Monica E's ADCs

Monica E's ADCs 657/658

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First Experience
Second Experience

 

First Experience description:   

I was fast asleep (apparently it was early morning, but I didn't know that until I woke up), and I became aware of myself in a dream of EXTREME vividness.  What I mean by "vividness" is not the normal sort of dreaming at all, with bizarre images and so on.  This was a kind of down-to-the-detail ACCURATE reality that seemed hyper-real.

The place where I was, was in my parents' van driving down the highway ('88 Dodge Caravan, maroon in color).  Herbert, when she was alive, used to LOVE our family's car trips to my grandparents', and I mean PASSIONATELY.  I have no doubt animals feel such emotions.  She'd even come running INTO her carrier if you called, "We're going to Grandma and Grandpa's!"  Needless to say we never EVER abused that, because we didn't want to destroy her joy in that.  She would sleep contentedly as long as we were on the route from New Jersey to Virginia (which she seemed to know to the exact detail, like she had some kind of internal GPS: take ANY wrong turn or stop for anything, and she'd give you an earful!), and was always excited when she'd get out of her carrier on the other end.

In the dream, I was back in this van.  I'd been sitting in my usual seat (far back, right), and saw the pink cat carrier in ITS usual place (middle seat, to the right), and she was in the carrier.  Everything about the van and the trip was exactly as it was supposed to be.  I could feel us moving.  I didn't see where we were along the route...all I saw was perfect, cloudless blue sky outside the windows.  There were no distortions or inconsistencies whatsoever in the dream as there are any other time...except for one little issue.  We no longer lived in New Jersey, and I knew that right away.  That's what made me aware of the fact that I was dreaming.

I have lucid-dreamed on many occasions, but this was VERY different.  Unlike a normal lucid dream, I was never presented with a "choice" to remain in the dream or leave it, nor did I have to struggle to stay in. (I have wondered, in retrospect, based on this and one other experience, if I had help from the other end in staying in the dream--if there is something that the dead do in order to help keep your mind from fighting the experience.  I don't see that as threatening, but rather as a kindness.)  Rather, I understood and even verbally expressed amazement at the fact that I was dreaming.  I was a bit confused, but it wasn't threatening at all.  My exact words were, "The time is wrong."  Not the best way of saying it, but what I was getting at was the fact that I KNEW I was not in the correct year or place, and that Herbert was dead.

I got up from my seat and walked up (crouched slightly, as I had to in the real vehicle...even THIS tiny detail was accurate) to the carrier, where I saw Herbert inside.  She sat up (as much as possible) in the carrier, and looked at me very pleasantly.  I had some mixed emotions, given that I knew she was dead...not overwhelming, but I think my happiness was tinged with some mild worry for her.  She spoke to me then, in a voice that was entirely unrelated to the rather sharp feline voice she'd had, and told me something to the effect of that "It's all right, I'm happy where I am."  Her tone was very motherly, very much in character with what I feel I know about her personality and how I think she regarded me.  I don't remember the _exact_ sound of it, but I am certain of its quality.  I am a synesthete (not the type that "projects", but rather I perceive this image in my mind's eye), and I recall the basic "look" of the sound, and what I remember tells me basically what the sound had to be like (inflection patterns, basic tonal range and timbre).

Upon hearing those words from her, I felt deep joy and peace, and may have even cried happy tears (I can't recall this for certain, if I DID, but the emotions were certainly strong enough).  I didn't say anything else, I don't think...after this message had been conveyed to me, I just faded very gently out of the dream and into wakefulness, left with a memory as clear as any in life.  Some remnant of that peace carried through with me as I woke up, and I knew that something very unusual had happened.  Prior to that, I'd been skeptical about such experiences...or at least the notion that they could happen to me.  And I was also skeptical that it could happen with an animal's spirit.  But, I cannot deny what occurred.

While she never explicitly stated it, I think in retrospect part of the point of this was to help me accept my role in her death (since the family put her to sleep), as well as to show me that being dead was not something that bothered her.  I feel now that she is at peace with her death, and understands what I felt, how I wanted to comfort her and help her make the transition as peacefully as possible.  I think she knows it was love, and I believe she loves me in return.  This certainly affirmed my feeling that (at the very least) higher animals do feel emotions, even if they don't reason or speak in human fashion.

