Monday, March 31, 2014

Unwavering Faith

Usually, I'm pretty hesitant to write about this type of stuff and I still do at times, but at the moment, I feel that it's very important to talk about this topic. I don't believe (or confirmed) that I'm a medium or some whacky 'ghost whisperer", but I have and still do communicate with people who have passed away, usually relatives and close friends from the past. This can be through dreams, symbolic signs or even short-lived appearances. I just don't talk about it because it seems a bit ~cray cray~. I can definitely confirm the cray cray part. Not to repeat myself from almost two years ago, but my mother and I knew the day and time that Dad would pass onto the other side. We were both outside on July 20th. Mom was smoking her cigarette sitting in the passenger seat of her parked car.

Just to backtrack a bit, throughout this grueling ordeal, we watched Dad talk to people who weren't there. We also found out that certain family friends in our past have died----through Dad.

"Hey look! Frankie's with the angels now."

Frankie was an old time family friend who we hadn't seen in years. His death wasn't even one week away. He also confirmed a lot more than we needed to know through his state of being so very close to the end. The picking of his bed sheets, removing any article of clothing he had on, his constant restlessness, the need to constantly get up, was his spirit trying to remove the 'heaviness' of life itself. And if you talk to those who have witnessed a sick loved one who is close to the end, they'll tell you about similar behaviors that are just unexplainable to people who just don't believe in that sort of stuff.

Mom looked over at me while taking the last drag of her cigarette and said, "You know what tomorrow is, right?" Instantly, I nodded my head, not saying one word. We both knew that most of our relatives had passed away on the 21rst of the month. But what Mom didn't know was that I also knew the time he would pass as well. For the past few years, even before Dad went to heaven, I kept catching the clock at 12:21 -- whether it was in the afternoon or midnight. It got to the point where it was so much, that I even caught this number in other areas in various places and times. That week while Dad was in hospice was challenging. Not only was it 105 degrees every. single. day. that we went up to visit, but Dad no longer was communicative due to the mass amount of drugs they were pumping into his system just to keep him from crying out in pain. It took such a mental toll on everyone to prepare to just sit and watch him. This strong and amazing man left there weak and lifeless. Pure torture.

The next day, on the 21rst, my wife decided to stay home. She knew about this dreaded day of mine. She knew that I was having a hard time with it and may have also doubted it, but she supported me regardless. After I got into the shower, got dressed, poured myself a cup of coffee, I then went outside on the deck and just zoned out. Mad came out and sat next to me not saying a word. I told her, after my coffee I'm going to head off and see Dad. For some reason, I sat there longer, waiting for 12:21 to pass, just to relieve myself that maybe this wouldn't be the day nor time. A few minutes later, a moth appeared on the table where we were sitting. It looked like an ascending female angel with wings, but if you zoom in closer, you can actually see a golden glow around the head and even make out Jesus' face. I grabbed my phone and looked at the time. 12:21 pm.

"He's gone."

I decided to postpone my trip to hospice until 2 pm. At 1 pm, my sister called me.

"Deb?…………..He's gone."

It's strange, a week after his passing, it felt numb, quiet, still, hesitant to even say a sense of relief that he was finally at rest. The two week mark was harder though. The realization that the strongest man in the world was gone, had us in a state of shock. Strange how our body's self-defense 'survival' mechanism wears off only when we're ready to mourn. The process follows after each first holiday without them. It's tough, strange, surreal and just 'different'.

Months later, I started having vivid dreams of my father. One dream had me in total disbelief, because I actually "woke up" in the dream and controlled what I said while still being asleep. It was the strangest thing ever. In the dream, I walked into Dad's man cave, and he yelled out, "Debit!!!" He always called me that letting me know how much I drained his wallet as a kid. I would then call out, "Popp-ayyyyy!" It was our little "hello". He started talking to me about his day and I immediately stopped him (and stopped my dream) and said, "Wait! Is that you?" And he laughed and said, "Whaddya' mean is that me?---Of course it is!" He kept staring at me with this smile - a "knowing" smile - like, "Now you get it…" And of course, you can blow that off to "just a dream" for the nonbelievers. I have a ton of other instances where Dad visited me in my dreams. It's funny, because they're never these super profound messages or anything "revealing". It's usually them visiting and talking as if we were still living in the same realm. My mother had a dream of Dad. He walked into the bedroom with the robe he always wore when he was sick and said, "Rose! Where are all my clothes?" And she got startled in her dream and started shuffling around to find him something to wear. He then said, "I'm not in pain anymore." And then the dream ended. I truly believe my mom needed to hear that from him. For me, I know he's okay.

