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Medical Caregivers need to “Wake Up!”: Afterlife Contact Eases Passing for the Physically Dying

Posted on 31 December 2012, 4:11

“We had enough, quite enough snobbery in this world without exporting it to the hereafter.”[1]

Rick Riordan, Author (1964 - )

Snobbery! I love the word! Merriam-Webster defines snobbery as “Snobbish conduct or character” and “Snobbish: being or characteristic of a person who has an offensive air of superiority and tends to ignore or disdain anyone regarded as inferior.” [2]

It has been my clinical and personal experience that those individuals, who are “snobbish” in their behavior, typically have difficulty with change. Looking down upon others throws up a barrier which says, “I will continue to see my own ideas as superior, because I don’t want to be challenged to change.”

Snobbery serves a purpose. Simply put, if you come to me with an idea, lifestyle, religion, experience or concept which forces me to re-evaluate my position, beliefs, faith or creed, chances are one of my first reactions will be fear, laced with a good dose of anxiety. These are very uncomfortable emotions. Many of us become extremely uneasy when confronted with opposing ideas. Wanting to stay emotionally within our own comfort zone, we can fight like a warrior. In doing so, snobbery might be one of our weapons of choice.

For me my own emotional comfort zone is sort of like the secure feeling I get when curled up on my Victorian couch. After a rough day at the office, my afghan comforts me as I snuggle up on my pretty sofa. Enjoying the warmth of a roaring fire in the fireplace the sensation reminds me of a mother’s hug.  At that moment not only do I feel safe and protected, but in control of my surroundings. All is right within my world. If someone were to say to me, “That chaise longue of yours is a horrible color!” with much snobbery I might reply, “Well, you just don’t appreciate fine antiques!” I’d need to protect my comfort zone!

Anytime we experience a change in our emotional zone we will feel “dis-ease.” If we are rigid in temperament we may then fight this emotional, intellectual, physical or spiritual change with everything we have. In doing so we may even degrade the ideas, beliefs, needs or desires of others, especially those challenging us. Empowering ourselves with a sense of superiority or “snobbery,” we then fool ourselves into believing any opposing changes presented to us are unnecessary or not worthy of our attention.  Sadly, such stubborn behavior not only hurts us, but can hurt others. Such obstinate inflexibility is especially true in much of the healthcare, mental health and clergy industry.

For the last 30 years I have been investigating the Departing Visions of the dying and those who love them. For decades, I’ve listen to my therapy clients share how they were visited by a departing loved one in a dream, or an “a wake” vision, shortly before a passing. Those at the bedside of the physically dying have reported watching a “vapor,” “light,” “cloud,” “mist,” or “fog” leave the physical body at the moment of death. I have also been at the bedside of those in the process of passing. As they carried on animated conversations with invisible deceased relatives and friends, angels and religious icons, I’ve seen how medical caregivers, mental health workers and the clergy react. Many of these caregivers continue to look for traditional explanations for the Departing Vision experience.

We must look at how death and dying is currently dealt with in our society. When faced with our own physical mortality fear can override all thinking. Denial and avoidance become dysfunctional coping skills. Once illness or old age sets in banishment to hospitals and nursing homes can take place. In centuries past, the sick and elderly continued to be part of the family system until physical death. Fear of aging and dying was a not an overwhelming societal issue.

Today, when loss occurs with the passing of a loved one, this sets the stage for depression and addiction to alcohol, prescription medications, work, food and more for the living. I see it in my office weekly. Western society has taught us to cut grieving short. In spite of this our feelings of loss stay with us. The emotions are then buried and healing can’t happen.

Release from the physical body was once seen as a spiritual occasion, but over the past decades, death and dying has become a very antiseptic event. This change in perception has greatly contributed to our current, overwhelming sense of age and death phobia. Because of this, over the next several months I will be addressing how our healthcare institutions react to the Departing Vision.

With this in mind, let’s start with the medical community.

