We sometimes congratulate ourselves
at the moment of waking from a troubled dream;
it may be so the moment after death. —Nathaniel Hawthorne
Departing visions occur every day, all around the world, and modern-day researchers are beginning to take such reports more seriously. As the Baby Boomer generation begins to age, retire, and then pass on, palliative care and hospice will become even more needed. These institutions, along with clergy and mental health organizations, must begin to accept that there is more to dying than just physical death. By recognizing that the departing vision is real and not the result of medications, medical conditions, or psychological pathology, the dying process can begin to take on new, spiritual meaning.
One area of the departing vision experience in need of more research involves the dreamtime encounter. For a beautiful description of what a dreamtime departing vision looks like, read the following account from 1899.
“One of my friends had a dream during the night, in which she saw one of her brothers, whom she tenderly loved, and whom she had not seen for a long time; he was dressed in white, he had a fresh complexion, and he seemed happy; the room in which she found him was also hung with white, and was filled with people; the brother and sister embraced each other affectionately.
When her dream was ended, my friend awoke, and had a presentiment that her brother was dead. At that moment it struck midnight. The next day this lady learned...that her brother had died that night, exactly at midnight.” [The Unknown, by Camille Flammarion.]
This account is similar to a few of the departing visions I’ve personally experienced, in which these powerful “sleepytime” visitations coincide with the passing of a loved one. In many cases the person experiencing a dreamtime departing vision has no idea the dying loved one or friend is nearing physical death. Many of my peers in the field of mental health tell me such occurrences are just a coincidence. I continue to tell them we will need to “agree to disagree.”
Finally, we have dreamtime encounters that are related to spiritual contact from the other side or premonitions of things to come. Skeptics tell us any dreams we have about the afterlife are related to grief, loss, and wishful thinking about a life after death. Some of our dreams about death are related to loss, and we can’t ignore this. They are similar to stress or even trauma dreams.
Then there are those dreamtime experiences that involve afterlife contact. Let’s look at a dream visitation experience I had with my grandmother.
My grandmother Bertha was a tall, statuesque woman with shocking white hair piled high on her head. The daughter of immigrants from Russia, she had heard tales from her older sister and parents about relatives who had starved to death or were murdered by the Bolsheviks in the old country. In response to this, she worked hard at being an American and would decorate the house for every holiday celebrated in the United States. It wasn’t uncommon for me to walk into her kitchen on Valentine’s Day and find her baking fragrant Russian delicacies along with homemade heart-shaped sugar cookies!
When my mother died, I went to live with my grandparents. She taught me how to sew and put on lipstick, and every week we visited the local drug store for banana splits. She stepped right into my mother’s shoes.
My grandmother passed when I was in my early 40s, so she had been part of my life for many years. Grief struck, and I didn’t know how I’d continue without her. I’d cry uncontrollably while making Russian pies. During this time my poor family prayed for tacos, or a nice lasagna!
One night I had an incredible dream about my grandmother. In the dream I found myself in her very American kitchen. All of the colors were brilliant. Even the flowers growing just outside the window were incredible. The colors were so intense. Sitting at the kitchen table I was mourning the loss of my grandmother, when suddenly, in she walks.
In the dream, she was wearing a straight, shimmering purple number with long, graceful fitted sleeves. I can still hear the click of her purple high-heeled shoes as she walked up to me, pulled me out of my seat, shook me by my shoulders, and said, “Enough of this already.”
My grandmother sternly reminded me that I had two young sons to take care of and that I didn’t need to still be grieving for her. She told me she was just fine. After that she turned around and left me standing in the middle of her kitchen with my mouth wide open!
When I woke up I felt energized and knew my grieving time was over. I got back into my life and emotionally returned to my husband and boys. In my soul I knew my grandmother had come to me to set me straight!
Dreams involving afterlife contact leave us with feelings that are difficult to ignore. Following is a wonderful departing vision in the form of a dream from a confidential source who asked not to be named.
I have a story to share that occurred with the passing of my grandmother. According to the doctors, she died around 3 a.m.
That night I dreamed of her passing. I dreamt that I was driving home and passing by her house late at night when I had to stop to allow a funeral procession to pass in front of me. Interestingly my cousin said that she too woke up at 3 a.m. that night and stared at the clock.
In this account we see how two family members in different locations woke up at the moment of the grandmother’s passing! When we’ve had an afterlife contact experience in a dream we know we’ve been touched by something special; it doesn’t feel like a regular dream. Instead, we are left with a sense that life after death is real and our departed loved ones are still there for us.
©2013 by Carla Wills-Brandon, PhD.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
New Page Books, a division of Career Press.
800-227-3371. All rights reserved.
This article was adapted with permission from the book:
Heavenly Hugs: Comfort, Support, and Hope From the Afterlife
by Carla Wills-Brandon, Ph.D.
To live our lives to the fullest, we must relieve ourselves of the false notion that death is the end. Departing visions help us do this. Heavenly Hugs will introduce you to both historical and modern-day departing visions, proving: * The dying have been reuniting with the departed -- for centuries; * Departed loved ones escort the dying to the other side or next dimension; * Something has often been seen leaving the physical body at the moment of death...
Carla Wills-Brandon has published 13 books, one of which was a Publishers Weekly best-seller. A licensed marriage and family therapist and grief expert, she has worked with individuals impacted by the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle, the bombing of the World Trade Center, Holocaust survivors, and veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, among many others. Carla is one of the few researchers focused on the departing vision as proof of life after death. Having researched nearly 2,000 such encounters for more than 30 years, she is a sought-after lecturer and has appeared on numerous national radio and television programs.