I love talking about death, me. Strange considering I have health anxiety, but it’s not death itself that gets me hyperventilating – it’s the dying bit.
What interests me is what happens to us after we die.
I believe that consciousness survives death because I’ve experienced paranormal phenomena – my earliest recollection being when I was 9 years old when on two separate occasions I saw a child in my house who didn’t belong there. In other words, I saw a ghost.
However, the experience that turned me into a ‘bleever’ happened early one December morning..
Something woke me up around 3am. It was a familiar sound but it took a few seconds to comprehend what it was because – you know – brain fog? Once my brain engaged, I realised it was my Bontempi organ..
The organ was operated by batteries and made a whirring sound when you switched it on. Somehow, it had switched itself on despite being visibly off. I wasn’t scared but I was awake. The only way to shut the damn thing up was to take the batteries out. So I did. I also made a mental note to get my dad to look it the next day. Problemo sorted, I got back into bed.
That’s when I saw my rocking chair moving gently back and forth.
I assumed it was movement generated from me walking about. Logical, right? Only the bugger kept on rocking long after I’d stopped moving. It was as if somebody was sitting on it? Except that NOBODY WAS THERE. There were no open windows, no drafts, no heating and NO LOGICAL REASON FOR THIS TO BE HAPPENING! By now you’d imagine that a young girl would be crapping her pajamas? On the contrary, I was exceptionally calm.
At this point that I became aware of a smell of perfume. I knew the smell, but from where?
What happened next is why I believe so strongly that our consciousnesses never die..
Brace yourself, folks, cos it’s about to get wanky..
I was filled with THE MOST INTENSE feeling of love.
Think of how it felt to hold your babies for the first time and then multiply it by about a GAZILLION.
Then I remembered who’s perfume it was..
It was my grandmother’s.
The same grandmother who’d once owned the chair that was rocking by itself. The perfume was hers. I don’t remember it on her, as I was only 6 when she died, but I was given her jewellery which was infused with her perfume – the same perfume that was filling my room.
It was unmistakable.
My Bontempi returned to perfect working order. Dad could find no logical reason for it’s ‘malfunction’. My theory? Grandma had to wake me up somehow, right? Just enough noise to wake me but not enough to scare the shit out of me.
What I experienced was an ADC (after-death communication)
What the actual chuff is an ADC?
Bill and Judy Guggenheim defined the ADC as a “spiritual experience that occurs when someone is contacted directly and spontaneously by a family member or friend who has died.”
There are twelve major forms of after-death communication.
Sentient ADC – Where you sense the presence of the deceased.
Auditory ADC – Where you can hear the voice of the deceased.
Tactile ADC – Where you feel the physical touch of the deceased.
Olfactory ADC – Where you smell a fragrance associated with the deceased.
Partial Appearance ACD – When you see parts of the deceased but they don’t appear to be ‘solid’.
Visual ADC – A full appearance from the deceased where they look ‘solid’ and ‘real’.
Twilight ACD – These occur as you fall asleep or wake up.
Sleep State ACD – When a dream is more than a dream.
Out of Body ACD – Contact with the deceased during an OBE.
Telephone ACD – Phone-calls from heaven – literally.
ACDs of Physical Phenomena – Flickering lights ‘n’ shizz.
Symbolic ACDs – Butterflies, rainbows, robins or inanimate objects as a sign from the deceased.
My experience was sentient, olfactory and physical. To be honest, I’m glad Grandma didn’t choose to ‘appear’ in part OR full because I’m fairly confident I would have shit the bed.
My ADC happened in the early hours, as many do, simply because it’s when we are most relaxed and there are fewer distractions. They also happen during stressful times in our lives or around special days, like birthdays or anniversaries. My ADC happened on December the 18th 1981. My Grandma died on December the 18th 1976. Coincidence?
The experience is very special to me. The reason I don’t fear death is because five years after she died, my grandmother was still around. I couldn’t see her but I was aware of her.
Sceptics have belittled my experience as a ‘dream’ or ‘psychotic episode’. Thing is, you don’t remember dreams decades later and I find the ‘psychotic episode’ theory to be insulting – not to mention lazy.
Psychosis is an abnormal condition of the mind that involves a loss of contact with reality.
I might be a fully-fledged psycho now but I wasn’t then. I was 11 years old. My head was full of Duran Duran and Smash Hits. If I was going to have a hallucination – it would have been Nick Rhodes, mate, not the grandmother who I could barely remember.
Believing in the afterlife doesn’t make people stupid or gullible. Some hard-line sceptics openly ridicule people’s experiences and ignore the fact that many believers are credible people. Scientific people with letters after their names and shit.
In a review of research on ADCs, Streit-Horn (2011) found that they occur with people of all nationalities, intelligence levels, religions, ethnicity etc. People who report these experiences are typically NOT mentally ill.
None of this matters to the closed-minds of the sceptics, mostly because they have reputations to live up to. They demand scientific proof, or it didn’t happen.
I can’t prove any of what happened to me and those who could verify certain things are no longer here. Does this mean it didn’t happen?
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” Albus Dumbledore
A big thank you to Lori from Days Gone By Etsy shop who kindly allowed me to use and adapt her Bontempi photograph.