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Sarah S's ADC

Experience description:  

My son, Jacob, and I had always been close - I knew when he had been given detention at school with no notification from the school, just looking at his eyes when he came home.  He was my first born.  My son joined the Army and was sent to Iraq in October of 2003. Jacob knew that it was important to me to have contact with him so he emailed me every chance he could get. As long as it was one word I was happy with that. I used to envision him wrapped in a cocoon or wrap of 'protection' and would pray and cover him with this protection. It was my attempt to keep him safe as best I could.  It was about 2 weeks after Easter of 2004 when I was awakened by pressure on the end of my bed. I was on my left side and when I opened my eyes I saw my son, sitting on the end of the bed, dressed in his fatigues. He said very clearly, "It's okay mom, it's okay". I said his name and he disappeared. I immediately jumped up and ran to the computer and looked to see if he had e-mailed me; I thought at first he said I'm okay mom.  There had been an e-mail earlier and I didn't know what to think. I tried to envision him again wrapped in my prayer of protection and this time, instead of seeing him looking at me, his eyes were closed and he appeared to be sleeping.  I couldn't shake that vision out of my mind.  The next morning I received a thought that my son needed to be careful and 'watch his back'.  I e-mailed him this message - to watch his back. I told him how proud of him I was. There had been a problem in receiving the e-mail - to this day I don't know if he ever received it. He asked me to resend it which I did. I had the terrible feeling that I couldn't protect him any more and felt helpless but that something was going to happen.

On the night of 04-27-04, our area had lost power due to a storm. My youngest son and I kept saying to each other that something was 'wrong' but we didn't know what.  It was an odd feeling that we couldn't shake.  I had a moment where the thought that our lives were going to change drastically came to me and I voiced this to my son.  I told him we weren't going to be here in the apartment and our whole lives were about to change.  Having lost power the phone wasn't working but around midnight I started to cry and didn't know why. I was despondent and sad and couldn't figure out why.  The next morning I dreaded getting up - as did my youngest son. There was a knocking at the door and the sun was shining so brightly I couldn't see who was there but heard voices. I couldn't open the door because I didn't want to know who was there.  Shortly my middle son drove up to the house and there were tears in his eyes - two men from the military had arrived at his father's house to tell him that our oldest son, Jacob, was killed when someone threw an anti-armor grenade into the Stryker vehicle he was sitting in. He later died after several hours of surgery. The night before when I had felt sad and was crying, my son had been dying - there is 11 hours difference in time from here to Iraq.

The next couple of days were a blur - like a terrible horror movie that wouldn't end but about the third day, I was sitting in bed with the lights off. The blinds were shut. I was thinking about my son and how much I missed him. I saw a light on the blinds and looked up thinking a car had driven by.  I couldn't hear any car sounds and the light traveled to the pillow on the bed next to me.  I was wide awake and looking at this round ball of what looked like it was pulsating. It had electricity or sparks emanating from it like sparklers.  I reached my hand up close to it and I wasn't afraid of it and the closer my hand got, the more this feeling of calm, peace became stronger and stronger. It is a sense of peace I have never felt in my life. I can't even begin to describe the feeling - it was as if I had no cares in the world and life was filled with hope and goodness.  The ball of light continued to emit sparks and as I moved my hand up closer and called my son's name, it disappeared.  When my son's unit returned to the states, several of his platoon members visited me.  They wanted closure as much as I did and they wanted me to know how devastated they were. One young man who was the platoon leader had been injured and sent to Germany to recover.

I told them about feeling like I couldn't protect my son and how I hoped he got my e-mail about watching his back. They informed me that actually, my son was facing the back of the vehicle - that was his position - wearing the radio receiver to have contact with the front of the vehicle. The soldier at the other end of the vehicle next to him suffered burns.  His platoon leader had been hit with shrapnel in the neck and had spent a couple of months in Germany recovering then home to be with his family. He told me of a 'dream' or vision he had had in the hospital while recovering. He said he had been walking down a corridor with my son in front of him and he couldn't catch up with my son. He kept trying to run after him but never could reach my son.  Then, my son opened a door at the end of the 'tunnel' and turned back to his platoon leader and said, "It's okay Sergeant P, it's okay".  I think it is odd that both of us had an experience that my son was telling us it was okay. I believe he was at peace with the fact that his life could end and he had accepted that. I believe the ball of light was my son's spirit - I believe he knew how important it was to me to know he was all right. There have been times since then when I have felt him near me; smelled his cologne or heard him speak.

He wanted me to have a home and I found 10 beautiful acres on an island and there are times when I feel so close to him here. I believe I was directed here and knew before I ever saw the land that this was where I should be. In looking for the property, the nearest cross street is Ashley's Way - and that is the name of the girl he loved. I knew this was where Jake wanted me to be.

Was this experience difficult to express in words?            Yes

It is hard to describe the degree of 'peacefulness' after witnessing the light. Words aren't enough to describe it.

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:    During the incident above, I clearly heard my son say, It's okay mom, it's okay.

            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?  It was as if he was in the room speaking to me.