For our great-grandparents Departing Visions were part of the societal landscape and this eased grief for both the physically dying and the living. If a physician was attending a dying patient who was having Departing Visions, such experiences would be validated. The physician would know the patient was being greeted by deceased loved ones and this information would then be shared with the family. Being exposed to physical death and the accompanying Departing Visions took the edge off grief. Along with this, the fear of physical mortality was lessened.  With each subsequent passing, the lesson learned was this; physical death isn’t the end. Sadly today, afterlife encounters are dismissed by most medical caregivers. Antiseptic, traditional dogmatic science has pushed spirituality out the door. To make my point, I recently came across this:

“American experts have explained the nature of visions before death. Dr. Lahmir Chawla … (George Washington University medical center)… think(s) that the dying vision (is) caused by a wave of electrical activity in the brain when the brain lacks oxygen…. As the oxygen level in blood drops and blood flow slows down, brain cells produce… (a last) electric pulse. This process begins in one part of the brain and the cascade extends beyond that and can cause sensory sensation in humans.” [3]

The author then states this lack of oxygen creates the sensation of being out of the body, seeing a tunnel and reporting visions of God. After reading this I thought to myself, “Should I scream now or later?”

Physicians often attribute these visions to a dying brain, oxygen deprivation, medication, and illness. The above investigation, based on just 7 patients, was one more example of traditional medicine looking for a traditional explanation for these experiences.  Interestingly researchers have disproven the lack of oxygen theory in several studies on Departing Visions. In my latest books “Heavenly Hugs: Support, and Hope from the Afterlife” (2012) and “A Glimpse of Heaven: The Remarkable World of Spiritually Transformative Experiences” (2012) I go into this in depth.

Though many physicians attribute Departing Vision encounters to hallucinations, wishful thinking, stress or biological factors, how do they respond to peers who report similar spiritual experiences?

Once skeptical Harvard neurosurgeon Eben Alexander published his fantastic Near Death Experience account last year in the bestselling book titled, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife.  Aside from a heavenly excursion into the afterlife, Alexander also reported meeting a sister he never knew. Adopted as an infant, the neurosurgeon had no idea his spiritual guide during his NDE was his deceased biological sister.

Once he recovered from the meningitis responsible for his brush with death, he saw a picture of her and learned her true identity. One would think a Harvard neurosurgeon would give professional credence to afterlife experiences in general, but not so says known “skeptic” blogger and author Paul Raeburn. In a blog picked up by The Huffington Post, Raeburn says this;

“I strongly object to Alexander’s, and Newsweek/Beast’s and Simon & Schuster’s collusion in dressing this up as scientific evidence for heaven, golden-locked lasses, and out-of-body experiences. There is nothing scientific about Alexander’s claims or his “proof.” We are all demeaned, and our national conversation is demeaned, by people who promote this kind of thing as science.
This is religious belief; nothing else.”[4]
     
In my own writings which have explored sophisticated, scientifically based research into the Departing Vision experience, I’ve found results from Ireland, England, Holland, Italy, the U.S. and more confirming Alexander’s account. Sadly, writers like Raeburn, who also reports to be a scientist, carry a lot of weight with traditional medical professionals. The mainstream media is quick to latch on to such individuals, using them as “experts” to dispute personal spiritual experiences like Near Death Experiences, After Death Communications, Departing Visions, precognition and other afterlife encounters. In reviewing Raeburn’s publications I found many of his writings in numerous prestigious publications. When I see closed mindedness like this I’m always tempted to send out accounts like the following group Departing Vision involving a team of surgeons.

Stunned surgeons watch dying man’s soul leave his body during operation

Stockholm—A team of surgeons, struggling feverishly in a futile effort to save the life of a plane crash victim watched in stunned amazement as the man’s soul departed his lifeless body!

The incredible drama which offers irrefutable proof of life after death, unfolded in a Swedish hospital.

And the vapor-like specter that rose from the victim’s mangled body was seen by three famous surgeons, an anesthesiologist, six nurses and four technicians.

“Everything happened so suddenly and quickly that I sometimes wonder if I just imagined it,” said Dr. Jan Lundquist, the anesthesiologist told reporters.

“But I didn’t just imagine it. We all saw it—a dazzling misty-blue light that came right out of the body. It floated upward and then just seemed to dissolve like a stream into nothing.

“I wasn’t surprised at all that the patient died. He was in a terrible state. The surgeons did everything they could. But even as they worked, I knew we were losing him.

“Suddenly every vital sign ceased. All life signs just stopped. There was just a deep, hollow, moaning sound and I looked up to tell the surgeon that out patient was gone.

