Mother ‘Got My Hug’ from Deceased Son

 My 19-year-old son, Ryan, committed suicide in June of 2002. He was a loving and generous person in life, and in the afterlife, all of those qualities remain. Ryan is a very active spirit. We communicate in various ways, but I really enjoy it when he “visits” me in my dreams. I can recall with complete clarity the first visit he ever made – that night, Ryan came to deliver the hug I had been asking for…

In December of 2003, my younger sister Stephanie called to remind me of the “Worldwide Candle Lighting” held by The Compassionate Friends. This event is normally held on the 2nd Sunday in December. It “unites family and friends around the globe as they light candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age, from any cause. As candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time, creating a virtual wave of light, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor the memories of children in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries.”

It was our first time to participate in this annual event. I lit a candle for Ryan and several others for the children of our friends who had passed. I sat in silence for awhile, watching the dancing flames of the candles before going outside to have my evening chat with God and Ryan. It had become a ritual to communicate with them in this way; I felt close to them there. That night along with my thanks, I made a special request for Christmas. I asked for a visit from Ryan. I mentioned that I was waiting for my hug and that it would make a great present for me if he felt ready to give me one.

I didn’t have to wait for Christmas. That night, in the middle of a dream – kind of like a commercial break – Ryan appeared. He was surrounded by a sea of whiteness; I saw him standing there in a white t-shirt and blue jeans. I called out his name as I ran toward to him. I took him into my arms and said, “Oh Ryan, you feel so good.” I pulled my son close, pressing every inch of myself tightly against him.

My senses drank him in. I could see him, smell him, and feel him. There are no words in the English language to describe that embrace with justice. I felt complete peace and love in such volumes that it filled every pore in my body. Our love formed a river, and I could feel it flowing from my heart into his as I held him. It was a blending of souls, which formed a single, unbreakable bond. The intensity of that moment was so powerful and pure; it was unlike anything I have ever experienced. It was heaven…

Ryan spoke to me and said, “You feel so good too, Momma.” Hearing his voice was as sweet as eating chocolate for breakfast, and I indulged heartily. Pulling back, I gazed into his beautiful, blue eyes. Then I called to my daughter, Katie, because I wanted her to see him too, but when I turned around to look for her, Ryan disappeared. Commercial over! Right away, my other dream picked up, right where it had left off.

When I awoke, my memory of our hug was crystal clear. It is important to note that there is a distinct difference between dreams of our loved ones and visits from them. The clarity with which we can recall their visits and the details they provide, help to distinguish them from our regular dreams. Also, the overall experience of a visit is completely different from that of a dream – they just feel more real.

I am lucky, because I have been blessed with many memorable “visits”. It is difficult to explain the comfort they deliver…all I know is that I am grateful for them, and the healing power they provide.

Sally Grablick 2012


Sally Grablick

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Sally Grablick lost her son to suicide in 2002. Her road to recovery began by reading over 100 books on grief, spirituality and the afterlife. A seeker by nature, she began formulating a recovery plan by exploring the ideas presented within these books. Knowing her efforts would benefit others, she created the “cliff notes” to grief, and shares the lessons learned, tools used and insights gained in her book, The Reason: Help and Hope for Those Who Grieve.


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  • susan searle says:

    Hello, Sally, I cannot tell you how much just reading about your hug and your visits with your son has meant for me. I long to even dream of my daughter Gabrielle and to have an experience of holding her in my arms would give me the comfort I so dearly want and need. She was taken from me ( us, her six sisters and two brothers ) so tragically and suddenly and I know we will never recover totally from this experience of her passing. She went into Spirit by drowning in a freak torrent which swept her from in front of her home on the island where she lives in Greece . Her 12 year old son was swept away as well but he managed to save himself and she died trying to save him and not knowing that has survived . She knows now , I am sure and I am also sure that he is still suffering from post traumatic stress and cannot articulate his grief. I want to help him and that is why I am looking on this site, to get help for him. I so want to communicate with my Gabrielle as well , with a Spiritual person who can guide me . I live in Portugal , in the Algarve and there is NO ONE here who can help me .I am so glad to be able to reach out to you and so happy that amidst your sorrow you have found a joy in seeing and hugging and communicating with Ryan. It will be 3 months on the 6th of May and it still feels like yesterday .

  • Dear Susan,

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your daughter, Gabrielle. So very tragic…My heart goes out to her son, YOU, and your family. Post traumatic stress affects my father, husband and daughter also. You are right to seek out the best help you can find, which is what I did. In my book, I mention that my family used EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) to treat this. Our grief counselor was trained in this practice. Research it on the web, and perhaps you can find this locally for your grandson. Just a suggestion…

    Sometimes our grief is so intense, it is difficult for the spirits of our loved ones to connect with us. Keep an open mind and heart; believe that when you are ready – she will be there, and you will receive her message of love. My experience has showed me that Ryan is in control of the contact – when and how it is made. It is more likely to happen when you aren’t looking for, or expecting it. One thing is for sure – you will recognize it immediately – in your heart you will know what has taken place.

    It takes time…I hate writing it as much as you hate hearing it!! But, it is true…continue to seek the answers and follow where the information leads you. Trust your intuition. This is a wonderful website – and you will find many avenues to hope and healing here.

    Your grief is so fresh and raw. Take each moment as it comes, and when all else fails – just breathe.

    I am wishing you comfort, hope and contact with Gabrielle – I BELIEVE…

  • JoAnn says:

    Dear Sally – I had the same experience you did with a visit from my dear sweet son Tyler about 2 months after losing him. The embrace I felt was beyond description – love, peace, thanks, hope, joy, all these things and more wrapped in the biggest, tightest embrace I have ever felt. So much so that when I awoke I could still feel the squeeze all around me.

  • JoAnn,

    I am so glad you shared the story of your hug from Tyler. I want you to know that 9 years later, the memory of my hug from my son, Ryan, (and the warm, loving feeling it left me with) is just as clear as they day he visited. When we share our experiences it just helps to validate what we know is true!
    I believe….

    • Joan says:

      I wanted to share my experience my daughter was murdered and left an infant behind. I had a visit from her in my dream;we hugged each other and were soo happy to see each other,I felt very good about her visit and happy too have had this connection!!!