We were with our eldest son on holiday in Southern France. Richard had been very well and we had both been enjoying traveling to places he knew, closer and happier than we had been ever before during our marriage. On Saturday, June 22nd, he woke early lucid but very ill. Within 10 minutes the French ambulance took him to Carcassonne hospital, and I visited him in the ICU all that morning. While he could speak, his last words to me then were :
"This bond of love will not be broken" and "I love you forever".
The French doctor persuaded me he needed rest and that I could return the following morning. Before we left my son's house in Limoux a policeman told us Richard had died without waking. All day our two oldest sons and I were ravaged with uncontrollable grief. We clung together, and cried, it seemed all day. In the early evening, for a few minutes, we separated for the first time. Will, the eldest, crossed the dirt road with his dog. James intended to go with Will, but collapsed at a pillar beside the gate that Richard had built. I was alone on the patio.
I was still weeping. Then I took one step, and it seemed to take me into an amazing peacefulness, a warmth. I stood still in shock. The peace remained. After a slightly guilty feeling that I Could feel peace when the husband I adored had died that morning, I said, aloud. "Oh, Richard, if you were here now, I know exactly what you would say. You'd say, Lee, you are being weird again."
Immediately I felt his arms around me from behind me, something he often did. His cheek against mine. I 'heard' his voice very clearly, say: "Weird?? Oh, Lee, you don't know the half of it. It is SO wonderful". The temperature was very warm, but I felt frozen. One of my sons led me to a table and I sat down. We were all, for the first time that day, silent. After some minutes, my second son James, flung himself over the table, and roared: "It's no good. I have to tell you. I am mad, but I have to tell you. While I was at the gatepost I suddenly felt calm, and ashamed of it. Dad died today, and I felt calm. Then I felt his arms round me, and he said: "Everything is all right, James. Everything is just the way it should be."
Before I could react, my hitherto equally materialistic son Will flung himself backwards and said: "Oh, Thank you, God. I thought I was mad. While I stood by that field I also felt Dad's arms round me, and he said: "Look Will" and as I looked it was as if I could see right through everything, it was all transparent, and Dad said: "See? Everything is all right, just the way it ought to be."
Without speaking, my sons and I sat that whole night on the warm patio...well, the only words we disjointedly uttered were things like "It IS all true." Will said; "All my priorities, all my values, changed forever."
remained with us all the following days, then came the doubts, in me. I
almost defragmented, swinging between certainty and total doubt. Then I came
home to South Africa, and although the grief, the anger and other negative
emotions came back, that was when the 'contacts' began to come every day. They
continue. At last I have had to surrender the doubts and I now have absolute
certainty, there is no other choice. Always loving, but also words telling me
things that I did not know at all before, which have all checked out. Leaving
me too with a strong, strong feeling of some sort of responsibility, which I can
not yet adequately define, or that perhaps I am still unwilling to face or
accept. Which is why you are receiving this.
I have described the first experience above. The subsequent ones, although initially only with my "deceased' husband, Richard, felt like on on-going telepathic connection as we had prior to his death. When I had questions and they were in my mind, they were answered before I asked them aloud or in thought. There was information that explained to me a lot about the pattern of our life together, and that is what still goes on. Also information, on fairly numerous occasions, about other people and the world in general.
Was this experience difficult to express in words? Yes, The fear of self-delusion......imagination of a bereft wife creating comforting stories for herself, and that was the least of it. There were times when I truly thought that I was subject to galloping late-onset schizophrenia or similar craziness. I did not want to embarrass anyone talking about it initially.
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: All I have heard is very clear, but not voiced, like telepathy, or as if I am remembering clearly words that have just been spoken to me and re-thinking them, and none are my own ideas, or anything I could invent.
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? Internal, but definitely as if I had had the words clearly spoken to me, as one does in any conversation, and I was remembering them immediately.
If you heard a voice or sound, was it similar or dissimilar from the voice or sound the deceased made when they were alive? Exactly the same, as are the other voices of people I have known physically present.
Is there any possibility what you heard was from any other source
present in the surroundings at the time of your experience?
No other source was possible.
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? Yes
Richard put his arms around me from behind me, and his left cheek pressed
right. He had often done that when physically present in the days
before...months before.....years before.
Was the touch familiar or unfamiliar? Very familiar, and only Richard used to put his arms round me that way.
Was anything communicated by the touch? Love, just love.
Is there any possibility what you felt was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience? None.
Did you see the deceased? No
Did you smell a distinct smell, scent, fragrance or odor associated with the deceased? Uncertain
What smell, scent, fragrance or odor did you smell? Faint remembered smell...aftershave ? Toothpaste ??
Was the smell, scent, fragrance or odor familiar? Familiar in the don't-think-of-it-way.....his scent, couldn't have been anyone else I would have recognized a difference.
Was anything communicated by the smell? no
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? None
How long did the experience last? The first one 10 minutes ?? The peaceful feeling of Richard's continued
lasted then for at least a week. Later experiences are longer.
