How I Stopped Hating Christmas Revisited – Shitmas May Yet Come

This seems to be a very popular topic if blog statistics are to be believed – there are a lot of people out the googling “how to stop hating christmas”!  I have written about this subject before and it is an ongoing struggle for me.  It is a struggle for my brother and sister as well, and we sometimes jokingly refer to it as “Shitmas”.  Hence the title of this post (and some of the dream content).  I do not mean to offend anyone with this term – it has nothing to do with religion, only to do with the family and social expectations around this holiday in our culture, and the plain fact that if you live long enough, you will indeed experience Shitmas first hand.

I have also written about the belief – shared among several in my family – that my niece’s daughter is a reincarnation of my mother.  This story ties them both together rather nicely.

I had this dream in early October of 2012, almost exactly two years ago.  Both of my parents were on the other side by this time, and the whole business about my great niece being reincarnated from my mother had happened too.  In this dream I arrived at a house (that I did not recognize from waking life) all decorated for Christmas.  I go inside and help prepare the meal with several other people.  There is a radio on playing a story about a nun who insisted on feeding hungry children.  Every day the priest told her there was not enough, but still gave her one fish.  She managed to feed them indefinitely on that one fish per day (referencing the story of Loves and Fishes from the Bible).

When the meal is done we sit down around a table – something seems familiar about it, but I can’t place it.  I look at the food, the decorations, and realize how much fun we are having.  I am so thankful that this year, here we are, around the table having such a great time.  I notice a piece of paper with scribble on it – I decide to use this as a prop for a little speech of gratitude.  I will make a joke that these are my notes.

Then I notice I am sitting next to my mother.  Wham – now I am fully lucid!  Oh shit, this is a dream!  I remember that in WPR (waking physical reality) it isn’t even HALLOWEEN yet!  But I don’t want to ruin it or wake up so I keep my mouth shut about what I’ve just realized.  Getting back into the flow of the dream, I stand up to give my speech.  I explain how after my parents crossed over, Christmas sucked for us and so we started calling it Shitmas.  I tell them how I honestly though I would never enjoy another one again, but here I find myself with this fine group of people having such a wonderful time, and I am deeply grateful.  But – I turn to look at my mother – we are in a dream, and it isn’t even Halloween yet, so Shitmas might yet come!

Then I burst into tears.  My mother says something like “No don’t – it’s OK” and reaches over and puts her hand on my shoulder.  I cry for a few seconds and then wake up, having violated the lucid dreaming rule about not getting emotional.  But when I wake up I am not left with the feeling of grief, I am left with the feeling of gratitude from the dream.  I decide to write it down.  Before I can move, my orange cat reaches out from his sleeping spot on my pillow and puts his paw on my shoulder EXACTLY the same way my mother just did in the dream.

So is this “I can merge my energy with that of an animal and communicate with it“?

Meanwhile back in WPR, my brother and his wife had put a bid in on a house not far from us.  They closed on the house around the same time this dream happened.  I had not seen the house at any point during this process.  After the closing they let us know that my niece was coming up for Christmas that year and bringing her husband and daughter.  We could see them and the new house at the same time!

So now I am looking forward to this!  I wonder, what should I get her for Christmas?  Well, my mother always loved art, and my brother Bob felt that she had come back in this lifetime to pursue art.  So I bought her a toddler age appropriate art set.  Can’t go wrong with that, right?

The day dawns.  We drive the 1/2 mile or so to my bother’s new house.  The house has a large window in the living room facing the road, and as we pull in the driveway, my great niece is standing on the couch looking out this window, as if she was watching for us.  She made eye contact with me as the car pulled in the driveway.

Once in the house she opened her presents.  Most young children that age are afraid of people they don’t know – she had no fear of us whatsoever.  But it wasn’t until we sat down to Christmas dinner that is all snapped into place.  This was the house from the dream!  And here I am just like in the dream, only instead of being there with my mother, I am there with Elin.  Hummm ….

My husband Bill is usually the killjoy when it comes to the end of things.  He is the one who is aware that people want to clean up and go to bed, that we all have to get up the next day, and things like that.  I am having a great time so I am not thinking about any of that.  He keeps tapping me on the shoulder – we really should go.  Finally I realize he is right and give in.  But then, as we are standing there in our coats making our goodbyes, Elin latches onto Bill’s legs and won’t let go.  If anyone tried to pry her off, she started to cry.  Awkward!  Nobody is sure what to do or what’s going on.  Finally my niece pries her off and stands there holding her while she screams, apologizing.  And we leave.  Did Elin know that Bill was the one pushing for us to go home?  Did she not want it to end either?

The whole thing was enough to convince Bill.  It creeped him out, he said.  But not long after the spring thaw he asked, all chipper, “So, are they coming up and bringing your Mom for Easter?”

How to Time Travel: Going shopping in the 1940’s

Stone Henge Under A Full Moon
I’d never heard of stone henge when I dreamed of stone circles as a child – it was quite a shock to find out about it in National Geographic.

