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Sarah O's ADC

Experience description:  

I was extremely distraught following the unanticipated death of my mother. She needed a valve replacement and scheduled it in Oct 2009 to get it "out of the way." Complication led to complication, and she ultimately died one week after her surgery from a massive stroke. Not a day typically went by without speaking to her, and I beside myself with grief.

My 2-year old daughter has always been a bad sleeper, and she woke us up at least once a night, every  night. A few nights after my mother's funeral, our daughter slept through the night for the first time in months. Just before daybreak, very early in the morning, I had a dream in which my mother visited with me, a dream I would not have had if my daughter held to her nightly regimen of crawling into our bed around 4 a.m.

In the dream, I was in my parents' kitchen, a regular hang-out while Mom was still alive. Suddenly, I realized my mom was standing near the counter. When she turned around to face me, she did not look at all like I remembered her in the last years of her life. She was at least 20 years younger, thinner, and just youthful. Yet I recognized her without hesitation. I was shocked. In my dream, I kept saying, "This is not possible. You're dead. You can't be here." She never spoke, yet I knew what she was "saying." Her response was that I should calm down, that everything was OK. I called my father and sister into the kitchen, saying, "Look!" They couldn't see Mom, and left the room.

Mom walked over to me; I was now crying, feeling totally confused how she could be here with me even though she was dead. She pulled me close to her to give me a hug, and I closed my eyes to just feel her instead of worrying about the logic of things. As soon as I closed my eyes, I felt so incredibly safe, warm, and overwhelmed with love as we hugged. Again, she did not speak, yet I knew what she was communicating. She was telling me that everything would be OK. She rubbed the back of my head and hair the way a mother does, and just kept telling me that she was fine now and she loves me.

I then woke up. It didn't feel like a normal dream in any sense. There was no randomness as if common in a dream, and no "storyline." It was just her coming to give me a hug and comfort me. I felt immediately aware and alert upon waking, and was in fact shocked at the time (just before sunrise) since I never get to sleep through the night with my daughter's sleeplessness. I felt so lucky and blessed, and just knew she had visited me. I was also sad, though, because I wanted to say in that dream forever. I wanted her to be there with me, not on the "other" side.

Was this experience difficult to express in words?  Yes

I had a hard time expressing the communication I had with my mother, because it did not involve talking. It wasn't until reading books about NDEs and ADCs that the telepathic communication made perfect sense to me.

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 never actually heard my mother speak, and her mother never opened, yet I clearly knew, in my mind, what she was communicating.

            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?  No voice or sound, but I knew what was being communicated. I had a very hard time describing this aspect of the "dream" until reading other people's accounts in books in which they described telepathic communication. That made perfect sense to me and perfectly describes the form of communication my mother and I used in the dream.

            Is there any possibility what you heard was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience?           No

            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

My mother pulled me into an embrace and stroked the back of my head gently.

            Was the touch familiar or unfamiliar?   At first it was unfamiliar, because I knew my mother was dead and this could not be happening. Plus, she looked so much younger and more youthful than I most clearly recall her. She was closer to my own current age than the age at her death. I was just plain confused and apprehensive how this could be happening. Yet when I closed my eyes while hugging her and just put my trust in the situation and let my guard down, the familiarity was overwhelming and extremely emotional. It was Mommy.

            Was anything communicated by the touch?  An overwhelming sense of love, and the knowledge that everything was and would be OK.

            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 59-years old, my mother certainly wasn't an "old lady" at the time of her death, but she was not young either. She had blond-dyed short hair, was a "soft" thin, and wore glasses regularly. In my dream, she looked about twenty years younger, very thin - almost athletic - with no glasses and darker, albeit still short hair. She looked nothing like my conscious memory can recall, yet she was immediately recognizable.

            How clearly did the deceased appear?            Perfectly clear and 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?       Definitely not the age at which she died. Much younger, perhaps closer to my own current age.

            How healthy did the deceased appear to be?            My mom as I remember her was very different from my mom during her last week of life. She worked a full shift as an RN on a Weds, full of life, and on Thurs, she had open heart surgery which resulted in extreme swelling, the inability to close her chest, the use of numerous heart-assistance machines, and a constant ventilator. In my dream, she was both free of all the medical "stuff" to which she was attached in the week leading up to her death, but she was also free of age. She was as healthy as one can be, and looked full of life.

