I have posted before (although it's been a few years) about my grandfather and my mom visiting me in my dreams. Those occurrences were both frustrating and comforting, but they were not "startling." Over the course of time, I had come to understand that I would sometimes have those types of dreams and always knew my family would never do anything to hurt or scare me.
Since my last story, I lost my dad. He passed away in November 2013. In the years since, I've had some dreams about him as well that I feel sure are more than simple "dreams." He was a very logical and stoic man in life, and I feel his essence hasn't change since his death. In my dreams about my father, his messages are very basic and straightforward - he is checking on me to make sure I am OK and sometimes expressing his displeasure about a decision I have made (that hasn't changed!).
However, the reason I am writing today is to talk about the day he died. He had been in a rehab facility to recover from some complications of his diabetes and was on the mend. I had traveled to see him for his birthday over the weekend and had left to come back home on Sunday. He was on the mend, in good spirits, and I told him I would see him over the holidays. Unfortunately, that never happened because he passed away the following Wednesday - 3 days later. My brother called me at work to tell me had had a heart attack and died nearly instantly. I was in shock and disbelief - and still not over my mom's passing not even 18 months earlier.
I left work immediately and went home to pack. I live in NC, and my dad lived in VA. That night I thought I would never be able to sleep. Instead, my mental exhaustion allowed me to fall asleep fairly easily. I woke up a few times during the night, and each time I saw my dad at the foot of the bed. There was no misty cloud or translucent figure. My dad was there, clear as anything in front of me. I thought maybe I was dreaming, but one time I sat up in bed and still saw him. He was not speaking or moving. He was just...there. I was not scared by any means - it was my dad, after all. But I was startled. I wanted to say something, do something. And yet I couldn't do anything but stare silently at the figure looking back at me. Then like that - he was gone. It took me a while to get back to sleep after that, but I was comforted, saddened, and hopeful all at the same time.
Because he left so suddenly, I think he wanted to check on me and say a quick (yet stoic) goodbye before he moved on to whatever comes next. I haven't seen him like that since that night.