After yet another long day, I found myself hidden in a restricted location, working as a film medic. I spent many hours watching grown men build a YT-1300 Corellian light freighter galactic fighter ship, (which was the original Star Wars Millennium Falcon). Leaving work for the day, driving along the London Orbital, I began to think about how my dad would have been proud to see me working on all three Star Wars films. Back in the seventies, my Dad took me to the cinema to watch the original films. Steadily driving at sixty miles per hour along the motorway, I had the oddest sensation, of a presence I had not felt since 1988. “What have I done?” It was strange, I was sure I could hear my dad’s voice. “Yes, I am your father, yes, it is me, and you are driving Vauxhalls, this Astra is a good model. Remember that blue Cavalier, when you were small?”
Dad and me when I was 24 months
"What is this, are you dead? Have I crashed the car?” I said aloud, trying not to swerve, even though I was the only one wearing a seatbelt, as I still had a body that could die. Thinking back, I recalled that Arthur did not believe in any of this spiritual mumbo jumbo when Rita harped on about it daily. “I am dead, yes. If I only knew the power of the light side back then, I feel more alive right this second than ever before.” My goodness, after thirty years of silence, I am talking to my dead father while driving, tired and at speed. Was he trying to kill me?
Arthur spoke into my mind with a gentle calm Norfolk accent. “I needed to see you, see how life had treated you, as we both treated you appallingly. I am so ashamed. There is much to talk to you about, Clairey, and mainly…” He stopped to gather his thoughts. “Mainly Clairey, I wish to apologise. So, on these grounds alone, your Gatekeeper agreed I could get my visitation pass, but we do not have long.” Slowing down to forty miles per hour, trying to concentrate on the road, “I cannot speak right now.” I said aloud, which I really could not. Shock paralysed my mouth tight shut, as I dealt with unexpected emotions and irate European juggernaut drivers, who think they own the slow inner lanes on the motorway. Compounding this surreal situation, the sun was setting in the West, which was directly in front of my vision, near blinding both eyes. “Just think what you want to say, Clairey, I can hear you. I have tagged along while you have been working on Star Wars. Never, in my wildest imagination, had I expected that of you. Life is weird, but I have to admit death is weirder.” He gasped with a big, regretful sigh.
Invitations to the cast and crew screen showings of all the Star Wars films I worked on.
"It was a little time after passing. I never believed there was anything after death, but there is a whole new reality going on here. I found myself in a rather strange, after-world. Who knew there was anything beyond that miserable life I just left? To be honest, I wish I died years ago now.” Since I can remember, I wished this for him too. “I was with you last week when you were filming at that airstrip, you know, where they made a tropical beach scene out of a concrete runway. Just incredible, to see my firstborn irrigating sand from a Storm Trooper’s eyes!” “I remember that day; you did cross my mind, you could say that I felt your presence, whooooaahhh!” I hollered, as I was always the clown, but now I was fast becoming the ringmaster. “You still have good humour, after all that pain we made you suffer. I have missed you.” I did not know what or how I felt at that moment. “You know, we can tap into everything that has ever happened. I just had to think of you, and everything came into my vision. I said a date, and there you were on that date, doing stuff, amazing stuff, travelling the world, and Kylie, my oh my, you had a career in the music business after all. God damn it, Clairey, your living dad was an idiot.”
A sneaky illegal photo I took of the Millennium Falcon on the secret hidden away Star Wars set.
“Dad, please tell me everything about dying.” This was better than Talk Radio. “Let me think. I believed, all my life, that there was no afterlife, even with your mother costing me a small fortune, doing all that kooky stuff every week at the Spiritualist Church, which kept her occupied and happy. No, we did not agree on this. I am ashamed to admit that I have done a few people over in my lifetime, I have not made the best choices either, and I was a bit of a business rogue. So, I thought to myself, if an afterlife exists, it may all catch up with me there. Physically, I had not been well for a while. As I lay in bed, I felt a crushing sensation in my chest, followed by a loud snapping above my head. Then, it all went silent, no heart beating, no Venus returning, no breathing. It felt odd not to breathe. There were no worries of any kind, worry had left my body. I really was a dead man surrounded by my own fear. Oh, and no Saint Peter or golden pearly gates either. My spirit or soul whatever it is called, felt stuck inside that redundant dead body for a good while.”
Chewbacca and my good self at one of our Mearfest North 2019. My bond is strong to the 501 Legion.
"They instructed me to rest a little while and think about the life I had just lived, no judge, no jury. Now, here I am with you, kind of back on Earth with no body, gosh satire right there! But I had to find you, you were my firstborn and first thought. I need your forgiveness in order to move forward.” His words sunk into the pits of my stomach, a place where a lot of primal screaming had once evolved."
“I am sorry I did not give you a chance; I did not support you or protect you from the world. Maybe, I was also protecting you from the both of us too. A lot needs to be discussed, there is so much you do not know. But what I can say to you is this, you have always been a good kid at heart, it was all our fault."
This is a true story, some ask if it was my mind was playing tricks with me? But, as you will read I phoned death registry to check when he passed away, it was just two weeks before this car journey.
In death my dad was so troubled by how he had treated me in life, it was his first mission to come back to find me and say sorry, some thirty five years later. I just wish he did it when I was stationary. In my heart I believe this event to be the truth, he has visited me many time since, we talk a lot and I feel at peace with him.
There is only a physical death of the body, we go on, continuing our journey just in a different realm.
TAKEN FROM CHAPTER 18 OF ROCKER BYE BABY COPYRIGHT CLAIRE MEAR2020
About the Author
Claire Mear is a