Shared Death Experiences

psychopomp-3d-dls-8pxls-2A friend (Thank you, Ellis) shared an article with me about shared death experiences. These are events in which people are contacted by someone they know (friend, relative, business partner, etc.) at the friend’s or loved one’s moment of death.

The article gives several anecdotal examples of this phenomena interspersed with opinions from different ‘experts’ expressing both pros and cons as to the authenticity of such experiences. The article is (to me, anyway) extremely fascinating and reaffirming.

You see, I’ve been on both sides these types of experiences. As a psychopomp, I’ve been the one who has helped the dead visit their still living friends and family in order to say a last goodbye. And, I’ve been the one who was visited. In fact, as an adult, I’ve had a number of people visit me as they die. But three of them stand out.

One of the most outstanding of the three visits was the Halloween night my mother-in-law came to call.

My mother-in-law was one of the most caring and accepting people, and my spouse and I loved visiting with her. When she became ill, the whole family gathered at the hospital dreading the worst, but hoping for the best. After several days, she seemed to be getting better, and Dale and I headed back home to get some rest, change clothes, and check in with our pets before returning. We were at home for only a few hours, when the dog began acting oddly. He was lying by our feet as we sat at the kitchen table, but he kept raising his head to stare at the foyer. He’d put is head down; then a few moments later, he’d stare at the foyer. This went on for a minute or two, and after peering at the door and seeing nothing, I finally got up and went into the foyer.

I immediately felt chilled, and being late fall, I presumed the door was open. I pushed at the door, but it was firmly closed. I shrugged and was about to return to the kitchen, when I saw her. My mother-in-law stood on the other side of the foyer from me. She smiled and opened her arms as if to hug me. I took a step closer to her, while trying to find enough voice to call my spouse to come. The dog stood staring at the apparition, his head cocked to one side. When my husband joined me, his mother mouthed, “I love you,” and then she was gone.

Soon afterward, the phone rang and we knew it was the hospital calling to tell us that my spouse’s mom had died.

That experience opened my eyes, my mind, and my soul to the recognition that life is more than just what we see in front of us.

The other two visits that I find extremely memorable were from a dear friend and my sister-in-law. Both of these visits came during points in my life when I needed encouragement and support. While both of these visits provided that, they also gave me comfort, peace, and the determination to continue my goal, which was to publish the story of my near-death experience.

My friend was one of the few people who knew of my near-death experience. She was one of the few people who also knew of the other paranormal experiences I had had through the years. We had a shared love of paranormal, philosophy, and science, so always spent hours in long, thought-provoking discussions. When she was diagnosed with cancer, our discussions took on more somber tones. I shared with her all my beliefs of a continued existence based on everything I had experienced and read, and she clung to that like a drowning victim clings to a life ring.

When she called and said the cancer was in remission, we both celebrated. Our lives went on, our heartfelt discussions continued, and everything was as it should be.

Months after her remission diagnosis, I was surprised to look up from my computer to find her standing in the doorway to my sunroom. I had been staring at my computer screen debating the wisdom of writing about my NDE. I hadn’t heard the door bell, nor had I heard her come in. Yet, there she was, all smiles and as radiant as a new bride. Her brown eyes were shining and happy, and she said, “Do it, Trish. Write about it; all of it. ‘Cuz you were right. It is beautiful over here.”

I was so dumbfounded, I didn’t know what to say. Then she said, “Tell my sister, I’m sorry.” I nodded, and she whispered, “I love you, friend.” Then she held up her hand, palm toward me, and a moment later she disappeared.

My experience with my sister-in-law was similar, except all the more shocking because I didn’t know she was ill. She had injured herself in a fall, so was in the hospital. I had completed my story regarding my NDE, but was having second thoughts about actually publishing it. I had just turned off the computer and was turning to leave my home office, when I felt a chill. A moment later my sister-in-law shimmered into view. (And yes, it was a definite shimmer. Very much like a heat curtain that sometimes appears above a very hot road.). She didn’t so much speak to me, as she smiled, and then nodded. A sort of peace fell over me and I just knew that publishing the book was the right thing to do. As that thought flowed through me, her smile grew bigger, and she mouthed the word, “Yes.” She, then disappeared.goingtolight

So, can we and do we share our deaths with others? I certainly believe so. Is there a continuation of life after we die? I certainly believe that, too.

