More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process and sheds light on euthanasia, suicide, near-death experience, and spirit visits after the passing of a loved one. ___________________________________________

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Uncle's Spirit Visits Me Before the Death of His Body

Before Christmas in 2001, after almost a year of struggle, my uncle’s body completely shut down and he went into a coma. After five days, his spirit came to me during meditation. He asked me to assist him with his transition so I began to sing, “Edmond crossed over to the other side today. Angels are with him, he is safe and at peace.”

I connected with the spirits of my aunt, my mother, and my grandmother to let them know that Edmond wanted to leave and asked them to please let him go. I never spoke to them in person, but the next day my family allowed the machines to be unplugged and my uncle was finally free to go.

During his spirit visit that day, my uncle gave me the words he wanted me to speak at his graveside to comfort those he was preparing to leave behind. He also wanted me to play and sing at his funeral service and mentioned a few songs that he liked. On the day of his ceremony, I felt an enormous peace and joy even when the rest of my family was experiencing sorrow.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Poem about souls moving on


How do birds know when to fly south for winter?
Who tells them of the season’s change?
How do souls know when it is time to cross over?
Or when it is time to enter the earth plane?
There is a voice within,
and angels about
that tell us when to go forth into the unknown
and return to known

Midwives and doctors bring souls
through the womb’s portal
but what a strong heart of love is required
to help a fellow man ease his exit
Rather than imposing your own wishes upon him
offer to open the door for him
If he refuses your help
be glad that he can do it on his own

—Yvonne Perry

For more information, you might enjoy reading the complete book More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife available on

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What is Life Support?

Life support replaces a failing bodily function. When patients have treatable conditions, life support may be used temporarily while the condition is stabilized and the body is able to resume normal functioning. At times though, the body never regains its ability to function without life support. My grandfather refused to be placed on life support or be revived if he was code blue. My uncle, on the other hand, was placed on life support and suffered day after day while confined to a hospital bed for almost a year. Connected to tubes that fed him and machines that breathed for him, he could not talk or do anything for himself—things a healthy person would take for granted. Both my grandfather and my uncle were drowning. My grandfather refused the life preserver. My Uncle Edmond accepted a life raft with a slow leak in a sea of sharks.

For more information, you might enjoy reading the complete book More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife available on

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Role of a Caregiver for Elderly Parent

You may remember reading on this blog about my grandmother, whom we call Nanny, when she fell and broke her hip and arm last year. She had been shopping at Sam's Club with my parents and was helping to put away groceries when she lost her balance and fell in the kitchen.

Nanny has always been active. She practically raised my cousins, my brother, and me while our parents worked. After I was grown and married, I lived next door to her and my grandfather (he passed in 1988). Nanny and I raised a 1/3-acre garden together, including the plowing, planting, harvesting, and canning. My mom would come by after working all day and help us with whatever task was left. In her eighties, Nanny still mowed her own lawn and lived alone. In 1998, she sold her house and moved in with my parents, who also sold their home and bought a place big enough to accommodate the furnishings of two households. My parents have made many sacrifices to see that Nanny, the matriarch of our five-generation family, gets the love and care that she has unselfishly given to us for all these years. This photo was taken last summer when Nanny turned 93 and we had her birthday bash.

Nanny's worst fear was that she would be placed in a nursing home in her old age. I've heard Nanny say many times that she would rather die than be away from her family. My mom and I promised that that would never happen as long as we were living.

While in the hospital, Nanny had surgery to insert a rod into her hip bone in hopes that she would be able to walk again. She overcame pneumonia only to find that the rod didn't hold. It was causing her much pain as it swayed back and forth, unattached at one end. Her doctor ordered tests to determine Nanny's ability to undergo a second surgery that was more dangerous than the first one. The test revealed that she had a blood clot in her groin. A filter was inserted into her leg vein to catch the clot and prevent it from going to her heart, brain, or lungs. Then, she had the surgery which left her with a ten-inch incision to heal while still on blood thinners.

It's hard to see Nanny unable to walk. Nevertheless, it has not dampened her spirits or her ability to interact with her family. Even though she's presently recovering from a third blood clot, Nanny is in excellent spirits and sound mind (thankfully!). 

My mom has taken great care to see that Nanny doesn't develop bed sores. Even though Nanny's arm didn't heal properly, she is able to use it well enough 
to feed herself, wash her face, brush her teeth, and comb her own hair. She has recovered the use of her upper body through daily exercises the physical therapist taught my mom to do with Nanny. In the photo above, Mom is checking Nanny's temperature, blood pressure, and blood gas levels simultaneously. Easily to see where I get my multi-tasking abilities!

Thanks to having good insurance that covers her healthcare, we have a hydrolic hoist to lift her from the bed and wheel her to the living room where she sits in her recyliner most of the day. She's still an avid Braves fan even though she doesn't see or hear well. She likes being in her chair because it puts her smack-dab in the middle of whatever is going on. She is a very social person, and the worst part of her recovery was being in her room alone and unable to get herself up to join the action or help in the kitchen.

I really don't see how my mom does it all: clean house, care for her mom, cook meals (not just for those who live in her household, but also for the family who comes to visit), do the shopping, and run errands while Pawpaw (my diabetic father) sits with Nanny. Mom rarely gets to leave the house for more than an hour at the time. I don't envy her, even though I would help her regularly if I didn't live five hours away.

