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- (Added by: Paul Tuttle)

I'm very very sad tonight
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   General Discussion -> The Gathering Place (TGP)Message format
Posted 2003-02-09 12:47 PM (#1920 - in reply to #1901)
Subject: RE: Shock

Elite Veteran

Posts: 737
Location: Utah


Please accept my condolences.

"It doesn't matter how much metaphysical knowledge you possess, or how well you know the Course, someone's disappearance in your life, is well, just that."

You're right, it doesn't matter how much we know, or believe, it is still a loss.

With the risk of offending you, or others on this board, may I offer this story from the unpublished manuscript of Migrants of the Stars, by Ted Beal.


Grandmother had been forced from her physical body by cancer. When she realized she was out of it and couldn’t get back into it again, a wave of terror engulfed her. This was more than she wanted to believe. She tried to lift the arm of her body, still laying on the bed, but couldn’t. What if she was never able to get back into it again? She thought of my uncle, he had done some healing for church members, surely he would soon learn of her predicament and come to her rescue. When he came, it was too late. She had left with the body to the mortuary, fearing it might be her only opportunity to get to the place where it was going. It still wasn’t too late for his help–but he would need to hurry or her last hope would be gone.

Having learned that she couldn’t push the doors open by herself and afraid she wouldn’t get through them without a ride, she climbed up on the body as it was being unloaded and rode on it through the swinging doors. Several times, as the mortician and his assistant worked, she tried to grab them by the arm to pull them away from the body she hoped to save. But alas, no matter how much she pulled and tugged at them, they payed no attention to her. Finally she gave up in despair, knowing full well her last hope for life as she had known it was being drained out of her body, pint by pint, and she wasn’t able to do anything about it. Now what was she going to do?

All kinds of unanswered questions were racing through her mind. She now believed her self to be a different kind of a person, and this realm was completely empty of her kind of people. She longed to hear of someone else’s experiences in order to learn of the best way to approach her new predicament. It was a lonely quest for hope in a strange dimension.

Although she was quite comfortable in the body she was moving around in, she was lonesome. She hadn’t been able to get a response from anyone and none of her family had come to see her at the mortuary. This was all told to my father years later as she analyzed her thoughts about how people feel about leaving their body and their suddenly being alone. She said the isolated part was the worst, but it wouldn’t have to be if people would call to a close relative or friend who had gone on before them.

"In order to get more power in your call," my father recorded in his journal, "you should picture your friend or relative standing beside you, and don’t be afraid to call. The important part is not so much the loudness of the call, but rather the force of feeling put into the call, which will cause it to travel to where it is intended and prompt your friend or loved one to take notice so he or she can come and help direct you to the upward climb. If you don’t want to leave just yet, at least you will have some welcomed company to wait with you."

He described the preferred method of calling to be through the use of the Power of the Inner Presence. "Reach out and imagine putting your call into your friend’s mind, then after a few times, with the picture in your mind of them standing next to you, simply tell them you want them beside you. They will follow the current you’ve sent–back to where you are."

Besides his mother’s inability to open doors, she also had trouble eating in this strange new dimension she found herself alone in. While in her old diseased body it had been such a long time since she had experienced hunger that she’d forgotten what it was like. Because of the cancer, her body had been unable to pass food from her stomach to her intestines, and although she had slowly starved to death, she hadn’t felt hunger. Now that she was in what Dad called the control body, the cancer complication was gone and she found herself famished.

She spent a long night alone in the dark room where her former body had been laid out on a hard table the first night, with only the flickering of a neon light from the business across the street and the ticking of the large clock on the wall to keep her company. Once during the night she had called out to an old drunk walking along the street below, hoping to have a little fun, but he ignored her, like everyone else she tried to talk to. Morning finally came and she was able to escape into the lobby while the mortician idly leaned against the open door, visiting with his assistant. She squeezed between the two men and spent the morning hours, to no avail, wandering around, looking for something to satisfy her hunger.

Eventually she noticed the two men sitting on a bench eating their lunch. While the assistant was digging around in his lunch box, his half-eaten sandwich lying on the bench beside him, she snuck up behind him, planning on making a grab for the sandwich and devouring it before he noticed it was missing. To her disappointment it didn’t move a fraction of an inch, although she tugged and tugged at it.