One evening about six months ago, Madelene and I were hysterically laughing inside the living room area near the kitchen. It was after dinner and we were just having a really good evening. All of the sudden, I saw Dad walk out from the hallway leading into the kitchen with a big smile on his face. I. just. stopped. Mad asked if I was okay, as I was crying and smiling at the same time. I told her what I had seen. I had goose bumps all over my arms and felt this strange sensation, almost chilling. Two months later, my sister was over the house and once again, we were all laughing and having a great time. As I watched my sister walk near the kitchen area, she stopped immediately in her tracks as if….she saw a ghost. I saw tears in her eyes and I asked, "Are you okay?"

"I just saw Dad walking in."

It was the same exact spot where I had seen him. I never told her about my sighting.

I'm trying to make a point. I believe you can only see spirits when you are happy. I have two theories: spirits are mostly attracted to positive energy and when you're depressed or still mourning heavily, they cannot be visible in dreams or in real life. In the same breath, I also believe that we have "spiritual blindness" when we are depressed, angry or bitter. We can't see anything of a spiritual nature. It's also known that if your body is full of sugar, chemicals or anything bad, it's another disadvantage for us to be able to communicate or see them. So regardless if they are attracted to positive energy, or if it's our "spiritual blindness" due to a negative mindset --- they only come when the heaviness is lifted. Just think about how much they fidget and pick at their clothing and blankets -- because even that's too heavy for them. Your mere emotions may be too heavy for them to come around. The spirit is light in weight (in many aspects) and not able to flow through heaviness.

For instance -- if you believe in astral projection, or have experienced this on your own, you know how  "heavy" you are. (Bear with me, not talking about being overweight!) We are so immune to acknowledging our "heaviness" that we don't even realize that we're actually in pain right this very second. We're just so used to it. Our carnal physical shell is just. so. incredibly. heavy. If you have ever had a near death experience and actually remember it, or if you've ever experienced astral projection, you know all too well that even moving a limb has incredible weight to it. It's a big effort. So not only do our loved ones who pass over want us to be happy with less weight of negative emotions, but they also want to be able to visit you in your dreams or give you signs here and there. We have to be "aware", which often means we have to lift the weight off from our chests.

It's totally normal to wonder about the afterlife, especially when someone you love passes. Are they okay? Did they make it into heaven? Are they in limbo? If you're of Christian faith, you know that Jesus died in our place so he might give us eternal life. That gift is ours through faith. When you have faith in God and believe with all your heart -- trust that God has your loved one safe and sound.

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved." --Romans 10:9-10

There are too many unexplainable (and sometimes scientific) evidence that clearly tells us that there is an afterlife. Even when you're of another religion, or perhaps no religion at all, there is something out there, a painless, weightless and effortless spiritual state - a place where there isn't any pain or agony. I remember praying and praying for my dad to get better when he was going through radiation and numerous surgeries when he was diagnosed with cancer. Finally, he had a break. The doctors said that the cancer was removed with the last surgery he went through. My dad said, "All I want is another ten years, Deb." I prayed for another ten years with dad, but God had other plans. Would've it been so bad if he stayed another decade? I don't know. Would he have suffered terribly those ten years? Probably, which is why I trust God that my dad is in a better place - in a place where there is no suffering or midnight calls to get poked and prodded in some disgusting emergency room. The last days Dad was here, I said to God, "I trust you whether or not you'll let Dad stay with us." I'll never forget that prayer. I wanted to know that my father would be okay on the other side. I truly believe he is saved and with God right now because of my in-laws. My father & mother in-law sat with my dad, held his hand and asked him if he would be willing to accept Jesus. And he did.

My point is, you can easily lose faith when someone you love dies. The grief itself can just sink you into a hole of depression, anger, resentment and lack of faith. When bad things occur, we often think, "How can God let this happen?" I truly believe it's a faith tester - your ability to maintain faith and trust in God while going through turbulence.

"Be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even through it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." --1 Peter 1:6-7

Look for the joy that awaits on the other side of the trial.
This post is dedicated to all of the members of the Duncan, Mclaughlin & O'Brien families. 
For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!