I blog a lot about the paranormal because the afterlife fascinates me. I do not doubt that once our bodies have expired, our souls live on. I KNOW this to be true. Although I find that quite comforting, it doesn’t stop me from missing loved ones (to include animals!) who have crossed into the “great beyond” (which is really just a different level of consciousness!). My first brushes with death were the loss of pets (I still miss them all and some have been gone for many, many years!). Their deaths were quite devastating to my young life. And then when I was fourteen, I lost a family member that I loved very much — my wonderful Uncle Paul. He was the BEST! Paul was one of those people who was a shining light in the world. His presence was always uplifting. I admired him so much and I thought he was one of the best people ever. Then, at the young age of 29, he died…struck down suddenly by a brain aneurysm. What a shocking blow to my world.
At the time of his death, I was living in the haunted house I’ve blogged about many times. So, I knew that our spirit … our soul … lived on but that didn’t stop me from being incredibly sad to lose my dear uncle. I wanted his physical presence in my life and besides, I wasn’t sure how to communicate with those on the other side at that point in my life. Truth be told, I was quite afraid of it. That’s because at least one of the entities sharing our home with us was not a nice one. No. But this isn’t about that.
Although I had dabbled with the Ouija board, it wasn’t until many years later that I truly began to explore making contact with “the other side” or as I call it in my book “Be Still, My Love”…the Tri-State, that place between earthly life, heaven and hell. A place where souls can hang out and communicate with us! I found this to be a relatively easy thing to do through the means of automatic writing. For those who don’t know what that is, it is when you use paper and a pen and invite those in spirit to speak to you through written messages. When it’s actually happening, your hand will just start moving…seemingly without any effort from you!…and message will come through. It’s as easy to do (for me anyway) as the Ouija board (which has a lot of negative press but that’s because it is too easy a tool to use and people don’t take it seriously enough to operate it properly!). When I first started doing automatic writing, I managed to contact my grandparents (two of my most favorite people ever!). It was really nice to connect with them again and have some closure (I was in the military when they died and didn’t even get to attend their funerals). I know it was them I made contact with and I don’t care what anyone else says about it. I know my Nana and Grampy and I FELT them, their spirit, their love, when communicating with them.
It wasn’t until a few years ago, however, that I finally got a message from my dear uncle Paul! It was during my second visit to a local Spiritualist Church (of which I am now a member!) that it happened. The medium bringing messages through happened to be the Pastor for the church. He described my uncle perfectly and he even knew how he died and when! I was in the process of working on my book and my uncle was giving me a positive message to continue with my writing! He was a major influence on my writing pursuits because he believed in me and encouraged me to keep doing it NO MATTER WHAT (the title of the first book I wrote and hope to have out in a few months!). The following week at church, my Nana came through! Now for you skeptics, I have to tell you…the medium knew way too much for it to be a lucky coincidence. The message wasn’t vague and the medium’s description couldn’t have been applied to anyone else…it was very specific to my Nana, as Paul’s description was very specific to him.
I mentioned the above because I wanted to establish to you what I believe and why. In my book “Be Still, My Love” the main character Tess Schafer is a medium. Her husband and dog are killed by a drunk driver and Tess is devastated by the loss. Part of her grief has to do with her beliefs. You see, Tess believes (as do I) that death is not something that happens to us AGAINST OUR WILL. Now, a LOT of people are going to argue with that and have. I’ve even had a pretty critical review posted on Amazon over this particular issue. I need to make it clear that on a CONSCIOUS level, MOST of us do not willingly go to our deaths. We are born with a very strong instinct for survival. Except in certain situations (suicides and terminal illness for instance) death is not a choice we consciously make. But the thing about this issue is that if God makes the decision on when we die…then how is it that we have Free Will? Do we have Free Will in everything BUT that? I think not…it’s just too important an issue for us to have no say in the matter. Now, when it comes time to die, I do believe that it is on a very deep level…SOUL deep…that the final decision is made. This might explain the sudden return to life that is made after death has been declared! (Although the soul had obviously vacated the premises, a change in plans had to of occurred. More than likely they were talked into returning because most reports of people who had a “near death experience” report NOT WANTING to return to life…even if they had a strong desire to live prior to the situation in hand!). I believe that when people are in a coma they are actually “in review” of their lives and trying to decide what to do (again, on a very deep level…our Ego, the personality that we are in this earthly life, has no say in the matter. Because, honestly, if our Ego had its way, we’d live forever!). I could be wrong about this but I could be right. Who knows? Someday we all will.
