Afterlifethoughts & Angels: Part One

What Dreams May Come is a film based on Richard Matheson’s book and stars Robin Williams, Annabella Sciorra and Cuba Gooding Jr. It’s one of my favorite movies, but I can only watch it when I’m feeling relatively stable (TW) as it contains themes of suicide and children’s deaths. An amazingly vivid, imaginative & groundbreaking film, it won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

 * I apologize for the spacing/formatting snafus – WordPress seems to have a glitch today!
I intended to post about the afterlife and angels the week before Halloween, but it simply didn’t happen. Since I’m unable to write coherently (or even incoherently) about the election (plus I’m sure you don’t need to read more about that) today’s the day to expound on the afterlife. Next week’s post will focus on the angels. 
As a special treat, I’m not writing about ten topics in one 2500 word post – hurrah!
The Afterlife
I’ve always been fascinated by the possibility of life after death. However, I didn’t think about it constantly until after my father died in 2009.
I’m reminded of Prince’s solemn “sermon” in his classic song Let’s Go Crazy:
A world of never-ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night…
Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life
You’re on your own.
I think Prince got that right.
A few days ago I was walking Lucy among the peaceful redwoods…
As we trudged along the muddy path, I thought about my friend Ulla who died by suicide not long ago. A wave of guilt hit me because I realized I had stopped thinking about her every day, and while that’s no crime, I felt like an ass. I began speaking to Ulla out loud, not caring if another hiker heard me. I told her I was sorry for placing her on my mental back burner. I said I hoped she was happy wherever she was. And then I begged her to give me a sign she was okay.
I thought a mountain lion sighting (far, far off in the distance) would be cool, or even a brush with the hirsute Bigfoot….yes, Bigfoot allegedly likes to hang out there too. But I settled on a deer sighting. 
As Train’s Pat Monahan sings in Calling All Angels,
I need a sign to let me know you’re here
‘Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear
I want a reason for the way things have to be
I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me 
During the remainder of the hike, I didn’t see a deer or even a bit of deer scat. Even though the skeptic in me thought it was unlikely I’d get the sign I wanted, I was disappointed. I wanted to believe with all my heart, not just some of it, that we move on to a better existence, yet remain connected to those we care about here.
Although I didn’t get the sign I wanted this time around,that won’t stop me from asking her again on another next hike.
Psychic Mediums
An authentic psychic medium can see a client’s past, present, and future and communicates with those who have died. I’ve met with one affordable psychic medium who told me some details about my life that were accurate, but I didn’t have the transformative experience I yearned for: to communicate with my Dad. I wanted to receive a message from him that would prove it truly was him.
I could try another session with a different psychic medium, but our family doesn’t have the financial means to do so. The practitioners with stellar reputations charge astronomical amounts. Unless I’m blessed with an unexpected windfall, I’m not pursuing it.
I love reading well-written books about the afterlife. I admit these works aren’t exactly up there with Shakespeare, so they are a bit of a guilty pleasure, but when I read them I relax. I relish escaping into another world – whether that world is a fantasy or reality, I guess I’ll eventually find out!
Some of my favorite authors include Dr. Raymond Moody, a psychiatrist with a colorful personal history, Maureen Hancock, James Van Praagh, Suzan Saxman and yes, Theresa Caputo, the wacky Long Island Medium. You can give me a hard time about her – I can take it! 🙂
Calling All Angels

This is such a great song, even if you’re not a Train fan! The lead singer Pat Monahan reminds me of a lizard.
Next week in Part Two, I’ll focus on the angels. I want to share something I learned about angels that affected my life for the better. I know that sounds like a dubious claim, perhaps fueled by a “special” brownie, but I’m sincere. When the post is up, please give me the benefit of the doubt and take a peek.
In the meantime, I want to thank you for reading this blog. I know it’s a particularly hard week, so please take care of yourselves. I hope you do something nice for yourself this weekend!
lots of love,


Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October 2017.