When the day came for her physical body to be viewed from the casket she climbed up on it, which was no easy chore for a woman of her age, and rode on it as the men wheeled it through the doors. She gasped in delight at all the beautiful flowers that filled the viewing room, but was disappointed again, after closer examination, to find them rigid and without fragrance. When they opened the casket, she admired the body she used to dwell in and was pleased at how well the mortician had made it look. There was a pleasant look on the face, and the old house dress she had been wearing, the one that her new body was still wearing, had been replaced by a more attractive dress that she used to save for special occasions.

The family came, seemingly all at once, and each one walked up to the open casket, showing their expressions. Some even kissed the lips of the body, which touched her. She appreciated the fact that there was no hurry in their actions inasmuch they had always seemed to have so much to do all the time. For a while they talked leisurely and fairly quietly about things that had happened in the family. Eventually, when a dispute emerged over the way the doctor handled her before she died and quibbling over who would pay for which portion of the cost of the burial arose, she grew uncomfortable and wanted to leave.

Dad wrote that he could see her faintly, but mostly he understood her thoughts of wanting to leave the building, so he held the door open for her while she jumped down off the casket and promptly made her way out.

As she moved away from the building she turned to the north and followed the sidewalk into the town, looking for someone in her same condition that she could talk to about her circumstances. After doing some window shopping and leisurely watching the busy people, she noticed a wide walkway behind the mortuary, leading upward. Standing a few steps up was a woman dressed in white who was beckoning to her. The term stairway to the stars entered her mind as she gratefully accepted the woman’s invitation to climb the stairs with her. For an hour or more they climbed, resting on benches along the way as they tired, and admiring the view from their height. My grandmother described the view as similar to that from the side of a mountain with fog hanging in patches and sunshine peeking through, coloring the clouds different hues of orange, saying their walk became more pleasant as they went along.

The walkway was straight and wide with a long wide strip at the top that resembled an airplane runway, where a bus waited for them. After they seated themselves with the others inside the bus, it smoothly and silently pulled away. Immersed in their own private thoughts, each of them viewed the scenery below. After about ten minutes, the bus pulled up in front of a large building and all but the driver exited before it noiselessly pulled away.

"Why isn’t there some sort of transportation system that picks us up below, at the mortuary, instead of making us climb all those stairs?" My grandmother asked her guide.

"Because once you’ve managed to climb to the top of the stairs you realize that any physical limitations you thought you had before you began the climb, were just that, thoughts of limitations. You understand, first hand, that you are able to overcome your physical limitations, and you will recognize also, that you will be able to over come any other limitations you think you may have." The guide said, leading her into the spacious building before them where a few people were milling about. They climbed aboard a small open air shuttle, which took them down a long hall and through other buildings until they arrived at a pleasant looking building surrounded with flowers and trees.

"When we walked inside," my grandmother relayed, "there stood my mother, father, sisters and a couple of brothers. I was amazed. There were others there too, but I don’t remember just who. After we had visited some my visitors started leaving one or two at a time until I was alone again. Then there came a wonderful surprise. A rolling buffet of health food was brought to me, consisting of mostly fresh juices. Although it was days later before I was able to leave that building I did get to go into other sections of the building, led by another guide. I was kept there for several weeks, but was allowed to move around some and was fed consistently." She also said she had lots of tests run on her, most of which were simple tests but some were done with machines of an elaborate nature, and I find myself wondering what kinds of tests they would be, questioning whether they were for physical purposes or to determine her emotional or mental state.

It was at this place several days after she had left her physical body that my father came to see her. He wrote that though she had been improving each day of her stay, she still struggled with the same problem that most of the other people had: the reluctance to let go of the past and accept the fact that there was no returning. The residents explained how she needed to realize that the problems left behind should stay there, accessed only in her memory, because it affected her emotional body. She described it as being like dragging a heavy load, like a horse will drag a leveler behind it to smooth out the bumps in the plowed ground.

As the others in the building encouraged her in separating herself from her emotional conditions, she in turn, was able to help newcomers with their troubles before she was released. One of which was a young mother who had lost her life in the physical body, leaving her babies behind. It was more than she could bear. Grandmother tried to comfort her with the ideas she had received from the others but her situation was much different and she found little consolation in their stories and kindness. The woman was improving, however, by the time Grandmother left the hospital.


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