Have you had multiple experiences?
   Yes     2

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:   Although like memories I have when I'm awake, I'm not quite sure of the exact words anymore, I heard something close to, "It's all right, I'm happy where I am."  The last part of the phrase I'm almost completely sure of.  Whatever I heard, though, I was certain of exact, explicit words as I was hearing it.

            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'm not sure if she opened her mouth to speak, as we humans would (though I THINK she did), but the voice most definitely sounded external, and that it was coming from her direction.

            If you heard a voice or sound, was it similar or dissimilar from the voice or sound the deceased made when they were alive?           This voice was extremely dissimilar.  She'd had a very sharp Siamese sort of voice in life (sometimes sounded like caterwauling even when she was being friendly), and this was just about as opposite as possible.  It was a human voice, a low, pleasant alto, very smooth and matronly in tone.  If I had to put an age on it, I'd say somewhere between 40 to 60 (which fits with the level of maturity she would've had when I knew her).  I can't identify any specific person's voice it was, but I suspect that either she picked this voice to be more fitting to her character, or that my mind supplied it in response to her; I'm not sure which.

            Is there any possibility what you heard was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience?           No, I was asleep and there was nobody on my side of the house, nor any radio that could've caused it.

            Was there any possible impairment to your hearing at the time of the experience?   I was in a dream, and my hearing seemed perfectly ordinary (right down to the synesthesia, a level of detail I don't often take notice of in dreams).

Did you feel a touch or experience any physical contact from the deceased?            No

Did you see the deceased?         Yes, Herbert was a female cat, an albino with white fur, but green eyes.  She was fairly thin in build, even in her healthiest days.

            How clearly did the deceased appear?            She appeared as solid as anything else in that dream (that is, completely lifelike if not even beyond that).

            How much of the deceased did you see?       I saw the front of her through the carrier, just as I would have in life.

            Did the deceased appear or not appear to be the age at which they died?       I think she would have still been "middle-aged" in feline terms, but she didn't seem elderly as she had been at the end of her life.

            How healthy did the deceased appear to be?            Before she died, Herbert had suffered from numerous maladies of old age.  Her terminal illness had been kidney disease, but she had also suffered hyperthyroidism which emaciated her (even when she got on medication she was noticeably thinner), and she had lost her hearing.  Finally, and most noticeably, because of cancer, she'd had to have her nose removed about 6 years before her death.

Herbert appeared quite healthy.  I'm not sure if she appeared as she did when we FIRST adopted her, but it did seem as if the last 5 or 6 years had been erased.  Her words to me definitely felt like a comment on my own spoken words, so it seems obvious that her hearing was restored.  I also believe that her nose was intact, and she didn't seem so emaciated (not sure if she was restored ALL the way to when we first adopted her, but she looked to be in good shape).

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

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

            What smell, scent, fragrance or odor did you smell?           I'm not sure if I smelled anything, because even in life I don't take much notice of smell unless it's unusual or overwhelming.  It would not surprise me if that scent was there, though, because every other detail about that dream seemed perfectly accurate.

            Was the smell, scent, fragrance or odor familiar?     If there was any scent, it must have been the familiar feline scent, because I didn't note anything out of the ordinary.

            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?        No, I was asleep.

How long did the experience last?        From within the dream, it felt like 2 minutes, give or take.

Was the beginning and end of the experience gradual or more sudden?         I am not sure about the beginning because I was asleep and became aware of myself in a dream.  It was not abrupt to the point of being disturbing.

The end was a very smooth, fairly gradual transition from sleep into waking.  I carried a memory of the experience into waking just as vivid as anything I've experienced in life.

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

Her vocal tone and mannerisms indicated contentment (though she didn't purr as cats ordinarily do, I was still certain of it), and I also felt deeply contented myself.   I'm not certain if this came from her or if I felt it in response to her.

Did the deceased give you information you did not previously know?  The one thing she told me was that she was happy where she was, and I'd not previously been certain of that.

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:          This experience violated many of the rules I have come to accept from experience as being how dreams and waking reality operate...it was clearly following neither set of rules.

