sheets and covers, under the bed, behind chairs, in the closet, etc.  I even looked in the washer/dryer.   I couldn't find it.  Exasperated, I finally gave up and went to bed.   Over the next week or so, I continued my bedroom search and expanded it to the rest of the house looking in any place where there was a remote possibility I might find the nightshirt.    Since I live alone and had had no recent houseguests, I knew that no one else could have taken it. Still, I couldn't find it. 

            At one point in my search, the thought popped into my head that maybe Judy had gotten rid of it.  The thought made me laugh, but I didn't take it seriously.

            A few days later, I was talking on the telephone with my youngest daughter who lives in another city.  I told her about my missing nightshirt and, as a joke, said, "I think your Mother threw it out."  My daughter laughed and said, "Mother probably disappeared it just like she did my brown bathrobe!"   I remembered immediately what she was talking about.  When my daughter (now in her thirties) was in her early teens she had a worn, raggedy brown terrycloth bathrobe that she loved and refused to part with despite her Mother's urgings.  One Saturday morning when we were having coffee, our daughter came downstairs, obviously upset, and said, "Mother, I can't find my bathrobe!  Did you disappear it?"  Judy, without missing a beat, replied, "It probably disintegrated, dear.  Why don't we go shopping and buy you a new one."  For weeks after that, our children and I would sometimes kid Judy by telling her that she should not "disappear" any of our worn out, favorite pieces of clothing.  She never said anything.  She would just smile sweetly when the subject came up. 

            The next day, I found the nightshirt pattern, purchased some cotton material, and went to a seamstress where I placed an order for two nightshirts.  As I was getting into bed the night before I was scheduled to pickup my new nightshirts, for some reason I can't explain, I felt the urge to look under the bed again even though I had searched there many times before.  I didn't expect to find anything.  This time, when I looked under the bed, there directly in front of me, impossible not to see, was my crumpled up, ragged nightshirt.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I thought, "I'll be darned.  She disappeared it!"  I picked it up and, laughing, put it on one last time.

             COMMENTS

Even now, as I write these words, my rational mind tells me such things are impossible. But they did happen and I have attempted to describe them as honestly and as accurately as possible without exaggeration and without adding "filler" to make the account more interesting.  

Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience:  No

Was the experience difficult to express in words?  Yes

      What was it about the experience that makes it hard to communicate?  Yes in the sense that the experience was so out of the ordinary that I find it difficult to believe it happened.

Did you sense an awareness or presence of the deceased without actually seeing, hearing, feeling or smelling them ?  Uncertain
     
Describe:  Uncertain.  I did not sense her presence, but I did have feelings/sentiments which seemed to push me in a certain direction.

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, fragrance or odor associated with the deceased?  No

How long did the experience last?  See # 3

Was the beginning and end of the experience gradual or more sudden?  See # 3

Could you sense the emotions or mood of the deceased?  Frankly, I am not sure.  I certainly have the feeling that she wanted to take care of me.
     
Describe:  Frankly, I am not sure.  I certainly have the feeling that she wanted to take care of me.

Did the deceased give you information you did not previously know?  See  # 3 for details regarding premonition of wife's death

Your beliefs currently regarding your fear of death:  Slightly fearful

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

Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience:  Amazed, surprised.  Then a big, hearty laugh.  It was just like her!  See #3 for details

What other attitudes and beliefs about your experience do you currently have:     
      Other Attitude or Belief
          A comfort in knowing that even though my wife is no longer physically with me, she is there is spirit.  And she is still taking care of me!

Was there any emotional healing in any way following the experience?  Uncertain
     
Describe:  Yes in the sense that it gave me a certain feeling of comfort to know she is still taking care of me.

Did the experience give you any spiritual understandings such as life, death, afterlife, God, etc.?  Yes
     
Describe:  It showed me that when a love one dies and passes on to the spiritual realm, their love and caring for those they leave behind survives.  And sometimes God allows  them to send a message of love and caring to those they left behind.

Was the experience dream like in any way?  No
      Describe:  I was wide awake and alert at all times

Did you become aware of future events?
  Yes

      Describe:  See # 3 regarding premonition of wife's death

Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience?  No

Have you shared this experience with others?  Yes

      Describe:  Daughters:  They thought it was just like their Mother, but I suspect they find it a little hard to believe.  I don't blame them.  I do too!

My twin sister who lost her beloved first husband fifteen years ago.  She had absolutely no problem believing that it was a real ADC.  She has had them too!

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

What emotions/feelings did you experience following your experience?  Surprise, laughter, comfort

What was the best and worst part of your experience?  The best part  was the laughter.  No worst part

Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience?  No
       
Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?  Yes