So anyway, Tess struggled with her belief on this issue because if she was right about it, then that meant her husband agreed to depart his earthly life and leave her a widow. She couldn’t accept that. It is quite understandable that she feel that way because she loved him, he loved her, they were happy, had a good life…why would he leave all that? But the thing is…we all have an agenda when we are born. We come into earthly life hoping to accomplish something…maybe many things…but the point is, we all have a PURPOSE for entering physical life. Once that purpose is met, we “cross over” (return) to our spiritual life (a state of “living” that we enjoy immensely by the way!). Truly, if we all remembered from where we came and where we are headed when done with this physical life, many of us would be checking out a lot sooner than we end up doing! I don’t know about you but I’ve gone through enough crap in my life that I’ve thought “What the hell is the point? I’m so DONE with this!” and I tell ya, I’d have willingly crossed over if my instinct for survival wasn’t as strong as it is! I mean really… life is freakin HARD! It’s challenging and full of obstacles and strife and heartache and so on and so on. Thank God for that survival instinct or we wouldn’t be having a population growth. No. But, when we come to that point where it’s a live or die situation, that’s when our soul (our true self) comes forward to take over.
I wrote a paper about this issue for a college English assignment and my professor for that course was quite pissed. She scribbled all over that paper and then wrote “SEE ME” at the bottom. Her father had recently died of a heart attack. She informed me that there was “NO WAY” he WANTED to die and that my paper was a “load of crap”. I’d hit a nerve…she was still grieving over her loss and for me to suggest that her dear father wanted to die didn’t sit well with her. It wouldn’t. We are programmed to love life and to cling to it no matter what. As a result of that programming, we hate death, we fear it and we certainly want nothing more than to avoid it! Besides, who wants to say goodbye to a loved one on such a permanent basis? (permanent until we meet again when our own death occurs that is!). I know that the losses I’ve suffered have left huge holes in my life. You can’t fill those holes. They stay there until our own life ends and leaves a hole in someone else’s life. It’s a sucks-ass system but it is what it is. It sucks even more (in my book anyway) to think that those who have died, might have done so UNwillingly! To have them ripped from life without their consent seems so WRONG to me and a very UNloving thing for God to do!
