During the middle of the day on February 1, 1993, I found myself with some spare time. Time to sort through some boxes in the garage from our move in November. I saw a long-forgotten box that I just dreaded. I had no idea what to do with the contents of this box, for it contained the letters and photographs of my fiancé, Jim, who died in the Viet Nam war. I heard a small voice in my mind saying "It's OK now - you can handle it. Go through the box before you throw it away."

I opened the box and I read one of Jim's letters and I immediately crumbled to the concrete slab, unable to stand on my feet. Tears started flowing like a river. To put it mildly, I was a complete and total mess in the span of less than two minutes.

I somehow managed to "put myself together" before my husband came home. He did not have a clue that anything was out of the ordinary. The next morning, I called Joann, my  counselor, whom I had seen for a few months about two years earlier and now was a friend. I had originally gone to her for issues relating to delayed grief about my family. I will always be grateful to Joann for the love and time that she gave to me.

When I was a teenager, during a 6 year time frame, I lost 9 people - both parents, both sets of grandparents, my favorite cousin, a friend and Jim. I was totally and completely numb - I couldn't even cry. So I held that grief inside of me for over 20 years with an iron-clad determination "never to let God see me cry."

In counseling, Joann helped me "process" the grief for 8 of the people; but I could not go into the grief that I felt about Jim. Instead, I denied that there was any grief there; after all, I was now married.

Two days passed before I saw her - I was basically a basket case by this time; I couldn't stop crying. I had never seen myself out-of-control before and it frightened me terribly. I told her that I wanted to ask God for Jim's presence - it would help the grieving process I felt. She told me that she didn't think it was wise, but I countered that if I was asking God, then His will be done - if it wasn't wise, then let God be the judge of that.

That night, I got down on my knees and asked God for Jim's presence. I just couldn't bear this terrible oppressive grief that I was going through. I went to bed. I had no idea what I had asked God for; nor did I envision how Jim's presence was going to manifest itself or even if it could.

Much to my shock and complete disbelief, I was awakened around 2:00 a.m. by Jim's voice. I heard his voice with my physical ear. It was undeniably him. Jim was from Texas and that accent was too distinctive to be mistaken. Again, he spoke my name and then he told me to write his grandmother. Write his grandmother? I had no contact with Jim's family since his death - I was sure that she must be dead by now. Jim assured me that she was alive and that I could reach her. I started to argue with him and tell him that it was absurd for me to write this letter. He just kept saying to write his grandmother.

Finally, I decided to get out of bed and I would write the letter. I had read plenty of psychology books, and I knew the cure for this. I would write the letter and simply throw it away. I would be cured...and my grief would be over.

I wrote an 8 page letter to his grandmother, telling her how much I had loved Jim - and that I would have been proud to have been his wife. Jim kept telling me to tell her "the truth" about what happened. In a letter to Jim shortly before he died, I asked him for more time before we married - I wanted him to have some time to adjust from the war before we married. At my young age, I did not know how this might sound to someone on the front lines. Jim misinterpreted the letter and wrote his grandmother and father that I had broken up with him. That letter was delivered on the day of his funeral.

So, in no way did I want to write his family; I was sure that they must hate me. So I know that this came from outside of me. I carried the guilt that I was responsible for Jim's death for 23 years; it was a tremendously heavy burden. Jim wanted his grandmother to know the truth.

After the letter was written, I felt that "the voice" would go away. It didn't. And by this time, Jim was communicating with me telepathically, although sometimes, I would still hear him with my physical ear. Jim kept after me to mail the letter. I then started arguing with him that it would be better to send it to his father - it would be easier on him than on the grandmother. Jim told me that I would not be able to reach his father as he had divorced Jim's stepmother (Jim's mother had died when he was 14) and had moved out of state. This information later proved to be true. By this time, I had come across the only letter from his grandmother that I had kept - there was no name on the envelope (she had insisted that I call her by the endearment that Jim called her - Memie). There was a street address, but that's all. I couldn't for the life of me remember her name. I then utilized a phone service that would give you the missing information. The phone number that I had for her (in one of Jim's letters to me) was still good and the service provided her name. The only difference was that the street address had changed - same street, four blocks south. As soon as I heard her name, I knew it was Jim's grandmother.