I have lucid-dreamed in the past, and this was NOT the same at all.  While I was conscious of the fact that I was dreaming, and even stated it out loud, I had no struggle to remain in the dream.  It didn't try to fade out on me, nor do I even feel that I had any moment of choice where I could've exited it of my own will.  I wouldn't have wanted to, but this wasn't even given to me.

Obviously it was not waking/normal reality because I was very aware of being in the past...but I am almost certain the experience was what it seemed to be: a contact with a spirit.

            Was the experience dream like in any way?   Yes

I WAS in a dream, but it was hyper-realistic and I was fully aware of being in an altered state of consciousness even though my thoughts were rational.  (See notes in above reply about my manner of dreaming, as it contrasts to this.)

Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience:           At first I had some mild confusion and wonder at my clearly being dreaming, but this was never an upsetting feeling.  As soon as I saw Herbert and she spoke to me, I felt contented and extremely happy, about to the point of tears.

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

Yes.  This experience brought me closure in my grief.  After this, I was pretty much accepting of her death (and its circumstances) and able to remember her without much pain at all.

What was the best and worst part of your experience?      The best part was feeling that she is happy...the worst is the fact that I cannot 100% beyond the shadow of a doubt PROVE once and for all what happened, even as badly as I would like to.

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

I became a bit stronger in my faith, and certainly much more certain about what happens with animal spirits.

Did the experience give you any spiritual understandings such as life, death, afterlife, God, etc.?            Yes

The dream gave me a greater certainty that animals have souls, emotions, and go into the afterlife, even if they don't reason in our way.

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?        Yes

I've made one, half-joking, on multiple occasions, with a certain online friend of mine.  While we were playful about it, I think there may have been an element of seriousness to it on both sides.  I did say that I don't know if such contact is allowed by God under all circumstances, so there's an understanding it may or may not occur...but I think this may well count as a death-compact.

This person is still alive, and was completely uninvolved with both experiences I have had.

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?            I carried the same contentment and happiness into waking.  While it faded some over the day, I still felt like it was with me to some extent.

Was the experience witnessed or experienced by others?           No

Did you have any sense of altered space or time?   Yes

I was very aware that I was "in the past", but that it was a dreamed reality, and an abnormally clear one at that.

Did you have a sense of knowing, special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose?    Yes

I felt very privileged to know that she was happy.

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?         Uncertain

I've always been highly intuitive about others, and occasionally about events (waking premonitions), and this MAY have sharpened afterwards, but I cannot say if it was due to the dream, especially considering I had 6 years between this one and now.  I can't correlate the 2.

Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body?     Uncertain

I do not know if the consciousness of being in a dream counts.  I felt in the dream as though it was my body, but my feeling was more like my "real" body was in an environment that, although I knew this was not reality, felt real...even BEYOND real.

Did you meet or see any other beings other than the deceased?        Uncertain

Somebody had to have been driving the car (presumably my mother or father--still living), but I took no notice of him/her.

Did you see a light?           Uncertain

Only natural daylight, even though the sun was not shining in the direction I was facing.

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

I knew that I must be unconscious and lying in my bed, but nothing I was seeing or hearing could've told me that.  Only my knowledge told me the reality in front of me was not normal.

Have you shared this experience with others?     Yes

I have used this to help console others in the loss of pets, and I find that some of them are rather uplifted by it--especially those who have had doubts that animals have souls or go to Heaven.

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?       This experience is part of what made me wish very strongly for another one, when I lost a human being I'd come to care about, much more recently.  It also helped me to recognize what was going on when I ultimately DID have my second experience...combining the TWO experiences has given me a greater degree of certainty about what's going on.

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 

I had a second experience at the end of this January that was quite similar in nature (despite some differences in the method of communication and my entry into the dream).

I also feel something approaching this peace when I am VERY deeply moved by something, but it's never QUITE the same.

Did you ever in your life have a near-death experience, out of body experience or other spiritual event?           Yes, I have had a DREAMED near-death experience this March or April that I came out of extremely abruptly right at the point I felt I was really on the edge of something special.  I do not know if it was PHYSICALLY a near-death experience, but it sure made a mark on me spiritually: those were VERY powerful emotions that equaled and perhaps even surpassed those from the two "contacts" I've had.