But what do you believe? And why? Have you ever had the chance to say goodbye to someone when they’ve died? Have you  somehow just known the moment a friend or loved one has died?

What are your experiences?

Advertisements

Where is Love?

wave washed heart and pink shovel_4500Where has the romantic gone?

How did she become lost?

Where is the lonely little girl who constantly poured her soul

Into a few choice words—laying bare her life, her heart, and her mind?

I have searched everywhere, yet she remains lost.

I see a form; it could be her.

Instead I am confronted with some glowering old woman

Whose sour disposition seeps forth from every seam of her face,

and every pore of her skin.

Like the odor of spoiled meat, it surrounds her in a miasma,

full of despair and dislike.

When she sees me, she grabs my sleeve

and demands querulously, “Where is love? Where has it gone?”

“I was a young woman once—in love with life and filled with joy.

Now, here I am dressed in these rags. My hair is coarse and my

face is wrinkled. I do not understand. How did I come to be this way?”

Her tears follow the runnels of her face

until they tumble free and splash against her shawl.

Her claw-like fingers still grip my sleeve

and I find myself patting her age-speckled hand.

Love is so fleeting, so swiftly fading.

With its departure do we lose our youth,

our beauty and our way.

Feeling her pain, I turn her toward the light.

Wiping away her tears, I softly explain

that love is there, in front of her.

For within the light all is joy,

and within the light all is music,

and within the light everything is love.

With a look of awe, she releases me

and reaches toward the light.

As she shuffles forward, her countenance changes.

Her face grows smoother, and her back straighter,

and as the glow surrounds her, somewhere deep

within myself I feel the tones of love resound.

Prove It

proofAfter three episodes of Proof, I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised and pleased by the treatment that TNT (and thereby, Hollywood) is giving to the topic of ‘life after death’ and all the related topics (NDEs, ghosts, poltergeist, sceances, mediums, etc.).

They provide enough skepticism and watered-down science to keep it from getting campy and melodramatic; yet, they seem to have an open mind, too. For instance, in the episode pertaining to ghosts and poltergeist, they had the doctor (the primary skeptic) “prove’ that it was a brain lesion causing the dead-wife-sightings. Yet, the poltergeist-type manifestations that were attributed to the ghost of the dead wife continued even after the brain lesion was removed. This left the doctor (and the audience) wondering—were the sightings and manifestations truly caused by the brain lesion; is there something else going on not related to the medical condition of the man who had lost his wife; did the brain lesion only enable the sightings and not cause them; or were the events of ghostly sightings, poltergeist activities, and brain lesion simply random occurrences?

The show leaves it to each viewer to decide these questions, and that’s what makes the show so good. The writers, producers, and actors provide the information and the varying viewpoints, but then they leave it up to each of us to decide what it all means. I enjoy being presented with the information, the different perspectives as to what it all means, and then being allowed to come to my own conclusions. As a partial skeptic myself, I identify with the doctor’s dilemma of wanting proof, and yet I love hearing the explanations from those whose viewpoints rely more on belief and acceptance.

During the past life regression episode I found myself nodding at certain statements made by the skeptics in that particular episode; while at the same time, I know that past lives are real and they do impact your current life (for good or for ill).

So, while I would love for there to be a scientific explanation for everything that occurs in life; I don’t believe that science (or religion) has managed to keep up with all that life has presented to us. Therefore, there are times when we need to say, “Is it possible?” instead of, “Is it provable?”.

As for me, if it seems reasonable and possible, then I’m likely to say, “I’ll consider it.” I don’t always need Proof, but it’s a good show, nonetheless.

