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Julianne M's ADC

Experience description:  

My mom died May 12, 2011.  I had been Durable Power of Attorney for her health care decisions for about 11 months prior to that.  I was having a tremendous amount of guilt for feeling as though I had made wrong decisions that did not improve her health, and in fact, had lead to a worsening state for her.  Since her death, I had been replaying events over and over again in my head to figure out what I could have done to have kept her healthier longer.   

I was doing this one morning (replaying the events of my mom's illness in my head) as I was pulling the car away from the curb to head to work. Suddenly, I  heard my mother's voice cut through my mind's chatter and say, "You were fighting a losing battle, Jules." 

I heard her voice in my head, but it was extremely clear, and  clearly interrupted the other things I had been thinking at the moment that were causing me guilt and distress. 

My name is "Julie," but my mom used to call me "Jules".  I never refer to myself as "Jules" to other people.  Once during a particularly difficult time before my mom died I said out loud to myself, "You're OK, Jules".  But this was a rare case and I don't believe I have ever called myself "Jules" in my thoughts.

Was this experience difficult to express in words?  No

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:    "You were fighting a losing battle, Jules."  It was very clear in my thoughts, and very clearly my mom's voice.  The communication seemed intended for me to feel better about how I had handled my mom's health situation and to help me let go of my guilt.

            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?  It originated inside of 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?           It was my mom's voice exactly.

            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?            No

Did you see the deceased?         No

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

How long did the experience last?        It was perhaps 3 seconds, however long it took to say that sentence.

Was the beginning and end of the experience gradual or more sudden?         Sudden.

Could you sense the emotions or mood of the deceased?           Uncertain

The tone of her voice indicated that she was not having any particular emotion; It was just a normal conversational tone.

Did the deceased give you information you did not previously know?  I guess the fact that she told me that I "was fighting a losing battle" was unknown to me, because I still thought that there was something I could have done to have improved her health and kept her alive.

How do you currently view the reality of your experience?           Experience was probably real

            Please explain why you view the reality of your experience as real or not real:           The fact that it was my mom's voice and interrupted my thoughts. Also, the fact that it was a clear sentence, as my thoughts are usually just sort of phrases and snippets.  The fact that I was called "Jules."  Finally, the idea behind the sentence was perhaps the furthest thing from my mind - I was intent on beating myself up and rehashing events and had no thought of giving myself a break.

I say "probably" real because education in science has taught me to be skeptical.

            Was the experience dream like in any way?   No

Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience:           Surprised.

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

Even though I still wonder if the event was real, I do think about it when I start to feel guilty about my mom's death and it makes me feel better.  It also gives me some hope that her spirit is still alive and that I will get to see her again.

What was the best and worst part of your experience?      Best part was getting to hear my mom's voice and having her tell me, basically, that I did the best I could.   

No worst part, other than it makes me want to hear her again or have contact with her again.

Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience?         Uncertain                  Describe:            It has made me feel a bit happier in my daily life.  I find I pray more and try to communicate more with other deceased love ones, when before the experience I would have thought that such attempts were "silly".  

Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience?
   Yes     It has given me some personal evidence that has made me think more that an afterlife exists rather than it does not.

Did the experience give you any spiritual understandings such as life, death, afterlife, God, etc.?            Uncertain      It gives me hope that there is an afterlife and God (in some form) exists.

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

Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later?          No

What emotions did you feel during the experience?           
Stunned, happy, hopeful.

Was the experience witnessed or experienced by others?           No

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     My brother, therapist, and husband.  It seemed to comfort my brother and my therapist, who had lost her mother a few years before.  My husband  was not influenced.

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?       Just to emphasize how very clear and different the voice and sentence were from my other thoughts. 

I have not heard my mom's voice in my thoughts since.

Were there any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience?            Uncertain

Had been taking a new anti-depressant for about a month. 

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?           Uncertain 

I had a serious eating disorder for many years that I could not shake.  About 22 years ago, I attended an Overeaters Anonymous meeting.  Although an atheist at the time, I asked God/Jesus (I think I pictured Jesus in my head because I was raised Catholic) for help in stopping a particular eating disorder behavior. After that night, I was blessed with no longer having that behavior.

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.    Perhaps change questions 13 - 21 from multiple choice to narrative, or include  choices for "possibly" as well as "probably".