Jessica D's ADC
I have been intrigued by your book and recent documentary. Similar to your quote from Freud, I've always found myself a fascinated spectator in the interplay between life and death. As a nurse practitioner on an urban post-surgical unit, death was a regular patron in my medical practice. I found the passage of life to generally be peaceful, but I had no sense of the ultimate destination, assuming that there even was one. To be quite blunt, I considered faith to be a luxury of upbringing and religion, but not a feature in my own life.
All of this changed in 2011. In January 2011 my father--and perhaps, the best friend that I've ever had--was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of lung cancer. Even with the best of treatments, he passed away four months later, in May 2011. As a family, we made the decision to terminate his life support, per his wishes. Because he was intubated and sedated, there were no meaningful good-byes, no last words of wisdom. It was all washed in sadness, confusion, and the inevitable sense of helplessness. It was a difficult death with little closure.
Three weeks later I had a dream of my father. I have always been a fairly vivid dreamer--I dream in color, I have many and varied adventures--but I cannot stress enough that this was the most unique dream of my life. In the dream I met my father in the kitchen of my childhood home. He was standing before me, smiling. I told him I knew that this was a dream, and that he was dead. I became very angry at him, asking him why he was coming to see me. I screamed and cried, I asked him why he had to smoke (which led to his cancer), why he left us. He listened to me very carefully, nodding. Then he gathered me into a hug and said "Don't worry, I'll love you forever." The hug felt like a physical reality. And every detail of the dream--every sensation, every movement--was absolutely crystal clear reality. I really did not feel like I was dreaming. I felt only partially connected to my body. Instead, I felt like I was traveling. It sounds odd, but it's the only description that I can summon.
A week later I had another dream with a similar feel. Once again, we were in my childhood home. Once again, I was well aware that he was dead. As before, he hugged me and reassured me that he still loved me, and that things would be okay. Later that week one more dream followed. In this one, we were in a strange home. He seemed to have difficulty speaking to me, and was initially pacing outside of the room, separated by a pane of glass. His body changed ages from a young man to old, like he was having trouble controlling the physical manifestation. Eventually he settled on my side of the glass as an old man, the father that I remember. Once again he hugged me and reassured me. That was the last dream I had of him. I truly believe that he was struggling to reach me. Maybe he was at the point of moving on, I'm not sure.
No one else in my family had any dreams of him. But strangely enough, several weeks later my husband did. This was the oddest feature of the entire experience. My husband never remembers his dreams. My husband is also an atheist, and firmly believes in death as endless and empty. But he woke up that night in a cold sweat, interrupted my sleep and told me that he had to tell me something. He said my father came to him and told him to tell the family that he was okay, and not to worry. My husband was so distressed by it that he wanted to notify us in the middle of the night.
I know that this topic is not directly related to your NDE research. I would also add that in no way do I consider myself some sort of psychic. But I now believe our loved ones can try to communicate with us, and there is some form of connection between spiritually bonded souls that is not entirely lost during death.
I hope that this helps you with your research on another level.
Thank you for having the courage to pursue this field of study.
MS, MSN, ANP-BC