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What Happens at Death?
What Happens at Death?
There are many psychics today who believe that once a spirit crosses over they leave all of their anger, fear and resentment in this world. Respectfully, I disagree. We have had specific experiences that has proven to us that human emotions do survive death. If this were not so, then my experiences should have and would have been very different.
We have met spirits who were angry after they had crossed over. Celeste's experience with the spirit and the quilt is but one example. Briefly stated, if emotions do not survive the death process, then the spirit should not have cared one way or the other at Celeste's comment that her quilt was really ugly story about Celeste's experience is at the end of this piece).
Another experience also backs up our belief's that human emotions survive death that we had was when we were married and we moved into the house on Morris Street. This was the very first house that we have ever had an practical experience with the paranormal. We moved into the 3 story house and started talking about how to renovate the house, remove a lot of later additions, repaint the entire place, put down new carpeting and just make the general changes that one plans to do when one moves into an existing house. After we moved into the house, we decided to see if we could find the stairway that would take us up to the third floor. The door had been sealed, plywood had been nailed over the doorway, wall paper was put over the plywood and several layers of paint were over the wall paper. We took some hammers and tried to locate the hidden door. After a few minutes we found the door and decided to see if we could open the door. As soon as we had removed the plywood and opened the door, I felt a sudden rush of extremely cold air that rushed past me. It took be a bit by surprises this was during one of the warmest summer sin Grand Rapids, MI. We went up to the third floor not knowing what to expect. We looked around and was taken back a bit by the small room. There was a hot water radiator, place for a bed, a bathroom that looked rather delightful and clean, some rooms in the attic that held nothing really. Thats was that. We decided to go downstairs.
Within days or weeks (I can not remember just which one) things started to happen! We adopted a nice sweet puppy and from time to time he would be thrown (quite literally) down the front stairs. We also adopted a cat and he would refuse to come out from under sofa for weeks...he would sit there and just growl very threatening. We could see no obvious reason for his growling. From time to time, if the cat would go upstairs he too would be thrown down the front stairway.
Later through a contact of ours who decided to include the story in a local book about haunted houses, he discovered that the people who had originally built the house had all died (except for one child) due to very tragic circumstances. I was able to describe the entire family in detail...there were 4 of them. An alpha male (the father), an alpha female (the mother), and two spirits who appeared to be children. One of the children was a young child who liked to hide a lot of my rocks and things that I had found and collected while a child.
If emotions do not survive death, then why were the alpha parents so upset, let alone the children? They should not have been angry or upset if emotions do not survive death.
We have heard of countless other stories where emotions appear to have survived death. We know that for whatever reason, emotions must survive. Otherwise the experiences were not real. Either our experiences about emotions are real or they are not. There is no real grey areas to this issue.
I was told of another story by the actual participants about an experience with an angry spirit while they were ghost hunting in Gettyburg, Pa. According to their story (of which I have no personal knowledge of the event) they were trying to locate some ghosts while they were in Gettysburg, PA. The problem is that they didn't have any real luck. One of them remembered a “tale” where a woman was supposed to be haunting a bridge over some sort of river in Gettysburg. According to the legend, the woman lost her children and they drowned with the mother watching the event. From time to time she is seen wandering the area looking for her children and crying. One of the group decided to do a really stupid thing. The person decided to start making fun of the dead woman telling her look for her kids, laughing, and making fun at the whole tragedy. Like Popeye the Sailor, the woman struck back. She began by rocking the van that the members were in back and forth. Within seconds they were being violently rocked back and forth. The spirit of the woman started to scratch the vans sides causing more fear for those in the van. The spirit then removed the car keys from the ignition and refused to give them back. It was not until one of the group quieted everyone down and then apologized to the spirit of the woman. Within seconds, the rocking of the van stopped. The person requested that the keys be returned. Within seconds the keys were found on the floor. They quickly started the van and drove off. Here is the kicker: if this story is true (which I believe it is, why would someone want to tell a potentially embarrassing story about themselves?) I could understand the anger of the woman's spirit. It makes perfect sense. That is of course you believe that emotions survive death. If not, then what is the purpose of the story? The spirit of the woman should not have been angry, resentful, because those emotions should be dead. As dead as she is!
