Thursday, August 28, 2008

What's it like to be dead?

©2008 Joan M. Newcomb

Originally I was going to write about talking with dead people, but I mentioned that in my blog . I've had a number of interactions lately, but that's not unusual. Whenever my husband and I take his mother out to a restaurant, at some point during the meal I become acutely aware of the extra chair at the table. I know that George has joined us. George passed three and a half years ago at the age of 94. He and my mother in law were married for over 55 years. She still senses him when she wakes up in the morning, although she wouldn't put it that way.

George also hangs around my husband and I, especially because we're driving his truck (a red Ford Ranger, that he bought when he was 93). I always thank him when driving up the hill from the ferry dock, because that truck is a zippy little thing. My husband doesn't sense him like I do, he just turns into him once in a while. I've never met the man, but when David is glued to the History Channel watching shows about World War II, I know that Lt. Col. George Newcomb, USAF, is inhabiting his body. David normally watches Mythbusters and the Speed Channel.

Recently my Great Aunt Marjorie came to my awareness, which hasn't happened before. I only met her once, when I was four, shortly before she passed from breast cancer. I have an affinity for her as Marjorie is my middle name, and she was a writer and teacher as I am (go to, type in Marjorie Alma Dimmitt, and you'll find a listing of some of her books). I really enjoyed connecting with her.

My friend Ian has shown up a lot recently, during the Tour de France (he was an avid cyclist) and whenever we watched the Olympics on CBC (Ian was Canadian). And often while driving my eyes will suddenly focus on a silver PT Cruiser, Ian's symbolic communication for Instant Joy (it was the vehicle that hit him on his bike).

Based on Ian's communication with me when he passed, and my observations since then, it's pretty nice to be dead, although a little disorienting at first. We become non-physical, which means we no longer see or sense things the way we did when we had a body. In the beginning, Ian had trouble seeing, and the impression I got is because, without eyes, everything is energy. Like seeing things as pixels rather than solid objects.

Also, there is no time or space as spirit, so you're not physically located. You just come in and out of focus (and I believe this happens especially when people are thinking about you). There's no sense of time passing, because there is no time, it's all happening at once.

The denser emotions are connected with your personality, and your personality is associated with your body, so these things fade away when you're non-corporeal. It really is elation, a mixture of love and joy. There's a tremendous neutrality, and acceptance, too. Without a body you're no longer attached to life and death (something that's terribly important to your physical form). There's no judgment, no good or bad, it all just *is*. There's no concern about who gets what in the will, or even how the death happened.

Most importantly, the dead aren't gone, they're in an additional dimension just beyond our normal perception.

Religion and our physical bodies have contributed a lot of misunderstandings about being dead. Religion has heaped a lot of ethics on it, that when we passed we'll be judged for our sins. Sin is just an Aramaic archery term for 'missing the mark'. Judgment is something that happens "down here" in the physical, and actually is a key ingredient keeping us stuck and not aware of our own spirituality (but that's a topic for another article). Physical bodies are naturally frightened of death, because they're not going to make it out of this lifetime alive! When you tune into your Essential Self, that is immortal, all you feel is excitement.

People who've witnessed both have reported that dying has the same energy as birth; which makes sense as it's the same transition (only in reverse). Drama, pain and discomfort are body level experiences. The actual passing is easy; leaving the body behind is exhilarating. And, just as people gather for the presence of a birth, those that have passed gather for the presence of a death. It's joyous and welcoming, regardless of the circumstances.

Death is tough for those left behind, especially if their belief system prevents them from tuning in to the deceased. Our bodies need time to mourn, and grieving helps clear our blocks to communicating with those that have passed. However, it's comforting to know they're still available to talk with even though they're harder to hear. Let yourself be relaxed and open and you'll be rewarded. They love to be acknowledged.

I hope this has been helpful to you. Feel free to email me with any comments or questions.

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