(Note: It's very late and I'll wait to submit the 2nd experience until tomorrow or Friday.)

Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire.    I think it might be good to ask something specific to those who dreamed their experiences, to compare this to their "normal" way of dreaming.


Second Experience DESCRIPTION:

I was sleeping over at a family member's house, and fading in and out of consciousness in a very drowsy, unconcerned way.  I had been grieving for Samuel very severely for awhile (I think I got my worst on Christmas Day of 2003).  Having had a previous experience I believe to be a communication with a spirit through a dream, I had at once hoped desperately for another such experience...but also told myself that "lightning does not strike twice" and I should accept the "fact" that it would not occur to me again.  On some nights, as I would fall asleep, I had tried to induce a contact between Samuel and I, and this NEVER worked.

What's distinct about this morning was that I was NOT trying in any way.  My thoughts really weren't coherent enough in the semiconscious state to put together a clear intent of any kind (not to drag myself out of bed OR to go back to sleep), and that's part of what makes this thing so remarkable.  I had my eyes closed, and I began to hear music that Samuel had been associated with.  It started much like a a very loud thought (like you *normally* might have when going unconscious), but it then seemed to come from all around me at the same time as my vision went black and then my entire awareness shifted into another place.  This sound (as in my previous experience) was extremely detailed and realistic, right down to the synesthetic perception that belonged with it, something that I am normally not very aware of (if at all) in the dream state.

I have rarely ever felt myself go unconscious, though it's happened on a few one or two rare occasions when I've voluntarily induced a lucid dream.  However, there were some definite differences in this one, that separate it from the lucid dreaming experience.  In all "ordinary" lucid dreams I have ever experienced, there are two factors that I always encounter, no matter what.  First, I have a point, when I realize I'm dreaming, where I must decide whether or not to remain in the dream.  At this decision point I begin to fade between sleeping and waking and have to exert a major mental effort to stay in.  And not only that, once I'm back "in", I have to give up the knowledge that I'm dreaming.  Second, even at the point when I'm aware I'm dreaming (and past that if I stay in), there are what I call "distortions" in the dream--things that very blatantly violate what I know about waking reality (ex: sky being an impossible color, people looking VERY different than they should, laws of physics being suspended, etc.).

This experience threw both rules right out the window--and not only that, I didn't induce it myself.  I couldn't even form a coherent intent of any kind at the time.  Rather, I heard the music and the feeling I had was that, rather than me CREATING the dream environment, that I was being CALLED to follow the sound wherever it led.  It was as I was going unconscious that I felt like my ability to reason came back to me in full.  As the environment took shape around me and I continued to hear the music, I was filled with joy and a knowing that I needed to look for Samuel.  There was no moment where I had to choose to stay or not to stay in the dream, no loss of clarity, nothing.  I was EXTREMELY alert in this environment, perhaps even more than in waking life.  I've only once before encountered that kind of "hyper-reality", and that was the other time I had a contact.  And, as with the other contact (and in contrast with all lucid dreams I've had), there was a near complete lack of distortions.

This environment I was called into was a very, very familiar street in my hometown (not a place Samuel was connected with to the best of my knowledge) where I often walk.  Unlike other dreams I've had--including a vivid lucid dream I induced a few years prior that included the very same street, no less!--it was not only to-the-detail correct except for one feature (which I'll get to later), but my senses were EXTREMELY vivid and perfectly lifelike.  I can tell you some about what I was wearing...a black coat that I would always wear at that time of year on my walks (you know how sometimes in dreams you have incorrect clothing...which is why I take note of this).  I can also give you a fairly accurate weather report from the dream, too.  The temperature was somewhere around 60 F (give or take), with a gentle breeze blowing from the left of me, and the sky was perfectly cloudless.  Not only THAT, but the elevation and placement of the sun was actually correct for the time of year and latitude!  The sun was in a midday-to-early afternoon positioning for winter, and extremely bright.

