5Q :: Author explores dreams involving deceased loved onesIf you, like President Obama, have been visited in a dream by an “in transition” family member, we’ve got the book for you: Luellen Hoffman’s “Special Dream.”
No matter what you think the afterlife has in store for us, there have been some unexplainable “coincidences” that some believe prove a link between the our world and the afterlife.
In her book “Special Dream,” author Luellen Hoffman has compiled a number of people’s stories where they believe recently deceased loved ones have come back to them in the theater of the mind.
With an open mind, we approached Hoffman to talk about her book’s recently released second edition:
Budgeteer: For the uninitiated, what is the encounters-with-the-other-side phenomenon you write about in “Special Dream”?
Hoffman: After a loved one or good friend dies, they come back to visit you in a very intense, special dream to let you know they are OK. There is no time limit to when this can happen, but 80 percent of the time it occurs shortly after the person dies.
Have you ever had such a “special dream”? And what prompted you to put together an entire book about the matter?
Yes, my husband died suddenly in 1994 and, a day or two after his funeral, he appeared to me, standing at the left side of my bed. He was very happy and wanted to tell me something — something important — but I was angry with him for dying, so with my thoughts I told him to just go away, and he immediately did.
This dream experience was very intense and it really bothered me, so I wanted to find out what happened to me and what that visitation from my husband meant.
So I spent the next 10 years looking for an answer and couldn’t find one. All the books on dreams were focused on the meaning of dreams and the interpretation of dreams — or how to have lucid dreams. There was nothing that I could fine about this type of dream, and there was no data gathered on this specific subject.
Finally, in 2007, I made it my New Year’s resolution to find out if there were others like me who had this experience, so I placed ads in small community newspapers across the nation. I asked people if they ever had someone close to them die and come back in a special dream, and 300 responded. I started collecting their stories for my own research and understanding, and then I compiled the information into a book.
You believe President Obama had one of these dreams, as relayed in his book “Dreams From My Father.” For those of us who haven’t read his book, what did he say that made you feel this way?
Yes, I believe Barack Obama definitely had a special dream of his father. [It happened] while he was a student at Columbia University, a year after his father died. In his book he shares that he had a dream that gave him closure with a man who had abandoned him at the age of 2.
There is a great deal of healing and forgiveness in these dreams, and Barack describes his deep compassion for his father in his dream. These dreams are very intense; often people wake up with tears on their face, emotionally touched or shaken, just as the president describes.
Whenever you devote your life to out-of-the-ordinary happenings, people are bound to misunderstand your aim. What have reactions been like to your book’s first edition?
This book strikes a chord in people’s hearts. When I talk about the book and explain it, I often see people start to cry because they know what I am talking about. It has been almost 16 years since my husband died and it has taken me this long to talk about it without crying. It is very hard to lose someone you love, and I want to help those in bereavement and to show them that if they do have a special dream, it’s OK: They are not alone or crazy. Three hundred people shared their stories with me, as well as many others during the book tour, so I know they are not crazy.
These dreams are rare, happening only to 3 percent of the population; so, if you receive one, it is a gift … a gift from God. The book isn’t about death but about love, and how love never dies. When our loved ones are gone, we don’t stop loving them and, according to the stories told in the book, it is clear we will be together again. My book was written to help people discern if they had one or not. If you think you had one but are not sure, you can send it to me on my Web site, www.specialdream.org, and I will let you know.
Finally, are you wary of delving into the dreams of the family members of recently deceased celebrities as some people are out just to make a buck?
That is bound to happen and there is no way to prevent it, but my book explains what a “special dream” is and what it is not. You can’t make it happen nor can you go to a medium to make it happen, so don’t waste your money.
However, Native Americans believe that after someone dies they come back in a dream to a family member to let the whole family know they are alright. I believe this too, which means all the stars who have died did come back to someone in their circle of family and friends, but this person who had the special dream is probably too afraid to let the other family members know. My message to them is to go ahead and tell them, it’s alright, don’t be afraid, you’re not crazy.
NEWS TO USE
The second edition of Luellen Hoffman’s book “Special Dream: Consoling Dreams After the Death of a Loved One” is available now. See www.specialdream.org for ordering information.
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