A little background information: My father was my absolute best friend. He raised me as a single parent and after I graduated high school, we became extremely close.
We both had very difficult lives but the bond we shared was/is unbreakable.
He was diagnosed suddenly with Primary CNS Lymphoma and despite our best efforts, he passed away 8 months afterwards.
I was his primary caregiver through those times and it was heartbreaking to watch the tumor take the strongest man I knew, reducing him to nothing.
I struggled terribly with having to be his nurse because all I wanted and needed at that time, was to be his daughter... As is the nature of brain tumors, I was petrified that at the end he'd forget me (at onset, he didn't know who I was either so the fear was justified, I think...).
Two days before he died, he was pretty much unresponsive save a few words here and there. We never talked of his dying and never said any goodbyes - it just wasn't something he wanted to do.
The last words we spoke were my telling him I loved him and he returned the sentiment.
After he died, the house we lived in was utterly toxic to me, psychologically. So, with his retroactive disability money (which he was approved for but never got to use), myself and my brother (who I am also a caregiver for) moved from the city to a small house in PA.
The first 'dream' I had of my father in the new house is written below.
After-Death Communication Dream: The Time Capsule
In the dream, there was a 'fad' that people were doing prior to dying.
They were making time-capsules to give to those they loved as a personal memento. Each one would consist of five items chosen by the person who was passing...
My father made one for me and in the last moments before he died, I ran to him with the items so he could explain them to me.
I could see his labored breathing but he was neither scared, nor in pain. He was calm. Ready. No outward traces anymore, of the ugly tumor that invaded our lives...
I knelt next to him, closely, and held up the first item. It was an oddly shaped paintbrush. The bristles were squarely blocked and the handle oddly shaped so, in the hand, it had to be held a very specific way. 'What does this mean, Dad?' I asked...
'This is to remind you that you can thicken or thin the trees of your Life any way that you want - it is *all* in the technique and how you handle the brush. Learn that, Kate.'
The second item was a simple and small paintbrush - the kind that you would get in any children's set of watercolors. 'And this one?'
'That is how I want you to remember me. I was a simple man. Neither special or unique. A simple, imperfect man.' I stopped him there and said, 'No, you are my father. You will always be special to me. Always.'
He smiled weakly and I rummaged through the capsule. The next two items were simple sterling silver rings, both with amber stones. Not fancy but elegant in their simplicity.
'Those are YOU. What you've always been to me and to my life. I chose amber because it is a living stone. Full of warmth and able to hold both time and memory within it. You are that to me, natural, beautiful and able to carry with you, the best and worst of life. And I know you will always keep me alive within you.'
At this point in the dream (and while I was sleeping), I was in tears because I knew his time was approaching the end now. I hurried and grabbed the last item from the capsule: a simple strand of aurora borealis colored beads (possibly prayer beads?).
'Before you go, Dad, tell me of this too... please.'
His voice cracking and barely above a whisper, he said this: 'That is my promise to you, Kate. There is magic after this life is done. There is so much magic afterwards and I love you.'
... and with that, he closed his eyes and took his last breath.
When I woke up from the dream, I was in tears. I was crying as I slept
(according to my brother) and I cried when I woke up. I cried for about three
hours afterwards too.
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: My father and I were having a full conversation. He was explaining why he chose the items in the time-capsule.
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? I was asleep. My father's voice sounded exactly as it did in life.
If you heard a voice or sound, was it similar or dissimilar from the voice or sound the deceased made when they were alive? Again, the voice was my father's and was no different than what it was when he was alive.
Is there any possibility what you heard was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience? None whatsoever.
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
I did not touch HIM in the dream but I did have tactile contact with items in the dream (the time capsule itself and the items within it).
Was the touch familiar or unfamiliar? Neither, it was simply me holding items.
Was anything communicated by the touch? If you mean between my father and I - no, there was no communication via touch. Our communication was verbal.
Did you see the deceased? Yes
He looked as he did prior to his dying. He was in his hospice bed at the home where I cared for him.
How clearly did the deceased appear? Solid.
How much of the deceased did you see? All.
Did the deceased appear or not appear to be the age at which they died? My father appeared his actual age.
How healthy did the deceased appear to be? He was still in his hospice bed at home, directly prior to his dying. His body was frail. His voice was weak and strained. Please note that he was completely unresponsive during the last week of his life so, this was not a mirrored experience to when he actually passed away.
Is there any possibility what you saw was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience? No. The dream communcation happened in a completely different house that is located in a different state entirely.
Did you smell a distinct smell, scent, fragrance or odor associated with the deceased? No
How long did the experience last? If I had to put a 'time stamp' on how long the dream lasted, I'd say it felt like it was at least half an hour of time from the moment my father presented me with the time-capsule to the point in the experience that took his last breath and I awoke.
Was the beginning and end of the experience gradual or more sudden? Neither. The dream flowed in a normal sense of time that felt neither rushed nor over-extended.
Could you sense the emotions or mood of the deceased? Yes
While he was very weak, I could feel how important his explanations on the items were to him. This ADC was the only real 'goodbye' we got. In actual life, he did not want to discuss his dying and at no point did we ever say goodbye.
Did the deceased give you information you did not previously know? Yes. He told me he chose the pieces of the time-capsule for me and each had a very specific meaning/message he wanted to convey.
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: I have never had such a vivid 'dream' in all my life. Ever. I have never awakened from a dream in tears nor have I ever felt so deeply in a dream as I did with this one.
Was the experience dream like in any way? No
Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience: I woke up in tears. Seeing him die 'again' was excruciating but the things he gave/told me were so meaningful and moving.
Was there any emotional healing in any way following the experience? Uncertain
I don't know if this ADC healed me as I am still very heavily grieving. My father was my best friend.
What was the best and worst part of your experience? Best was that he got to tell me the things he was unable to say during his illness/decline/death. Worst, obviously is having to watch him 'die' again.