What you see isn’t always what you think

What do you see in the picture shown here?

is it an angel or alien
is it an angel or alien

When I showed the picture to different friends, I got several different answers: angels, aliens, light reflecting on clouds. And whose to say that any of those answers was right or wrong?

If you asked three different people to describe something they all saw or experienced, you’d most likely get three different answers. Crazy, right?

Well, maybe it’s not as crazy as you think. After all, much of what we think we experience is based on what our minds tell us is real. And our brain’s output is based on imperfect, and often, incomplete data.

I’ve been watching a TV show lately called Brain Games. It’s all about how our brains perceive and interpret information. What I’ve discovered from viewing this show is that while we think of our brains as infallible, they aren’t…not really.

Our brains function just like those computers the CSI guys use when they enter partial fingerprints into it, and then try to get a match. Our brains take in all sorts of information through sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell; however, many of us rarely fully focus on the input that our body is sending us, so we don’t always get perfect data. We may only see part of what is happening around us because we’re focused on our cell phone, or on the taste of that meatball sub we’re having for lunch, or on the lyrics to our favorite song playing on our iPods. So, just like that partial finger print that the CSI computer is trying to match, our brains are trying to make sense of partial input.

Adding to the brain’s difficulty is the fact that the majority of us come with preset filters. We call these filters:  beliefs, prejudices, past experiences, fears, preconceived notions and convictions, and expectations.

Having these filters is not necessarily bad; in fact, without them we wouldn’t be who we are. However, they do skew and limit the output our brain can present to us based on the input we gave it.

So, if your filtering system (personality and thought processes) allow angels, then it’s easy to see how your brain may put together all the input you gave it and give you that answer. However, if your filtering system doesn’t go there, then you might be more inclined to receive the answer of light glare on clouds.

Neither answer is wrong, each person simply experiences a reality based on his or her information input and his or her filtered output.

Can you hear me…

My husband and I have spent the past few months searching for a home to rent. I was determined to use my “instincts” this time rather than my intellect. Following my intellect and overriding emotions is what had led us to be in this position of needing to find a rental, and I was intent on allowing my inner voice lead us this time.

When my husband and I moved to our current location I had pushed away the little voice that kept hollering at me. It kept saying that we needed to wait, not buy; we needed to rent an apartment or something and maybe buy something later. But rather than listen to that voice, I opted to go with my husband’s choice of moving once. So we purchased a home only to have the home values erode leaving us underwater with no life preservers.

After watching the home values plummet and the neighborhood collapse, we, too, finally succumbed to the realization that we could no longer maintain a home that was so far underwater. So, with a short sale on the verge of completion, I began hunting for some place for us to move to. However, it seems that the majority of people in our area were also trying to rent, either because they had also left homes they could no longer support or because they didn’t trust the housing market and refused to invest in it. Either way, competition was stiff.

The limited rental market, combined with the lack of a finalized closing date on our own home sale left me scrambling and my emotions running high. The heightened emotions were doing a wonderful job at blocking that inner voice that I swore I was going to listen to. Instead, all I could hear was “Grab it! Get it! There might not be anything else!”

With this overly emotional voice of panic screaming at me, it became difficult to be intuitive let alone logical about finding a place to live. We traipsed through places so filthy that I would have never even gotten out of the car to view them, let alone considered renting them had it not been for that screaming voice of panic. Call after call was made, never to be returned, or if returned, it was by a rude, and oftentimes snotty realtor or leasing agent who could care less about my plight. Most often the response was the same, “It’s rented already.” followed by them hanging up. (And this after the house, apartment, or condo had been on the market for only 3 or 4 days.)

I was, therefore, suspicious when I viewed some images online of a place for rent and felt a wrenching in my gut that said, “I recognize that place.” I looked at them again, and re-read the description of the home. My husband and I had never been in the community, so I know we had never seen the house, yet there it was again…that pull of recognition. Although the days on the rental market read 20, I called fully expecting that if I got to speak to anyone they would tell me that the place was already rented.

