Many years have gone by since the day I believe I first met my Grandma and Uncle Frankie, nobody told me about them. I just knew they both stood looking at me. The event stands out in my memory as though it happened earlier today; in fact, it happened many years ago when I was just a small girl. They had both died before I was born, around 40 years prior to that faithful day when I experienced something so special. Let me explain.
It was a beautiful summers school day. I didn't have a care in the world, as I swung my way down the narrow streets to school. My family and I lived in a small seaside town called Shoeburyness, located on the south east coast of England. The school I was making my way to, although small for a primary school, had a swimming pool to ensure that all the children learned how to swim. A non-negotiable lesson as I remember -- a break from the normal routine -- something to look forward to with glee and excitement. The sea front not far from the school was always a pull for us children, so learning to swim was a must.
I was in the swimming pool, with everyone else, the water was cold and it came up to my chest. I can remember my teacher, Mr. Bartlet being aware I couldn't swim so he kept me nearby. I recall standing behind him, splashing about listening to his every word. To be frank I don't know what happened next. He had a deep bellowing voice to shout instructions. To be honest I don't know what happened next. It was strange. I felt myself standing alone. the atmosphere changed it became dark and I started to panic. At home my mother had always left the hall light on at night, as she knew I feared the dark. I started to cry and call out for her. She wasn't there! I thought I was all alone, as nobody was shouting back to me; however, I didn't feel alone. For some reason I didn't even feel frightened. I felt a warmth inside me as though I was in my mothers arms but I knew she wasn't there.
I sensed that there were people in front of me but couldn't see anyone. Then I heard what I thought was a ladies voice. The pitch was soft and gentle, was I dreaming? I couldn't hear clearly. I just had to get closer so I could comprehend exactly what the voice was saying so I started going toward the tone of the feminine voice. Not really walking, more like drifting, yet not really floating as such. As I got closer I could hear the words this lady was speaking to a figure of a man next to her. She kept saying "There she is. Oh! Isn't she lovely. Look at her." I felt as though I knew her, yet didn't. I couldn't see her clearly nor the man standing to her left but I could make out the shapes of two shadow people, an older woman and a young man. As I got even closer to them, the lady kept saying, "No go back as your Mammy needs you." I couldn't understand what was going on. I just wanted to go with them. It seemed such a happy place to be therefore I kept going forward. However, the lady insisted that I go back as "Mammy needed me." I didn't really want to go back through the dark, however, somehow I was turned back.
Suddenly, I was at the bottom of the swimming pool, looking at the filter. I felt as though I was in a glass of Alka Saltza. There was a rush of bubbles in front of my eyes from what I assume were my nose and mouth. When I got to the top of the pool I had the feeling of complete happiness and yet disappointment that I couldn't stay with the other people. I didn't tell anyone about the incident. I didn't really understand it at the time. I know now it was a near-death experience.
I believe the woman was my Grandmother who passed over in 1929 and the young man, her son/my Uncle Francis, joined her during the 1940's. I have never seen photographs of either of them. I just understand from my feelings that I know who they are! I have no fears of what we call death, although naturally concerned about how my passing will take place. To me life, as we know it, is like a caterpillar. In our human form we move slowly with our cumbersome bodies, however when our time comes we shed our earthly bodies and take on a more beautiful form to carry on in a much better place.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 15 May 2007 01:22 )