A little background information: My father was my absolute best friend. He raised me as a single parent and after I graduated high school, we became extremely close.
We both had very difficult lives but the bond we shared was/is unbreakable.
He was diagnosed suddenly with Primary CNS Lymphoma and despite our best efforts, he passed away 8 months afterwards.
I was his primary caregiver through those times and it was heartbreaking to watch the tumor take the strongest man I knew, reducing him to nothing.
I struggled terribly with having to be his nurse because all I wanted and needed at that time, was to be his daughter… As is the nature of brain tumors, I was petrified that at the end he’d forget me (at onset, he didn’t know who I was either so the fear was justified, I think…).
Two days before he died, he was pretty much unresponsive save a few words here and there. We never talked of his dying and never said any goodbyes – it just wasn’t something he wanted to do.
The last words we spoke were my telling him I loved him and he returned the sentiment.
After he died, the house we lived in was utterly toxic to me, psychologically. So, with his retroactive disability money (which he was approved for but never got to use), myself and my brother (who I am also a caregiver for) moved from the city to a small house in PA.
The first ‘dream’ I had of my father in the new house is written below.
After-Death Communication Dream: The Time Capsule
In the dream, there was a ‘fad’ that people were doing prior to dying.
They were making time-capsules to give to those they loved as a personal memento. Each one would consist of five items chosen by the person who was passing…
My father made one for me and in the last moments before he died, I ran to him with the items so he could explain them to me.
I could see his labored breathing but he was neither scared, nor in pain. He was calm. Ready. No outward traces anymore, of the ugly tumor that invaded our lives…
I knelt next to him, closely, and held up the first item. It was an oddly shaped paintbrush. The bristles were squarely blocked and the handle oddly shaped so, in the hand, it had to be held a very specific way. ‘What does this mean, Dad?’ I asked…
‘This is to remind you that you can thicken or thin the trees of your Life any way that you want – it is *all* in the technique and how you handle the brush. Learn that, Kate.’
The second item was a simple and small paintbrush – the kind that you would get in any children’s set of watercolors. ‘And this one?’
‘That is how I want you to remember me. I was a simple man. Neither special or unique. A simple, imperfect man.’ I stopped him there and said, ‘No, you are my father. You will always be special to me. Always.’
He smiled weakly and I rummaged through the capsule. The next two items were simple sterling silver rings, both with amber stones. Not fancy but elegant in their simplicity.
‘Those are YOU. What you’ve always been to me and to my life. I chose amber because it is a living stone. Full of warmth and able to hold both time and memory within it. You are that to me, natural, beautiful and able to carry with you, the best and worst of life. And I know you will always keep me alive within you.’
At this point in the dream (and while I was sleeping), I was in tears because I knew his time was approaching the end now. I hurried and grabbed the last item from the capsule: a simple strand of aurora borealis colored beads (possibly prayer beads?).
‘Before you go, Dad, tell me of this too… please.’
His voice cracking and barely above a whisper, he said this: ‘That is my promise to you, Kate. There is magic after this life is done. There is so much magic afterwards and I love you.’
… and with that, he closed his eyes and took his last breath.
When I woke up from the dream, I was in tears. I was crying as I slept (according to my brother) and I cried when I woke up. I cried for about three hours afterwards too.