Thursday, May 21, 2009

The other side

Carol and her father had always been close, sharing with each other thoughts not revealed to others. While she was visiting him as he lay dying in the nursing home, he pointed to things he saw floating around the room and asked, “Do you see those?” She didn’t see anything. It saddened him that she could not see what he was seeing, and this went on for a good ten minutes. Finally he had one on his knee. “It’s right here,” he said, and gently placed her hand on it.

She felt only him but now it came to her. In a voice filled with wonder, she said, “Papa, I think those are the angels coming to escort you to where you need to be.” Without another word, he dropped into a deep, peaceful sleep. It was not yet the end, but a harbinger of the end.

They both loved Christmas, loved it. The December after he died, she was happily hanging Christmas decorations in her living room, two of them large jingle bells. As had happened before, she felt her father's presence. He had been with her often when she hiked the Arizona mountains or the trails in Death Valley, where she communed with him with ease. But this time he spoke. She had walked to the other side of the room, her back to the bells, when they clearly gave a short ring. There was no person there, no breeze, no physical explanation, and no fear in Carol. Instead, peace and comfort surged through her. “Papa, is that you?” she said, smiling.

I told my hairdresser of many years some of the stories I've told here. It motivated her to tell me about visitations from her deceased mom. She had been afraid to credit them and my belief gave her a warm and relieved feeling. She hadn't known how to interpret them and our talk cleared up the meaning for her.

Her mom had always been deathly afraid of hospitals and, as she lay dying in one, Sandy worried aloud to the nurse that her mom was screaming inside without being able to say, “Help me!” As she left the hospital and looked up at the bright, bright moon, Sandy suddenly felt and heard her mom saying, “I’m OK.” Clearly her mom was assuring her worried daughter that she was all right. There were more such visitations of assurance, the others in her dreams. Sandy still sees the moon as it looked that night when she felt the thrill of her mom’s presence.

I’m convinced incidents like these are fairly common because I have heard many such stories, but in our hyper-scientific culture people are afraid to talk about them for fear of being thought weird or naïve. No, maybe that’s not entirely true—why do I hear so many? I suspect the silence imposed on such talk exists mainly in public media.

Carol emailed me a sequel to her story above:
Yesterday my sister-in-law, my husband, and I were visiting my mother in her residence. She is just so teeny tiny these days, Jeanette, and is moved about only by wheelchair. But she was just awakening from a nap when we entered her room, so we transitioned her into her wheel chair and brought her into the living room so we could visit.

Mostly our visits are simply listening to her chatter, if that, and no sense is made, but in the midst of that chatter yesterday she reached out with her frail little arm and hand, said "Look, do you see that?", and then seemed to be trying to grasp something. I wish I had said to her exactly what I had said to Papa...those are the angels, etc....but I was so startled I could only look at her dumbfounded.

Later, when I was getting ready to leave, I was hugging her and kissing her good bye, and so I told her that I thought she was ready to go, that Don (her husband, my father) was waiting for her, and she said, "Will I see my mother?" (Please do keep in mind that this is a woman who has not tracked a comment or conversation for years!!) I assured her that she would and guess what??? She was sleeping quietly when I left just seconds later!!!

Those who are sensitive to Spirit acting in our surface world will note incidents like these in their own lives. I pass on these encounters with the other side for the reasons stated in my welcome—to liberate spirituality from religious rules and to liberate those who, in their determination to be "scientific," reject Spirit's work in and through us.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jeanette also imposes such silence. She uses the present "age of science" as her reason for trying to stop discussions which take some Christian stories literally, like the story of the Transfiguration, for example. Supposedly, it would be too naive to have such literal beliefs.

Maybe we should all stop imposing silence.

Jeanette said...

This sounds suspiciously like someone whose comments I have not published. I'm publishing this one because it's short and advances consideration of my subject.

The Transfiguration, indeed, could have been a phenomenon we would today term "paranormal." Likewise, the stories that Bible scholars call resurrection appearances--those visions of Jesus, which literalists cite as evidence that Jesus rose from the dead.

Something stupendous was going on at the Resurrection--the birth of a great religion, which would have enormous impact on the whole world. If ordinary human beings appear to their relatives after death, why could not the man in whose memory originated Christianity appear to followers of his? Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus also fits this frame.