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upDreams of the Afterlife
by Shirley Gifford

On October 31st 1982 I lost my daughter Melanie aged just nine years. She had been suffering from a terminal hereditary disease 'Huntington's Chorea'. That same month my other daughter Kirstie, then only 6 years old was diagnosed as having the same disease - about nine months after Melanie's death I started having "unusual dreams". I say dreams but I was convinced at the time I was wide awake.
Anyway, they would always start the same way - I would hear a buzzing, then the whole atmosphere of the room seemed to become electrically charged. I would then experience something or someone moving on my bed - like a pressure it would always start near my feet then work gradually up to my chest then the pressure seemed to push me into the mattress. I always awoke at first. I was frightened but also intrigued. This went on for about 3-4 months then one night as it was happening I had no fear I opened my eyes (I thought I was awake) and there sitting on my bed was Melanie. We talked and cuddled. It was so natural. She handed me a roll of paper "This is for you Mummy" she said, "This is how my life is now". As I unrolled it she vanished but on the paper were small painted pictures of different scenes - in the most beautiful colours - waterfalls, meadows, gardens, mountains. I suddenly awoke and searched the bedroom for that roll of paper, it was so real.

A few weeks later the same happened again but this time a lady came with Melanie, also another little girl. Melanie came over to me, I touched her, she was warm. I said "Melanie how grown up you look", "Well Mum", she replied "I'm ten now" I spoke then to the lady, asking her if she was 'dead' also. "Oh no my dear - I'm on your side - I've chosen this work re-uniting children with their mothers during sleep - but not all are able to remember". She went on to tell me that Melanie was doing well and that she has a special gift that will help me in the future - Suddenly a bell rang. It seemed to signal the time to leave. After kissing me goodbye they left the room as I watched them go I was aware of others leaving. They all filed down the stairs - I was privileged to have about eight more such dreams over the following two years.
I was able to see Melanie at work in the classroom with other children. She told me how she hated certain effects the medication had on her and most of all how unhappy she had been when on med-ical advice she went into hos-pital to give me a break (I was pregnant at that time). By this time Kirstie had become quite ill so I devoted most of my time to her and the new baby. but remembering Melanie's words - Kirstie had no unnecessary drugs and I kept her home until she died in my arms but one last thing I will mention 5 months before Kirstie died she had a daily visit from her sister - Melanie, it seemed, always appeared in the same place (a corner of the room, facing Kirstie) but at different times - one could always tell by Kirstie's face - a look of utter joy would transform her. Although at this stage Kirstie couldn't talk - we had a way of communication as any mother will know. So through Kirstie I also "saw" Melanie. Kirstie passed away on May 24th 1987, two days before her 11th birthday.

Then about 6 months after her passing, my youngest son Scott then aged about 4 was sitting on my lap looked up and said "Melanie and Kirstie are up there", "I know" I replied "They're in heaven". "No", he said, "they're there" and he pointed to the ceiling. He told me that a beam of light was shining through the ceiling and the faces of Melanie and Kirstie were smiling at us. He told me what they looked like (he'd never seen Melanie), then exactly a week later they appeared again, this time with a man with a beard. "They're waving goodbye Mummy" he said, and that was the last time I had any unusual dreams - but by now I knew they were both well and happy, and they have their own lives to live. Scott, now 10 still remembers his sisters visits but gets embarrassed about it, but those years changed my life. I 'see' two worlds now and I feel part of both.


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