In that only letter from Memie that I had saved all those years, she mentioned Jim's birthday - February 1st. I hadn't consciously remembered his birthday - and that was the very day that I found his letters again.

For a whole month, I argued with Jim about sending that letter. I prayed constantly to God about what to do. I didn't want to hurt his grandmother by opening up a wound that would surely hurt her. Jim's mother, Memie's daughter and only child, had died of cancer four years before Jim died. I knew that Memie had her share of sorrow on this earth. Jim kept insisting that I send it and so I finally did. I begged God for forgiveness if I had done wrong.

Memie wrote me back and I would have received her letter about ten days earlier; however the postal service apparently sent it to a northern state before sending it to me. I was literally chewing my nails waiting for that letter from her. Ironically, her letter arrived on March 29th - the anniversary of the day that I met Jim. I began to notice the "coincidence" of events, as though an unseen force was directing all of this.

Memie wrote me back a 15 page letter - it was a real outpouring of love and grief. She never had a support group for her intense grief and it flowed out of her letter to me. She wanted to meet me and asked me to come and visit her.

During these first 3 months, I was experiencing dreams of what I imagine was Viet Nam - a lot of them in the nighttime - with bursts of what I felt were "firefights". I then read a couple of "grunts" books of what that war was like. Jim came to me one day and told me that he was not giving me the dreams - I was doing it to myself and that he could stop it; and the dreams did stop. He also asked me not to read any more Viet Nam war books.

In June, I flew out to visit Memie. I was only going to stay 2 days, but she asked me to stay 10 - and it was very hard for me to leave at the end of those 10 days. We could both feel Jim's presence very much around us - it was incredible. I felt that I could hear him breathing. I hesitatingly told her that Jim had spoken to me - that I had actually heard him. And without missing a beat, she told me that she believed me for Jim had appeared to her as she sat down to read my first letter.

She read the letter that I had written to Jim explaining that we needed time - for some strange reason, Jim had returned that letter to me and had written over it - it was undeniably his writing on my letter. Memie could see for herself that I had not broken up with Jim. She hugged me and told me that there was nothing to forgive. I felt as though a huge boulder had been lifted from my shoulders. I went home fully expecting to "let go" of Jim - after all, it's what the counselor said I had to do; what the self-help books say to do. I allowed myself time to grieve and cry and I was constantly reading Jim's letters. One day, I heard him ask me why I was skipping portions of his letters. [At this point, I also was aware that he was able to read my thoughts.] I was skipping the parts that mentioned that we would be married. And Jim pointed this out to me. I responded to Jim not to make it harder than it already was - that I must let him go.

And then that's when he told me that I didn't have to let him go - not ever. He told me that we would be married in the Afterlife. This is not what I expected to hear; nor at that time, wanted to hear. I couldn't believe this - I had never heard of this. I literally begged Jim not to do this to me - I was suffering so much already. I couldn't bear any more suffering. I then got my Bible (by now I was reading it daily because I remembered my dear grandmother saying that she read it every day - and I also was feeling her presence this time). And I opened it to the passages where Jesus says that there is no marriage. And Jim just kept repeating that it wasn't what it appeared to be.

A couple of days later, I saw Joann for the last counseling session, as she was moving out of state. She knew that something was wrong, even though I tried my best not to show it. She asked what Jim was saying to me (apparently she believed me that I was truly talking to him). I replied that he loved me. She then asked me again what he said, and again I just mumbled that he loved me. She again insisted a third time and that's when I broke down and cried. I told her that Jim said that we would be married in the Afterlife. "Surely you don't mean sex?" At that point, it was the farthest thing from my mind because I would have been in heaven just to be able to touch Jim's hand. And it was the most amazing thing because I turned to where I could sense Jim was sitting and I opened my mouth and I said, "Well, we are all adults here - yes, that's what I mean." It felt as though Jim had spoken through me. Well, to put it mildly, I was in a state of total confusion and Jim abruptly left.

When I got home, Jim drew close to me - and I told him to get away from me. I could sense that he felt hurt that I thought that he was lying to me. At that point, I told God, rather disrespectfully, that if He wanted to answer prayer, He could just send down my mother - I needed her. And much to my utter shock, she was there. I could feel her presence - it was overwhelming, and undeniably her. She was angry - she told me that she had been protecting and watching over me since she had died (when I was 15) and that no one from the other side could lie to me. She told me that Jim was telling me the truth and that I must listen to him. I then fell down on the floor sobbing, and as I lay there, it felt like my head was in her lap and she was stroking my hair. It was real.

