I woke up because a warm hand was holding my hand which was dangling over the bed.
I woke up and into a 'dream-like' awareness and exclaimed, "Oh, it's you!"
My father was beside my bed, holding my hand. His hand was radiating warmth.
I saw his smiling face; younger and surrounded by white light.
My heart in joy went out to him.
His unspoken message was received. Just three words. But I would never have guessed those words.
Those particular words unequivocally told me that he 'saw' clearly, without the blinders that seemed to separate us, causing grief and pain when he was alive.
Perhaps, now, he knew 'his daughter' and 'their lives' better - more fully, in ways she didn't even comprehend.
He didn't apologise; he didn't need to. When we understand causes and conditions, why things are the way they are, it's easier to see the impersonal nature of our expression during our sojourn on Earth. We don't own much of the blame we apportion to ourselves and others.
I asked him, "were you there in the room in your last days?"
He knew exactly what I meant and he replied with a smile that he was.
I cried because I knew he was.
In the last weeks of Dad's life in hospital I would wet a face-washer and cool his hands with it. I often remarked to him how warm his hands were; this surprised and intrigued me. So, it was a unique expression of his after-death presence to me that night that I woke by having my hand held ... and a hand radiating such warmth. It was special act of tenderness on his part.
Before this visit, the first messages from Dad came soon after his passing. This was unexpected.
Dad's wife called in the early hours of the morning to let me know that he had just died. I showered and got ready to drive to the hospital. In the dark quiet, I started the car and was startled by the radio. I rarely listen to the radio, even less a music station. The car audio system is always switched off.
I listened. The song was Eric Clapton's, 'Tears in Heaven'. The lyrics so clear:
"Would it be the same if I saw you in Heaven? I must be strong and carry on, cause I know I don't belong, here in Heaven. Would you hold my hand if I saw you in heaven? Would you help me stand if I saw you in heaven?"
I burst out crying. I clearly felt this was a message, and that he was with me - "Okay, Dad, I hear you", I sobbed out-loud.
Crying and driving.
"Beyond the door. There's peace I'm sure. And, I know there'll be no more tears in heaven."
Driving up the street. Tears, wet hair and face.
Then, in my mind's eye I SEE an image of Dad dancing and the song on the radio changes to, 'Moves like Jagger', and I KNOW he's joyful and free of pain.
Now, I'm laughing.
Laughing, grooving, crying and driving.
I know Dad has just communicated with me through these songs and inner images. I know he's okay - he's free.
Dad was in so much pain in the last months of his life. He didn't talk about his impending death.
Just before he fell into dying-sleep, I nervously broached death and said to him, "Dad, when people are dying they sometimes see people or things that are very comforting to them. Think of the peace you felt as you were drowning when you were a young man. Like that". Dad's usual sardonic reply, "Oh, that'll be interesting". End of conversation! Looking back now, I'm grateful for that small en-COURAGE -ment we shared.
When I walk into the room at the hospital, I am hit by the change in the room. Same room, same furniture. But it feels 'empty'. Dad's body is on the bed.
Understanding rushes through me.
In the last few days of his life, the room felt FULL. The difference is striking.
I know why - I sensed the unseen others who were there with us, their presence for Dad in his last days.
My paternal grandmother (Dad's mother) contacted me many times in the year after her death. We talked about it before she died and she promised she would contact me if she could. I was only 15 years old then, so I had no idea if such a thing was possible, and neither did she. But she did contact me, often. One afternoon while ironing, I heard her voice calling me to the kitchen. This time I freaked out and asked her to stop. I didn't know how to respond to her contact. So, that was the last time I had any communication from her.
My mother died when I was 11. The week after she died she came to me in a dream. Sitting crossed legged in a chair in our loungeroom I was kneeling in front of mum, crying, begging her not to leave. Mum calmly replied that it was her time to go. There was an opening to her right and I knew she was going into 'that'.
I'm struck by how often people get the message that 'it is not your time' or 'it is your time'. Such a simple sentence and used so often in near-death experience stories and stories of after-death communication.
Dad passed over in Dec 2017.