When the leasing agent called back, she was less than friendly, but not overtly rude. She pointed out that the place was in a 55+ community, as if she expected me to go “Oh sorry…” and hang up. Instead, I responded that both my husband and I were qualified, and suddenly her demeanor changed. We agreed on a time and date to view the home and when we walked inside, that pull of recognition was even stronger.

Because the voice of panic was also still there, I disbelieved my inner voice and I stressed and worried while our credit and work histories were checked and our references were reviewed, all the while expecting to hear them say, “sorry, your credit score sucks…” or “sorry, the owner has found someone else…”. Instead, we got a call from the leasing agent stating that the owner actually understood and empathised with our situation and was quite willing to give us a go.

I couldn’t believe it. Despite the inner voice, despite the instant recognition of the place via the pictures, I was still shocked. It made me realize that no matter how strong your “talents”, you can still be fooled; you can still end up following the voice of panic or other highly charged emotions. Luckily for us, I was trying to listen for the inner voice, so even though the emotions tried to drown it out, I did manage to hear it. But if I hadn’t been listening, or if my doubts had won out, my husband and I could still be struggling to find a place to live.

We all need to make an effort to listen to that inner voice and not let the sounds of our own highly charged emotions drown it out. We need to believe that the path is there if we can just calm down enough to find it. Hopefully, that lesson has burned its way into my brain and I won’t have such difficulties next time listening to, hearing, and following that inner voice.

By Any Other Name…

I got into a discussion the other day with someone who objected to the use of the words ‘guide’ and ‘guardian’ (as in guardian angels). When I asked why, they said that there were no guides or guardians only essence doing what essence does.

Several others in the group disagreed and the discussion flowed back and forth with some agreeing and others disagreeing. As for me, I can see his point, but I also think that he’s not seeing the fuller picture.

Are guides or guardians essence? Of course, we all are. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that the essence that comes to us as a guide is our own essence (our higher self). Other fragments of ourselves (fragments no longer incarnate) can be acting as guides, as can entity mates, or even cadre or cadence companions. All would be in essence (especially if discarnate and astral), but they would also be guides or guardians.

A programmer is a person (or at least most of the ones I know are;-), but we don’t identify them as ‘person’, we identify them as ‘programmer’. In other words, we’re identifying them with the role they fulfill. To me it’s the same with guides and guardians. They may be essence, but if they perform the ‘job’ or task of guide, then that’s what I call them.

A guide, while some part of essence (yours or someone else’s), is still performing a specific function—they’re guiding you, whether it is through a particular challenging passage of your life or through your transition between physical lives. After all, if some piece of essence is helping you, providing dreams or other feedback in an effort to “guide” you along your path, aren’t they acting as a guide?

Sure the piece of essence might be part of your essence, but then we usually refer to that as your “higher self”; or it might be a different fragment of you (a fragment no longer incarnate on Earth). However, it could just as easily be part of your non-reunited entity (an entity mate). They are all essence, just as you yourself are; but each piece of essence doesn’t function as a guide.

While certainly no expert—I’m not sure anyone who is incarnate—I have spent a considerable amount of time in the astral planes (and not just on the transitional planes where most people go when they astral travel). Therefore, I feel somewhat protective and defensive of the term “guide”. I’ve “seen” (or maybe experienced is a better word) some of the different “jobs” that those beings of essence perform while in their astral phase of life. 

Sure, some of the “lessons” or experiences of the astral are more internal—reviewing the lives and choices they had and made while incarnate, or reuniting with all the other fragments of themselves and working through any residual links or minor imbalances with those still in the physical (which is usually done in the astral while the incarnate person is sleeping). But part of the experiences of the astral include acting as a guide for those either still physical or those transitioning between life and death (physicality and non-physicality). There are also those who offer advice, and others who simply monitor things—people, plants, animals, etc. So, it isn’t all just playing harps and floating around on clouds. Nor can it be wrong to call some of those non-corporeal beings guides—after all, it is what they do.