Was the beginning and end of the experience gradual or more sudden? The beginning was instant. Sudden. Unexpected. The afterglow from that one lasted days.
Could you sense the emotions or mood of the deceased? Yes, Excitement and Joy and Surprise. And great love and sorrow for me, sadness. Somehow that I couldn't share what he now knew, but overwhelming Joy in him.
Did the deceased give you information you did not previously know? Richard described the reasons for the earlier upsets in our relationship, and when I heard that from him I knew without doubt that this was true. He also spoke later about other people, someone who lived here who was going to in his words, "arrive here soon" with a promise that he would 'see' them. That person did die unexpectedly, and afterwards Richard said that when he had met this man, the man said to Richard: "Richard! What a marvelous surprise!"
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: It was NOT what I expected, and also virtually the same experience happened to TWO of my sons at exactly the same time. Each of us was fearful of speaking of it until the younger son broke down. The further proof for me includes various phrases only Richard used, and he loved words and there are often words now that he speaks that I have to look up in a dictionary.
Symbiosis. Connubium. Consolatorum. and many more.
Was the experience dream like in any way? No
Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience: Stunned amazement. Total certainty that only Richard would say those words. Middle of summer, Temperature 30+ and I was suddenly freezing cold. Peace, but a Peace I had walked into, not originating with me. At the time, NO doubt, just joyful certainty. Amazement so strong I could not speak until my sons had spoken. Bliss.
Was there any emotional healing in any way following the experience? Yes, My thought of an after-life was one of "Hope So...." before. Now I have no doubt, no fear, only, sometimes, (ridiculously) impatience.
What was the best and worst part of your experience? The best part is knowing I will see Richard, be with him, again and the love we share is not lost. The worst part was when I was still having colossal doubts and thought I was deluding myself in an extremity of grief.
Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes
Describe: Changed and is still changing. Relationships must be based on love, all of them, with all people. Meditation and one-to-one relationship with God as He seems to reveal himself to me in my experiences is all-important, NOT churches or sects or denominations.
Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? Yes, Belief totally in on-going consciousness and personality. Belief in our growth, probably through many physical lives, and many lessons to learn. The need to love, love, love, and the realization that we reap what we sow, and thus punish Ourselves, that God-Whoever does not judge or punish. That we are spiritual beings who need physical lessons probably because we feel so much emotion while physical.
Did the experience give you any spiritual understandings such as life, death, afterlife, God, etc.? Yes, Total certainty that God IS. (No understanding of what/how/etc..only certainty) A belief that we are able to return, reincarnate, in order to learn lessons as physical beings, and a belief that whenever there is a bond of love, the line of communication is unbroken. No barriers.
Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later? Yes, In the later contacts too many to count, or recount. Richard told me that an apparently healthy friend would die soon, and he did a month later. He has often told me now of things I would be doing in the near future, and, despite my new trust, I have said "Oh, Yeah? Says Who?" because they have seemed impossibilities to me, and yet I have found myself doing them, sometimes not even remembering his words in my distraction, until I found myself doing them.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Still amazement. No doubts. Curiosity. (WHY???) Persistent peace. More curiosity. (HOW??)
Was the experience witnessed or experienced by others? Yes, After my sons had shared their experience with me, I told them of mine. We were all equally certain then.
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? Yes
The main 'knowing' in all the experiences is that ALL is as it should be. no matter how cruel, odd, painful, or wrong or evil I think it to be. That ultimately ALL is in the hands of a God of Unconditional LOVE, not judgment, and that ultimately (like a billion, billion years from now,) we will all be equal and return to wherever..........
Did you become aware of future events? Yes
Sometimes, like knowing about the impending death of a friend, which happened as Richard told me. There have been other fore-knowings, all accurate, if not so dramatic.
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? Yes
Since the first experience with Richard I have 'met' numerous others, and heard their voices ...in the same way I 'hear' his. I have recognized a lot, but there are also others that I do not recognize, although sometimes I am given their names.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes, One or two thought I was nuts, There have been 4 0r 5 others who have had similar experiences, and tell me to forget about thinking I am crazy and say thank you for being blessed. Someone newly bereaved I spoke to, was, in his words "incredibly helped". Another, that I rushed to "give comfort" to, turned white and said she "didn't hold with all that" I learned something through that too...a good thing. Not everyone is open, just as before all this I wasn't open, and would have been scared.
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 wish/hope/pray that more people have something like this. It DOES remove the fear. Not only the fear of death and dying, all fear.
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? Yes, No medications, or substances, but the joy returns and the knowledge increases as the experiences and contacts continue. Sometimes, when it is very close contact, or I learn something I never suspected before, the bliss-feeling returns too.
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, This is an on-going thing for me, but the questions seemed to elicit the gist of my experience, and the questions themselves allowed me to be as honest and accurate as I could because they seemed so sensitively asked, and there was the feeling of somebody really ready to understand and accept. They gave no feeling whatsoever of judgment, and that made it easier.
Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire. I think you have it right as it is, you have taken away the self-consciousness that inhibits one from normally talking about this.