Sundays are the one day that I can rest and take it easy after church. It’s usually the one day I can sit and write. I think going forward, I will use Sunday afternoons to share some personal stories and dreams with you.
Welcome to Sunday Story Time.
This morning as I sat at the organ at the tiny church that I volunteer for, I thought of my grandmother. She died in 2003 at the age of 88 years old. She had lived a good life and right up until the end, was in good spirits. She died of natural causes. But she missed her husband. She couldn’t wait until she “saw him again.”
My grandmother and I weren’t very close, but my father had a good relationship with his mom. We would see “granny” on special occasions. Every birthday, I looked forward to that special birthday card and a $10.00 cheque; which was a lot of money for her to give. But granny, never missed a birthday.
I remember as a young child, we weren’t allowed to drink soda. At least not until Happy Pop came to be. Going to granny’s was always a treat because she would offer us a can of soda – Gingerale. I would sip my glass of pop very slowly and savour each bubbly moment as she filled my father in on all the family gossip.
Granny was a very spiritual person. Religion was important to her. It’s actually why I took the volunteer gig as the organist at our tiny little church. This spring marked my fourteenth year as the organist.
I would love to share photos with you, but given that I’m using a pen name for this blog, it doesn’t feel right to do that. Maybe one day. Photos in this post are from Pixabay & Google searches.
Every now and then, when I’m at the organ I can feel a presence behind me. It’s warm. And it’s comforting. I’m not sure what I believe in. I don’t know if there is an after-life or not. I don’t know if there is a heaven or a hell. I don’t even know what I believe in to be honest. There are so many things that we just don’t know enough about in this world. This could explain my obsession with the occult and supernatural.
I like the idea of a heaven and hell. A place for people to go when they die. It is a comforting thought. But I’ve also studied other religions and subject matters that tell me a different story.
Native American Shamanism
For many years, I studied Native American Shamanism. In my line of work, I am blessed to work with Elders and learn about their protocols and traditions. I have attended sweat lodges, pipe ceremonies, and eagle feather ceremonies. I’ve also attended naming ceremonies and have participated in smudges as well. I’ve learned a lot in the past few years about the Indigenous ways and history.
The Native Americans have a belief that dreams are a doorway between the living world and the spiritual world. When we go to sleep at night, the dreams serve as a doorway for our ancestors to find their way to us. These practices have been around for thousands of years. Medicine people are often referred to as Dream Walkers or Spirit Walkers.
Dream Walkers (Spirit Walkers)
The Dream Walker enters a hypnotic state of mind or altered state of consciousness through different methods. The more common practice is using the steady beat of a hand drum, and a rattle. In drumming circles for instance, drummers keep a steady beat with a hand drum while the leader of the circle chants and says prayers to induce that altered state of being.
Dreams serve many purposes in the Native American culture. Medicine people use the dreams to consult with their ancestors or spirit guides or to seek counsel. Spirit guides can appear to you in many forms – as animals or as loved ones.
What led me to becoming a writer
This is a very high level explanation of what Shamanism and Dream Walking is. I promise I will go into more detail in later posts. There is a reason I’m explaining this to you. I warned you that I have a lot of interests. I’ve dabbled in areas of the occult over the years but I feel a strong tie to the ways of the Indigenous peoples.
Sometimes I feel like I am a Dream Walker or Spirit Walker. I have had many experiences that I cannot explain. These experiences are what led me to become a writer.
I have open ended beliefs. I don’t like labels. I don’t know what I am exactly or what I believe in. But all I know is what I have felt and experienced.
After my mum died, I stopped writing for a long time. I didn’t feel inspired. I was having terrible nightmares about her death. Terrible dreams about the house that I had grew up in. I truly believed that her spirit was trapped inside the house. Now I’m unsure of what the dreams meant. I think it was just my way of dealing with the loss and grief. Thankfully those dreams stopped. I still dream of my mother from time to time. She’s alive and happy now when she appears to me.
Back in 2017, I had a dream about my mother. She told me that I needed to start writing again. It was that dream that led me to write an e-book about her death. It also led me to use a pen name and create this identity. Using a pen name just gives me creative freedom with the stress or worry of causing drama.
Writing an e-book about my mother’s death was extremely cathartic for me. I chose to use a pen name because it helped me to express myself freely without legal repercussions. If you want to read more about that experience – check out my book on Amazon – When I Get to Heaven.