28 thoughts on “Afterlifethoughts & Angels: Part One

    • Thanks so much, sweetness! I read your last post late last night on my Kindle, & I will comment tonight like I always do – you know it!!!!!! Thanks for the retweet too, my friend. XOXOXOXOXO

    • Dear Ella’s Mom, haaaa haa! Thank you so much – few movies make me shed tears, but that “What Dreams May Come” makes me blubber in a big, big way. I haven’t seen it since Robin Williams’ passing, so if I saw it now, well, it would be a river of tears. But it’s good to cry sometimes in that kind of situation….XoXo

  1. I guess you can seek actively,, and even pay psychics, however important things like messages from people already gone will come to you regardless if you do not look for them when they are necessary, and it’s the right time for you, one way that had worked for me it is through dreams.

    • Hi there burningheart 💓- thanks so much for writing and sharing…
      Yes, dreaming seems like an ideal way to receive a meaningful message from a loved one;
      I like (make that *really* like!) it that we don’t need to pay for a heartfelt connection! 😊
      Thanks again for stopping by & take care, Dyane

  2. I never saw What Dreams May Come. Maybe I will… I’ve been doing jigsaw puzzles on my iPad for my relaxation and escape. Hope all is well. Sending you my love.

    • Jigsaw puzzles sound soothing to me! I’m glad you have that iPad too because how cool is it to be able to do a puzzle wherever you go….

      My longtime friend Kelly wrote this comment about “What Dreams May Come” on Facebook – you might have seen it:

      “I clearly remember seeing this at the Cinema 9 (Dyane interjects – what a GREAT Santa Cruz screen to see such a film!) when it first came out. I went home with a swollen face from crying so much. Visually it was a feast for the eyes and the storyline went right to my heart.”

      If you like Robin Williams in a serious role (Cuba Gooding Jr. too, for that matter) then I think you’ll appreciate this film whether you or not you agree with Matheson’s vision. I think the artist in you will be inspired by the visuals – they truly are extraordinary. Matheson, a prolific author, also wrote “Somewhere In Time” which was made into a film that made me swoon over Christopher Reeve! 😉

      Fascinating fact: Reeve and Robin Williams were roommates @ the Juilliard School of Dance, Drama & Music (my father’s alma mater) and became friends for life. When Reeve suffered the tragic accident that left him paralyzed, Williams dressed up and acted as Reeve’s personal proctologist (!) and visited his dear friend at the hospital right away to lift his spirits! May both of them be blessed wherever they are right now… XoXo

    • You are SO welcome, my friend!!!

      I’m glad you got over to Henry Cowell, another favorite spot of mine – I truly believe that spending time in these beautiful parks helps our psyche more than we realize! XoXo 💜🌳

  3. It’s dark, sad, brilliantly “painted”, and with a message that I believe. It is hard to watch, for so many reasons, but is one of my all time favorites. The church I was raised in denied the concept of reincarnation, I found it on my own in serious comparative religious studies in college. It just makes so much sense to me that our spirit can return many times in physical form. 💘

    As for those signs, sometimes they come early after one passes, sometimes they take a while. For me, I sense my parents/grands in a variety of ways. Often a song or a scent stirs a memory. Recently I was lost in thought, someone in the distance was smoking a cigar…my father. Estee Lauder “Youth Dew” has been popping up on me lately…my mother. It just makes me smile.☺☺☺

    Have a great weekend, Dy. Look forward to your angel discussion. 💗 💖 💝

    • Love this comment, my sweet Van! 🚐

      The first time I saw this film I couldn’t watch it for more than a few minutes – I wasn’t ready for it.

      It’s hard to believe that now, but that’s what happened. “What Dreams May Come” is a far cry from “Somewhere In Time,” that’s for sure! 😳
      I’m not even 100% certain about reincarnation, although it makes total sense and there are so many convincing anecdotes and studies to support it, especially when children are interviewed about their past lives – I guess I won’t believe it until I “cross into the light” and find out what’s what since I’m a bit of a stubborn water buffalo! 🐃 (I can’t believe there weren’t any mule emojis, how shocking!!)

