Witness: Rick Dalrymple
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Date of Encounter: November 1963
My paternal grandfather passed away in late July, 1963, and thus I had my first experience with death. Just a few months later, President Kennedy was assassinated. A week after the President was killed, we were staying with relatives in their little house on Swope Avenue in Colorado Springs, when I had my first spirit encounter, launching my life-long interest in all things metaphysical.
I was thinking about the passing of both men one evening and was wondering if we really survive death in some aspect (mind you, I was only ten years-old at the time). We went to church that evening, and interestingly enough, the pastor spoke about the very things running through my mind.
That night, I woke with a start; my cousin's bedroom was pitch black, as always. I was lying in the top bunk peering into the darkness, trying to see what I could — I was certain something unusual was about to occur. Just as that thought had passed, I saw the image of my grandfather walk into the room. I was absolutely terrified, and before I could shut my eyes he asked, "Rick, are you awake?" I thought my heart was about to pound right out of my chest. I kept my eyes tightly closed for a period of time, and when I opened them once again I saw grandpa stand up (as though he'd been checking on my brother in the lower bunk), and walk from the room. I'd always wondered why my aunt always kept the bed about a foot from the wall, at that moment, I was certain it was so a skinny ten year-old could slip out of the top bunk and crawl in to the lower, which is exactly what I did. I lay next to my brother the remainder of the night; looking back, I'm amazed I was able to sleep.
I bounded out of bed the next morning when I heard the adults in the kitchen preparing breakfast. Naturally, I couldn't get the story out quick enough; and in some ways, I wish I hadn't since the adults didn't take to this very well. I was a bit flabbergasted that my relatives, who were staunch southern Baptists could tell me that I was dreaming or lying. All this after I'd heard their own pastor tell it much differently just the night before. My father became upset with me, asking how I could possibly be frightened of my own grandfather who'd never hurt me while he was alive. I learned one of my first lessons about metaphysical experiences that morning … keep your mouth shut until you know exactly that the person(s) you wish to tell are sympathetic.