Let The Dead Be Dead

buzzardsA recent tragedy in the Paranormal field brought this topic to mind.

When someone dies, tragic or otherwise, the standard procedure for their spirit is to leave or become disconnected from their worldly body, take a quick look around, and then proceed in an orderly manner to the nearest exit into the next world.

It is not unusual for the spirit to want to hang out a few days for any number of reasons. They may be upset that they died before they were finished with life. Often they are in denial of their circumstances. It may be something as simple as wanting to comfort their loved ones or to get one last message across to the living. I suspect that some just stick around just to see who shows up for the funeral. Despite the endless possibilities, the point is that in death – as in life, we all find a lot of excuses to not follow instructions.

However, the vast majority of the deceased move beyond this in fairly short order and go through the light and continue their soul’s journey.

The problem is that the longer a soul puts off taking that next step, the more difficult that step seems to become. While the light is always there, they seem to lose focus on it, or at least lose the understanding or instinct as to why the light is there for them. Eventually they may feel trapped as they lose their connection to both the next world and the one they just left. Sometimes they fear the unknown of the light; not wanting to let go of the environment that they left behind and that they can still see and experience to some degree.

These lingering souls are what we call ghosts: Human spirits that are stuck between worlds.

It is my strong conviction that this “place”, this state of being between worlds, is not where we belong after we die. I often say that life is for the living. There is a set of instructions that we are meant to follow when we pass away. While I cannot guarantee that whatever lies beyond the light is a better place for everyone (that is above my pay grade), I know with all of my heart that it is the intended next step in everyone’s journey.

Sometimes that journey may include coming back for a visit or to help loved ones that we left behind. Sometimes that journey may bring us back to that place between worlds as guides for the living. And yes, sometimes that journey may well include judgment for our earthly transgressions. Most of us have no idea where our soul’s journey is destined to take us. The point is that the journey is meant to continue.

With this core belief comes a moral responsibility: I should do nothing that might make a spirit want to linger any longer than necessary. To me, that includes engaging the newly dead in conversation.

That is not to say that we should not speak to those that have left us. When my father passed, I told him how much I missed him daily. I told him how I wished he could see the things that I did in his honor. I wanted him to know what I accomplished. I complained that he was not here to pick me up when I failed. I cried, and still cry, (I cried as I wrote this) over having him taken from my life before I was ready to let him go.

This is very natural and part of the human condition. When our souls are connected by love or blood, that connection need not be severed by death. It transcends space and time.

Also those of us that work with and embrace the light may receive messages from the recently passed. It’s as though we have neon signs that follow us around telling everyone and everything that doesn’t happen to have a warm body attached to it who we are. I have on a few occasions reached out at a funeral just to ask if there is anything that the deceased would to tell me while I am there. Some of us may be called on to use our gifts to actually help the dead find closure so that they can move on.

But I will not engage them. I want them to finish their business here and continue their journey.

Unfortunately, sometimes people get so wrapped up in satisfying their curiosity or advancing their own status in the paranormal field that they ignore what is best for the dead.

It seems that every time someone famous dies, a bunch of people feel the need to drag out their ghost boxes, Ouija boards, or dowsing rods and engage them in a conversation. Maybe they really do feel the need to find out the “real story”. Maybe it is an extension of the same hero worship that makes some of us willing to pay $50 for an autograph. Maybe it is just a desire to have their name associated with the famous, no matter how briefly.

No matter the reason, you will not convince me that this is what is best for the dead (or the living).

Every time we engage the dead we give them a connection to our world. When that connection is not a natural or necessary one, we have given them one more reason to pause on their journey.

Not long after I claimed the title of “light worker” I was invited on an investigation of a house where a murder took place. When I found out that the murder had taken place only a couple of weeks prior to the invitation, I instinctively declined. I have no fear for my own safety around the dead. I can block out the emotional imprints left behind from tragic events with the best of them. But I knew that if I went into that house, and that the victim was still wandering about, that my presence and the validation that they might find from being able to communicate with the living could easily make matters worse. While I could not stop the team from going in with their array of blinking gadgets, I did not want to be a part of it knowing that ghosts are attracted to me like moths to a porch light.

I would also point out to those that feel it is just fine and dandy to seek out the freshly dead, that when we communicate through devices and other psuedo-psychic means that we never actually know who we are talking to for sure. Just because the voice on the other side of the radio says it is a particular person, we have no way of knowing if they are telling the truth, famous or not. I’ve seen some damned fine impersonations amongst the living in my time. I can’t imagine that it isn’t a lot easier to impersonate a dead person especially given that the voice doesn’t have to match perfectly and no one can see you. Distance can only complicate this.

I saw a post online where someone said that the “best” time to communicate with the dead was within 24 hours of their death. Really?

First off, I would think that dying would have to be mind rattling experience under the best of circumstances. Confusion and even denial often set in. Do you really think that is the best time to approach someone for a quote?

Secondly, I am convinced that word travels fast amongst the dead. Once they know that everyone is wanting to hear from “Bob” that died Saturday, a line would quickly form of people willing to answer to the name “Bob” just to yank our collective chains.

So let’s take a step back and a deep breath. People will always die. We will have no shortage of opportunities to talk to them. But we need not be selfish in our quest to answer our own questions.

We can do better. We can be responsible.