About Last Night…

There have been moments in my life when I’ve sensed the presence of a deceased loved one. While warm and bittersweet, I understand those feelings to be resurrected memories of the connection we had when they were alive; me consciously sating some need I perhaps hadn’t completely identified. I don’t believe those vague presences stem from a visit by their spirit.

That’s why I can’t explain what happened last night.

I often employ the “Just ignore it, it will go away” approach to healthcare. But after a months-long battle with hip pain – in which the last few days I’ve been barely able to walk – I finally mentioned it to my doctor. She ordered x-rays, and as I wait for the results, I’m living with limited mobility and a crap-ton of pain which makes me feel trapped, angry, alone, and scared, bordering on the edge of self-pity. And I hate self-pity, especially in the middle of the night.

Jim and I were at my house last night, and he fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. My bed tends to envelop us like a taco and I knew my hip would not be comfortable within such limited space, so I got up and limped to the spare room where I lay awake, playing Canasta on my phone.

After a few hours, I found a comfortable position on my side, facing the wall. Hugging the top of the body pillow I’d tucked between my legs, I started to fall asleep, but not before Jim walked in the room and – saying nothing – placed a hand on my shoulder and one on the back of my neck and kissed my head, just above my ear. I felt safe and loved and more than that, I wasn’t afraid anymore.

I woke up at 4 a.m. when again, Jim came in the room.

“Why aren’t you in bed?” he whispered. At some point while I was sleeping, I’d rolled over on to my back, and Jim sat down on the edge of the bed and stroked my hair

“I couldn’t get comfortable and I didn’t want to wake you,” I said softly.

“You can wake me up anytime.”

“I know. But you knew where I was. You came in around 1, remember? You kissed my head.”

“This is the first time I’ve been up,” he said. “I didn’t know you weren’t in bed until just now.”

“What do you mean?” I started to cry. “But I felt so safe. I was finally able to sleep. I thought it was you.”

“No, it wasn’t me.” He moved his hand to my leg, covered in three layers of blankets, and began rubbing the top of my hip. “But someone wanted you to know they cared.”

When I’d crawled into that spare bed, it didn’t occur to me to reach out to anyone – dead or alive. I was entirely alone, physically and mentally. I made no effort to meditate or pray. I was resigned to my fear and went through every scenario I could think of for how – or if – I would walk normally again. I assure you, I was in the throes of self-pity. My mind was all about me. I had no conscious thought to partner with a departed loved one or god or anyone else.

Whoever or whatever touched my shoulder and kissed my head knew better than me what I needed, and gave me the one thing I could not give myself: peace. And even skeptical me knows not to attempt to explain, justify, or otherwise dispute such a gift.

How about you? Have you experienced something like this before? Leave a comment if you’d like to share your story.

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14 thoughts on “About Last Night…

  1. My goodness, what an experience! I have had a few similar experiences in dreams with my deceased father, including premonitions before his death, but not for a very long time. He has been gone for 20 years. A few months ago, our beloved little dog had to be put down, and I have missed her very much. Two nights ago I had a very vivid dream about walking to the car and suddenly she walked toward me from the path she always took when she wanted an adventure. It was so lifelike and vibrant that I thought it was real. I talked to her, petted her, and she got in the car with me. I was very sad when I woke up, but on the other hand, I felt like we had the contact I had been missing.

  2. I got caught up in my own experience and forgot the most import thing I wanted to say. Sorry that you've been having so much pain, but I'm happy for the comfort that this experience brought you. Hope you feel better soon.

  3. Thank you 🙂 I have played that touch/kiss on the head over and over in my head the last few days. Not trying to justify or understand it, but just to let its memory – like the taste of really good chocolate – make me smile.

  4. “…unlike anything else.” How often in our adult lives do we get to experience something so unique and personal. I hope your experience was as comforting to you as mine was for me.

  5. E. Jane…I get that sad when you wake up thing. But it was so good to see her in your dreams, right? Thank you so much for your kind thoughts about my hip. I WILL get to the bottom of it 🙂

  6. I remember after Tony died, few weeks later, I woke up at 4 am and saw him sitting on the futon across from my bed. I rubbed my eyes and he was gone. But before he went, I heard him say, clear as day, “It's okay. I'm okay. I love you.”

    I'll never forget that.

    I'm glad someone was looking out for you. I'm so sorry you're in such pain. I love you so much.

  7. What I love about your story is that I have been reading your blog for awhile(not commenting, I am a lurker) and I haven't read that you have lost anyone recently(though maybe I missed a time frame so forgive me if I did). So, whoever that was is still around watching. My husband was killed three years ago, a few weeks after it happened I woke up in the middle of the night and said out loud that I loved him. A toy of my son's under my bed started making noises, I didn't even know it was there. I then said I missed him and it did it again. It was hard not think this was some sort of sign. I would like to think I may get one years from now. Thank you for sharing. I hope you get good news about your hip.

  8. JSP, I'm not sure who it was exactly. Some people have suggested it was my husband who died many, many years ago. Perhaps. But it felt more assuring, like something omnipotent. I'm very sorry about your husband's death. I have no doubt he was trying to contact you through that toy. My husband visited six weeks after he died, as a way to explain, perhaps, what had happened. Thank you for coming out of lurking and posting this.

  9. I'm so sorry that you're battling more chronic pain, Lynn, and pray for a resolution to your hip problem. I loved reading about your comforting experience, though, and feel sure that someone or something is keeping a loving watch over you. I wonder if some of it might even have been your inner spirit taking care of you through the guise of Jim? Whatever it was, what a powerful moment!

  10. Emmaclaire, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Pain is one of those things that if you can just not turn away from it and face it, can teach you many things about yourself. I'm learning A LOT these days! Perhaps it was me, my inner spirit, watching over me that night. Thank you for putting a different spin on that for me.

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