That’s when I saw an incredible shimmering light.

“Right before our eyes that glowing vapor rose. Somehow I was watching the soul leave the mortal remains of the man who lay before me.

Dr. Ulta Jurgenson, one of the three surgeons who also witnessed the miracle, said she tried to find some other explanation for what she saw.

But she said she is now convinced the misty phantom that rose before her eyes could only have been the dead man’s soul.

“I have been an atheist all my adult life,” the 53 year old surgeon said. “I have never believed in God or the hereafter.

“But now I’m not so sure. All I know is that I saw something that I cannot explain rise up out of the body of a dead man.”

Nurses and physicians all watch as a “dazzling misty blue” light leaves the body of a patient they are trying to save. Even those who are nonbelievers now find themselves questioning life after death.

For those of us who have witnessed a departing vision, we know we are changed forever. Experiencing any sort of afterlife encounter can tear down any misconceptions we have about the continuation of life. Such experiences force us to not only re-evaluate our spiritual beliefs, but every aspect of our lives. We now have a new paradigm for living life. Materialism takes a back seat to deeds of service and further spiritual exploration. [5]

When it comes to the dying process, traditional medical caretakers have a lot to learn. Many physicians and nurses believe they totally understand the psychological and physiological process of dying, but with new research into nonlocal consciousness (consciousness surviving outside the brain) long held medical ideas are now being challenged.

I often tell healthcare givers there is absolutely nothing wrong in admitting, “I don’t know.” Not having all of the answers opens us up to new possibilities. Breaking out of rigid dogma we can finally become explorers and seekers.  Snobbery, stubbornness and a closed mind slams the door on progress and spiritual evolution.

So, my message to the medical community is this; there are those of you who have recognized that as the hour of departure draws near, something spiritually extraordinary occurs. Visitations from deceased relatives or friends come to gently take the dying to an afterlife existence. Angels, religious figures and glimpses of a colorful afterlife are also shared.  When a passing finally occurs a vaporous soul can be seen leaving the body.  You have been able to validate these encounters for those you serve, facilitating healing for both the physically dying and living. You are a blessing.

Then there are those of you who are unable or unwilling to hear what your patients are saying to you. Know you create unneeded grief when you are unable to hear these accounts. When dying patients along with their family and friends at the bedside realize you cannot hear them, there will be consequences. They will turn away in disappointment, anger and even shame.  When you tell them any of the following, they will stop talking with you. 

• “That’s just a hallucination.”
• “It’s the stress of the illness.”
• “You have an over active imagination.”
• “What you think you saw was the result of a dying brain.”
• “It’s just the medication.”
• “Illness has caused this.”
• “Wishful thinking for an afterlife is what this is.”
• “Your relative is dying. It’s physiology.”
• “I’m the doctor and I can tell you if you believe you saw something that isn’t there, maybe you need more medication.”

After such remarks, not only will patients and their loved ones no longer trust you, but because of such stubbornness you will be at risk for no longer evolving as a compassionate caretaker.

Instead of dismissing Departing Visions you can find another healthcare provider who is able to listen to these accounts. You can also say, “I don’t know much about these experiences but I have heard of them. Tell me more about your encounter.” Then just pay attention. You don’t need to share your opinion. Finally, if confused about these experiences, look into the research.
Over the last few decades more members of the medical community have bravely stepped forward to embrace the Departing Vision. In exploring this phenomenon, they have assisted in reclaiming this facet of spirituality, reduced societal death phobia; shed more light on the find meaning of life, and on physical death. Like me I know they too are dedicated to continuing to do whatever it takes to be a shining example of the truth.

A Glimpse of Heaven: The Remarkable World of Spiritually Transformative Experiences by Carla Wills Brandon, Ph.D is now published by White Crow Books and is available from Amazon and other book stores.

http://whitecrowbooks.com/books/page/a_glimpse_of_heaven/


I’m so very grateful for their bravery. If you are one of them know I salute you.

