Ray D's ADC
This is my dream journal entry directly from the night of the event. Please note at the time, I just thought I had a really cool dream, though I knew there was more to it.
8/17/11, 3:15am (vivid dream #1)
So I had a dream tonight about Tristin, my first since her death. I woke up about 2:45am with heartburn due to a late dinner, probably eaten too fast, and I had to pee. So I went, and not believing I would fall back asleep (like I'm feeling as I'm typing this), I jumped back in bed anyway and apparently fell asleep almost immediately, hugging Tristin's pillow and brown shirt (neither of which really smell like her any longer).
I will recall my dream the best I can here, please forgive the details as I am trying to remember every bit about it, as I obviously do not wish to let it ever leave my memory, and I am not sure what details are important.
First, I had a dream I was with my Dad, and we were getting ready to move or split wood. I don't remember much about that, other than cleaning the basement. One of my friends' fathers, anyway, a tall man with a gray beard and mustache, and a kind smile, was also there, in the side yard by the bulkhead door, and he was already splitting wood, or perhaps “puttering”. I was wary of him, like I was being scrutinized as a teacher would evaluate a student.
Then, the dream switched and Erika (our 3 year old) and I were walking into some strange dinner party, just off the traffic circle (I think it was the same relative position as the Methodist church -where the funeral was-, but the building did not look the same, nor the neighborhood around it), where we didn't know anybody but yet were somehow invited and welcome, but were not seen as anyone special, like we weren't worth noticing. It was dark outside, like evening in late fall. The room was large and rectangular, and the door to the outside was at one corner. You might have needed to climb up to this room from street level along a narrow staircase. Anyway, we were the last to be there; everyone was already seated at these big long tables. It had the feel of a giant D&D session.
I remember trying to be a host (since I was being ignored anyway and feeling I needed to be somehow useful) and turned the lights on for everybody, in a smaller Victorian room beside the dining room, in case the guests wanted to use that room, too. I didn't try to talk to anybody but worked behind the scenes. I am not sure anyone noticed me.
For some reason, Erika and I left, wandered around the traffic circle, and then walked into a bookstore. The bookstore was next to the place where the party was. It was small and cramped, and I was completely at ease in it. It also was dark, with short aisles and ceiling-high bookshelves. Erika ran down between one set of shelves to the other end of the store (it was not far), turned the corner to the right, and I was fine with that - I did not call out after her or chase her or worry about her. She exited the dream there.
Then I saw a small table and I recall looking for books that Erika might like. I was rifling through a large disorganized stack of Dr. Seuss-like books and Berenstein Bears books, in a pile on and around a small table, and then everything changed - it was just me and my beautiful wife together.
What I remember most about seeing her was her smile - it was absolutely radiant, and so warm, grinning from ear to ear. If it was possible, her inner glow was magnified 100 times since I had last seen her, like every weight had been removed and she was the woman I met at college, like Tristin at her absolute most contented and happy, and joy. Her hair was normal Tristin hair, the way she liked it, with it just over her ears. She was wearing a white sweater or something like that. She was vivid and alive and the image still burns in my head. I was feeling the happiest I have ever been in my life.
We were talking about something... routine, I don't remember what, like it was a normal conversation. I'm pretty sure I was telling her how much I love her. Erika's new dollhouse was set between us on a desk; I looked through it and above it at her. It had a red roof, like Erika's Lincoln Log set. Tristin and I were sitting across from each other in a room that was like a classroom. The wall behind Tristin was full of windows that let in sunshine through a bright blue sky. It kind of had the feel of the St. Stan's classrooms in Adams (MA), but more sunlit and modern, but the same aroma (musty, old, fragrance).
Suddenly my brain allowed me control over the experience, and it occurred to me at once that she couldn't be there, with me, that she had died, and I became so scared, like being left behind, or out of the loop. I can still feel the adrenaline that began pumping at that moment. I recall being incredibly worried that if I said so, reality would kick in, and she would be gone again. I asked the question anyway: "But... you died, I am thrilled I can see you, but you are dead. How can I be with you?"
She said, "I know, but they've let me come back. I'm back! You see?" And she said it with such incomprehensible joy and excitement, with that impish, giddy, girlish look that I love so much; the face that screams "Come on, let's go!". I had this feeling that everything was as it should be, and I likewise was filled with her infectious excitement and something else, like hope, but more like absolute trust, or faith, in what she was saying. It had a timeless quality to it as well. But there was also the emotion on her face that time had passed; that she had had experiences someplace else and had only recently been “released”; like she was older, and more knowledgeable.
And then it ended quickly, probably because I was waking up due to my brain asserting control of the dream so I could ask my question. Tristin and I got up together; she walked with me through a door into another, darker room, mentioned something about getting some sort of SIM card update for her iPhone, and then I woke up crying, with "Please Don't Leave Me" by P!nk running through my head, but I think I had fallen asleep with that in my head anyway.
Was this experience
difficult to express in words?
some of the images I saw, and the emotional response I had to them, cannot be described by words, only by simile (mostly magnitude). Also, difficult to describe aura of environment w/o common frame of reference
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: brief conversation with deceased that "they let me come back". Also the song "Please Don't Leave Me" by P!ink had been "haunting" me coincidentally since her death, and this reappeared in my head post-experience.
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? voice came from deceased, most certainly.
