My father’s after-life journey

My father’s after-life journey

So this was a man who was a very devout Catholic all his life. From a farming family, he attended school to become a draftsman, though what he really wanted was to be a priest. But for some reason that never worked out. AfterWW11 he left with the last contingent to leave Latvia with other German troops, along with my mother and other refugees and ended up in a German prisoner of War camp in Germany. He managed to get out of there on a happy coincidence to join my mother who was in a refugee camp close by. With the 3 of us together their choice was to emigrate to Canada eventually & work for a farmer for a year, as was the custom then.

His whole life was lived devoted to the church, and as virtuous as he was able. He was loved by everyone as a quiet, peace-loving person who did the best he could.

A few weeks before he died I dreamt that the farmer had walked off the field: I saw a large field surrounded by brush/ trees. In the middle was a man on a tractor. He got off his tractor, and left the field. I only understood that after his death, that this was a death dream: he was the farmer / came from farmer stock and he was done doing his job on earth. Time to leave.

Soon after he died I dreamt that he was watching me from a sort of long cupboard, set in the wall. propped up on one elbow, his eyes following me around the room. I guess that meant that he was in no position to be active but that he was nevertheless quite aware of what I was doing.

Then at monthly/ bi-monthly intervals came a series of dreams describing his progress. One dream described him being in a hospital setting on a very low-lying cot, from which he occasionally had to get up from in order to vomit in the bathroom next door. This seemed to indicate that, as for many people, there is a recovery period, which may involve things to get rid of from one’s belief system. As we all need to do during our lives: reassess old briefs & possibly adopt new ones.

Then a dream of meeting with him in an old friend’s kitchen. Sitting at their kitchen table we had evidently been talking. His head was down as if quite sad about something. I was urging him to talk to me: “what’s the matter pop, tell me!’ Through a nearby door I could see my daughter passing by but she didn’t see us there. This dream was quite a progress from the last dream. First of all it takes place at a higher level physically. Their main floor kitchen was a higher level than average, whereas the preceding dream seemed to be at a basement level. This is progress mentally/spiritually to a higher level. That my daughter didn’t see him was interesting. She actually was very close to my father & she fondly remembered him feeding the chipmunks at the cottage. After he passed, she was on a camping trip with several friends. There were chipmunks around & everyone was trying to entice them with goodies. No takers. But one came right up to her even though she had no food for him. She cried, because she felt strongly that was her grandfather.

Then a final dream came a good while after that, maybe 6 months or a year later I dream he came to see me quite jolly and happy, dressed exactly like a Scottish golfer – the short skirt, the knee length socks, the cap with the tassel, and complete with a set golf clubs. (He’d never golfed in his life.) He was evidently off golfing, and in a great mood, having the time of his life. After that I’ve never had any dreams about him at all. So all I can conclude is that he had a rough recovery but now his understanding is of a higher, happier level, and his life now proceeds joyfully forward.

It’s interesting that that year of struggle after he died was so difficult for him. He died a good Catholic, is all I can conclude – with all the cultural beliefs and expectations that such a background allows. Joy is not one of its chief characteristics. Struggle, sacrifice, hardship that yes. Stiff upper lip, endurance, bent shoulders, bear your burden, sin, guilt, shame – absolutely. Seems from this, one could conclude that in his life outlook – he erred. And it took him quite some time to recover, to finally come to JOY – as we all should.


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