When the service was over and my wife was coming back to the car she stopped about 30 yards away and I saw her talking with an older woman in our church. I saw them praying together but didn't think much of it at the time. We flew to Seattle and attended my Dad's funeral. When my girlfriend and other relatives had left I stayed with my Mom for an extra week to keep her company and help out with whatever details needed tidying up.
(It should be noted that at this point in my life I was a Christian with fairly standard conservative/evangelical Christian views and I had been nagged for years by concern over what would happen to my Dad when he died, - i.e. would he go to hell, because he was not a Christian. My understanding of things spiritual has evolved quite a bit since then and now it seems silly to have worried about that, but at the time it was a big concern).
Anyway, a few days after the funeral I was sleeping in the basement of the house where I grew up and I had a dream about my Dad. I say "dream", but it was more than a dream because it was infused with a feeling of "spiritual realness and meaning" if that makes any sense. In this dream I was in our house looking from the living room through the kitchen. A figure of light which I "knew" was my Dad was trying to make his way through the kitchen to where I was. He was making slow progress and I knew that he was going through some sort of tremendous struggle to get through. I wanted to help him but knew that I couldn't (wasn't allowed to?). I paced back and forth in the living room, anxiously, sometimes looking at him and other times not. It was very difficult for me to have to watch my Dad go through this struggle without being able to help him. Finally after much struggle he made it through the kitchen to where I was and he hugged me. Now he was like my flesh-and-blood Dad and in that hug he said, telepathically I think, "I love you". I could "feel" the love and I could also feel or sense that he was very tired from the struggle he had been through, - as if he had no energy left. It was sort of a emotional/spiritual tiredness. But I also "knew" that he was okay now and at peace and that I didn't have to worry about him. Then I woke up.
When I woke up I was a bit scared, because the experience had been so real. At that point, and ever since there has been no question in my mind that the experience was real, - in fact I regard that as the last time I saw my Dad.
I didn't tell anyone about this experience until a couple of weeks later at which point I told my girlfriend. She was even more blown away than I was, and here's why...remember at the beginning I mentioned how she had attended the funeral of her friend's Mom? She told me that after the service when she was walking back to my car that LM, the old woman from our church, had stopped her and learned that she was heading off to Seattle for my Dad's funeral. Well, LM barely knew me and certainly didn't know anything about my Dad but when she prayed she said that she knew that I was very concerned about whether my Dad was going to Heaven (there is no way she could have known this) and asked that God give me some sort of sign or message to let me know where my Dad was!
That's the jest of the experience, but I figure I'll add a bit of commentary here to put it in a broader perspective. Prior to that experience I had been a "Christian" (whatever that means) for 10 years or so, but had never really been able to buy into many of the standard fundamentalist Christian views and dogma, especially those regarding people going to hell. Looking back, that ADC was the catalyst that has led to an amazing transformation in my spiritual views. It awakened in me a passion for learning about God and spirituality and my place in the amazing dream of creation in which we find ourselves.
Since then I've become a much more spiritual person and I realize that what we call God, is not the God of any particular "religion" but rather the creative force in and behind everything, and that our physical existence here on this little planet is just one step in our spiritual journey back to that divine source from where we originated. I read, contemplate and meditate on a wide variety of ideas and subjects related to spirituality and the meaning behind our lives and I truly feel that I've been set free from the spiritual confines of organized religion, and that I've been gradually moved over the last 15 years to a higher level of spiritual understanding.
My ADC was the catalyst for that change because by setting up a conflict between my experience (Dad's okay, even though he wasn't a Christian) and fundamentalist doctrine it showed me that spiritual truths don't come from a book. I know now that each of us, as spiritual beings have direct access to them because as spiritual beings we are at a soul level, an integral part and inseparable from the ocean of consciousness that is God.
experience difficult to express in words?
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? Uncertain
Describe what you heard, how clearly you heard it and what was communicated: When my Dad hugged me, he said "I love you." - but it was more like a telepathic communication rather than an audible one.
Did you feel a touch or experience any physical contact from the deceased? Yes
He hugged me.
Was the touch familiar or unfamiliar? familiar.
Was anything communicated by the touch? That he was okay and that he loved me.