I knew that there was no way that were was no possible way that I could be fooled about my mother's presence - we had been so very close when she was in this world, and I knew without doubt that I could trust her. I then told God that I would suspend my disbelief and keep an open mind, but that I needed help in searching for answers. By this time, I was already reading a book a night and had probably read over 150 books dealing with the afterlife.

A couple of weeks later, on August 4th, about 10:00 a.m., I was working on the computer. For some reason, I turned around and standing in the doorway was my cousin Jerry, who had died when he was 13…only he looked to be 20. He didn't say anything, but just smiled. I knew it was him…by his smile and his eyes. He was in color, 3D and looked as real as anybody here on earth. No…nothing special about light, but he did wear a suit and tie!

I asked Jim about my cousin, and he told me that he was on a baseball team in Heaven. This would have been a big thing for Jerry, as he was born with holes in his heart, and was never allowed to run like "normal" kids. He told me that Jerry was engaged to be married, but was waiting for his mother to cross into the afterlife (his father had already crossed). I just rolled my eyes at what Jim said.

I also asked Jim why I didn't see him - I wanted to very badly. And he told me that it was because of me. My mind would have told me that I made all of this up, if I had been allowed to see Jim, because I wanted it so badly. This way, by seeing Jerry instead, I knew that I didn't make it up.

I continued my searching of any and all books that I could find, both in the library and the bookstores. I would also search the bibliographies. I kept seeing the name Emanuel Swedenborg in a few of the books. Every time my eyes rested on the name, Jim would say very strongly to me that I must read his books. I resisted, because I felt that he would be very similar to Martin Luther, who I had already read.

At the end of 8 months, the first part of October, I was very near an emotional breakdown. I just couldn't go on at this frantic pace that I was driving myself. I read yet another book on the afterlife that mentioned Swedenborg, and when my eyes again rested on that name, I could hear Jim literally shouting at me to read Swedenborg. I then went to the library and checked out "Heaven and Hell."

Inexplicably, I sensed that the book was different. I kneeled down and held it up toward the ceiling in the palm of both hands and prayed, "Dear God, let this be the book that has the answers." I then opened up to the Table of Contents and skimmed the listed chapters. Unbelievably to me, there was Chapter 40 - Marriage in Heaven. With heart beating, I turned there first. I expected to read a one-paragraph chapter stating that there was no marriage in heaven. But that was not the case. Tears were streaming down my face as I read that there is indeed marriage in heaven with the spouse that felt like the other part of yourself.

At this moment, I could hear Jim saying, "Honey, I told you so - see it is true." I must have read that chapter 10 times that night and then the next night, I started from Chapter 1. I learned so much from that one little book - I will always be grateful to God for leading me to it. Over the course of the next four years until the present time, I have continued to read Swedenborg and am amazed at how rational, enlightening and loving his writings are. I have no doubt that I am alive today because of these writings.

It took another 1-1/2 years for the intense grief to take its course - I wasn't healed overnight by reading Heaven and Hell. As I slowly began to surrender control of my life to God, I became less and less depressed. Slowly, but surely, God healed me from the inside out. Today, even with me being physically separated from Jim and the rest of my loved ones, I find happiness being alive. I never thought that it would be possible - to be happy on this side, but I am.

I look forward to the day that it is my turn to cross into the spiritual world and start my new married life with Jim, but I also realize that I must have much to do in this world (or else I would have already been gone). I do the best that I can - although I am painfully aware of my spiritual shortcomings from time to time. But I know that the Lord loves each and all of us unconditionally - without regard to religious ties or dogma. He has prepared a heaven for all of mankind - we only have to reach out and accept His gift of everlasting life and to love one another in the spirit as He loves us.

The things that Jim told me regarding this world

That his grandmother was alive and could be reached.

That his grandmother would understand & gain comfort by my contacting her.

That his father had moved out of state and divorced.

The things that Jim told me regarding the next world

That there is free will in the spiritual world.

