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Some words from Phyllis

    Dreams seem to be the best way for me to receive a "visit" from my deceased loved ones. There are dreams, and then, there are "dreams", as we all know.  There is the kind of dream that is the result of indigestion or too much television before bedtime.  There is the dream that is the expression of the turmoil within....or sometimes the yearning, wishful thinking from my   heart.
    But then there is The Dream.  Ah!. This is the one that is so different, that I know it comes from outside myself and nothing anyone can say will ever make me doubt the source. Its memory inscribes itself into my soul forever.
    Looking back over the years, I remember one such dream/visit 6 months after the death of my maternal grandmother in which I saw her dancing happily and gracefully, looking at me as if to say, "Don't worry. See how wonderful my life is here on this side?"  She looked like a very young woman and her hair was long and dark. I had seen pictures of her at that age and had no trouble recognizing her. The dress, however, was not familiar, but I continued to remember it well afterward, as I did the entire dream..  It was years later when my mother  found some old pictures that she herself had forgotten about, and which I had never seen. There was one photo of my grandmother wearing the very dress she had worn in my dream.  It was like having a   second message of love from my grandmother to me, I believe.
    Then some months after my own mother died in 1983, I had a dream/visitation in which she came into a room, and we sat down opposite one another. We   had a most delightful conversation.  It was so real, more real than my waking life, that I suddenly exclaimed, "Why mother! You are not dead after all. This   is so wonderful."  With that she stood up abruptly, saying, "Oh, Oh, I think I'd better go now." With that, she left the room and I awakened.
    It made me wonder if I had been so close to that "other side" that she knew I was in danger of stepping over some forbidden line. Had she recognized this and cut it short?  After all, many people believe that it is just another dimension that we enter when we die.    Years later, when cancer brought about the death of  my adult son, I experienced my most challenging loss, for me, at least. After three months, the ache in my heart was so tight, I could scarcely breathe. I could not even cry.  One night, I dreamed that I entered a lovely, huge mansion with many rooms where people were visiting amicably.  As I moved through the different rooms, I opened a door and was startled to see my son standing
facing me, as if waiting for me. He smiled a gorgeous smile. He looked so healthy, radiant with a kind of energy and vitality. Not ethereal or ghostlike, but very solid and real. He looked very much like himself only younger.  I squealed, "Why, you are alive after all," to which he replied, "Of course,
Mom, and I always will be."  He took my hands and danced me around the room. We leaped for joy and laughed and laughed like children..  He whirled around behind me and gave me a hug I will never forget, because I actually felt that hug while lying in my bed.  It was as if I was in two places at once.  I said, "Oh, I must go and tell someone." With that, I awakened. Had I perhaps  broken some type of "etiquette" or protocol again and gotten  too close to that line. At any rate, because of that experience, I did receive a lot of healing and comfort .
    What I say next,  I must word carefully.  Since my son died, I have felt only a step away from that other side.....indeed, sometimes  almost longing for that moment when I can join him.  I feel sure that every bereaved person knows this ambivalent feeling that comes and goes.  It is not that we
are suicidal or have a death wish.  Not at all. It is just a kind of yearning, and a feeling that we are still
connected to our son,or daughter, husband,wife, sibling, loved one; and we always will be. However,  I do still love my life and this world too. I still see much to live for and relish a lot of the beauty around me as well as the sorrow.
    Since the passing of my son, I have frequently dreamed of being on a journey somewhere, and many people are moving along around me, seemingly intent upon their own trip.  There is never
anything unpleasant or frightening in these dreams.  It  always includes some people who are behind me, looking after me as I move on.  They are neither trying to stop me nor chase me.  I know that they want me back but do not have the right to decide for me. Then those ahead of me are also going on, and I follow.  They do not beckon or try to make the decision, but are clearly giving me a trail to follow.  I am reminded of the old hymn, "This World Is Not My Home."  In my interpretation, I feel these dreams reveal the desire of my soul, which is to be in that far country called Heaven with the Eternal One that I call God, who loves each one of us unconditionally, and receives us at the moment of death , transforming us with the great power of love that makes us instantly into the kind of
wonderful, beautiful creature we were intended to be....
    In one dream of this type, I was going up flights of stairs which reminded me of  a hotel hallway....  stairs with a door at each floor. I followed the crowd, so to speak, sometimes entering a door just as they cleared it, and then finding another hallway with stairs.  I felt so light and so young; so energetic and joyous.  At one point, I paused on a landing and came face to face with a full-length mirror. Startled, I saw a pretty young woman in a lovely, ice-blue, satiny gown. I realized suddenly that it was ME!  When I moved my arms, she did too.   Yes, it was recognizably me, although about 19 or 20 years old. Now, I will say that I actually was quite attractive at that age,(who isn't?); but no way had I ever been that beautiful!  My hair was more golden and more wavy. My coloring was more vivid and completely natural  My eyes were bluer, my teeth whiter, and the figure was   really divine. (no pun intended.) I too, seemed to radiate an "energy" that I had seen in my son in that other dream.  I
thought in awe, "This is what I will look like in Heaven."  I believe I was being given a vision of my future self.  Then I was awake.  Had I been too close again? I think I was almost there. My spirit is always halfway there, i think.   Remember the phrase, "One foot in Heaven?"
    I share this so that others may know that we will all be thus.  So beautiful and joyous, so light, healthy, indefatigable, full of power and energy , and yet, quite  recognizable.  If I am there before you, then please  look for that , blue-eyed, blond, young girl in the ice-blue, satin gown.
    These are just my interpretations, perspectives, and my own faith, which  I have formulated from the Near Death experiences of others, and from my own NDE;  from hearing of  the After Death
Communications of hundreds of persons, and from the reading of many religious writers,   including the Scriptures. and other Sacred writings.  I do not say that my way is the only way, nor do I  wish to impose this on anyone else, but it works for me.

Phyllis Smith