When I was eighteen, I went through an experience in which I thought for sure I was about to die. And I have to tell ya, I didn’t expect it to be a peaceful death either! I was truly expecting a horrific end. Oddly, as I stared death in the face, I felt quite calm inside (yeah, my heart was pounding so hard it hurt but my spirit was calm). I was visiting friends in Virginia at the time and it was quite late in the evening. I was sitting in their darkened kitchen (a small light over the sink was on) and talking on the phone to a guy I’d met the night before. I was sitting next to the garage door. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was aware that the door had opened but I paid no attention to it. Then I heard the heavy breathing. I turned my head and froze, literally, to complete immobility. I couldn’t utter a sound and I’m not sure if I was even breathing! Standing there about a foot from me was a person dressed in a long trench coat, black boots, a black ski mask, black gloves and a dark hat. One gloved hand held a very large shiny butcher knife. It was held up high and pointed at me as if poised to plunge. I remember the blade caught the light from over the sink and glistened as it moved in rhythm with its holder’s breathing. My life was over. In a flash I understood this and though I can tell you I didn’t WANT to die, there was a part of me that accepted what was about to happen. When you think you have no choice, I think that’s when our soul comes forward to help us through the situation. That’s the only explanation I can come up with. And that whole “your life flashes before your eyes” thing? Yeah, that happens…in an INSTANT. My entire life was AT ONCE remembered…ALL of it. It’s a very hard thing to explain. After this instant life review came other thoughts. I worried about my family, how they would take my death and that was my biggest regret. I worried about how much it was going to hurt and I hoped that it happened quickly. Chasing that thought was the question on whether I should keep my eyes open (I could blink at this point and that was it) or if I should close them. I decided that I couldn’t close them and not KNOW when it was going to happen. Chasing that decision was the wish that I could get my voice back so I could warn my friends in the next room. I dearly hoped that they would make it out of the house while I was being butchered to death. In that respect, I did hope my death wasn’t too quick for I truly wanted my friends to live. I had no doubt, none at all, that I was going to die. And then, incredibly, the person standing there began to laugh. It was one of my friends pulling a prank on me. She pulled the ski mask off and bent over in a fit of mirth (apparently my expression was beyond funny). “You should see your face!” she gasped as I began to shake uncontrollably in relief. It was the worst joke ever. But it taught me something. When facing death, there is a calm acceptance of it deep within. Remember…our souls know that “death” is not final and is actually a release back to our true self and the beautiful pain-free, stress-free, hate-free loving existence that awaits us.
I’ve even experienced “death” in dreams! I do wonder if those dreams were actually a past life memory because they sure did seem real. What I remember most is how peaceful it was. I think part of our grief is the thought that someone we love and would do anything for had somehow suffered. It’s bad enough to lose someone but to think that they may have suffered in the transition is too much to bear. I don’t know quite what I think about this other than it is my hope that our soul takes the personality out of the situation and leaves only the body shell to get through a terrible end…such as fire (which to me has to be one of the absolute worst ways to die!). Speaking of which, there was a terrible story this past Christmas Eve about a house fire in which a woman lost her two young daughters and her parents. I don’t know how someone survives a tragedy like that. That poor woman not only had to suffer the loss of her children and parents (the most important people to her in all the world) but she had to deal with the fact that they died in a fire! They tried to escape, of course, and didn’t make it. You know their last moments of life was lived in horror. Or was it? Did their souls come forth and get them through it? Did the angels take them away as their bodies perished? I’d like to think so. What I do know is that they are now living in a beautiful place and the mother/daughter they left behind is living in hell. What sort of karma is she balancing? For something that horrible to happen…it had to have been something that was planned in spirit BEFORE their earthly births. I’m here to tell you, no matter what I believe…I KNOW I could not deal with something like that. I pray for that woman, I really do. I pray she somehow finds some peace as she continues out her life.
I don’t know why horrible things happen. I don’t understand the evils of the world. But I do know this…our soul will one day be released from the trap of physical life and return to the beautiful existence of spirit. And I don’t think that our moment of death is going to be as traumatic as we might think (if only we could all just die peaceably of extreme old age in our sleep!).
I have questions about it all. Of course I do. One way I try to figure things out is through writing. As I continue to write stories including Tess, I find myself learning things right along with her. After all, the inspiration for her story is coming from somewhere…I believe it comes from the Universal Conscience which is, basically, God.
Okay, that’s enough for now! What do you think? It’s a touchy issue, I know. It’s a depressing one. For those of us left behind anyway! I’d like to hear your thoughts on it.
Until next time, blessings to all and Peace Out!
- Death, Spirits and Surviving Tragedy: An Interview with Medium Tess Schafer (deborahjhughes.com)
- Ghosts Exist and I Love Writing About Them! (deborahjhughes.com)
- The Paranormal Influence and Dream Fulfillment (deborahjhughes.com)
- Life Goes On (RIP) (aleksandreia.com)
- Automatic Writing (thinkingfromtheheart.wordpress.com)