By Valerie Dziengiel

The Spiritual Side of Death

Although I have always been intrigued by the paranormal, due to extenuating circumstances which began in my youth, I found myself wondering whether contact with spirits was at all possible. 

Due to the loss of my loving husband of 43 years, who died five years ago; the death of my elderly mother two years later; and, most recently, the untimely death of my daughter, our only child, who died on May 1st of this year as the result of a 5 year battle with metastatic breast cancer, I have been no stranger to the human experience known as grief. As a matter of fact, since both my daughter and my husband endured similar terminal illnesses, wherein I helped them both by being a caretaker during their journey through death, I eventually came to terms with the responsibilities associated therewith. In time, I began to consider myself to be one of God’s designated survivors in what I contemplate to be His plan for my existence; wherein I imagine certain souls are called upon to help others through their passage to death; which I can most certainly attest is no easy challenge.

As a consequence of these particular deaths, along with the resulting supernatural experiences I encountered thereafter, I have come to accept as fact my religious belief that for many, the spirit lives on peacefully; hopefully, in a heavenly realm where someday all of our souls will reunite and dwell within. Actually, in some ways, it is this distinct speculation that has added to my ability to heal from my own losses, as I have learned to cope with grief.

If you are interested, you will need to read my book to learn of the many paranormal encounters I have experienced in my life, especially those that occurred after my husband’s death, for it will take more than a blog to explain the statements I made in my book synopsis: “There is life after death. I have seen and felt its presence.”

As a consequence of my own experiences, I have no doubt that a spirit can make contact with whomever it chooses. The problem is that although spirits may set forth their best effort to provide evidence that they survived their death and now exist in a new spiritual form unknown to our human psyche, in many circumstances each spirit’s survivor(s) has no clue that their departed loved one is desperately trying to make their presence known.  In fact, some people may think it is absurd that our spirit would want to stick around, especially if faced with a choice between dwelling in heaven or on earth.

My response would be that death does not destroy the love we have for one another. I believe it merely puts our relationships on hold until we are reunited with both family and friends once we complete our own journey here on earth. I have even found it useful to contemplate that the soul of my loved ones are on an extended vacation until such time when we are meant to be reunited again.

As a result of my own experience that I encountered at the time of my husband’s death, I came to the conclusion that my husband’s spirit choose to share his existence between his spiritual realm and mine. Although paranormal activities were not a 24/7 occurrence, there were definite reasons that I considered his essence to be present in our home. In fact, sometimes I wondered if he actually stayed to allow me time to slowly acclimate to my loss; or, maybe his soul was just as heartbroken as mine, and he needed time to overcome his grief as well.

So, if you are interested, let me make a list of some unremarkable signs (which can easily be ignored as commonplace everyday activities) that I believe are ways a spirit may try to let you know they are thinking of you.

Is This a Sign?~

The flickering of overhead lights, light bulbs that blow out at unprecedented numbers, computer or iPhone interference such as the temporary lack of cursor control, or unexpected images that may appear on a computer screen device that remind you of your loved one are good examples of what I would consider to be spiritual interactions from the other side.

Some people find comfort in the thought that their loved one(s) may be near whenever a butterfly or dragonfly passes them by, or when an unexpected penny or dime appears.


Dreams are one of my favorite forms of communication. Often they tell a story. The secret is to keep pen and paper next to your bed and take the time to write them down, so that you don’t forget them.

Of course, dreams are always subject to our own evaluation.

I read a book written by an author who discussed his interpretation of the complexity of a spirit’s ability to create a dream based upon the spirit’s capacity or skills, or its desire to convey a specific type of message. I can’t remember the name of the book, but I certainly remember the author’s message.

The author stated that the simplest form by which a spirit can make its presence known in a dream is to drop into a dream that your mind has already created. In other words, you may be dreaming about being at a play, a dance, a dinner, etc., when suddenly you see or sense an impression of your loved one. The author indicated that this type of dream took the least amount of energy/effort/ability for the spirit to fabricate.

The author goes on to say that it gets more complicated for a spirit to create a full story line or script in the form of a dream. The author implied that under these circumstances, he believed that the spirit would need to expend a lot of energy in order to gets a complicated message across. I guess I would say that this type of dream could be considered a short version of a movie script which, in my experience, always take place in various unfamiliar locations, as opposed to a vision which always takes place with the background setting of my room.

Personally, I have encountered both types of dreams, including many occasions during which I have only experienced an awareness of my husband’s presence, meaning that I do not actually see his face.

Additionally, some of my dreams have been so realistic that when I wake up I feel as thought my awake time is my dream, and my dream time is actually my true reality. In fact, it sometimes take a few minutes for my mind to distinguish between the two.

My perception of these events often reminds me of a similarity to real life imagery of such things as flowers, meadows, people’s faces, or even the clothing that they wear. What is different in my dreams or visions is the vibrancy of color, especially in my ability to experience a richness of the details of the delicate objects or forms that I may see.  For example, the beauty I embrace while viewing various shades of colors of delicate flowers in a garden in real time cannot compare to the magnificent, exquisite beauty I am able to comprehend in my mind’s eye in these diverse stages of consciousness.