We do not wear white robes, have halos or wings or strum harps (unless we really want to).

That my cousin, Jerry, was on a baseball team; that he was engaged and would be waiting for his mother to cross over into the afterlife before marrying.

That we are men and women and retain gender identity.

That there was marriage in heaven.

That everything starts in the spiritual world - this natural world has it after the spiritual world has brought it to pass. That everything that is "good" in this world is also in the spiritual world. There is music, art, literature, trees, forests, rivers, lakes, oceans. Whatever we have, the spiritual world has it - only more perfectly.

That people are perpetually young in the afterlife.

Mental abilities are greatly enhanced - people do with their minds what we could only imagine here. But if a person wants to still "do it the hard way and with their hands" that is done as well. (For example, an artist may want to continue painting with his/her hands instead of visualizing completing it mentally.

That you can live anywhere you want geographically in the spiritual world and at any time frame you want. You can live in a foreign land and in the 1800's, for example. Or you can travel to a distant planet and live in a future time frame.

That they have celebrations in the afterlife - weddings, birthdays, graduations, etc. They have food at these celebrations - festive decorations.

They have colors, music and plants that we have never seen or heard here on earth.

That anything that had sentimental value here on this earth can be recreated over there - like photographs, special tokens of love like jewelry, etc.

That there are schools for continuing education.

Visions of the Afterlife that Jim shared with me

Jim insisted on building a house for me. He asked me to design a house plan that I wanted. I bought one of those home planning magazines and started looking at designs (after much objection by me that none of this could possibly be true). I then selected a small cottage. Jim was angry and told me that it was a sign that I didn't truly believe that any of this was true [he was right]. I insisted on the small one. At night, he would share with me the stages of building - footings being poured; foundation; framing, etc. He was building it with his hands. One day, about six weeks after he started the project, he came to me and told me that the cottage plans did not include a fireplace and that he knew I wanted one. I replied back that the plans did indeed include a fireplace - he told me to go look. To my surprise, there was no fireplace. Jim said that he had to rework the plans - remove and anchor some of the framing and redesign the front. My mother then came to me and said that Jim had asked her to decorate the interior (she had been quite good at this). I just laughed for I was having trouble then believing any of this - I told her to surprise me. Later Jim told me that my grandfather was landscaping the grounds (he was an amateur gardener). Within a year, the house was completed and Jim took me for a walkthrough - the house is incredibly beautiful - heavenly. My mother decorated with pastel shades of blue, rose and shimmering gold - yet it is not ornate. She stenciled the ceiling and the edges of the flooring.

Jim was not happy with the bath - and asked me if I cared if he remodeled a bit. I replied he could do anything that he wanted. Just within the last year, he again took me to the house and it was the same as when I first inspected in, with the exception of the bath. When the door was opened, the bath had been changed - it was now about the ten times the size of the original house and it looked like Hawaii with waterfall and streams. Unbelievable!

Wedding Dress
Jim wanted my mother to sew my wedding dress (she was an excellent seamstress here). My mother came to me and asked me what I wanted. I replied that I wanted something very simple - cotton eyelet, street length. She asked me if I was sure about this and I said yes. A couple of weeks later, in a conversation with Jim [I was talking to him on a daily basis], he told me that he was angry about my choice of dress - he wanted something more formal. Again, like the house, he knew that my choice of something modest indicated that I believed none of this. And he was so right! So, I told him that if he was unhappy with the dress that he could design it with my mother. And that seemed to satisfy him. A couple of months later, my mother came to me again and I was given a visual glimpse of the wedding dress she had lovingly created with her hands - just the bodice. I couldn't even begin to describe its beauty. I haven't seen the complete dress, but I have been told that it is completed.

Jim has been able to show me a vision of our future wedding (yes, I can see the wedding dress; but it's from a distance and cannot visualize the complete dress close-up). I have seen the two of us as we take our vows in a chapel, and I see my loved ones there. I have seen portions of the reception, with the decorations and food.

I have continuing dream-state visions of going dancing with Jim. We particularly like the "sock hops" of the late 50's-early 60's, but we also go to the Big Band dances as well. There is so much variety in the Afterlife. We also go ice-skating - feels like flying.