I was still a kid when I learned that for people on “the other side”, maintaining an awareness or connection to our reality (Waking Physical Reality, or WPR) is optional. I had some very profound dreams that took place in a cemetery where the tomb stones are arranged in concentric circles. I was in elementary school when these started and had never heard of Stonehenge or stone circles and their relationship to my Celtic ancestry – I was quite surprised to learn about this later on. Another odd quality these dream tomb stones possessed was that if you touched them, you would “know” all about the person connected with it. In one of the dreams I went exploring in the woods behind this cemetery and was quite surprised to find more tomb stones hidden in the underbrush. Those ones were cold – if I touched them I got nothing. In the dream I asked my great-grandmother, Susan Grant Black, about it. She was more or less the grand Poobah of this particular dreamscape. She told me that they “no longer had a connection to this world.” I took this to mean WPR.

I will distill a few decades of dreaming on this into a concise point: in order to manifest in WPR, a spirit (ghost) who is in the light needs two basic things: Intent and a Point of Reference. Continue reading

Mom ADC’s Begin to Settle Into A Pattern During Year Two

I read somewhere that the first year (approximately) after a person dies is spent getting accustomed to their new state of existence and learning to give up “habits” from Earth life, such as eating and sleeping.  I had the most frequent and dramatic contact with my mother during this first year.  After that, the contact slowed down but still occured regularly, about once every three or four months.  However I was still very much aware of  her presence, as her first job in the afterlife seemed to be watching out for my father (see Someone To Watch Over You).

By now Dad was living in an assisted living apartment near us.  He gave up driving due to his decline in health and the fact that he was now living where he was not familiar with the roads.  Once he moved into this environment with nurses to check on him 7 by 24, my mother’s presence seemed to drift a little farther away, as if she knew he had enough care and no longer needed her to watch him like a hawk.

About a year after Dad moved into his new place, I had the following dream.
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You Need To Heal Your Relationship With Death

The evening of May 22, 2011 found me lying lathargically in the bathtub, mind wandering, nothing thinking about much of anything.  This is a mental state not far from meditation.  Perhaps it allowed me to connect with my mother even though I was awake, because a thought entered my head out of nowhere and snapped me to full attention: How long ago was it, exactly, that John told you Sherise was pregnant?

My neice, Sherise, married a year or so before.  I knew they were anxious to start a family.  John told me she was expecting … I searched through my memory banks … sometime in the fall?  He was very hush hush about it.  Only a few weeks along, so nothing is certain yet.  I counted the months on my fingers.  Holy crap, she should be due any day now!  I should email John and find out when the baby is due, I thought.

My Great Neice ElinBut I never got the chance because the next morning an email was already there announcing the birth of my new great-neice, Elin.  Somehow I just knew my mother was involved.  I wasn’t the only one who came to that conclusion.  My sister-in-law posted the same thought on her Facebook page that morning.

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Elephant in the Room: Talking about the Suicide

One of the strange things I noticed, as time went on, was how my mother seemed to not like it when I talked about her being dead. And if I actually mentioned the suicide? Poof! Gone.

According to my dream log, I’d taken a Galantamine a few hours before I had this one. I’d been awake once already, talked to Bill about having breakfast, and then fallen back asleep. This lucid dream, if you want to get technical, began as a false awakening because I really thought I’d gotten up and went to my sewing room to sew.

My husband opened up the door and said “Your mother is here!” I thought, wait a minute! I’m still asleep!

I hurried over and looked out the door. There’s Mom, coming up the stairs with a bunch of stuff in a plastic Giant Eagle bag, just like she always did.

I gave her a hug. “Wow! I can’t believe you’re here! I am obviously still asleep. I hope it isn’t 9:00 yet. I was planning to get up at 9:00 and sew. I’m supposed to go downstairs and have breakfast. If I sleep in Bill will be pissed.” She laughed.
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A Bit About Reincarnation

I was asked about this recently so I decided to do a post about it. This was not a topic that resonated with me at first. It was frowned on in most church circles where I travelled in my younger days. However I had many family members who believed in it, one being my Tibetan Buddhist sister, who used to tease me about being buried twice in the same grave!

At this point I am back to believing in it again as it is the only explanation I’ve found for many of my own experiences and the experiences of many other people I’ve known. My mother believed that I was reincarnated from her sister, Emily, who died in 1938. This story came to me by way of my sister, who has it further documented in letters our mother sent to her in the 1970’s and 80’s.