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 voice the deceased used when she was alive (all of my vocal experiences since have had this in common)
Is there any possibility what you heard was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience? none
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
hand-hold while being led from one room to another
Was the touch familiar or unfamiliar? extremely familiar; like the dream had become reality
Was anything communicated by the touch? just love and positive energy
Is there any possibility what you felt was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience? no
Did you see the deceased? Yes
hair was exactly as in obituary and funeral photo; clothes were a brilliantly white sweater, which is unique to this experience
How clearly did the deceased appear? completely solid
How much of the deceased did you see? from the waist up
Did the deceased appear or not appear to be the age at which they died? appeared to be at same age as when they died
How healthy did the deceased appear to be? prior to death, deceased had almost constant migraines, and you could see the effect of these in her eyes. In the dream, this weight seemed completely shed, enough so that it made a mark on my memory of the experience.
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? Uncertain
What smell, scent, fragrance or odor did you smell? when I saw the deceased, we were both in a classroom that was similar to the Catholic school in which I had Sunday school (CCD). The most common thing was the aroma - musty, varnish, old
Was the smell, scent, fragrance or odor familiar? yes, the smell was nearly identical to the school in which I had Sunday school.
Was anything communicated by the smell? no, the smell just supported the environment in which I perceived myself
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
How long did the experience last? about 20 minutes, based on what I wrote in my journal. This would include time to fall asleep.
Was the beginning and end of the experience gradual or more sudden? Beginning was gradual; the part with the deceased came on suddenly but only after I had been dreaming about other things. End came very suddenly and woke me.
Could you sense the emotions or mood of the deceased? Yes
joy, happiness, radiance, energy, love, trust, faith
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: Since the experience described, I have had dozens of dreams of Tristin. In most of them, she is a bystander, or an unresponsive object, or acts in a way that confuses me. In what I consider to be my ADC experiences (categorized based on my dream journal), there is a "shock" that I am with her. There are facial ticks, expressions, vocal nuances; things about her aura that I had forgotten about; the way she presents herself. There is such a feeling of "real" that, while dreaming, I think I am awake. The clarity of these experiences are nothing like any other dreams I have ever had (I can recall about 7 ADC experiences in all, including the first, documented here). Also, the clarity of the memory of the dream, upon waking, is unique to this experience. Finally, the emotional "high" during the experience stays with me for several days.
Was the experience dream like in any way? Uncertain
beginning was dream-like, though I remember much more than I would for an ordinary dream. The "jump" to the ADC experience was very sudden, and less dream-like, except that the edges of my eyesight were "hazy". Also, once in the experience, I found I could assert control, and once I did that, I could feel it begin to slip away.
Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience: confusion, then sudden shock once the experience began. More confusion at wondering how I could see the deceased when she was dead, and confusion if I was in a dream or in reality. Upon asserting control of the dream, I felt fear that it would end if I tried to control too much. Then joy and hope and trust.
Was there any emotional healing in any way following the experience? Yes
just very happy to know my beloved is happy and is waiting (and apparently having fun).
What was the best and worst part of your experience? best was seeing my wife happy and shiny! Worst was waking up (of course!)
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 yes, fear of death is completely gone; this is only the beginning. Bring it on!
Did the experience give you any spiritual understandings such as life, death, afterlife, God, etc.? Yes in a way. I have some new ideas about what comes after life, based on my experience, but what was most important was the knowledge that my wife was happy and as perfect as ever. Ideas are that heaven is available, but a spirit/soul can remain in-between if one wishes; also I have the impression of our souls orbiting each other, tied together in some 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? 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? Woke up to an adrenaline rush (a "runner's high" - giddy - would be the best description) and a need to tell everyone and write down the experience immediately as best as I could remember it.
Was the experience witnessed or experienced by others? No
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? Yes
1. whenever I think of deceased, or hear a song she enjoyed, or just randomly, I now get "chills/shivers" that start with my spine, and radiate to my limbs. Feeling afterward is a rush of giddy energy.
2. I am now aware of a
"daydream" experience, which I can sometimes enter at will if I "look" for it.
It is sort of like dozing, but I am semi-conscious enough to wake or pull myself
out of it if I wanted to. I can also direct it to some extent, which I usually
use to "look" for my wife. It is mostly images, though in a recent example I
recall a verbal component as well. Definitely pre-REM; and I definitely never
could do this before.
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
3 other beings:
1. "authority figure" i did not know at the very beginning of the dream-phase
2. my father (not deceased), also at the very beginning of the dream-phase
3. my wife and my 3
year old daughter, who was with me throughout the dream-phase, but who left just
prior to the actual experience
Did you see a light? Yes
light radiated from deceased, or directly behind. Made eyesight hazy except when I was looking directly at deceased.
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 They thought it was cool, after I let them read the journal entry. Some have been dismayed they have not had similar experiences. Some might be "humoring" me.
I don't think I influenced anyone by telling them what happened, but I hope they gained something from my sharing.
I get the sense that
this is such a dramatic experience, no one else can understand it as well as
someone who actually had such an experience.
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 like having them; all are loving, wonderful experiences I believe I am sharing with my wife. In all of them, she is happy, though in a few I try vainly to keep in the moment but obviously cannot. Whether I fight or not seems to affect her as well, in addition to how I feel when I wake up following it.
One more thing - most
of my ADC's occur just prior to when I would be waking up - around 4:30 or 5am.
I have never had one prior to midnight (I go to bed usually around 10).
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? Uncertain
just more ADC experiences
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
I think this about covers it! It was fun recollecting from 9 months ago. Thanks!
Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire. I an no expert, but I think I had enough space to say everything I thought was worth saying.