      I rented “What Dreams May Come” on DVD and it was totally facsinating to watch the “behind the scenes” part (I think those segments are on YouTube as well) and learn how they developed the concept and technology to portray the “painted” scenes. The great, classical artists would be totally dumbfounded by it. 🎨

      I think that’s SO cool you’ve noticed the signs sent by your parents through scent, which is such a powerful medium. Come to think of it, I might have had a sign or two given to me by my dad via a whiff of Old Spice!

      I can’t wait to see what you think of the angel post – in the meantime I’m sending you some heavy-duty virtual hugs and I’m wishing you a good weekend! 😇 💓💗💕

  4. Great clips, Dyane. That is truly such a beautiful film and even more so with Robin William’s passing. Thanks for bringing it to mind for me, I will probably see it again. There is such a sad feeling now everywhere we must all take heart and strength from each other. Blessings to all!

    • Thank you Martha for reading and sharing your thoughts! I’m so glad you also was moved by the film and it’s more poignant now, as you noted, due to Robin Williams’ tragic passing. Your comment “There is such a sad feeling now everywhere we must all take heart and strength from each other” is so very true…

      I hope you enjoy the weekend — I’m sending you a big bear 🐻 hug! 💗

  5. I have to admit, there’s this scientific side of me that enjoyed this post. That’s gonna sound weird…kinda does here too…um, here, I’ll put it this way: as one who was baptized, raised, and continues to live in Christian faith, I’ve always retained a curiosity about how those who DON’T have the same faith as me live. Okay, that still sounds weird, but I think you get it. 🙂 We all want a bit of the comic FAMILY CIRCUS, where the grandma and grandpa leave little hopes and helps and things for the kids, but for some reason, you know, with all I believe, I’ve never thought my grandparents or father would do that–come down, give a message in their way. I think part of it is, heretical as this’ll sound, a bit like the movie BEDAZZLED, where they’re too busy praising God and such, but I guess what’s always mattered more to me is that they’re safe and free all at once. Such a combination is, well, it’s rather impossible down here, isn’t it? But I know my grandfather is no longer starving himself, reunited with his soul mate, who is free of bodily pain. My other grandfather can finally hear what music’s really like, and my grandmother’s mind no longer scares her with mixing the past with the present. My father never spoke of it, but doctors had warned him that MS was starting to set in. I can look back now, and see how hard he had to work at controlling himself physically. To lose himself within himself…no. Dad would have preferred heaven to that, and I think now that God answered his prayers.
    Dangit. I have no good way of closing this ramble, apart from saying prayers and hugs and love to you, Queen Who Hopefully Has Her Java By Now. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • That’s a beautiful, non-rambling comment you wrote there, my friend. Nothing came across as weird!

      I’ve never seen “Bedazzled” but now I’m curious about it…I looked it up and I wonder if you saw the original 1967 version with Dudley Moore (who, strangely enough, was a friend of my father’s and they played jazz together – Moore on piano and Dad on violin – at Moore’s Venice home!) That version was “set in Swinging London” while the 2000 version was directed by Harold Ramis stars Brandan Fraser & Elizabeth Hurley. Hmmmm.

      Speaking of films, my sleepy brain switched over to ponder who wrote the music for “What Dreams May Come” – now I gotta look that up – I’ll be right back!

      Okay, I’m back – check this out – I feel bad for the composer named Ennio!!!

      “The soundtrack for ‘What Dreams May Come’ was composed and conducted by Michael Kamen (Didn’t he compose for ‘Flashdance’??) and produced by James Seymour Brett. Ennio Morricone had completed and recorded a full score for the film, but after editorial changes were made, his score was rejected, and Kamen was hired for the film score.”

      WOW – that’s HARSH! I’d love to listen to both scores and see which one I prefer. Poor Ennio….

      Sorry for that total digression. I remain Rocket Fuel-less, and the Peet’s Major Dickinson’s we have on hand this morning simply doesn’t compare.

