My dad passed away just over a year ago and it was very sudden and much unexpected, so it has been especially painful and the shock hasn't worn off yet. Two years my husband and I remodeled and added on to our house and built a large 2 bedroom apt over the garage for my parents to live in, so until his death, I saw my dad every single day. This is the first death I've experienced in my life that is someone I was so close to and it has been really really hard.
The night he died I had a very strange dream that I thought was just a dream until I read some other stories on this site, and now I think it was a "visit" from Papa. It took place in my childhood home (and yet it was very different on the inside for some reason) and in the dream I knew my dad was gone and we were waiting around for family to come over.
I wish I had written this all down because now my memory of some of the specifics is getting harder to recall but I do remember I was in this room sitting on the bed and my dad was there. I was asking him if he was really dead and had he really gone on to another place, another place that I would see him again. And either he told me to (or I just did it - can't remember which) put my hand through his body and I did, and my hand went completely through it as if he was just a spirit. I remember doing it several times, and each time I did it was a very very warm sensation (on my hand). The dream felt so real. Now after reading some of the other stories here, I feel that it was my father coming back the very night of his passing to tell me that he DID go to another place so that I would someday see him again.
Since then I've had about 10 dreams of him and in some of them I know he's gone, and some of them I don't. In the ones I do know, I hug him because I know I won't see him when I wake up.
Then something other than a dream happened last night. As I was going to check on my youngest daughter (2 1/2) at around midnight I was going back down the stairs by her room and all of a sudden I smelled Vicks Vapor Rub. I associate that smell with my dad because he used it all the time in the winter. I didn't know where it was coming from and I went back up and then down the stairs to see if I *really* was smelling it and it was pretty strong and I even have a cold and can't smell all that well! Two hours later (I was still up) I went back to check on my daughter, partially just to see if the smell was still there and it wasn't. At all.
Then I went to bed and I had a dream about my dad. He came walking up to me and in this dream I realized he had passed so I gave him a big hug and several family members and I sat down at a table with him. After awhile I asked him some questions about "the other side" and he answered them. Even though this was only 24 hours ago as I'm typing this, some of the answers I can't remember very well, but I do remember his answers gave me peace.
Each time I dream about him I wake up feeling as though I was just with him which is so comforting to me because it makes it seem like he's still here. What is really odd is that this morning my mom, who was watching my 2 1/2 year old, told me that my daughter got into the Vicks this morning and was playing with it in my mom's room! But she hadn't ever gotten into it before. I find that very odd.
My mom hasn't had any experiences like this. Only I seem to be the one. And I'm thinking it's because it is I who am having the hardest time dealing with his passing. I still cry almost every night before I go to bed because I miss him so much. And of course Thanksgiving and Christmas are hard times of the year. It seems like I read/heard recently that those who are the most hurting from a loss are the ones most likely to "reach out to" from beyond, but who knows.
If any of you have had similar experiences, I'd love to hear them.