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Greg's Gift

Dreamed June 1995 by Sheila and Trish, as reported by Janis Amatuzio

[Janis Amatuzio, coroner in the Minneapolis area, dealt with a car crash in which one driver, Gregory Bare, died almost instantly. Days later, when she called Bare's mother with the final autopsy results, the conversation veered unexpectedly:]

"Doctor," she said, "so many things have happened since Greg's accident. I just don't know anymore. May I tell you something?"

"Yes," I said, uncertain of what would follow.

"When our two boys were young, my husband and I hired a wonderful young woman, Sheila, to be the boys' babysitter. As things went on, the boys fell in love with her, and I guess that I did, too. She referred to them fondly as her 'little boys' and would remind Greg of how she took care of him in his favorite blue sleeper pajamas. After the children were grown and off to college, she and I drifted apart. She moved to California; we would hear from her occasionally when she came home to visit her parents."

"I'm listening," I said.

She took a deep breath. "You are not going to believe what happened. Several weeks after Greg's accident, I was thinking about her and received a card in the mail from her that same day. After reading Sheila's card, I called her.

"She told me that on the night that Greg died, she was awakened by a loud but 'inaudible' voice that said, 'Hey, Sheila!' She sat up in bed. Greg was standing next to her. He seemed very distraught that he had caused his family and friends such pain and sadness. She understood immediately and comforted him as she had done so many times in the past. Then he was gone. She said that she was somewhat startled by his sudden appearance and departure, but that she fell back asleep.

Three nights later, however, she was awakened again--this time by a gentle light and presence filling her bedroom. And she saw Greg, my son, standing at the foot of her bed. She was amazed; he seemed calm and clear. He spoke to her and said, 'Please don't be startled. Tell my mom I am fine; tell her I love her and I am not alone.'

Sheila became aware of another presence with Greg: his grandmother--my mother, Verne. He stood there smiling at Sheila, and then he was gone. The light in her room shimmered and faded. She subsequently called her parents and found out about Greg's accident. She felt compelled to write me."

"Your mother?" I asked.

"Verne, my own mother. She died from cancer two years before Greg was born. You may think that I am crazy, Doctor, but that's not all. Three nights after his death, he also visited his girlfriend, Trish, in much the same way. Trish awakened to see Greg standing ar the foot of her bed. She felt very calm. She asked Greg if he was okay and if he was alone. He told her that he was fine and certainly not alone. He said, 'There are so many people here.' She was very comforted by his presence.

"What do you think this means, Doctor? So much has happened, and now this."

"Well, Mrs. Bare, the most important thing is what you feel about this."

She paused, and I could hear her weeping once again.

"At first I didn't know what to think, but there is something that comforts me. I feel more peaceful. I feel they really did see Greg, that he is with my mother. I feel calmer now. This is all so strange, but somehow I know that he is still with us and that we'll see him again."

I thanked her, and marveled at it all.

--Janis Amatuzio


Janis Amatuzio's two books are full of death- and near-death experiences, but this stands out. In most, when survivors have visions of recently-lost loved ones, one can argue the living are just comforting themselves. It's possible to treat Trish's dream/vision this way.

But Sheila, across the continent, didn't know of Greg's death; yet she gets not one but two visitations, first from a Greg freshly dead and quite upset about it--hardly comforting!--then from a more acclimated Greg a few days later. Sheila's dreams aren't a response to learning of his death, they inform her of his death, which she then confirms. It's hard to treat this as either coincidence or wishful thinking.

It is possible, if you accept ESP as real but find ghosts harder to swallow, to claim Sheila sensed Greg's death and dreamed that second image of Greg in a happy afterlife, to comfort herself and perhaps the family; but her first dream is hard to explain that way. In contrast, if you grant Greg his own viewpoint and motives, all seems simple and emotionally plausible. Occam's Razor ("the simplest explanation is usually right") applies.

--Chris Wayan

SOURCE: Forever Ours by Janis Amatuzio, © 2002, 2004; p. 80-81

LISTS AND LINKS: cars - crashes - death - ghosts and revenants - friends and family - Minneapolis - two more by Janis Amatuzio: Joyous Ride and What Really Happened

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