      And now I turn to religion. (How’s that for a rough transition?) My psychiatrist is a devout Christian and a lay minister – when I brought up my fascination/obsession with the afterlife, he wasn’t into it…it simply wasn’t his cup of tea and he didn’t shame me for feeling the way I do. He’s more like a therapist than a psychiatrist (and he almost became a therapist) & since I’m not making med changes or have pressing concerns re: bipolar, we talk about whatever, although he remembers to ask me about certain challenges I continue to face, such as dealing with family members, meditation (which I can’t stand yet he keeps reminding me to try it again) and the like.

      Anyway, when it comes to our loved ones who are no longer here, the thought of their being “safe & free” sounds ideal. I hope that’s the case. It seems impossible that once we die, there’s nothing – there’s too much going on here, too many miracles, great works of art, and a little thing called love (plus Rocket Fuel!) for it all to vanish forever.

      I too have no good way of summing this comment up, but I’ll leave you with a thought that popped into my mind: During my hospitalizations when I was hopeless, I knew in my gut that if I had some kind a strong faith, it would have helped me – it wouldn’t take away the soul-crushing crap, but I would have fared better. Ironcially, the nicest nurse I ever encountered during the 7 hospitalizations was a Christian. Debbie gave me a gift (3 silver charms that said things like “Faith”) & a little card when I left the unit! She wrote, “Hold on tight to God – he WILL get you through – you are the the Daughter of the King!!!!” That meant so much to me. My own flesh & blood, who lived near this hospital, never sent me a card or a book or even called me during 6 of my hospitalizations; to have a nurse do that for me struck me as amazing. I called that hospital a couple years later to tell Debbie I made it through, and I never forget her, but in their typical fashion, the staff wouldn’t help me.

      My psychiatrist said that misc. studies show that those with mental illness do better when they believe in some kind of faith (duh!). You’re doing your family a great service by bringing them up believing in God!

      I know I could start attending a church or another type of gathering, and bring the girls with me; I’ve tried it a couple times before at a Methodist Church, but I dropped out. Craig isn’t into any religion; he grew up with it forced down his throat and got turned off. At this point I’m not feeling called to attend a church, but that could change. One never knows round here with this mercurial mind of mind!
      Thanks for reading all that – on the brightest of notes, 🌞🎵I hope your Rocket Fuel arrives today and when it does, please enjoy every highly caffeinated drop – I know you will!!!!!

      The One & Only….
      SpyDy 🚀☕️🔭

      • I got the Rocket Fuel yesterday, and just in time for the final projects to be graded from now until Thanksgiving. UGH.
        That really bums me out about the staff being unable to connect you. When my friend Rachel was in the hospital for her brain tumor,the cycle of nurses was really, REALLY frustrating. We had to literally say over, and over, and over again what we had told someone a few days ago. I get that there’s changes in staff and stuff, but JEEZ, DON’T YOU PEOPLE TALK TO EACH OTHER? So I’m honestly wondering if they knew Debbie. That’s a bummer, because she clearly makes an impact with those around her, but maybe she didn’t relate well to her fellow nurses? Just a thought.
        and YOUR DAD KNEW ENNIO?!?!?!?!?!?! That’s just…wow. That’s so awesome. And who in their right mind chucks a score by ENNIO?! That’s bizzare!!! You make the movie to fit Ennio, that’s what you do. Dumb Hollywood. And, also, you’re right! I *was* thinking of the original version with Dudley Moore. You are going to make Bo so jealous with these connections–he loves Dudley and Ennio both! (I never saw the one with Brendan Fraser…it was one of those movies that did NOT need to be remade, you know?)
        As for faith…no. Our country is very good at forcing beliefs on others, whether it’s evolution or creationism or faith. I’ve always found it a bit odd that scientists don’t see how it takes just as much faith to believe in science and all its workings as it does religion. Both require belief in a past that cannot be revisited for the first roots of proof, you know? And “God works in mysterious ways,” it’s said, and I think your Debbie’s a lovely example of that. If we keep our hearts unshuttered (my computer tells me that’s not a word. don’t care.), our souls can reach out when they’re ready. And when the Spirit is ready, the two will meet. 🙂 xxxxx
        PS: people should be using “mercurial” more often…such an awesome word…
        PSS. PPS? PPS: You’re amazing.
        PPS: love and hugs while I get ready to brew my own Rocket Fuel before church, and then hopefully a sit-down to write about what happened yesterday when I faced The Monster of my family. (I won’t be melodramatic–it went ok. Not great, but not a debacle, either.) Thank you for being such an amazing support to me, and through that for my family, too. Give your girls a hug for me! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      • What a comment to sink my java-yellowed teeth into, Jean – I know that’s bad grammer; please forgive me.

