By Michael Tymn
Bob Bennett was killed on the battlefield in France during World War I. Shortly thereafter, he began communicating with his mother by means of Morse Code and then through automatic writing. He informed her that he had become part of a ‘welcoming group’ for fallen soldiers and was also tending to the wounded by attempting to bolster their spirits.
As Bob Bennett saw it from his side of the veil, there is little or no fear of death among men who go into battle. ‘The soul seems to remember, suddenly, that it may be about to repeat an interesting experience,’ he communicated to his mother via automatic writing. ‘The physical side of the soldier is dominated by the spiritual and carried on with a kind of thrilling joy. The meanest man sometimes surprises his comrades by exhibitions of courage.’
Bob then mentioned ‘Cooper,’ whom he had described as ‘a sniveling “willy boy” who was afraid to go home in the dark’ in a letter to his mother before he crossed over.
‘Well, he came west since I last wrote you,’ Bob communicated. ‘I happened to be near [in spirit form] when the grenade fell in the trench and saw him grab it in his arms and scramble out with it before it exploded. He saved a whole company, among them many wounded. I went with him over the top and yelled, “Bully for you, Coop, old man!” Then the bomb blew away his mortality, and he saw me. We left the field together, and I took him back among the hills where the particular group of helpers headed by Jack Wells gave him a glad hand. He’s all right and a trump among us. Get word to his mother.’
Bob’s mother mentally communicated to him that his mother probably wouldn’t believe her if she told her about the messages she had been receiving from Bob. ‘Well, get such comfort across as you can, but do not try to convince any one that you communicate with me,’ Bob responded. ‘You would probably be carted off to a padded cell if you should tell all we shall talk about.’
‘Cooper is in a blue funk about his mother,’ Bob continued. ‘She is frantic with grief, and he cannot communicate with her. She is like many Christians. She subscribes to a creed – but she doesn’t believe it. If she would just take her pencil in her hand, and let Coop do the rest! Then she would come to know that her son and all the other sons are living and only kept from being happy and full of new and splendid ambitions by the tears of those they love on earth. To mourn is natural, but it really isn’t natural to be hopeless.’
In addition to fallen soldiers greeting the newly deceased, Bob said that there were a number of ‘deceased’ relatives looking out after their own. ‘There is a mobilization here of the generation immediately connected with the troops – fathers and mothers and near of kin – to attend these boys and to bring them out.’
Bob urged his mother to read Swedenborg in order to get a better handle on what happens during the separation of soul from body. Then, he communicated: ‘We hear continually that the Savior is often seen on the fields. I have not dared to look, sometimes, when I have felt, rather than seen, a strange soft light. I am not ready to look just now. But there is no doubt but that He moves among the soldiers. I am called away.’
In a later communication, Bob explained that he really doesn’t know much more than he did when in the flesh and that he found it difficult to describe his condition in words. Moreover, he had come to understand that as he progressed on that side he would have a more difficult time in communicating with her.
At another sitting, Bob said that he had heard on of the more evolved spirits on that side talking with Spencer, a recently-‘dead’ soldier, who was concerned about his fiancé. It was explained to him that ‘each created being is the half of another created being. When these two halves are brought together, it is marriage There are may be many alliances in a person’s life. But only one marriage… There are no separations of those who belong together. Emphasize ‘belong.’ Spencer’s girl will come to him here if she is his other half, and their marriage will be consummated in heaven.’
Bob asked the advanced spirit what would happen if the girl were to marry and have children: ‘... and he surprised me by saying she probably would, certainly should do so. That she should fulfill the law of her being on earth by wife and motherhood. That accomplished, she will find her spiritual mate and the man who had been her husband on earth will find his own complementary self.’
The mother asked what Bob could ‘hear’ from her. ‘I get any thought, I suppose, that is directed to me. I cannot undertake to say how or why. In fact, I am not informed as to these things. I do not know why any more than I knew in class, why one ray of light was white and one was violet.’
While tending a mortally wounded soldier, Bob reported an awesome experience. ‘I was easing a boy in my arms, but he was very young and he wanted his mother. I could not comfort him. Someone beside me said: ‘I will take him.’ I could not look up, but I knew Who it was. Let mothers hear of this.’
On another occasion, Bob says ‘Him’ tending to ‘dead’ Germans. ‘I talked with Wells about this, later, in my tent. He said we must give up thinking of Christ as ours alone. He quoted His words, as the mob howled around Him on Calvary: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’’
Bob also observed that ‘dogs come and go freely, back and forth across the invisible line.’ He said that they do not need to leave their natural bodies to associate with those who have died. They often follow their masters. ‘I often find a certain embarrassment in saying things that I, myself, would once have called bunk. But I guess they are true, all right,’ Bob communicated, again stressing that he did not know much more than when he was in the flesh.
One of Bob’s final comments before communications ceased was: ‘The easiest thing in life is death.’
Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife, and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.