CONNECTING WITH LOVED ONES ON THE OTHER SIDE
By Kristen Ann
[Kristen Ann is the author of Exploring Sacred Space. In this guest feature article, she shares her experiences and thoughts about meaningful contact with the dead.]
I was thinking tonight how interesting it is that the dimension we call the after-life or death — though it seems so mysterious and unknown — can be touched by some people.
I was playing my lovely Lyre-Harp tonight. Playing a lovely and very old tune, when my mind drifted to a time when I kept “hearing” this tune over and over in my mind. It was 1966 and I was 11. Over and over — any time of day or night — this very old melody would play over and over. It wasn’t the type of tune that an 11-year-old would “normally” even think of. And this may sound funny, but being a very intuitive type of person, I KNEW that someone from “the other side” was playing this tune to me over and over! It was a DEFINITE sense of knowing.
And it was very much a mystery. . . Who was connecting with me through this old tune? And why was it that they were connecting with me, and why this melody?!
Jump ahead 24 years. It was around 1990. I had recently moved back from years of living and traveling in the southwest and then five years in Hawaii. I had just bought a cassette tape at a local bookstore. Lo and behold, that lovely old melody was the first song on that tape!! The one that had mysteriously been “playing” to me decades earlier! And for the first time I was able to see what the title of that tune was! It’s called “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring.”
Eureka!! Mystery solved!! It all became clear to me — just why that tune would so “out of the blue” play to me over an extended period. Shortly before it started back in 1966, my grandfather had died. He was in Florida that winter with my grandmother, and she called and told Mom urgently that he wasn’t doing well and to get down there ASAP. He died before her plane even took off. The whole thing was such a tragedy. And my grandfather was SUCH a kind and gentle soul. Being a sensitive soul myself my heart reached out to him, and alone in my room I would pray for and to him. They say that our thoughts really DO reach those who have passed. It was right after that the lovely melody would “play” to me.
No wonder!! It was Papa (as we called my grandfather)!! Connecting back with little me who had reached out to him!! He was a musician and the choir director and organist for JESU Church!!
It makes me think of how often those “on the other side” may connect with us by implanting thoughts or songs, but these connections are totally overlooked. Dad would play his favorite tunes to me after he had passed. This was cute and funny at the time — if I was wondering about something, I would hear a tune or a part of a tune where the lyrics would be a direct answer to what I had wondered! I intuitively knew it was from Dad. (He loved music, too, and played the piano.)
An interesting memory on this point is something that my clairvoyant professor said at the Waldorf Teacher Training Institute in the mid ‘70s. He had said that the ways those who have passed can connect with us, in addition to visiting us in our dreams (though our mind often twists those dream incidents into surreal circumstances), they can connect with us through heat and sound.
It was interesting that after Dad passed in ‘96, I would light a candle beside my bed in his honor for weeks, thinking of him and sometimes actually talking to him as it burned. For as long as that very small pillar candle lasted each time I blew it out, I would find in the morning that the wax on top would cool in a circular pattern of hearts surrounding the wick.
It was so interesting! I’ve never seen this in a candle since or even before this, and I burn lots of candles! At the time, I did NOT want that candle to burn down. I would pinch off wax around the edges and drop this wax in the center to give it more fuel, making it last longer — as long as I could. I took a picture of it once. Sometimes the number of hearts would vary. There would be more or fewer hearts, always in the circular mandala-like pattern around the wick.