There is much about life and death that I do not understand. I trust in the process because I believe in God. I don’t feel I have to “know” everything. Just because we can’t explain something, does not mean it does not exist. I do feel I need to be open to learn.
It’s no secret that my brother’s death has had a profound affect on my family, and on me personally. What I have not spoken about is how it has changed my perception of death and the thereafter. I haven’t spoken about that to many people, only those I trust most. Many of my friends have been accepting and supportive as long as my beliefs did not differ from theirs. There are those who prefer to comfort me through scripture and there are those who really talk to me allowing me to explore these feelings and ideas.
For two days prior to my brother’s death he saw and spoke with dead people. No, he was not delusional. He could carry on a completely lucid conversation with those around him, including people who had been dead for years. An elderly gentleman who had been a childhood neighbor and deceased for a good thirty-five years visited with him several times. My deceased aunt took him for a walk through a field of flowers. An uncle who had died two weeks prior to my brother came to visit him – my brother had no knowledge of our uncle’s death until that visitation. A woman who looked like my brother’s wife, Ana, kept coming to him, concerned for Ana’s welfare after Monte’s death. His father in law came by with a photograph he’d had made for his daughter. My brother was shocked that the woman in the photograph was the woman who had been visiting him. She was his father in law’s mother -a woman Monte had never met nor seen before. A gentleman who had lived and died in the house before my brother bought it asked for his help in crossing over. He wanted my brother to help him find Jesus. My brother was a Christian and had been calling to Jesus to take him home. He was ready for the pain to end. My brother visited with Jesus a few times, and was confident Jesus would come back for him when he was ready.
My brother died in complete peace. His physical body died in the presence of his loved ones, living and deceased. I think he was ushered home with unconditional love and absolute compassion. These are things we only pretend to experience in this earthly realm. I think there is a much deeper connection that we will not experience until death.
I’d never experienced this part of the life/death process. I always felt the veil was thin between worlds, but never questioned crossing over. In all honesty, the thought of our loved ones coming to comfort my brother, ease his transition, and assist him in crossing over has provided me with a great deal of comfort. I realize this conversation may make some uncomfortable or even make them scoff. Nevertheless, I wanted to share my brother’s experience with you since his experience has had such a profound affect on my views.
A few days before my brother’s death, my other brother and I were having a telephone conversation in which we both expressed how we wished we had told him to send us a sign that he had crossed over and all was well. I relayed this conversation to one of my sisters who also wished she had expressed this desire to our brother. She called my brother’s wife who asked him if he could fill our request. He replied, “Yes, but they haven’t told me what the sign is.” The next day he told his wife to let us know that the sign was peace. My brother died a day or so later. Upon hearing of his illness, we each had experienced anger, confusion, anxiety, and many other emotions. Upon his death, we each felt at complete ease because we knew he was no longer suffering, and we each in our hearts felt he had been chauffeured home by our other loved ones.
Still each of the three of us secretly searched for signs of peace. I literally looked for the “peace sign” designed in nature or drawn on buildings and even expected it to pop up while I browsed the internet. No such thing happened for any of us. I looked for doves, white feathers, and any tangible signs of peace that I could find. Still, nothing. Then, I thought maybe I should just stop looking. However, I was at complete ease within my heart. Finally, we spoke and saw that we were all experiencing the same process. We conclude that the peace we felt was what my brother was speaking of. It’s possible we are completely off base, but I have the strongest sense we are not.
In speaking with friends since this, I’ve found that almost all of those who had family members who had lingering illnesses saw and spoke with deceased loved ones in the few days or hours prior to death. These included Christian friends who admitted this. They also did not feel that it had to be biblically explained for them to accept it.
I am constantly reminded of my friend, Steff. While she was sick we often talked about death and heaven and hell, and all the things we were taught to believe. Two weeks after she died, I dreamed that I was swimming in a river, and Stephanie came shooting up out of the water, like a mermaid. She kept popping up to say one and only one thing to me, “It’s not what we thought it was.” This dream has never left me because it felt so real, and deep down I really felt that it was a message from her to reassure me that death is not the end.
Whether or not my brother was hallucinating or experiencing these visits prior to his death is not for any of us to decide as we are not the utmost authority on the subject. I can say with certainty that it has changed us, and we have peace.