We had a lively conversation this past Saturday morning at St. George’s over coffee after Eucharist. As usual, we discussed a lot of topics, but one was my blog post from last week about communicating with the dead, particularly my parents. Everyone presented a variety of views, but I was most interested in Rev. Malone Gilliam’s observation that often when we are stressed in our lives, we see visions or have dreams. We may perceive unusual events during these very emotional times.

I hadn’t thought about it before, but Malone was right. The three times that I visited my parents’ gravesite and heard their voices were all very stressful periods for me:

In 2002, I had been trying to get pregnant for 8 years without success, and a dear family member had tried to commit suicide and was in drug rehabilitation. We still hadn’t recovered from 9/11 the previous year when I was just outside of Washington, DC when the world changed.

In 2007, I was still undergoing treatment and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer diagnosed the year before. My marriage was starting to unravel and I couldn’t understand why.

In 2012, my ex-husband had just passed away from cancer and I was mourning the loss of our shared memories, and experiencing sadness for the loss for his family.


It was even more interesting that I visited my parents’ gravesite 10 days ago on January 3, 2014 when I was in Perry, NY for my book launch. I arrived after a snowstorm had dumped 14” in the past 48 hours only to find that the cemetery was unplowed and locked, and my parents’ tombstone was buried under at least a foot of snow. I thought about jumping the fence but decided it was too risky. Instead I said a short prayer outside the gate and drove away. I didn’t hear my parents’ voices, and I didn’t have a conversation with them this time. I also can honestly say that I’m not worried about anything in my life.

Maybe Malone is right, that unusual dreams and visions happen when we are stressed.

Will I hear their voices again?  I don’t know the answer, but I am relying on the verse from 1 Peter 5:7:  “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.”

Blessings, my friend,


(click below for MP3 file)