Emily, was 12 years older than my mother. From what Mom told me she spent a lot of time with Emily while she was growing up. Emily got married in about 1937 and shortly thereafter became pregnant with her first child. Early on in the pregnancy she developed a complication called hyperemesis gravidarum. This condition is basically morning sickness on steroids – you are so sick you can’t eat anything for months on end. As this was 1938 there were not many options for treating this condition. The treatment now involves a lot of IV’s and drugs that can suppress the problem with varying degrees of efficiency and risk. But back then? They tried a lot of things but by the 7th month of the pregnancy Emily contracted pneumonia and died. There were ideas back then about a “good death”. When the doctors decided that Emily would most likely die they started bringing in this endless parade of family members and friends, including my mother who was eight years old at the time. Mom told me (while alive) that she was taken to visit Emily the night before she died. She said Emily was on a feeding tube and couldn’t talk, and looked absolutely terrified. When they took my mother away Emily looked at her a certain way, and this image of the last time she saw her sister stayed with her vividly for the rest of her life.

They buried Emily in the family plot. That is burial #1.
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Dream Cell Phone Contact

I have had many experiences where I communicate with my mother via cell phone in a dream.  I have posted one before, but many of these experiences are brief and I decided to post them together for this reason.

The first time I really talked to my mother following the immediate aftermath of her death it happened via mental telepathy.  This completely freaked me out as I had never experienced it before.  I have since read books about mediumship and learned that this is actually rather common.  I think that during these visits my subconscious mind conjures up the cell phone to pacify my conscious mind, which is usually in mix since I dream lucidly.  The first time this happened is in my post, The Dream Cell Phone – A First Method of Contact.

I also believe this happens more often than I remember when I wake up, unfortunately.  I will be experiencing a completely normal dream when my cell phone rings.  I answer it (in the dream) and it is my mother.  I recognize that this is something special and that I am dreaming.  I stop whatever I am doing, sit down, and talk to her just like I did when she was alive.
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Cousin Eugene Explains it All

This post goes hand in hand with my last post, How I Learned to Stop Hating Christmas. I had this dream a year or so before the one where I went back to 1976. I had it at the beginning of The Dreading Time – the couple of years between the decline of my parents’ health and my mother’s death.

I was really suffering over the dead family thing and really dreading losing my parents. I didn’t think there was any way I could face life in a post-parent world. I didn’t think there was anything in my future but becoming a Crazy Cat Lady.

I had a lucid dream where I found myself in a mansion. I’d been to this place before but not for many years. The rooms go on one after another in all directions to infinity. In each of the rooms there are people engaged in a different activity. I was wandering around in this place observing. If the inhabitants noticed me or realized that I was not dead like they were, they didn’t give any indication of it.

After wandering around for a while I found a room where they were playing cards. “Hot damn! The Aunts will be here!” I thought. The room was pretty crowded and I am elbowing my way around looking for my aunts. Then I saw a man sitting at a table like he was waiting for someone. Like maybe me? As soon as I made eye contact with him I knew he was a family member, even though I didn’t recognize him as anyone I knew. I went over and sat down across from him.
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How The Mind Works

My first Galantamine experience being pretty over the top, it wasn’t long before I tried it again.  It was during the huge snowstorm we had last winter.  I took the capsule at approximately 3:00AM as recommended.  I fell back asleep quickly, then “woke up” to see a large picture window on the wall across from my bed.  I could see daffodils, green grass, blue skies, bird singing – SPRING!  Realizing that we don’t have a picture window in our bedroom and that in reality we had three feet of snow at the time, I thought, Cool!  This must be my lucid dream.”  I got out of bed and hopped out the window.

So there I am, wondering around in this gorgeous nature scene.  I thought, this must be part of heaven.  And if I’m in heaven, God must be around here somewhere, right?  So there I am, I am wondering around looking for God and starting to feel kind of slighted because I couldn’t find him, when I encounter this cranky cleaning lady.

“You people!” she said.  “All you ever do is come here and make a mess!”

I wondered how anyone could be in such a place and still find a way to be a grouch.  “Have you seen God by any chance?” I asked.

“Try over there,” she said, pointing to a large building.
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The Lucid Dream Pill – Galantamine

As these experiences continued I started doing more research and reading, including the topic of lucid dreaming.  There has been so much research done since the last time I studied this subject, which was probably at least 25 years ago.

One of the subjects being researched right now is the lucid dreaming “pill”.  There is a substance found in daffodils and read spider lilies called galantamine that has been shown to increase the ability to lucid dream.  Apparently you have to be able to do it before you use the pill – just taking the pill itself is not enough.   The pill works by blocking the breakdown of neurotransmitters thought to be involved in dreaming and memory (this substance is also being tested in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease).  Here is an article with the details. I ordered a bottle from (what don’t they carry?) Galantamine (GalantaMind), 4 mg – 90 Capsules.

As directed I took the pill at 3:00AM – my husband Bill also woke up at the time and knew I was taking it.  This was to ensure that he didn’t wake me up in the morning!  Shortly after taking the pill, I woke up in my parents’ bed.  Since I know the room was completely dismantled at that point, I knew I was dreaming!  I got out of bed and wondered what to do next.  This was so exciting!  My first lucid dream pill dream!  A few seconds later my mother walks in.  Wow!  We opened up the closet in my old room and it was full of my old clothes.  I could hardly contain my enthusiasm. 

“In a million years, I never thought I would be standing in this room with you again!” I told her.
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