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Karen S ADCs

Experience description:  

1st experience---this happened two days after Stephen's sudden passing. Here is the story and background:

My 25 year-old son Stephen passed away suddenly on a Friday. Stephen worked at a church. For a while, he sang on the praise team. He really liked the Christian singer Chris Tomlin and especially liked his song 'Made to Worship.' In fact, I made that song his contact ringtone on my phone. Whenever he called, that was the song I heard to tell me my son was on the line. It was an individualized ringtone just for him. (My daughter Emily knew I used this song for Stephen.)

The first few day after his passing had been very tough. When I had a moment alone with God, I prayed, 'God, this is so hard. Could you please send me some sign that Stephen is with you and he's well? I'm not demanding, I'm asking. In your time and in your way, please let me know. It would really help this hurting mother's heart.'

On Sunday (two days after Stephen's death) we had a crowd of people staying at my mom's house. Everyone had to shower, get ready, decide where we were going to eat, etc. We finally loaded into two cars and headed to a Cheddar's restaurant. We were walking into the restaurant and music was piping from the outdoor speakers. Suddenly, Emily and I looked at each other and fell into each other's arms, sobbing. I'm sure people thought we were crazy.

The song that was playing was 'Made to Worship!' I knew instantly that this was a very personal and definite sign from God and/or my son to let me know Stephen lives on and is ok.

What is really unique about this sign is that the song was starting as we walked by (the timing had to be just perfect!), it was unbelievable that I even heard the song (noticed) given the situation, and also this restaurant is not known as a 'Christian' restaurant...in fact, later, several friends told me that they had never heard Christian music being played at that restaurant before.

2nd event---We delayed Stephen's memorial service until Mother's Day weekend of that year. The service was down in Texas, where he and most of my family lived. Once I got home a day or two after Mother's Day, I opened the closed door to my bedroom. As I walked in, I was overpowered by the smell of lilacs, my favorite flower! (Note...this was May. Where I live, lilacs only bloom for a week in April.) It smelled as if there were a dozen lilac bushes in the room! I had nothing lilac scented in that room nor had I ever smelled lilacs when I walked in that room (which is many times daily.) I decided this had to be a Mother's Day 'gift' from my son. I just breathed in deeply and savored the scent.

3rd event---This occurred in October 2015 about 7 months after Stephen died. I had recently been lamenting that it had been so long since I had seen Stephen. It was a Saturday night/ Sunday morning around 6 am when I had a dream of him. He and I were together. He looked wonderful. He had always had unruly hair, but in the dream, every hair was in place. He just seemed to glow and was smiling. We talked about his 'leaving,' and I said, 'You know how much I love you, don't you?' He smiled and said he knew. I kept saying, 'You're here! You're really here!' to which he'd smile and say, 'Yes. Yes, I am.' He looked amazing...we talked... and when I woke up, I felt like I had really seen him. 'I just saw Stephen!' were my first words of the morning. My heart was full.

I have had several other dreams with Stephen in them, but this one was totally different. I know I saw my son.

Was this experience difficult to express in words? No


Did you ONLY sense an awareness of presence of the deceased without actually seeing, hearing, feeling or smelling them? 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: 1st event...I heard the song that had been in personalized ringtone on my phone 3rd event...we spoke together in my dream

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? 1st event...from restaurant outdoor speakers 3rd event..I think our communication was through thoughts. I do not remember seeing him physically speak.

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 his voice...his mannerisms...his smile

Is there any possibility what you heard was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience? In the dream, 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? Yes

In my dream, he looked great...the 'warmest' version of himself. He looked perfect with every hair in place. His face just shown. He was happy, calm and content beyond words.

How clearly did the deceased appear? Solid

How much of the deceased did you see? He was sitting down. I remember mainly focusing on the upper half of his body.

Did the deceased appear or not appear to be the age at which they died? Same age....25

How healthy did the deceased appear to be? Extremely healthy! Glowing.... The last time I saw him (4 days before he died), he looked ill. At that time, he had gained weight and his skin looked sallow. In the dream, he was back to his normal weight and his skin glowed!