It’s interesting to think that this book exists because my mother told me to write it – in a dream. And it’s the only book that I’ve finished.
Writing the e-book made me remember a dream I had about my grandmother years ago. It was back in 2005 when I first took the job at the church. I wasn’t a very religious person and I hemmed and hawed at the idea of working there. But music was important to me, as was my family. So after much convincing from the pastor, I accepted the offer. And thus began my career as a church organist.
My aunts always told me how proud my grandmother would have been if she could see me play. It is something I often think about on Sunday mornings. How I wished she could have seen me. Sometimes I think she is sitting there watching me as I play. Sometimes I feel like she’s around. Just like I can feel my mother’s energy around me at times.
Shortly after I started playing at the church, I had a dream about granny. It was the first and last dream I ever had about her.
My dreams are pretty out there. They are vivid, with surround sound and living colour. It’s often like I’m watching myself act out a movie or television scene. Everything feels so real that I sometimes wonder – maybe it really happened.
We know so little about how the brain works. The brain seems to work differently when we’re sleeping than when we’re awake. Because my dreams are so realistic, I try to wind down before going to bed with relaxing music. The music below – I can’t begin to tell you how it makes me feel when I listen to it. It’s transcendent.
This dream might be one of the most profound things I’ve had happen to me in my forty-two years of life. I still remember it like it was yesterday.
I think I saw heaven
I think, for a moment, I saw heaven. It even felt like a spiritual experience. It’s hard to actually write down what happened in words. I feel like no matter how I explain it – or describe it to you, you won’t get the impact that this dream had on me. It was deep. It was profound. And I’m pretty sure that I experienced some kind of supernatural connection with my grandmother.
At the beginning of the dream, I was standing in a very dark and cold room. The room was empty. I looked down at the floor. It was black. A marble of some kind. I stood there in silence looking around the room, as if to survey the scene laid out before me.
The room was circular. The more I looked around, I noticed that it was almost a perfect circle. There were staircases around the room. And every few feet there were white hand rails.
It almost reminded me of a train station I had been to as a kid. I remember closing my eyes in the dream, as I wondered what I was doing there.
When I opened my eyes, the room was full of life. There was an electricity in the air. Static all around me. I could flashes of light zipping around the room like energy bolts. When I looked even more closely, I could see humanoid shapes.
The lights made noises as they zipped by me. It was like being caught in an electrical storm. It almost reminded me of the sound that a bug catcher makes when a bug is zapped. The sounds very loud and short.
A bright white light appeared above me and I looked up. The noise in the room became unbearable. I could hear voices all around me. I shielded my eyes and everything grew quiet.
When I opened my eyes again, I looked down at the floor. For some reason, I knew that I should kneel down on the cold floor. And so I did.
Within seconds, I felt something resting on my arms. It was my grandmother. She looked like she was at peace. She looked happy. She was the same age that was when she died. She wore a simple black dress.
She opened her eyes and I looked down at her face. I could feel the tears well up in my eyes. I knelt on the hard cold marble floor with my grandmother in my arms. The rest of the room fell silent.
My grandmother couldn’t speak. But she held my hand, gave me a nod, and smiled at me. I cried at that point within the dream. The tears spilled down my face. She didn’t need to use words. I knew exactly what she was trying to say to me.
It was like we communicated telepathically.
She told me that she was proud of me. She said that she could see me play on Sundays. And knowing that I was there at the church, made her happy.
She didn’t need to speak these words. I could somehow – hear her thoughts.
Just as quickly as she appeared in my arms, my grandmother disappeared. I remember feeling her weight on my arms and watching her as she dissipated into thin air. I lifted my hands in shock at how fast it all happened.
I’ve written this story so many times. I can remember this dream so clearly. Even now, I have goosebumps. I don’t know what to believe in. But I do believe this dream – somehow she found her way back to me.
When she disappeared, the room that I was in – it had changed. It looked different. I closed my eyes and found myself lying in bed. And then I woke up.
This morning while at the organ, I’m pretty sure I felt my grandmother near by. I can’t explain it. It’s a feeling. It’s comforting. I saw a flash of her smile. It made me smile too. And while I haven’t dreamed of her since that profound dream – I truly believe that wherever she is, she’s resting. And she’s at peace. And I’m sure she’s there with my mum watching over us.