            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?           Hugging her, I don't distinctly recall a smell or scent, but it was extremely familiar and comforting, so it's possible her scent led to that familiarity.

How long did the experience last?        No more than 5 minutes.

Was the beginning and end of the experience gradual or more sudden?         The beginning was gradual. I realized the setting I was in, I slowly realized this was my mother standing before me (slowly as in I couldn't believe this was really happening). The end of the dream was more sudden. I awoke from the hug very quickly, so much so that the feelings from the dream were very much still present upon awakening.

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

At peace, full of life and love, concerned and wanting to comfort, yet happy.

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:           The dream was nothing like a dream. It did not have that surreal feel to it. There was no "dream" storyline. It just did not feel like a dream. I've never had telepathic communication in a dream, I don't typically dream of people looking nothing like how I remember them, and they rarely have such an overwhelming emotional reaction. I awoke just knowing I had a genuine visit from her.

            Was the experience dream like in any way?   Uncertain

It was definitely a "dream" since I was asleep, but it was not dream-like. This is where I have a hard time describing my experience. It was just different than a typical dream.

Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience:           Overwhelmed, confused, happy, lucky, sad.

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

Yes, but it was temporary. I felt a lot of peace afterwards, knowing she was still with us and capable of visiting. But as time went on, I slipped into a deeper depression, wanting to see her again. I missed/miss her terribly, and I find it frustrating that I can't "dream" of her or see her when I feel I need it most.

What was the best and worst part of your experience?      The best was feeling her love again and knowing I can still interact with her. It dulls the extreme and overwhelming pain I feel. The worst is that I can't summon it whenever I want, and I know how rare and special it was. I want to dream of her and spend time with her every single night. I find it distressing that I can't.

Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience?         Yes                 Describe:      I went from not practicing my religion at all to practicing it regularly. I had not gone because I had "issues" with certain teachings. I still have those issues, but now I realize that just the act of going to church gives me an opportunity to meditate and reconnect my soul to my spiritual side. I'm not as hard-headed about debating opinions and beliefs. To each their own. If I disagree with certain teachings, it does not matter.

What other attitudes and beliefs about your experience do you currently have?                 
Other belief   
I've gone back and forth questioning if it was just an experience my mind created as a way of dealing with grief, but certain aspects of it keep me coming back to the genuineness of it.             

Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience?
   Yes     I became much more careful to be a good person, to do as God would want me to do, and treat others with respect. I felt it is an important thing I must do in order to get to where my mom is when my time comes.

Did the experience give you any spiritual understandings such as life, death, afterlife, God, etc.?            Yes     Gave me a sense of what the "real" afterlife is like as opposed to the one I was raised to believe in.

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?            Sad that the experience was over, lucky to have had it, depressed - wanting to go back and be with her again. Happy and relieved that she was OK and somewhere young and healthy again. Peace that I will see her again.

Was the experience witnessed or experienced by others?           No

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

I didn't really have a sense of space or time at all, so I guess in that sense it was altered from "reality."

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?         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?            No

Did you see a light?           No

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

As my mother got closer to me to hug me, and then ultimately pulled me into a hug during which I closed my eyes, it seemed like we were nowhere. I mean, when you close your eyes sitting in your living room, you don't see your living room, but you still know and feel where you are. It feels different than if you were in the middle of a forest or in a shopping mall. When I closed my eyes while hugging my mom, it felt like we were nowhere and everywhere. We weren't in a "place," we were just our souls.

Have you shared this experience with others?        

Yes     My father seemed to not really believe it, and my sister seemed happy that one of us heard from Mom, yet also jealous that she did not have such an experience. Some of Mom's co-workers (also nurses) came out and asked us if she's visited us at all, so I shared my dream, and they liked the story and seemed happy to hear she has contacted us. My husband has been very supportive.

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?       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?           No 

Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?               Yes

It helped me pull together what was a difficult experience to describe. It's one of those things that fits together perfectly and makes perfect sense in my mind, yet I have a hard time translating into words to accurately express the intensity of the experience. I think the questionnaire helps capture that. 

Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire.    I think you should allow people to add additional experiences right to this form so one does not have to go through and repeat information to submit follow-up experiences. I would not mind sharing more, but I'm hesitant to because of the time involved in starting over from the beginning.