From my experience, dreams give me comfort that all is well on the other side. As a backdrop to a particular vision I experienced, let me first explain that my daughter’s husband and I took care of her, around the clock, for the last eleven months of her life since she was confined to their home except for doctor or hospital treatments as she battled the final stages of her breast cancer which had metastasized throughout her body. During her final seven weeks on this earth, she entered Hospice care and had become so weak that she could no longer support or lift herself up in bed. In addition, she could no longer swallow and would cough or choke as she tried to clear her throat. Therefore, when I would help out during the daytime, I would stand in front of her as she lay in bed, and she would extend her hands up towards me, palms down, in order to allow me to pull her up so that she could try to clear her throat. A week after my daughter’s death, I had a vision. While asleep in bed one night, I awoke to see two delicate hands that appeared before me with both palms facing down. It is important to note that this time I was the one laying down in bed, and the hands were extending down from above me, with what I interpreted to be a specific intention to help me. I truly believe this experience was a message from my daughter that she was OK; and now, it was her purpose to help me through my grief.

This is just one of the many dreams/visions that I have had the pleasure to experience. There are many people I have met since writing my book who have told me of their own circumstances that involved visitations from their loved ones through dreams or visions as well, and the comfort that it brought them.

All I can say is that it doesn’t hurt to keep an open mind to the concept that there is more to a dream than meets the eye.

Aromas ~

Another one of my favorite forms of communication are aromas.

Occasionally, I experience whiffs of delicate perfumed fragrances, mostly of roses, that provide me with healing thoughts from those to whom I pray; as well as occasionally detecting the distinct ambiance of pipe smoking, or the scent of a cigar, that will instantly invoke the thought of my husband’s presence into my mind.

Orbs ~

Orbs are interesting manifestations of light, that some people in paranormal circles believe to be spiritual in nature. 

Most often, they are only seen in pictures, similar to the circles depicted in the photo on the side.

I have actually witnessed many white, as well as colored orbs of different shapes and sizes. 

In Chapter 26 of my book, I describe an encounter I had experienced with a small white orb that appeared to me to have emitted a form of intelligence that was delightful and intriguing as well.

A  Formidable Supernatural Vision I Have Experienced ~

This is an excellent example of a depiction of an apparition I actually witnessed when I awoke from my sleep, three months after my husband had died.  Quoting from my book, I will relate the experience: 

“The unearthly apparition stood a little over 6 ft. tall, my husband’s approximate height.  It appeared to have the outline of a head, set on the shoulders of a body, with arms draping straight down alongside its indiscernible form.  No neck was visible, nor were the arms distinguishable from the chest, although the rounded appearance of a person’s upper shoulders was evident.  Despite the fact the supernatural figure looked humanlike, it had no obvious facial features or defining characteristics that I could describe.  This time, instead of the smoky consistency which usually enveloped my room, the spirit’s form was dark in color and solid looking, while the atmosphere around its presence was clear.

As unbelievable as it may sound, I was not afraid . . .  for at the time, I believed that I was observing my husband’s spirit, shrouded, in a standing position, as though he watched me as I slept.”

This event was the longest paranormal experience I have ever encountered.  As inconceivable as this may sound, I recall the phenomenon as being a loving engagement between his spirit and mine.

My Conclusion ~

It is not my intention to move the needle in one direction or the other when it comes to understanding the mystery of what happens to our spirit when we die.

Although I do believe that many of the “signs” I characterize may represent a plausible form of communication from the spiritual realm that many bereaved family members desperately seek, I accept the fact that my psychic experiences may be unacceptable to those who need more proof than the limited controversial events I have described.

Yet, on the other hand, there are those who have experienced dreams and apparitions similar to mine, who are convinced that they were touched by an interaction of the spiritual kind.

Since this controversy is as old as history itself, I only seek to offer an plausible explanation to those who wonder if their own experiences are real. 

All in all, I suggest that maybe you should take comfort in the fact that you are not alone if you have ever wondered whether you too have breached the veil of the world beyond.

Published by Valerie Dziengiel

Although it is difficult for me to share my intimate story with others, I wrote my memoir to help others deal with this challenging part of life.

4 thoughts on “SPIRITUALITY

  1. My dear Val… my very special friend…this is an amazing interpretation and revelation of your experiences. I know because I know. You and I have,together, explored and discussed at length, our similar experiences and encounters. And to “know” is truly such a blessing that brings an abundance of comfort and peace of mind, heart and soul. And your encouragement to just being open and aware to those who are attempting to “know” is the perfect “advice.” As you know, I’ve even had dreams and messages that were meant to be passed on to someone else. Having this blessing comes with the responsibility to share what we “know” with others. It also comes with the understanding that those who, for their own personal reasons, choose to “not know” is respected and acceptable. But, to those of us who DO know, it leaves us with a sense of sadness and helplessness that we are not able to open someone else’s mind and heart to such a blessing that affords a grieving person so much peace and hope.

    You and I first met on the end of the day on which my Mom died. We both know that was no accident. Angels were at work.


    1. Dear Sue, Thank you for your comments. I wholehearted agree with our conviction that those who believe the spirit of our loved ones pass over to the eternal life that awaits us all is monumental in allowing those who are left behind to accept the losses we are all meant to endure. But I, too, believe it is even more beneficial and comforting to “know,” through the spirit’s messaging, that their love lives on . . . for why else would the spirit go through so much effort to make its presence known. Thank you for being there through the darkness in my life and for helping me through my journey to find the light.


  2. Dear Valerie,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I hope that you will continue to find peace and comfort from your dear departed loved ones.
    I look forward to reading more of your posts.


    1. Dear Karen: Thank you for taking the time to write and for your encouraging and consoling remarks. Grief is a very difficult emotion to bare. I can only hope that by explaining how I have managed to cope with my losses, others may find hope that they too may find a way to overcome their own losses.


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