I was standing to where I was looking across the street.  (Afterwards, I was able to go back and find the EXACT spot where I'd been standing; the dream environment was THAT realistic and detailed.)  The other side of the street overlooks the one I was on.  You look up a slight hill and there's a hedge row, beyond which there is a parking lot.  I was standing exactly across from a spot where there is a narrow break in the bushes (again, details...you wouldn't really take note of that break in the bushes unless you knew what you were looking for, and I'd never noticed it before!), that people sometimes cut through...a use that didn't occur to me until AFTER the dream!  There was only one difference between that dream and real life.  Normally, traffic on that road moves at about 35 MPH, and sometimes even stops for pedestrians not in a crosswalk.  In the dream, traffic was moving at highway speeds and very definitely was NOT going to stop.  I didn't even THINK of trying to get across the road...and in retrospect I have to think this impassable road was the barrier between life and death.

As I continued to hear this same music (to-the-note perfect, no alterations to it), I knew to look towards that spot where there was the break in the bushes, and that Samuel would be there.  Sure enough, he came running, cutting gracefully between the cars parked just beyond the hedgerow and slipping through the narrow opening between the bushes!  Only later did the significance of his ability to run sink in: he had had MS in life and had not run for years.  Samuel was grinning at me and waving like crazy.  He never spoke, but he made it very clear through a feeling in me that he saw me, that he was happy, and that he felt kindly towards me.  This last aspect was extremely important considering the guilt I'd had about my failure to speak up to him when I had the chance and tell him how well I thought of him.

I smiled and waved back at him, and I believe I called, "HI!!!" out loud.  I felt positively elated, and peaceful at the same time!  It was after I'd acknowledged Samuel's presence and experienced a bit of this feeling that I was released from the dream, fading slowly and gently back into consciousness...a full, waking consciousness, not the muddled state from before.  As soon as I was fully awake, I sat up and exclaimed, "Oh my God!!!"  The joy wasn't exactly like it was within the dream state, but I was very happy and I felt blessed that I'd been able to see Samuel and have that interchange between us.  Having had that other experience 6 years prior (which operated similarly, aside from the fact that in the previous case I'd been fully asleep and just became aware of myself in the dream with no prior thought), I knew immediately what had happened.  I was very surprised that it would happen twice to me, but there was only one pattern the experience fit!

Was this experience difficult to express in words?  Yes


The part I have a hard time expressing in words is the way in which Samuel communicated with me inside the dream state--he did not use speech to do it.

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 music that Samuel had been associated with, with extreme clarity...this is what I believe Samuel used to lead me from semi-consciousness into the dream state, his way of "calling" to me.  This sound was extremely vivid, at first like an extremely loud thought and then as I became situated in the dream environment, it became FULLY external (it had been bordering on that even in the semiconscious state).  The sound even had the proper "visual" component in my mind's eye that I get from being synesthetic...a level of detail I rarely EVER get to in a dream.

When I was IN the dream, Samuel communicated to me through a wordless feeling inside me, and I gathered from it first where I ought to look, and then that he saw me, was happy, and that he thought kindly of me.  He clearly wanted me to be content.

            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?  The music seemed much more external (see previous answer for more), but the wordless feeling he gave me seemed internal, and I simply understood what it meant.

            Is there any possibility what you heard was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience?           No, I was asleep, and there had been no external source to play that music.  That CD wasn't even in my Discman, so nobody could even set it off accidentally.

            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

He appeared as he had in a photo I'd seen of him that I believe was taken in 2002 or so.  He wore a black overcoat and bright blue scarf.  He was at a bit too much of a distance to see ALL the details of his outfit, but that scarf was certainly an attention-getter!  (Incidentally, that overcoat was appropriate for the weather, just as my own coat was.  I HAD seen pictures of him without a coat, but this just speaks to how lifelike the dream was.)

            How clearly did the deceased appear?            I saw him from a distance, of about 50-100 ft., but he appeared just as solid as that environment, which was "hyper-realistic", for lack of better words.

            How much of the deceased did you see?       I could see all of his front, although he was across the road and thus somewhat distant (50-100 ft. away?).

            Did the deceased appear or not appear to be the age at which they died?       Samuel appeared to a year or two younger than he had been when he died (he died in November of 2003, he looked as he had in early 2002 or so).

