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?”

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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Bill Gets A Butterfly

 

The butterfly is the universal symbol of resurrection, or the transition to life after death.
The butterfly is the universal symbol of resurrection, or the transition to life after death.

Throughout all of these experiences of contact with my mother, my husband Bill kept asking the same question: Why doesn’t she send me a message?  Didn’t she like me?  He also felt angry because he wanted her to help him plan the landscaping for the yard, and instead she chose to cross over.  I’m sure she would’ve loved that if her health had stayed longer.  And I’m also sure she can still help him if he learns to open himself up to this kind of input, which is entirely possible for him as he already has very accurate intuitive hunches.  Around the time of the first anniversary of her death, Bill got what he asked for. He went outside one day and noticed a blue butterfly in front of him as he stood on the back sidewalk.  He thought this was kind of strange because we do not have any butterfly bushes planted yet and it is rare to see them in the yard.  The sight of the blue one freaked him out – he remembered my blue butterfly stories and how they were confirmed by Denise Lescano during my reading. The butterfly flew away towards the driveway.  My mother’s car – the car that she died in – was parked there as by this time my father had moved to an assisted living apartment near our home. He followed the butterfly around my mother’s car and it vanished by the passenger side door (the seat she was sitting in when she died).

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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Going Home

We were sitting in what appeared to be a church basement.  There was a stage with metal folding chairs setup.  It was sunny outside.  We were sitting on two adjacent chairs in the first row while my son Henry was playing on the floor nearby.  He appeared to be about three years old (in waking physical reality he is 12). We were talking about nothing in particular.  My attention was immediately drawn to what she was wearing.  At home she almost always wore a “house coat”.  This particular one she had for a number of years during my childhood and seeing her wearing it, I could remember it quite well.  A few days before this experience, I found some fabric from this house coat in one of the quit bags and although I recognized it, I wasn’t sure where from.  I thought maybe it was one of my old dresses.  But seeing her wearing this garment, the memory came back with utter clarity. Then I noticed her face, her skin, her hair – all of it is such perfect detail!  Far more detail than I could remember in waking reality.  It totally blew my mind.

So finally I said, “You know, I guess I just really don’t understand enough about how this whole being dead thing works.”
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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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Someone to Watch Over You

I began to realize, in the months that followed my father’s move from his home of over 50 years during the fall of 2009, that my mother was watching over him constantly.  It was pretty obvious that he could not remain in the house by himself.  They’d barely hung on last winter and there were two of them.  The house is far out in the country and tends to get a lot of snow, has a very long steep driveway, and requires a lot of maintenance.  Despite the fact that he’d never lived alone before our father was determined to get an apartment.  He was not going to a “home”!

He moved into an independent living apartment that he’d visited with my mother about a week before she died.  It was located in his boyhood town and was right up the hill from his major haunts: his doctor’s office, the Eat N Park, KFC, McDonald’s, and his favorite Rite Aid.  The fall was fairly painless.  He carried on life much as he always had.  He got up in the morning and went to either Eat N Park or McDonald’s for breakfast.  Then he’d watch TV in his recliner until lunch.  For lunch he would either eat in the dining room or if he didn’t like what they were serving, head out to KFC.  He run a few errands in the afternoon, then settle in for an evening of TV watching, a hot shower, and then bedtime.  He also had a lot of visitors during this period of calm adjustment.

The first thing I noticed was how he seemed to have this lucky star following him around.  The synchronicities just didn’t stop!  He often went out to the house (it had not been sold yet) to help clean up or mow the lawn.  My brother was very apprehensive about this – especially the mowing!  One day he loaded a bag of old magazines in the car to drop off in the recycling bin at the top of the road.  It was late summer and very hot out that day – around 90 degrees.  He got out of the car and heaved the load into the container.  When he went back to the car he discovered that the door had shut and locked, with the car running.  This is a pretty bad situation – he is alone, 87 years old, and is standing in an abandoned township maintenance garage parking lot in sunny 90 degree weather and locked out of his car with no cell phone.  But, one of the neighbors just happened to be driving by and noticed him there.  They picked him up and took him to their house to wait in the AC for the Triple A people to show up and let him back in his car.
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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?) Amazon.com: 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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She Leadeth Me Beside Sill Waters

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.
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