Notes:

1- GoodReads, Inc. 2012

2- http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/snobbery

3- Mysterious All Know The Mysterious World

4- Raeburn, P., Newsweek/DailyBeast: Scientific ‘Proof’ That Heaven Is Real? The Huffington Post

5- Wills-Brandon, C. Heavenly Hugs: Comfort, Support, and Hope From the Afterlife.  New Page Books; Pompton Plains, NJ.  2012 Pg 194-196

Carla Wills-Brandon, MA, PA, LMFT, is the author of numerous books, including a Publishers Weekly bestseller. She has also been investigating the phenomenon known as the deathbed or departing vision for close to thirty years. Physically dying individuals, family, friends and the healthcare workers attending them report encountering the departing vision. A few scientifically based researchers have also studied this phenomenon, but sadly the experience is rarely discussed openly in public circles. Three of her titles address departing or deathbed visions.

Not only is Carla a departing vision experiencer herself, but as a successful Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist she regularly uses the phenomena to assist those clients of hers who have suffered loss or trauma. Based on her continued work she believes the departing vision strongly suggests consciousness continues after physical death. In this article she gives us a brief glimpse into her investigations. Three of her 13 books, One Last Hug Before I Go: The Mystery and Meaning of Deathbed Visions,  A Glimpse of Heaven: The Remarkable World of Spiritually Transformative Experiences and Heavenly Hugs: Comfort, Support, and Hope from the Afterlife, discuss Departing Visions.

 


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Physical Death Isn’t the End: Departing Visions Tell Us So

Posted on 05 December 2012, 15:12

“Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.” William James, (1842-1910)

Departing Visions tell us death is nothing to fear. As the hour of earthly departure draws near talk about other worldly visitations from deceased relatives or friends is not unusual. Encounters with angels or religious figures take place and heavenly visions of a colorful afterlife are shared.  Along with this those at the bedside of the dying report seeing a “vapor,” “cloud,” “smoke,” “light,” or “mist” leaving the body.  Even dreams can foretell an upcoming death. The famous American author Mark Twain (below) dreamt in detail about his brother’s passing before the event occurred. These are all examples of the Departing Vision.

twain

Such wondrous experiences bring peace of mind to the physically dying and comfort to those left behind. After such glimpses into the afterlife, anxiety or fear about death vanishes. With this, a better life can be lived.

The phenomenon isn’t new. Accounts of this nature have been with us for thousands of years. At one time physical death was part of the everyday backdrop of life. As recently as a hundred years ago we passed at home in our own beds, surrounded by family and friends. Even children were present at the deathbed. If the dying began talking about seeing deceased loved ones, friends, angels or visions of heaven, this wasn’t seen as strange. Instead such conversation was embraced.

Sadly, today the physical conclusion of a life is often seen as the end of consciousness. With this, the Departing Vision has been shoved into a closet of secrecy. Experiencers are dismissed and investigators are ridiculed. Forgotten are the decades of credible scientific research devoted to the phenomenon. Though extreme doubt has been created in the mind of the public, not everyone is buying this.

When my mother Carol passed away in a hospital I had a Departing Vision. Shortly after my 16th birthday, I awoke at five in the morning and knew her spirit was no longer bound to a cancer ridden body. Minutes later a phone call confirmed this.

My cousin Virginia and an aunt also felt her leave.

Your Aunt Helen and I were both awakened on the morning of Carol’s death. In a dream, I saw a figure in white… standing by Carol’s hospital bed and heard the words, “everything is going to be alright.”

My mother called and said, “Something’s happened with Carol.”

“What?” I asked.

“She died,” Mom explained.

Later someone called and confirmed your mother’s death.  [2]

Two of my mother’s friends were also stirred from sleep that morning. Richard told me both he and another family acquaintance felt her soul leave just as dawn broke. Five of us, living in separate locations, received one last hug from my mother as she left this life to join her parents and brother on the other side.

Departing Visions soften loss for those left behind and ease passage for the physically dying. Below is another account which makes this perfectly clear.

Natalie Kalmus was very ill. Her family decided not to tell her about her cousin Ruth’s passing. What Natalie’s sister Elenor heard at her bedside, gave her a shock.

I sat on her bed and took her hand. It was on fire. Then Elenor seem to rise up in bed, almost to a sitting position.

“Natalie,” she said, “There are so many of them. There’s Fred and Ruth - what’s she doing here?

