This next happening actually ties in with research sited in Hello From Heaven by Bill and Judy Guggenheim. Research has been done on the frequency and types of ADC experiences people have. A common theme is seeing your loved one on the other side of a body of water. I was very surprised when I read this. Mine has a little twist because being a longtime veteran of lucid dreaming; I decided to cross the water. I gather from “Hello From Heaven” that most people do not attempt this – they either “know” that they cannot cross it or are afraid to cross it.
At this point we’d been cleaning out my parents’ house for several months. It took forever and was extremely unpleasant. In addition to the usual who-gets-what conflicts there is the strain of finding some place to take all of the stuff. The primary source of misery for me was the early childhood memories getting stirred up. One trait we seem to pass down is the ability to remember things from early infancy. So here I am cleaning out drawers, and on the bottoms of the drawers are little foil stars that I stuck there when I was about 2 years old. And not only can I remember that I did this, I remember why and lots of other things that were going on at the time – this is TMI when you are trying to clean out a house and cope with a recent death. The only analogy I could come up with to describe what this was like is having to dig up your own corpse and decide which parts of it should be sent to the Goodwill.
I would be an understatement to say I learned A LOT in that first reading! It certainly validated that there was something to all of these experiences – the hair on the back of my husband’s neck stood up when he heard the part about the blue butterfly! He remembered how I came home from that trip gushing about the butterflies being a sign, and at the time thinking yeah right. He didn’t question my impressions nearly as often after that. Although he did when I decided we should spend a whopping amount of money to record a CD of Grandpa Anderson’s music. And I guess who wouldn’t think you were kind of nuts to spend a lot of money on something just because a dead guy encouraged you to do it?
As it turns out, he did more than encourage. I left the notebook by my bed one night and spent the entire night being coached on exactly how to sing “The Last Rose of Summer.” And then I woke up another morning with this name ringing in my ears: Chancery Olcott. So I google that and turns out, well, he composed several of the songs written in the notebook! The next night I find myself listening to Grandpa Anderson play, on his violin, an accompaniment to “The Last Rose of Summer” that really blew me my mind. So I woke up and put it into Sibelius (music notation software) right away. All of that time transcribing orchestra music paid off – I found I could write down what I heard in my dreams, as time progressed and I became more practiced at it – what I heard in my head.
Then I had a strange experience – I still don’t have a good explanation what this one is about. But I found myself standing in the dining room back at The Aunt Farm. And I knew I was dreaming because The Aunt Farm is long gone. Grandpa Anderson walks in to the room.
I have this silly little head game I play. If it ever comes up in conversation, I say that I never met my grandfather when he was alive. Most of the time this comment goes right over the head, but now and then someone gets my meaning and gives me either a strange or a knowing look. I will also clarify – this is not the musical grandfather – that was my mother’s father.
This happened in about 1996 so this is the first trip I’m posting in the Way Back Machine. But since Grandpa Mason was the second person to show up in my first reading, I am going to take a brief detour and post about my past history with him.
At the time this happened, my sister and I were getting back into the family genealogy project. Our family has been researching itself for at least four generations; Linda and I picked up where my mother left off. The odd thing is we weren’t even researching my dad’s side of the family when this happened.
My sister was living in California in those days. She was flying in that evening for a visit. I’d left work early so I could pick her up at the airport. It was about 3:00 in the afternoon and I had a half hour or so before I had to leave, so I decided to lie down and take a short nap with my dog. The dog we had at the time was Crystal – a nervous, yappy American Eskimo Dog.
I fell asleep, then opened my eyes and found myself lying on one of those sofas with the bumpy irregular upholstery that everybody seemed to have in the 1960’s and 70’s. I sat up and there – right in front of me – were my deceased grandparents. They were sitting in front of a window across the room from the sofa. Really bright white light was streaming in through the window behind them. Grandma was sitting in a chair and Grandpa was sitting on the ottoman that matched the chair, slightly in front of her. My mother was sitting in another chair off to the right (she was alive then, but was still in this dream for whatever reason). They (the grandparents) just radiated this intense feeling of warmth, love, peace, happiness …. Continue reading
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Due to the rather intense grieving I experienced I did not have any contact with my mother for most of the summer. From what I have read, strong emotions – negative ones in particular – block out this kind of contact. Besides being miserable I was also a major bitch. I exploded at the slightest frustration. I doubted all the decisions I’d made about my life, debated putting all of my musical instruments for sale on Ebay, and almost had a nervous breakdown when I had to throw away my dilapidated old stuffed Snoopy dog that I found decaying in my parents’ attic (more about him later). One of my mother’s roles in my life was to talk me through the various ups and downs of life. When I got myself (figuratively) out on The Ledge she would talk me down. Without her around to do that The Ledge had become more or less my permanent domicile.
I took at trip to North Carolina to visit Lisa – a childhood friend with whom I was reconnected at my mother’s funeral. Being a young widow (since remarried) she is kind of an expert on grief. We sat up late many evenings talking about all kinds of things. She reminded me of how I used to play piano when we were kids. I was never really taught to do this. The church had an old piano they needed to get rid of and I was kind of in the market for one at the time. I really wanted a harp but my parents had no idea how to pull that off so they offered me this piano (don’t feel bad for me – I now own seven harps) . Three months later I was playing Beethoven piano sonatas. I had an uncle who told my parents to send me to Julliard. The politely told him to MYOB – music majors end up working in McDonald’s. Didn’t he know that? They continued to insist upon this “fact” until I met my current husband who makes a very good living teaching music, thank you very much.