On a day between his passing and the funeral, I was in the small pantry off my kitchen, preparing to bake muffins. I had just placed the metal tin on the countertop when, suddenly, I heard a 'ping' sound and saw something in one of the round muffin cups. ( It was all so sudden and unexpected and I can't recall if I saw it fall there but I distinctly remember the sound it made.) I picked it out, puzzled, and held in my hand what appeared to be a very tiny, thin, old- looking seashell. I immediately 'knew' and 'felt' connected to my brother and thought ( or spoke aloud), 'That's a strange way, Jim, of letting me know you're still around". ( We so often joked with one another.) Then, I began to doubt myself and attempted to find a rational explanation for how the shell got into the cup of the muffin tin. The countertop was up against a small window ( with nothing on the sill), looking over the back of the house; the walls to my left and right were empty of any wall decor, etc. To my rear was the opening leading to the kitchen. I looked to the ceiling which was an ordinary, solid ceiling, and determined nothing could have fallen from there. I went over it all many times but could find no 'rational' explanation for what occurred.
I kept this to myself for several years and, since then, have told perhaps a half dozen friends and family members. It was difficult to know if they accepted my experience or not. But I know it was exactly as I stated above. I still have the shell in an envelope marked 'shell from Jim', along with my living will, etc. One day I discovered it had broken into very tiny pieces and is barely distinguishable now as a shell. More than my surprise of after death contact from my brother was the form of contact since we never spoke of the seashore, nor shared an experience there. I suppose what was most interesting to me about this experience was the very, very old and delicate appearance of this tiny, thin shell. As I held it gently in the palm of my hand, it 'felt' as though it came from someplace 'far away' or 'from another time'. So difficult to put words to.
I am grateful for your research and sharing of your work in this area. I have felt for years that earth is not 'home' or 'reality' and I believe, as you so convincingly stated last evening, that our purpose here is to learn to love and that is achieved by our many experiences, often extremely painful ones. My life has been full and rich with learning and, though, at age 70, I am still eager to learn and grow spiritually, I look forward to returning 'home'.
In Love & Peace,
Did you ONLY sense an awareness of presence of the deceased without actually seeing, hearing, feeling or smelling them? Yes
Did you hear the deceased or hear something associated with the deceased? Yes
Describe what you heard, how clearly you heard it and what was communicated: I heard the 'ping' sound the shell made as it landed in the metal muffin cup.
Did the voice or sound seem to originate externally or outside of you, inside you, or did you not hear a voice or sound, but had a sense of knowing what was communicated? Had a sense of knowing immediately that the shell was my brother's way of communicating with me.
If you heard a voice or sound, was it similar or dissimilar from the voice or sound the deceased made when they were alive? Dissimilar
Is there any possibility what you heard was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience? No
Was there any possible impairment to your hearing at the time of the experience? No
Did you feel a touch or experience any physical contact from the deceased? Uncertain
Not to my person but I felt the shell was a form of physical contact from the deceased.
Was the touch familiar or unfamiliar? Unfamiliar
Was anything communicated by the touch? An awareness or knowing it was a contact from my brother, the deceased.
Is there any possibility what you felt was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience? No.
Did you see the deceased? No
How do you currently view the reality of your experience? Experience was definitely real
Was the experience dream like in any way? No
Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience: At the instant, surprise, followed immediately by awareness, or 'knowing' and then great pleasure in the experience.
Was there any emotional healing in any way following the experience? Uncertain
I was thinking that, had i been able to contact my brother during the week prior to his passing, I might have been able to prevent his death. Sometime after the experience ( don't know what time period) I came to believe that he
own timing for his death and, for that reason, avoided contact with everyone.
What was the best and worst part of your experience? I've already started the best part numerous times above and I do not think there was anything negative about it.
Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? No
Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? Yes
AS I stated before, I believe the experience reinforced my belief in the afterlife.
Did the experience give you any spiritual understandings such as life, death, afterlife, God, etc.? Yes
As I stated in #26, the experience reinforced what I was already beginning to believe about the afterlife.
Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later? Yes
I heard and observed the shell drop into the muffin cup and still possess it.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Questioning and attempt to search for some other explanation for experience. When unable to do so, accepted experience with great joy.
Was the experience witnessed or experienced by others? No
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes
I had a sense that the shell came from a far away place or time.
Did you have a sense of knowing, special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? No
Did you become aware of future events? No
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience that you did not have prior to the experience? Yes
I had two paranormal experiences in which I was involved in serious accidents. I was the driver and sole occupant of the car in both cases. In the first, had I listened to my intuitive voice and left the highway at the exit 2 miles before my regular exit, the accident would have been avoided. In the second incident, just two months later, I seemed to be detached from the whole experience, moments before, during and following the accident. I observed from the sidelines, watching the fireman hose down the car and the car being towed away, etc. as though I was just one of the many gathered to watch, rather than the person involved in the accident. I felt no fear or anxiety - was very calm throughout.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes
I shared with several friends and family members. They listened politely and with interest but I do not know if they were influenced by my experience.
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? I think my description of the experience and your questioning covered everything.
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? Yes
Many years ago, I had an OBE experience, although at the time, I had never heard of OBE's and didn't understand what was happening. I was taking a nap while my young boys were in school and felt myself falling gently off the side of the bed, as though I was floating to the floor. Then I was walking with another person ( did not remember who) along a very green grassy area beside a body of water ( stream or river). Saw white robed figure ahead and heard very beautiful, haunting music. Felt more at peace than I had ever felt before or since. When I awoke, I knew it was not a dream but an experience I did not understand at the time. I recall wishing I could duplicate the music I heard on the piano. It left an impression on me that lasted for a long time. Years later, when I became familiar with OBE through reading, I recognized my experience as such.
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. I think you covered the subject fully with your questions. I have no suggestions to add.