In last Sunday's Erie Times News in the supplement “HER Times” was an article entitled Is Death But A Transition? In this article it speaks of several women who had experiences with near death, or dying loved ones and patients. Audrey McLauglin is one of those women. She is a certified pastoral care counselor for the Visiting Nurse Association of Erie County. She has witnessed many people passing over to the next life. She refers to death as a rebirth. In this same article Nicole Boyce recounts her near death experiences. One time her deceased grandfather appeared and told her it was not her time. Another time she started passing through a tunnel and asked the angels if she could go back. She woke up in ICU. These accounts are very similar to other near-death stories about seeing the light, being greeted by angels or loved ones that have passed. But, there seems to be a choice in some cases.
In Volume 36 No.2 of Parabola there is an account by a nun about her near death experience. Sister Mary Margaret Funk describes being swept up in a flash flood, being pulled under water and “as loving and gentle as the light itself” came a question: Now? Do you want to come now? She understood with complete conviction that she could have agreed to die or not, neither was correct or wrong. She describes the freest decision she ever made. Her life didn’t flash before her eyes, she was emptied of the need to resolve things she did earlier in her life. In the stillness she thought of her elderly mother and didn’t want to end her life that would cause needless complications for her family or community.
A couple of weeks ago I was introduced to a blog by Phil Bolsta, interviewing Sufi healer Dr. Ibrahim Jaffe. In this six part video interview, Dr. Jaffe, trained traditionally as a Medical Physician, describes his transition into becoming a Sufi healer. He describes his own challenge with his heart, when he was given 6 months to live. It was then he became involved with the Sufis and was able to heal himself by healing his connection with God. In these videos he gives examples of patients who have come to him for healing. With his gift for seeing he suggested to some that they did not to heal. And they agreed.
In cases where people are in tremendous pain this decision is easy to understand. We may almost wish it, to relieve their suffering.
My dear friend Pat has left this plane. He too, had near death experiences when he was in a car accident as a teenager, and said he chose to come back because he could see how distraught his mother was. In his very hard and challenging life, which I have written about through his accounts, I wonder if he questioned his decision. I’m so grateful that he chose (assuming it was his choice and not "his time") to stay as long as he did, because I am so blessed to know him.
A week before he passed I started feeling him communicating strongly with me. Resolving some issues between us, one time appearing to me with Jesus and offering me a gift. We have always had a strong connection right from the beginning, no matter what the distance; and now I’m seeing it continues on other planes. The last week he was here, I felt God preparing me. The last 6-7 months we were separated by physical distance because of my family issues. I feel deep regret that I wasn’t with him, I thank you Christine whoever you are, for being by his side. We kept in contact, but when I look back at our emails, it seemed like he had improved 70 percent and then in a short time he passed. I really thought I’d see him again. Yet, I feel him so strongly even still, actually having conversations with him. I know on some level it sounds crazy but I’ve always had a relationship with Christ on a conversational level and it is Christ that assured me it is Pat. I asked in prayer how it was that I was able to communicate, or was there something I needed to do. God simply stated, “It is love.”
I hesitated sharing this but from these few examples above and all the books that have been written about the subject, I know I am not alone. I know it has been said, and I have quoted many times, that love never dies. Now I know without a doubt, it is true.