It is my personal belief that when a person “passes away,” his or her spirit and essence continues to be very much alive. Following the deaths of three immediate family members, I became more than a little interested in theories of the afterlife. I read and watched everything I could find on the subject of near death experiences (NDEs), after-death communication, and people who claimed to talk to those who had passed on.
It was my way of trying to get a handle on what my parents and brother might have experienced in their passing. It also gave me some hope that even though my family’s physical bodies were gone, they could somehow continue to be a part of my life now and in the future.
If we reflect carefully, most of us would have a story about receiving messages or a sign from a departed loved one. Many of these moments can be easily missed because in the days following the loss we naturally (and thankfully) go into a state of shock. But if we can imagine for a moment that Tibetan Buddhists are correct in their belief that the spirit lingers in the physical world for several days after its death, would it be helpful in the bereavement process if we used these moments as an opportunity as well as a time to grieve?
Although this is almost impossible to ask of anyone who has just experienced loss, it is my hope that we could learn to explore this possibility when the time comes to handle a death in our lives. In the midst of the shock and chaos, finding some solitary quiet time and literally talking to the very person you are grieving can produce some astounding results.
Pray to your departed ones and ask for a sign that they are okay. Tell them everything you’ve always wanted to say. Take a big deep breath and be open to receiving answers in both symbolic and literal ways. Write down all of your experiences.
It could be a butterfly that suddenly appears and lands on a child’s gravestone, the scent of your late mother’s perfume after she pops into your mind, dreams of a departed loved one, even found and missing important objects are ways a spirit tries to say, “I’m here!”
There are countless stories of people who have been contacted by those who have passed. Sometimes it’s near the moment of death; other times, the contact comes many years after.
Just as interesting are the tales of people’s experiences after a physical trauma where they find themselves floating above their body, seeing and hearing everything that is happening below them. These stories can give us hope about life after death, but having our own direct experience is even more satisfying.
Death is not the end of life. May each of you come to know this in your heart through direct experience. If you are interested in learning more about NDE’s I suggest Dannion Brinkley’s amazing book, Saved By the Light. I also highly recommend anything by Dr. Raymond Moody, who has studied the evidence of life after death for decades.
Love and light to all, on both sides of the veil.
Megan Prescott 2011