            How healthy did the deceased appear to be?            Samuel appeared extremely healthy...if not perhaps even more graceful than he'd ever been in life.  Having gone back in waking life to the exact spot where he cut between the cars and bushes, I think that if I myself had done it so fast, I would've ended up tripping on myself.  I certainly wouldn't ever try it myself, especially knowing that there is a hill right after you break through the bushes, and if I lost my footing, I could fall down into the road.  But Samuel had absolutely no problem with this and no fear of it.

Before Samuel died, he'd had MS for several years, and although he walked with a cane, he could no longer run.  To see him running made it very clear there was no MS.

            Is there any possibility what you saw was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience?           No, I was unconscious, and there had been nothing in my environment prior to my entering the dream state that could've triggered seeing him (i.e. that photograph was not in the room).

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

How long did the experience last?        Judging from how much of the music played (I went back to the CD to check this later), I'd say that within the dream environment, 2 minutes tops.

Was the beginning and end of the experience gradual or more sudden?         Both the beginning and the end were smooth and gradual.  The beginning transition from just hearing the sound, my vision blacking out, and the new environment taking shape around me was gentle, and didn't frighten me at all.  Just the same, the transition out of it was very gentle and I carried through a memory as vivid as any in waking.

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

Not only could I SEE him displaying his happiness (waving, smiling), but I could feel it within me, too.

Did the deceased give you information you did not previously know?  Only the sense that he was happy and thought kindly of me.  I'd passed up my chance in life to speak directly to him, so this was news to me.

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 think it was almost certainly real, especially given that the only other experience like this that I ever had was another contact through a dream.  I am just afraid to say 100% that it WAS real since I can't prove it beyond the shadow of a doubt.  Emotionally I feel it was real.  Rationally I can't admit it 100%, even though I'm almost sure.

            Was the experience dream like in any way?   Uncertain

It's hard to say since it WAS a dream, but it did NOT follow the normal way in which my dreams (even lucid ones) occur.  It was far, far too vivid, and I was much too alert.

Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience:           I started out curious, when I heard the music, and felt compelled to follow it, feeling great anticipation because I was pretty sure of what was about to happen.  When I SAW Samuel and connected with him, I felt intense joy and peacefulness, simultaneously.

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

Yes...I'd been in very severe grief for Samuel before that, and though I'd started after Christmas to do a bit better, I still didn't feel all the way myself again.  What this did mainly was help me to get over my inability to forgive myself for having failed to speak up to him when I'd had the chance.  It was very obvious Samuel had no grudge against me for it.  I still would do it differently if I could go back to those few days before he died--but I take a much more forward-looking view towards my mistake: i.e., how can I avoid repeating it, rather than focusing so much on the fact that I did make an irreversible mistake.  I also felt more peace about Samuel himself, and more faith in his continued existence.  I still have my bad moments if something brings the memories of his death back to me, but I definitely did (and am doing) much better after that contact than I was before.

What was the best and worst part of your experience?      The best part of the experience was making contact with Samuel and being comforted.

The worst part is the fact that I have no outside evidence of what happened.  Even with my strong suspicion about what it was--even with the past experience--it still bothers me that I can't prove beyond the shadow of a doubt what happened.

Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience?         Yes

            Describe:      This set off an investigation much deeper into the Christian faith (I'd already been Christian, but not particularly devout), to learn more about how it worked and to deepen my faith, and make contact with others.  I feel that I'm also making a greater effort to live better than I was before.

Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience?   Yes

I became much more interested in learning more about the Christian faith and connecting with other Christians.  I hadn't really felt much of a need to do that before, even though I was a believer.

Did the experience give you any spiritual understandings such as life, death, afterlife, God, etc.?            Yes

It's made me more certain in life after death...as well as a lesson about how I'd refused to forgive myself (It HAD to be me, since Samuel was clearly not imposing that guilt on me).

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?        Uncertain

I've made a sort of half-joking compact with another friend of mine online, after this experience...we were kind of playing around, but there was also an element of seriousness in there.  Samuel would have never known about this compact in life, and was not involved in it.  Nor did Samuel know the person I made the compact with.

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?            When I woke up, sheer amazement!  The experience just blew my mind.  I felt very blessed to have had it, and quite joyful.

Was the experience witnessed or experienced by others?           No

Did you have any sense of altered space or time?   Yes

I was very conscious of transitioning into and out of a dream.  I knew it was not normal reality.