Another reason that I know that human emotions survive death is from another experience that I had during a reading. A client asked me do a reading to contact some of her past family members. During the reading, I met many of them I also noticed that there was one spirit who kept himself hidden and refused to talk to me. He looked very sullen, and very uncomfortable. I saw mental images of children that he had sexually molested. During the reading, I asked the client about him and she remembered a story that a family member had been accused, tried and found guilty of sexually molesting children. I told her what I had seen and that the charges were true. This was when she told me that he had died while in prison. If this experience was not true (or real) then why would the guy looked so uncomfortable? He would have just stood there knowing that he no longer felt any shame in what he had done. But that was not the reality of what he had felt and continue to feel after his death.
The next question that we must face and ask ourselves is why would we as living people fail to allow the dead to have any feelings. Death in the Western culture has a lot of taboos. One is not to speak about the passing of a loved one. For all of the obvious reasons. Another cultural taboo is that we do not like to “speak about the dead”. Our thoughts have pretty much been that once a person has crossed, they have crossed. Better to dwell on the living, not on the dead. To me, this really “depersonalizes“ not only the life, but also the memory of the deceased. We ”remove“ the pain of their passing by no longer thinking of the dead as the living. We hold a funeral as a method of bringing ”closure“ to the living. I was once told an interesting thing: ”The funeral is not for the deceased, but the living“. We attend the wake, remember the experiences that we shared with the deceased, but we are not encouraged as thinking of the dead as still being with us. I suspect that is due to additional cultural taboos. Basically the living feel that when a person is dead, they are dead and had better get their hooties into heaven!
This is far different from the Native American view of life after death. To Native American families that I have had direct interaction with, it was their belief that when their loved one crosses over (die) they still stay with them for some days. Once the funeral rites are over with and the body is interred, they continue that the spirit of the deceased can still come back for visits. In some cases, they may stay for as long as they like. Sometimes for extended periods.
Not only can the dead visit, but they can also be brought back to the loved ones during times of stress and worry. The “ghost meal” has replaced the ghost dance since it was outlawed about one hundred years ago. The ghost meal is a tasty meal that is prepared or the living and shared with the dead. The living take their portions and when they are finished, they will prepare a plate for food for their loved ones. Once the plate is prepared, they spend some moments in meditation and then place the plate in a type of fire with the idea that the fire will carry the meal and flavor to the loved ones. The interesting thing is that the Native Americans think of their dead as still being with them in the daily life of the living. They keep their personal opinions of a deceased family member not being spoken and the deceased are spoken of using kind words and loving thoughts.
An intriguing thought comes to me when I interview friends who are Native Americans and they believe that when the family member dies, they continue to feel emotions after death.
To me, this is closer to the real reality of life after death. It has been my experience that once death has occurred the now deceased can still stay around for days with the family. It has been written that the deceased could see everyone gathered, hear the conversations, smell the smells, etc. The only thing that they could not do is to interact with the living.
Judaism also teaches that once death occurs, the sprits can come and go at their will. That is what shades are. Shades are spirits of the deceased that come back to their living, not to interact, but to listen and enjoy the company of the living. There are several stories about shades that offer some insight to the issue of emotions post death.
While they were still sitting, they saw a shade standing over them that came
and went, hither and thither in the house. They were astonished. Said Rabbi
Aba: Yosi, my son, I shall tell you what happened with me when I was with the
holy luminary, THAT IS RABBI SHIMON, one day when we were walking in
the Valley of Ono, and engaging in Torah the whole of that day, and because
of the intensity of the sun's heat, we sat in a niche under a rock.