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
At first he looked like a human-type person, but made out of light. At the end, when he hugged me he had his regular flesh-and-blood appearance.
How clearly did the deceased appear? At first he was made of light (that I couldn't see through) and later he was 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? He appeared to be the age at which he died.
How healthy did the deceased appear to be? Health was not an issue. He was fine, although tired from the experience he had been though.
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? No
How long did the experience last? It seemed to last about a minute.
Was the beginning and end of the experience gradual or more sudden? It was in a dream, so the beginning was just like the beginning of a dream and the end was when I woke up.
Could you sense the emotions or mood of the deceased? Yes
When he was the being of light I knew that he was going through some sort of trial or judgment or purification and that he was having to struggle very hard. I wanted to help him, but knew that I could only wait. When he emerged from this struggle he was at peace, but tired (emotionally? Spiritually? Physically? Not sure) from what he had been through. But I knew that everything was going to be alright with him. When he hugged me and told me that he loved me it was very emotional for me.
Did the deceased give you information you did not previously know? He told me that he loved me. This information was kind of communicated telepathically rather than verbally. But the whole purpose of the ADC seemed to be to let me know that he was okay.
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: At the time I believed it was real simply because I experienced it and it "seemed" so real. Now I have a better understanding, from a metaphysical standpoint, of the physical and spiritual realities behind events that might be called "supernatural" - so it just seems clear to me that in order to facilitate a spiritual transformation in me my soul or higher self allowed me a brief glimpse into a higher dimension of our universe.
Was the experience dream like in any way? Yes
It occurred while sleeping, so it could be said that it was a dream. But knowing what I know now I tend to think that it was probably an out-of-body experience in which my spiritual self interacted with another spiritual being (my Dad).
Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience: I was very anxious and frustrated and then happy when my Dad hugged me.
Was there any emotional healing in any way following the experience? Yes
I knew that despite whatever Christian "doctrine" says, that my Dad was okay and that I didn't have to worry about him being in hell. It also freed me from having to worry about other people who aren't Christians going to hell.
What was the best and worst part of your experience? There was no bad part. And the best part is that it inspired me to seek answers, rather than accept ridiculous answers that don't fit.
Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes
Describe: I ponder spiritual things continually and am free from the worry, fear and guilt that "religion" (in an insidious and sometimes inadvertent way) seems to instill in us.
Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? Yes
As described in the description of the experience itself, this ADC seemed to release me from the confines of church doctrine and set me on a spiritual journey of sorts where I am continually exploring and evolving my understanding of the nature of my existence.
Did the experience give you any spiritual understandings such as life, death, afterlife, God, etc.? Yes
As explained in the body of the description, it set me to thinking about the nature of our existence and freed me to think outside the lines of official church doctrine. In that sense it seemed to be the jumping off point to a extended period of spiritual growth.
Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later? Yes
In a sense, the entire experience, was confirmed as an answer to an independent prayer from someone who could not have know without spiritual knowledge to pray what she did.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I was scared when I woke up, - a little freaked out because I knew right away that it hadn't been an ordinary dream. As I reviewed the experience I felt amazed, blessed and at peace.
Was the experience witnessed or experienced by others? No
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Uncertain
Although one could say that it took place "in the kitchen", that was no doubt just my perception adding meaning to some sort of spiritual signals that wouldn't have made sense to me otherwise. A message was being sent to me and to put it into a context in which I could understand it I (some part of me) created a dream-like construct.
Did you have a sense of knowing, special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Yes
That my Dad had endured some type of spiritual trial or judgment after death and that he was now okay.
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? Uncertain
At the time I didn't know anything about out-of-body experiences, but looking back I tend to think that this was an OBE, - although upon waking I did not remember leaving my body or observing it from outside as one typically does during an OBE.
see a light? Yes
During the first part of the experience my Dad's body was made of light.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes
I've discussed it in passing with a variety of people, but not in enough depth or duration to know whether it has changed them.
Have you shared this experience formally or informally with any other researcher or web site? Yes
I seem to remember that a few years ago I submitted an account of this experience to a web site, but I can't remember for sure whether I did or not, and I can't remember the web 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? Yes
In the last couple of years I've had several lucid dreams and several out-of-body experiences.
Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes
Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire. nope, - pretty thorough.