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Comfort from the Afterlife

I was reading this excellent post about real-life creepy, and as eleanoraquitaine mentioned in the comments, a lot of stuff gets buried in the mainpage onslaught. So I thought I'd share my comment from the spooky stories post (which is kind of a misnomer for mine anyway since it wasn't spooky, just amazing) and ask for your stories, because this one definitely is buried in gray on the mainpage. (I also want to point your attention to this story by My Favorite Muse as it has similarities to my story and inspired me to tell mine. ) I'd love to hear your stories/thoughts about comforting things that have happened that you've experienced from people you loved who have died. (I have a couple more but I'll post those in comments later.)

A couple of people have talked about things similar to this. and it made me decide to share this story. It's not really frightening so much as "wow."

Years ago, when I was a freshman in college (this is getting to be quite a long time ago, now), a friend of mine was hit by a car and killed. I was already having a pretty hard time before this happened — not a happy home life, and they say that you get a chance to reinvent yourself in college but so far I felt like I was failing miserably. I felt really alone and friendless and lost. I still had a group of high school friends, of which the boy who was killed was one, but we'd all scattered to different schools.

So, on top of this all being obviously tragic, it somehow seemed doubly so as the friend who was killed was just one of those rare individuals who has a charm and a goodness about him. Very attractive and popular, but absolutely zero attitude or bullying, accepting of pretty much any time of person. It was a big, interesting group of friends and it literally made me who I am to be part of it. He and I didn't know each other tremendously well (you know how it is: huge high school group of friends, and with some you do more group hanging out than actual conversation) but we had a teasing relationship because with the home life and all, I was generally pretty down and depressed, and it was like his goal was to try to show me the light side of things.

So, I took a few days off from school to attend the funeral, hang out again with the high school group all devastated and reunited for a brief time and just trying to get through it, and then we all had to get back to school and on with our lives. I was having terrible nightmares, including one night something that is so creepy I still shudder to recall (it's even hard to type it): a nightmare where I am looking at two dead, naked, bloody bodies, a man and a woman, and as I look down at them, I realize that they're not full size but very small, and they're lying inside a frying pan, and as I realized this they begin to fry, and then — this was by far the worst part — they kind of jerk upright in some kind of parody of human movement (I know I'm lifting that "parody" description from someone, maybe Neil Gaiman), and they begin to have sex. And then I wake up, horrified.

So after a few weeks of this, it's getting on toward spring and one night I have a dream that I can only describe as: a dream, but NOT a dream. One that I experienced as a conversation and an actual memory, which had a beginning, middle and end; no weird "it was my house but NOT my house" stuff — it all felt just like, it happened for real.

In the "dream" I walked into my dining room, and there was my friend who had died. He was sitting on the table, dangling his feet over the side, and his feet were bare. Very much like he always was—playful, casual, probably thought it would be funny to wait for me sitting on the table, that kind of thing.

I was really confused about why he was there, and I said to him several times, "But what are you doing here? But you're dead! You died!" Meanwhile, he just laughed and shook his head at me, exactly like in life, fondly but also like, "Here we go again, you with your downer attitude."

But then something happened. After I asked him again, he stopped laughing and said to me, quite earnestly and seriously, "I died, but I am alive."

As he said those words, he reached out with one hand and touched the side of my face. And this is the only way I can describe it:

It was as if the room and everything else on earth fell away, and for a split-second was gazing onto everything I had ever known and ever would know, I understood everything, everything made sense, everything was completely and 100% right. And what's more, it wasn't as it I was being shown something for the first time—it was like he was lifting the veil for a minute I was remembering everything!

I don't remember at all what I saw, though I know I "saw" things; I only remember that feeling. And I remember just that huge enlightenment in my head and saying to him with utter excitement and joy, "Oh, yeah! YEAH!!!" as I saw and remembered.

And just like that, I woke up. My bedroom was flooded with light. It was beautiful spring day.

I stopped having the nightmares. I don't know why he chose to come see me, as like I said, we weren't exactly the closest two in the group. But as I mentioned, I was having a hard time, and over the course of my life times have gotten much harder, then much better. I am happier now than I have ever been, yet there are still occasional periods of darkness and struggle.

I sometimes think he chose to remind me because he knew that I might be the one who needed it the most.


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