The same shade came, sat down, and kissed him. They heard a certain voice
saying: Make room, make room for Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair, for he is among
you. As we have learned: in every place where a righteous man made a new
interpretation of a matter in the Torah while he was in this world, he comes
from the next world and visits that place. And this is even more likely when
there are other righteous men in that place, deriving new interpretations and
speaking about the Torah. And so it was that Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair came to
visit his place and found there a number of righteous men revealing new
interpretations of the Torah, and that matter was freshly renewed as previously
in the presence of Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair. IN OTHER WORDS, THAT SAME
TORAH MATTER THAT RABBI PINCHAS HAD SPOKEN OF WAS
REESTABLISHED IN HIS PRESENCE WHEN YOU MENTIONED IT IN
Rabbi Aba said: This interpretation of Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair is very nice, for it
is indeed not written: 'Wherefore I give', but "Wherefore say, Behold, I to give
to him," MEANING THAT MOSES WAS COMMANDED TO SAY TO HIM,
AS NOTED ABOVE. And just to think that this matter was hidden with you
from that devout man, and you said nothing UNTIL NOW. Happy is our portion
that we were privileged to be here with the help of the holy shade.
In April 2003, Deb and I attended to annual American Quilters Society show in Paducah, KY. A few years earlier we had found in an antique store a collection of scraps of fabrics and quilt patterns from woman living in Benton, KY (not to far from Paducah). One day we decided to drive to Benton to see if we could just experience Benton. Now mind you, we had never been to Benton, KY in our lives. This was a totally new town. We hit the interstate (I27) that crosses KY and ultimately takes you to Nashville, TN. We drove with no real expectations of anything and eventually we arrived at Benton, KY. We drove through the downtown and noticed an antique shop. I felt called to enter the shop and we parked right in front of the store. We went in and noticed that the shop was not just an antique shop but also sold different types of gifts.
We went in and started to look around. I noticed that there was a stairway and a sign saying that we could take a look. So we did...as I walked up the steps to the next floor I could strongly feel MANY spirits on the next floor. Again, there was a sign encouraging us to go up. Deb started to feel the spirits also and she was receiving some "bad vibes" so she decided to stay on the second level while I explored the third floor.
I arrived at the third floor and could literally feel as if I was not alone. This left me a bit disconcerted but I continued to wind my way around all of the furniture. I saw a sign stating that the furniture was imported from England and that it was for sale. As I was walking through the floor that was filled with furniture I noticed that there were several "back rooms" that contained more furniture. I started to walk down one hallway and I received a strong word of caution...actually it wasn't a caution it was a warning that I should NOT go down that hall. AI was more than happy to oblige the spirit and didn't want to rile them up any more than necessary. But I did one thing...I asked them telepathically why they were so upset. I was not prepared for the response! I heard in a distinct British accent the following "what are we doing here? Why were we taken from England and shipped to this horrible location?" The spirits were genuinely angry and they should be. I started to walk away to the stairway to exit the floor. As I headed towards the stairway I could literally feel them trying to push me down the stairs. Before I stepped on the first step I suddenly turned and said "Thank YOU for allowing me to visit you!" At that point I could feel them retreat because they did not know that they could be also seen and communicated with. They were horrified! I quickly grasped the handrail and made my way down the steps. I called for Deb and she came towards me. I relayed my experienced and noticed that every hair on my arms were standing straight up! We quickly walked down the steps to the first floor, found the cashier and explained what we had seen and felt. The cashier was a woman who was in her early 20's and she reassured me that she has had a lot of bad feelings from the third floor. She stated briefly, but passionately "They know better than to come down here cause I will pray the blood of Jesus over 'em! That will fix 'em....!"
As we left the store and climbed into our car the hairs on my arm were still standing straight up. It was not until we were out of town that they stopped standing up.
On day we decided to visit a friend who lived south of Kalamazoo, MI. We drove down and noticed that there was an antique mall just off US 131 on D Avenue (I don't know why Kalamazoo county named a lot of their streets for the alphabet, but they did!). We decided to take a brief look. We drove to the small antique mall and started to look around. We noticed that there were several quilts and we started to look at them. I was standing near Deb and Celeste was about 8 feet away looking at a rather oddly colored quilt. Celeste spoke up in a clear tone and said somewhat loud "Isn't this the ugliest quilt you have ever seen? Who ever made this was high on something!" Celeste had no more than uttered the last statement when she yelled "Ouch! That hurt...!" Celeste looked at both of us and we looked at her. She knew that there was no way that we could have kicked her and then ran back in a split second like that. I explained to Celeste that the maker of the quilt was there standing near her and that her feelings were hurt by that remark.