            If you heard a voice or sound, was it similar or dissimilar from the voice or sound the deceased made when they were alive?           It was his voice, exactly as he sounded when alive.

            Is there any possibility what you heard was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience?           No, there was no one else in the room. It was at night and it was quiet.

            Was there any possible impairment to your hearing at the time of the experience?   None - and I was wide awake.

Did you feel a touch or experience any physical contact from the deceased?            Yes

I felt the pressure on the bed as if he sat down on it - that is what woke me up.

            Was the touch familiar or unfamiliar?   Well, he hadn't sat on my bed since he was young but he had at times sat on my bed and talked with me.

            Was anything communicated by the touch?  None.

            Is there any possibility what you felt was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience?  No, there was no one else in the room.

Did you see the deceased?         Yes

I had never actually seen my son in his desert fatigues - so it was a surprise to me to see him there in his fatigues.

            How clearly did the deceased appear?            He was clear as if he was really there in the room. He was not transparent but solid as if he was really there.

            How much of the deceased did you see?       I saw all of him that could be seen from lying on my side - head head, face, shoulders, legs.

            Did the deceased appear or not appear to be the age at which they died?       He looked just as he did when he left a few months earlier.

            How healthy did the deceased appear to be?            He looked healthy. He had no infirmities before he died.

            Is there any possibility what you saw was from any other source present in the surroundings at the time of your experience?           No, again the I was the only one in the room and the room was darkened and quiet.

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

How long did the experience last?        The vision of him on my bed lasted seconds.  The orb or ball of light on the pillow next to me lasted seconds also.

Was the beginning and end of the experience gradual or more sudden?         It was all sudden - his appearance on the bed, his disappearance when I said his name. The appearance of the ball of light on the blinds then the pillow and disappearing when I said my son's name.

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

Only that he was okay with what he was communicating to me - as if he was okay with it and I should be too.

Did the deceased give you information you did not previously know?  No I can't think of any.

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:           I was wide awake when I saw the light and was awakened when I saw my son sitting on the bed.

            Was the experience dream like in any way?   No

No, it wasn't hazy or what I would interpret as a dream. I didn't 'wake up' and remember it. It was happening to me while I was awake.

Describe in detail your feelings/emotions during the experience:           When I saw my son on the edge of the bed I was relaxed and was happy to see him. When I had the vision of the ball of light I had been feeling sad and grieving about his loss.

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

After I saw the light I felt that he was fine and could stop wondering if he was okay and if he was 'safe' or comfortable.

What was the best and worst part of your experience?      Knowing something was going to happen to my son and not knowing how to stop it or warn him.  The best part was knowing my son was okay.

Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience?         Uncertain                  Describe:            I feel I am more spiritual and want to read and discover as much as I can about the paranormal, life after death, etc.          

Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience?
   Yes     Just that I don't fear death and what lies ahead for me. My son is in a better place than I am and I know that that is what I will find.

Did the experience give you any spiritual understandings such as life, death, afterlife, God, etc.?            Yes     I have no fear about dying now - here on earth is not the end of the journey but merely a stepping stone to what lies ahead. I feel that we need to do the best we can while we are here but that there is a better place ahead of us.

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?            After seeing him on the end of the bed, I was scared and felt I couldn't protect him any more. After seeing the light, I felt at peace and calm.

Was the experience witnessed or experienced by others?           No

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

Only when seeing the light - it was as if time stood still, and I wasn't in my room seeing a light I was surrounded by peace and calm. Not like I had left but like suspended in time.

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

I don't feel as if I had been 'enlightened' to any special wisdom but do feel that I was supposed to experience what did, that my son was only to be here for a short time and that I had nothing to fear in my own death and that each day is a blessing and that when I get up in the morning, it is because my 'job' here on earth isn't finished. When I have accomplished what I am supposed to accomplish or achieve, then it will be my time.

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 have always had the ability to know things not only about my children but about other people. I have kept a journal of visions or knowledge that I have known that have come true. I have 'found' victims of crimes and known their locations and even saved a physician friend who was in a third world country and his staff from being hurt. My mother had this ability and I believe it is passed down in families.

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?           Yes

As above, it was a ball of light, pulsating like it was teaming with life with sparks like sparklers emanating from it. It hovered over the pillow next to me.

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     Some felt it was just something I 'experienced' because I needed comfort. Some were amazed and some were in awe. It gave others comfort who have lost loved ones.

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?         No 

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

I had an out of body experience while at the dentists office (of all places). It was quite a painful long procedure and I was very upset. I closed my eyes and 'pictured' my self above looking down at the 'person' who was in the chair. I felt that way, it wasn't as if it was happening to me because I was viewing it objectively.  I know that I looked down at 'me' for a long time and even heard the doctor calling my name and I didn't really want to leave my place but I knew I had to and looked at him. He seemed upset that I hadn't responded. I had been given nitrous oxide but they had switched it off and oxygen was on during the last few minutes. Maybe it was a manifestation of the gas - I had never had that before - but I definitely felt as if I was watching myself from above.

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.    None.