        ANYWAY, I just read this comment of yours, and I sent you a private message about speaking with The Monster.

        My word – you’re one of THE bravest people I know, and I never use that word lightly – I seldom use it at all.

        You are a gem. You have more guts than 99.9% of the people on this planet. I cannot WAIT to read your post about what took place!

        I’m writing this comment while a sick Rilla blasts a hideous song from “My Little Pony” – whoever wrote the atrocious thing clearly had a goal to write the worst “song” ever. It’s almost funny, but it’s not because it hurts my eardrums. As a matter of fact, you and I could write a much better song than that $$&%*%*, J

        Maybe we should approach the undervalued Ennio about it so he might help us out with the composition? 😉 We could elevate “My Little Pony” to a whole new level! XOXOOOXOXOOX you, once again I’m super-proud of you. XOXO SpyDy

      • LOL! Somehow my kids are not as into My Little Pony as they used to be. Right now it’s all about Weird Al Yankovic and Mighty Machines.

        I think that’s a step up…?
        But thanks. It was…hard, but good, to write about. Just needs some fine-tuning, and will be ready to share…
        oooooooooooooooooooooooodles of love to you, SpyDy 🙂 xxx

      • My precious daughter, as you know, your father and I did not attend Temple and we were married in the Unitarian church, but we were proud of our Jewish faith as was your grandmother. However, I support your choices since you are, as hard as it is for me to believe, 46 years old!

        p.s. I promise to stop sending those silly violin-related texts, because you are more precious to me than any object!

    • You are SO sweet, and seeing any comment from you never fails to lift my spirits!

      No pressure to come back here – but if you do, I’d be eager to know your thoughts about this particular enigma! XOXO

  6. What Dreams May Come is seriously one of the most amazing movies ever made. It’s one of my favorites as well. I really like the depictions of the levels of hell and what they represented to certain people.

    I think it’s hard to imagine an afterlife. I’m a disappointed Christian turned agnostic so I have a hard time reconciling meaning with life. Maybe we do get a chance to see our loved ones again. I don’t know. Oh well. I hope everything went well with you. Sorry I didn’t see this post until now.

    • You are way cool to love this movie too – and you never have to apologize for anything when it comes to this blog – you always pay a visit, & I’m lucky you do that, my dear.

      I’m 99% sure we see loved ones again somewhere else, but, dang it, I have that niggling 1% worth of doubt. That’s why I would love for someone to tell me things my Dad & I talked about that no one would ever, ever know about unless he was the one giving her info. to convince me it was really him. (Hope that makes sense…..)

      We talked about lots of crazy things. And I got my potty mouth from him. After he died I listened to a cassette tape of him tuning up his Stradivarius violin before his concerto performance, and guess what he said?

      “Testing, one, two, three, fuck you!” (He said it several times.)

      I laughed my ass off. Shit, I miss him.

      Yeah I’m jealous of those people who get a validating type of communication from their dead loved ones. Oh well. Maybe I might get to eat my words someday, and find out once and for all what’s the hell is going on, hee hee. We shall see! Xo you!

  7. Very interesting, I think the afterlife is something that intrigues all of us. I have never heard of this movie before but I absolutely love Ted Williams so I will have to look it up. Thank you for your post!

    Carlee –

    • Hey there Carlee, sorry to take so long to thank you for your comment.
      I’ve been down in stomach-town (I was hit with the stomach flu) and I’m starting to function again.

      I really think you’d love the movie, so if you a chance to see it, drop by and let me know what you think!

      take care, have a great weekend, and a wonderful Thanksgiving,

      Dyane 🌞

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