Previous Contacts

In addition to these series of ADCs with Jim, there were two times that he previously made contact with me. About two weeks after his death, I was walking across campus late one afternoon. I heard Jim call my name. I knew that it wasn't possible - so I kept on walking. He then again called my name. Thinking that it had to be someone else, I stopped and turned around - and no one was there.

About 10 years after Jim died, I had a dream - it was very real. This angelic person, definitely a male met me in the hallway of my home. He had a white robe on and I knew that this was a person that I knew before but had died. There was a soft golden light around his head. He put his arm around me - and as I came to from the dream, I murmured to myself that I have never known such love before. Afterwards, I would not dwell on who that person was - too threatening for me at the time. When Jim first starting talking to me again, he "flashed" that dream into my mind and whispered, Remember?


Seeing my departed cousin, Jerry, was terrifying for me initially. I thought that this was a sign that my rational mind was deteriorating under the stress and strain of grief. When I first saw him, it was anything but comforting. After about a month of the pity-party, I finally came to my senses. I then started praying that his immediate family be given the vision that I had so that they would know he was still alive and was now healthy (he was born with heart problems and died when he was 13).

I had lost track of my cousins and aunt. Because there were so many deaths in the family, my extended family fell apart. My aunt became embittered and was extremely judgmental religiously. So over the course of time, I had no contact with any of them. When I started praying that they be given this vision, I had not seen some of them for 22 years.

About a year after I started praying that his family be given this vision, I received a late-night phone call from Jerry's sister, JoAnn (Jo). She told me that she could not get me out of her mind - that for the last several months, she had been thinking of me. She did not know where I lived and then decided to "track me down". She lived about a two hour drive from me. She stated that she had been quite ill and I made arrangements to see her. I could barely speak to her on that first call, for I was crying like a baby. I decided to wait to see her in person before I told her of my vision.

When I went to see Jo, she was indeed very ill and still is - emphysema, and she was on oxygen. I told her about Jerry and my prayer. Without skipping a beat, she told me that she believed me. She then told me that she had a NDE and that a former boyfriend had visited her in this NDE. [I knew at this point that he had died, but she did not know how much I knew then]. She said that Mike had been her true love, but that he had moved away when he was in the 11th grade and they had lost touch. She said when she came back from the hospital, he was talking to her telepathically all the time. She could not get him out of her mind. She then tried to search for him and could not find him, but did locate his parents by phone. They were thrilled that someone had remembered him - for he had died some 25 years before [just 17 days before my Jim had died]. She was terribly confused. She was confined to her house and was unable to research through books what had happened to her. This was before the days of the World Web on the Net. She had to rely on occasional television programs for help in understanding what had happened.

Since she had been raised as a fundamentalist, she didn't know what to make of her experience. She was clearly suffering in so many ways: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

At this point, I told her about Jim - what my experiences were and I shared with her what he had told me about the afterlife. I told her about marriage in heaven and she looked at me startled. She stated that is what her Mike told her, and she could not believe it.

She has now read several Swedenborg books and has at last come to terms with her experience. Unfortunately, she is in worse shape physically; she is on a ventilator. Life is clearly rough for her, but she is conscious and mobile in a wheelchair. She no longer fears death as she did before reading about the afterlife, but knows it will be a gateway for physical, emotional and spiritual healing for her.

Updated March 17, 1999 - My cousin crossed over into the spiritual world yesterday - she has now been freed from her painful ordeal and no doubt reunited with our loved ones.

Jim's grandmother crossed into the Spiritual world on December 26, 1997; I really miss her, but know that she is incredibly happy to be reunited with her daughter and grandson.

Update: Summer, 2001 - Last year, Jim's cousin, Bill and his wife, Sue found my memorial site for Jim and contacted me. What a blessing and comfort their friendship has been to me.

On Memorial Day, 2001, one of the men who served with Jim in Vietnam also found my memorial site for Jim and wrote me. Some three months before Jim died, Rick and Jim were shipped to different units. Rick thought Jim went home, but at the last minute, Jim was ordered into a different unit and stayed in Vietnam. Rick started thinking of Jim over the years and on Memorial Day, 2001, he decided to search the Net to see if he could find Jim and unfortunately then found out that Jim did not survive the war.

I am grateful to God for directing these loved ones of Jim to me. May God bless them always for their caring and concern in contacting me.

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