Is there any possibility what you saw was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience? No

Did you smell a distinct smell, scent, fragrance or odor associated with the deceased? Yes

What smell, scent, fragrance or odor did you smell? In my second experience, I smelled an incredibly strong smell of lilacs (my favorite floral scent)

Was the smell, scent, fragrance or odor familiar? Yes...the smell of lilacs

Was anything communicated by the smell? I felt it was a 'gift.' An acknowledgement that Mother's Day had recently passed.

Is there any possibility that the smell, scent, fragrance or odor was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience? No way at all! Lilacs are not in bloom in May where I live, and I have nothing lilac-scented in the room. I had never smelled that smell in the room before or since.

How long did the experience last? All three events---minutes (perhaps 5 or so each)

Was the beginning and end of the experience gradual or more sudden? 1st event---song suddenly came on the outdoor speakers of the restaurant. 2nd---appeared suddenly as I walked in the room 3rd---dream happened suddenly

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

He was happy and glad to see me.

Did the deceased give you information you did not previously know? No

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

Please explain why you view the reality of your experience as real or not real: All three events took me by surprise. In the first two, I was awake and walking, so I know they were real. In the dream (as I said before), it was unlike any other dream I have had of Stephen before or since. I woke up KNOWING I had just seen and spoken with my son.

Was the experience dream like in any way? No

Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience: 1st event...I was so grateful I had been given a sign. It was by far the most meaningful one I could have received in answer to my prayer. I was relieved to know my son lives on and is ok. 2nd event....again, grateful and appreciative of the 'gift' of the scent. 3rd event...I got to see my son and talk with him! I know he came to me in the dream to reassure me that he knows how much I love him and that he loved me and is doing great!

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

All three events have helped me heal in my grief, and all three remind me that my son and I still have a relationship. Death will not change that.

What was the best and worst part of your experience? It was all good...nothing bad at all in any of the events.

Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes Describe: I just feel like I now have proof that we all live on (like my son) after death.

Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience?
No

Did the experience give you any spiritual understandings such as life, death, afterlife, God, etc.?
Yes Death is not the end. It is the beginning of our next phase of existence. God is good. He answers prayer. He gave me the greatest and most personal/meaningful sign I could ever have received that my son is now ok and with Him. The smell of lilacs (2nd event) was also a great gift and very personal. God also knew my heart and how much I missed my son, and allowed Stephen to come to me in a dream that was so reassuring. Heaven 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? Especially after seeing Stephen in the dream, I mark time differently. I now kind of mark the last time I saw him as from the date of the dream, not the four days before he died.


Was the experience witnessed or experienced by others? Yes

The first experience---my daughter was there and also saw the significance

Did you have any sense of altered space or time? No

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? No

Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body? No

Did you meet or see any other beings other than the deceased? No

Did you see a light? No

Did any part of your experience seem to occur in a place other than the location described above? Yes

I am not sure where I was in the dream when I got to see Stephen. It wasn't in my home or anywhere familiar, and I was not paying attention to the surroundings. I was more focused on my son.

Have you shared this experience with others?

Yes Many, many people with whom I have shared these experiences don't 'believe.' They look for 'logical' explanations and talk about 'coincidences.' I think until something similar happens to them, they wouldn't believe anyway. Some of my friends and family do believe because they know I would never invent stories like these. My daughter actually experienced the first event with me and knew the significance of it. She was the only other family member who noticed the song as we walked into the restaurant. Strangely enough, my sister was not with us at the time. After I heard the song at the restaurant, I texted her and told her I had something really important to tell her. That's all I said. She then texted back, 'Good. I really hope what you have to tell me is that you have gotten a sign from Stephen. I have been praying that God would give you one.' Remarkable!

Have you shared this experience formally or informally with any other researcher or web site? Yes

I shared the first event on Facebook right after it happened. I have also shared the event on some grief forum under a question about contact after death. I don't remember the site.

Is there anything else you would like to add regarding your experience? No

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? No

Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes