As promised in last week’s blog (Meeting Mr Ghostie…) I’ve had several other experiences which I have attributed to the paranormal. They commenced from the time my Mum passed away in January 1999 until the day of my aunt’s funeral six years later. During those six years my Dad had departed us too in November 2000. I mention these bereavements because my gut instinct has always told me that most of my experiences were connected.
I shall recall the incidents in the order they occurred and will begin with Mum’s passing on 4 January 1999 from a most horrifying disease called Motor Neurone Disease (Lou Gehrig’s Disease/ALS).
Mum and I could not have loved each other more – I had so much love for her that my heart could have burst with it. She was also my best friend. I told her everything because I felt she never judged me and was always proud of me. I struggled emotionally with her terminal diagnosis but had always kept strong in her and my Dad’s company as I didn’t want to add to their misery.
It was just a matter of days following my Mum’s demise that I was awoken from my sleep by the back of my neck being tickled; a definite feeling of finger tips on skin. It wasn’t frightening – it was loving and playful. I’d never experienced anything like it before but during the course of the next six years it happened quite a few times. I could only attribute it to my Mum having fun with me.
One night I was awoken by the smoke alarm positioned on the ceiling in the hall outside my bedroom; it was bleeping every minute or so – a sure sign that the battery needed replacing. I tried to sleep through it but it was impossible and in desperation I retrieved some portable steps from the hall cupboard, climbed up to the alarm and removed the battery intending to replace it with a new one first thing in the morning. I put the steps away and went back to bed. Imagine my chills when the smoke alarm continued to bleep! The next morning I replaced the battery and it stopped bleeping. Then I removed the battery again to see if the bleeping would recommence, as it had done so in the night. No – not one bleep!
This next experience was very frightening and definitely did not come from a good place. I awoke suddenly to feel the full body weight of somebody laying on top of me – it began to rock slightly from side to side. It was pitch black and I could see nothing. I was paralysed with fright. Sensing this was evil personified I called out loud “In the name of Jesus Christ, leave me NOW!” Peace and calm was immediately restored.
In July 2000 I moved house and expected these experiences to stop. If any of it had been linked to my Mum, I didn’t consider that she would follow me to a house she’d never known. How wrong could I be?
Dad became ill in August 2000 and was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Naturally I became stressed, trying to deal with the grief and also juggle my full time job with his care and eventually regular visits to the hospital. I didn’t know how I could carry on being strong for everyone around me, and it was during that time that I occasional smelt a strong fragrance of lavender come from nowhere. Lavender is a natural stress reliever. One time I was in my lounge willing the phone calls from well wishers to cease (as well meaning and appreciated as they were) because I needed to stop thinking and talking about it all. I wanted to step away and detach myself from the nightmare just for one evening. The smell of lavender seemed to engulf me from nowhere. Another time I was in my car parked on my driveway about to drive to the hospital to see Dad when the smell swept over me again and lingered. I asked out loud, “Is that you Mum?” and my confirmation was the smell of a perfume she used to wear. It was very comforting. Even though she could not be with me in physical form to cling to and cry to, just feeling/smelling her presence was enough to calm me at that moment.
Dad’s illness was relatively short – from diagnosis he was only with us for four more months. His death was a shock to the system especially as it came relatively soon after Mum had passed too. I had to take a few weeks off work to get my head straight and feel motivated again.
One morning soon after Dad had passed away I was in my bedroom getting dressed and peered in to the mirror to begin applying make-up. There looking back at me was not my reflection but my Dad’s face! What was even more strange was that it was my Dad’s young face, not his 77 year-old face. He was there just for a second and my face replaced his. Here’s a photo of my young Dad.
When my Dad was alive he was a bit of a character – I’ve never met a Dad like him before or since. There were, however, very many similarities between Richard Wilson’s ‘Victor Meldrew’ (of One Foot in the Grave fame) and my Dad. I remember one episode of One Foot in the Grave where I could hardly believe my eyes when Victor reeked of the potent smell of TCP. My Dad, you see, had a thing about TCP and was forever using it. I never smelt after shave or cologne on Dad, only TCP! Why am I telling you this? Quite simply, I was in my loft room one hot summer’s day having a clear out of unwanted belongings when the smell of TCP swept over me. It had to be my Dad – such a random smell could not have come from anywhere else. I sat and waited for the smell to leave but it was stubborn and remained potent refusing to fade, so I left instead! After an hour I returned and it had gone.
Dad’s sister Ivy (my aunt) became a big part of my life after he passed away. She was elderly and had relied on my Dad for everything since she’d lost her husband many years earlier. Therefore, when Dad passed, my siblings and I knew she’d be frightened, lonely and in great emotional pain, and naturally we all stepped forward to make a fuss of her and help her. I made sure I visited her twice a week so that she could expect and enjoy some company and also I kept her house clean. When she became ill with dementia and a danger to herself we had no option but to find a care home for her – something I never wanted to do to any of my family but sometimes there is no other way. We kept a close eye on her (and the home) until she passed away on 17 December 2005. Unfortunately, because of the timing of her demise so close to Christmas and new year, there were a few weeks before the funeral could go ahead.
During those few weeks I had a couple of similar experiences which terrified me. I was in bed when I was awoken by someone sitting down on the edge of the bed. The bed actually dipped to one side with their weight. I was so scared I kept my head under the duvet whilst I prayed silently asking Jesus to help me, and as I did so I felt their physical movement as they stood up and the mattress returned to its natural form.
Thankfully from the day of Ivy’s funeral eight years ago I have experienced nothing else that I could attribute to being of paranormal origin.
I’m sure sceptics can come up with explanations for any of these encounters. After all, many took place in bedrooms and it is very easy for people to flippantly suggest I was dreaming. I’ve had enough nightmares and dreams (some very vivid) to be able to tell the difference though. As for the bleeping smoke alarm, there will be those who say it was a faulty alarm, however as I said, I tested it the following day to recreate the situation and it did not repeat the ‘malfunction’. Also, if you remove the source of power from the alarm how can it continue to bleep? The smells of lavender and TCP could be explained if I had either in the house/car, but I didn’t. The face in the mirror – my imagination playing tricks? If so, I would have expected to see my Dad as I knew him in later life, not a young version I’d never known.
So, there you have it – think of it all what you will. I’m grateful the activity has long since ceased although some of it was a comfort when I needed it most.
As with all my posts, I welcome your comments! Over to you. 🙂