An electric shock went through me. She had said Ruth! Ruth was her cousin, who had died suddenly a week before. But I knew that Elenor had not been told of the sudden death….

…. Her voice was surprisingly clear. “It’s so confusing. There are so many of them!” Suddenly her arms stretched out happily. “I am going up with them,” she murmured. [3]

How did the physically dying Natalie know her cousin Ruth had passed on? No one shared this with her.  A similar encounter from Robin Abrams validates the above Departing Vision.

I witnessed firsthand my father’s (Albert Abrams) “peek” into the afterlife. Due to a devastating stroke, he was confined to a bed in a nursing home . . . . One year after his stroke, to the date, my brother… was murdered…. We decided, as a family, to withhold the news of my brother’s murder from my father for as long as possible. There is absolutely no way he could have known my brother had died.

In less than a week after my brother’s death, my father said (very fluently, which was surprising because the stroke had affected his speech), “I used to have three children, now I only have two.” We asked him, “Why did you say that, Dad?” And he looked at us as if we were nuts….

… Along with this, my father made several references to receiving messages from my mother. She had been deceased for fifteen years. It is important for you to know that my father’s mind, when awake, had never been sharper. I truly believe, with absolutely no doubt, that for a time, he had a foot in both worlds. [4]

Mr. Abrams told Robin he knew her brother was no longer living. No one had provided him with any information about this brutal murder. 

Robin’s account parallels the previous vision. In both instances the ill person is initially unaware that a beloved family member has passed. Those at the bedside take great steps to protect bedridden loved ones from news about these losses. Finally, notice the surprised reaction the physically dying express upon being visited by the person who has, unknowingly to them, recently moved on.

After such an encounter experiencers can feel confused and are not sure where to go next. Providing a guide for understanding Departing Visions lets experiencers know they are not alone. A stepping off place, with resources for them to continue the journey is what is needed.  Physical death is not the end. Because of this, a new paradigm for consciousness is needed. Departing Vision experiences provide the grass roots for this shift in societal awareness.

1 - Ruehl, F.  Two Celebrated Authors’ Precognitive Dreams!  TheBLOG, TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. 07/24/2012.  TheHuffingtonPost.com

2 - Wills-Brandon, C. Heavenly Hugs: Comfort, Support, and Hope from the Afterlife. New Page: Pompton Plains, NJ 2012. 13.

3 - Wills-Brandon, C. A Glimpse of Heaven: The Remarkable World of Spiritually Transformative Experiences.  White Crow: Guildford Surrey, UK 2012. 44-45.

4 – Wills-Brandon, C. One Last Hug Before I Go: The Mystery and Meaning of Deathbed Visions. HCI: Deerfield Beach, FL, 2000. 171-172.

Carla Wills-Brandon, MA, PA, LMFT, is the author of thirteen books, including a Publishers Weekly bestseller. She has also been investigating the phenomenon known as the deathbed or departing vision for close to thirty years. Physically dying individuals, family, friends and the healthcare workers attending them report encountering the departing vision. A few scientifically based researchers have also studied this phenomenon, but sadly the experience is rarely discussed openly in public circles. Three of her titles address departing or deathbed visions.

Not only is Carla a departing vision experiencer herself, but as a successful Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist she regularly uses the phenomena to assist those clients of hers who have suffered loss or trauma. Based on her continued work she believes the departing vision strongly suggests consciousness continues after physical death. In this article she gives us a brief glimpse into her investigations. Here most recent book, Heavenly Hugs: Comfort, Support, and Hope from the Afterlife, is her third title to discuss Departing Visions.

A Glimpse of Heaven: The Remarkable World of Spiritually Transformative Experiences by Carla Wills Brandon, Ph.D is now published by White Crow Books and is available from Amazon and other book stores.

http://whitecrowbooks.com/books/page/a_glimpse_of_heaven/


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The Role of Affinities and the Group-Soul by Anabela Cardoso – Affinities seem to play an important role in the next world. We have touched on the subject in a previous chapter and I have discussed it in earlier publications (Cardoso, 2010, 2003). Indeed, the meaning and importance of the Group-Soul described in the mediumistic literature, e.g. the information received purportedly from the deceased Frederic Myers by Geraldine Cummins (Cummins, 2012), have been emphasized in my own contacts. Read here
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