Where do you believe people go when they die?
Do you believe that they go to heaven, hell, or purgatory? Or, do you believe perhaps that people's souls wander the earth for peace? Could you believe that some people linger between earth and heaven? Do you believe people that pass on from this earth can choose who they show themselves to?
I am asking you all of these questions because I believe that people have a way of appearing to you when you least expect it.
My friend's mother died back during my senior year. It was really weird, because she had not been sick for a long time nor was she particularly old. Her death was unexpected. It didn't really hit me that she was gone until after I went to the wake and saw her in a casket. It was then that I realized that she was truly no longer here. It was difficult, because I was not so much mourning for the loss of her, but rather, was mourning about the loss my friend received. I was able to see my mom everyday while his was suddenly taken away.
A couple of nights after the funeral his mother came to me in a dream. I was with my friend, hanging out, and then she met us. We were at a gym or somewhere and she came to me. She hugged me and smiled, which was a normal encounter between us. It was as if she appeared to me to let me know that everything was going to be alright.
My encounter with her was the last encounter I had with the dead. I would say it was an encounter, because I have had dreams. It did not feel like a dream. It felt real. I could actually feel her when she hugged me. And unlike a dream, there was a sense of time. It did not go on through the night, but for a period of around ten minutes. Unlike the course of most of my dreams, I could remember it. I still remember it.
I'm starting to believe that people can appear to you. I believe that there is a place between heaven and earth where a person can linger to finish up their earthly work. Their earthly work consists of providing comfort to the souls who search for answers, but may never understand or for the souls that can help others understand.
My mom's friend was not the first person I encountered. The first dead person I encountered was my grandmother. A few days after she passed, she appeared to me. Together we ran through the cemetery. During the latter parts of her life she was sick with diabetes. I never saw her in her prime. I always remembered that I would stay at her house and that she would cook from time to time. I remember that she was always nice, but we never really did anything together. During our encounter she was happy, she was in no pain, and we ran and we had fun. At first I was skeptical to go with her, but then she grabbed my hand and we ran for joy. I think that was her way of telling me to have fun in life and to never walk when you can run!
The peculiar thing about the people that have died and have appeared to me metaphysically is that I have relationships with them, but not deep relationships. The people that I have had meaningful relationships with have yet to show themselves to me. For instance, my uncle and I were really close. His death came unexpectedly when I was around ten years old. He was my best friend and when he died, I was completely in shock. It was the most painful thing I have ever been through. I prayed day and night for him to show himself to me, in order to let me know that everything was going to be alright. I believe that he has not appeared, because he knows that showing himself to me would hinder my progress of getting over my grief. I believe that he has not showed himself to me, because it might hurt me more than give me peace.
Do you believe yourself to have had an encounter with something more than our earthly world? If so, I think you should share your experience. I believe that we have to foster more conversations about life after death in order to not stigmatize it and to understand it before. Life after death is a wonder until you experience it, but once you experience it, it is too late to talk about.