Did you have a sense of knowing, special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose?    Yes

Knowing Samuel's contentment and kind will towards me felt very, very special indeed.  Knowing, too, that he forgave my failure to speak up also showed me that I needed to release myself from the guilt I'd been carrying around in me.

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?         Uncertain

I've had a high degree of intuition, but after this I had an incident where either I healed my wrist with my mind (I'd stressed it too much the day prior and it hurt very badly) or Samuel did it for me.  I'm not sure which it was...whether I used a mind's-eye image of Samuel to help myself do this, or if he was in fact there, but whatever it was, I'd never done THAT before.  I've previously meditated to temporarily stop pain, but this just flat-out took care of the problem for the rest of the day, and beyond.  I'd been in a meditative state when that happened, and in my mind's eye, I saw Samuel look at my hand and though he didn't speak, the caring look he had definitely said, "Let me see that."  In my mind (I didn't physically move for any of this), I offered my hand to him, and he took it in both hands.  I just let it stay there limply, between his hands, and in my actual hand (not the mind's eye meditation), I started to feel an INTENSE pins-and-needles sensation.  This surprised me and broke my concentration for a second, but I very quickly got it back.  The pins-and-needles feeling intensified again and then I felt extreme internal warmth radiating out from the area that had been hurting.  Once it subsided, and I was no longer meditating, I moved my wrist around in ways that would've badly hurt a few minutes before.  I could barely even tell anything had happened to it in the first place.

Like I said, I'm not sure whether Samuel was ever involved in this, or if I simply did it to myself--but whatever it was, I'd NEVER done anything like THAT before.

Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body?     Uncertain

I felt myself transition from lying in bed to standing on that street, but I'm not sure if it counts as "separation" from the body so much as a change in what I was perceiving outside of me.  I knew full well I was in a dream, but the environment I was in felt VERY real.

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

Did you see a light?           Uncertain

I don't know if this counts, but I saw the sun in the sky, in a position that was appropriate for that time of year and time of day.  I should mention here that it was EXTREMELY bright, and not only that--it was located directly over that break in  the bushes where Samuel cut through.  (This WAS a possible, normal location for the sun...not something that just happened for the sake of a dream.  I even took note of that later, after the dream.)

Did any part of your experience seem to occur in a place other than the location described above?            Yes, The music started while I was still aware of lying in bed.

Have you shared this experience with others?         Yes

Most of the people I've shared it with have been quite happy for me.  Some have been skeptical (usually agnostics or atheists), and one person even expressed concern it could somehow be a delusion of Satan.  (With an emotion that pure, I DON'T think so!!!)

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

I had one dreamed near-death in about March or April of this year (I don't know that anything ever actually happened to my body...maybe it did, but I can't prove it because I woke up physically OK) that gave me an extremely intense joy as light burned through the dreamed reality I'd been experiencing before that.  The dream had started out normally (not lucid, had "distortions"), but when I became aware that I was dying, the emotions were very, VERY intense.  That's the experience that replicated the intensity of the contacts I've had...and maybe even surpassed it.

Did you ever in your life have a near-death experience, out of body experience or other spiritual event?           Yes 

I had one dreamed near-death in about March or April of this year (I don't know that anything ever actually happened to my body...maybe it did, but I can't prove it because I woke up physically OK) that gave me an extremely intense joy as light burned through the dreamed reality I'd been experiencing before that.  The dream had started out normally (not lucid, had "distortions"), but when I became aware that I was dying, the emotions were very, VERY intense.  That's the experience that replicated the intensity of the contacts I've had...and maybe even surpassed it.

Waking up was very, very shocking and disorienting, because it happened right as I felt I was on the edge of something even more wonderful than what I already felt (the light had taken up my entire field of vision).  This has even further deepened my wish to understand matters of life and death better, and to understand my faith.  This experience--even though nothing likely happened to my body at all--has made a profound mark on me.

Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire.    You may want to either add another question or rephrase the question "Was it dreamlike" to ask something like, "How does this experience compare to your normal dreaming experience?"  I felt it very important to delineate between what is normal for me and what is not...that's the main way by which I've known something unusual happened.