It isn’t just those who are discarnate, either, who function as guides in essence. I have also taken on that task during some of my nightly sojourns, as have others I’ve spoken with in the here and now.

I know one young woman who works on the transitional planes assuring those who have recently died (physically) that they are alright and that what they are experiencing is physical death. I’ve known others who work with those heading back to a physical life, helping them sort out all the various choices available to them as they plan the tasks and imbalances they want to complete or rectify.

As for myself, I’m what I call an EOCG—Emergency On-Call Guide. I take those “calls” from folks who are incarnate and seeking support and guidance, as well as those who have, perhaps, traveled to the astral (whether during sleep or an unplanned OBE) and are now “lost”. (This in addition to my “duties” in helping people cross over.)

Most of those I take calls from are entity mates, but I have also responded to cadre and cadence companions. Why do I do this? Because I chose to. I’ve chosen to do this through the past 7 lives. It’s to help them as well as myself. I look at it as a type of “on-the-job-training”. After all, it gives me a chance to learn more about how everything and everyone fits together in the overall scheme of things, and it helps me decide what type(s) of “jobs” or “tasks” I will continue with once I transition off the physical plane for good.

So, even though some people may not like the term guide, or angels, or guardians, I find that the term is quite appropriate in describing what some parts of essence are doing.

Life Interrupted

“…but you’re too young to have that…” “They were so young…” “It’s such a pity; he/she was so young…”

I’ve never really understood what age has to do with how shocking, sad, or devastating it is to find out someone has died, is dying, or has a deadly disease or illness. Yet, you hear it all the time on the news, in person, in movies.

But why is it any more devastating for someone who is 4 to die than someone who is 44? Or 15 versus 76? Doesn’t everyone have something to contribute to the world no matter whether they’re 1 or 100?

Why do we believe that someone who is 90 is ready to ease out of life, while someone who is 4 is just getting going? Have you ever considered that the person who is 4 might actually be finishing up a previous life? It just might be that they had done a life where they accidentally died at 66, so they didn’t get to finish all the things they needed to. Therefore, they decided to come back just for those few years that it would take to do those things. Hence, for them, 4 years is more than enough time and they’re ready to move on and live a new life with different circumstances, different people, and a whole new set of lessons. While the 90 year old may feel as if they’re just getting started and the last thing on their mind is moving on from this life.

I’m one of those who’s completing a life interrupted. The last time I made it to age 18, but then circumstances that I didn’t foresee intervened and the life ended. This life has let me pick up where that one left off, so in my mind, I’m not so young. Add the two lives together and I’m really quite the senior citizen. So, I understand some of these “children” who came just to complete things carried over from the last life and who are ready to move on to something new.

That doesn’t mean that they (or I) have any less impact or importance in this world. I think every life and every person is extremely important. I believe everyone makes a difference in our lives; even those people we barely acknowledge or know, such as clerks at the store, or the neighbor 5 doors down that you only nod to when you see them out and about.

Maybe you’ve never met Sue Smith, but when you read about her in the paper or on the web, her story affects you emotionally. That’s because everyone matters; everyone has an impact on everyone else. Yet, does it really matter whether Sue is 14 or 40? It’s still the same struggle; it’s still the same pathos; and it’s still the same ending.

I think the real reason we say things like “…but they were so young…” is because of our own fear. We’re all so afraid of death and dying, that when we’re confronted with these types of situations, we try to push the reality of it away; we try to find ways of separating ourselves from the person who is ill or dead. However, a part of us recognizes that it could be us who is sick, dying, or dead, and so we blurt out what we fear. We’re not really saying that the other person is too young; we’re actually saying we are.

I don’t want us to become a society where life is taken lightly, but I think we need to lighten up a little and recognize that death, dying, and illnesses (severe, life-threatening illnesses) are part of life, too. And instead of trying to hide ourselves from this reality, we need to take another look, understand it, and embrace it as the opportunity it is—an opportunity to do and have all those things that you may not get to in this life.