I did make the 275-mile trip this past weekend because my mom's house was the venue for my daughter-in-law's (Amanda) baby shower. My cousin's daughter is also expecting a baby the same week as Amanda so while we were in town, we had both baby showers: Jessica's on Saturday and Amanda's on Sunday. That meant a lot of extra cleaning, shopping, and cooking. Mom was thrilled to have a chance to get out of the house and have help with the daily chores and someone to help her with
 exercising, bathing, and tending to Nanny. The time we spent together was fun. Here is a photo of Nanny, blindfolded and playing the cotton ball game at Amanda's shower.

Nanny is fortunate. Most families don't have an attentive caregiver like my mom. The nurses who come to visit once a week are amazed that Mom never had any medical training. She has simply cared for people all her life and is willing to do whatever it takes for her loved ones to be healthy and happy--even at her own expense. She is so tired these days. I'm very glad that she has arranged for other family members to come in and care for Nanny around the clock next week. Mom and Dad are going to Florida on vacation for a much-needed time out.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Two Types of Euthanasia

Twice in my life I have watched the health of a loved one deteriorate until their body could no longer support life on its own. It’s like watching someone drown while holding a life preserver in your hand, except the victim has made a legal choice to refuse your help. In each case, a precarious but necessary decision was made—whether or not to allow euthanasia.

There are two types of euthanasia. Passive Euthanasia, which involves “not taking action” to prevent death, (when doctors refrain from using life support to prolong the life of a terminally ill patient) and active euthanasia, which requires an action on the part of a doctor or medical practitioner to “pull the plug” or administer a lethal injection to bring about the impending death of a critically ill patient.

If you have comments about euthanasia or want to share your story with your readers, please contact me on my writing Web site.
For more information, you might enjoy reading the complete book More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife available on

Friday, May 22, 2009

Deceased Pet's Visit from the Afterlife

Carl, a friend of mine, wrote me this week with terrible sadness and void that came as a result of losing his dog, Nellie. The pet had a successful surgery a couple days prior to remove a nasal carcinoma. She fought valiantly afterward and the family thought she would be fine and hopefully have at least another year with her. But, she began to have neurological symptoms and got worse with seizures and very high fever. Her systems shut down quickly.

Carl says, “We had to let her go, there was no other option. To keep her on life support was not life; that would have been cruel and selfish on our part and she never would have recovered. It was just so painful to see her like that; that wasn't Nellie. We miss her so much the pain is unbearable. We know she is at peace and is not suffering, having gone home. I had asked her for a sign before we let her go and last night while watching In Treatment on HBO (how appropriate), I was in a state of near twilight when I felt her energy, her light being presence come and sit near my feet on the cool tile by the sofa in our greenhouse living room. She was well, totally vibrant, and glowing with light as she smiled and reassured us that she was okay. She came to make sure we were okay. That made us feel much better although the loss is ever so painful and comes in waves. We know that souls never die, just move on to higher planes; we have seen and experienced too much to think otherwise.”

Carl and his wife appreciate your prayers and good wishes for Nellie. As you can see, animals live on in the afterlife the same way humans do. Life is never destroyed; only transformed. Carl is no stranger to the loss that death brings. His beloved brother committed suicide when Carl was a teenager. His father passed when Carl was a young man. He writes about their visits from the other side in his book Bader Field.

I emailed Carl to check on him again today. He says that Nellie’s visit has provided consolation and is helping him and Arlyn move forward one step at a time. “Nellie is okay now and not suffering anymore,” says Carl. “Her visit was a Godsend and her assurance was ever so relieving for us. It all happened so quickly, and maybe that was kinder because we really had no options except to let her go home where we knew she would be free, healthy, happy and youthful and spirited again. She gave us 16 blessed years and for that we will always be grateful. We are focusing on the treasured memories; the good times and the ones that made us laugh, which were so often and so many.”

Please join me in sending love and light to Carl, Arlyn, and Nellie. They will be reunited one day.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Visits from a Grandmother

Here's a story from Christine Plaisted, whom I met on Twitter. I appreciate her sharing her inspiring story with us.

Interestingly enough, my family has always had spirits visiting them, both strangers and familiar. My grandmother is the one who has visited me most often and been with me when I have needed her. She was the matriarch of the family and has visited others in my family since her passing.

My grandmother and I were always very close. She lived with us until I was eleven and even after that I spent many days with her, sometimes weeks with her during the summer. She passed away when I was seventeen. It was very hard on me and the rest of the family to lose her because she had always been there for us. I found out a year later that she would always be there for us even after she had gone.

When I was eighteen years old, I went on a mountain trip with my church youth group. We were sledding down the mountainside on truck tire inner tubes. It was in the afternoon, and the sun had started melting the snow, turning it into slippery ice. I made a huge mistake, one that almost cost me my life. I got on an inner tube with a young man (my accidents always seem to have a young man involved somewhere) and immediately after we pushed off, I knew we were in trouble.

We were going too fast. Even now, I don't have a lot of memories of the accident. I remember the trees rushing passed me. Then I remember coming to on the ground in severe pain, knowing that I had hit a tree. I checked to see if I had broken my back and damaged my spinal cord by wiggling my toes, my fingers and my ears. Yes, I wiggled my ears to see if I was paralyzed at the neck. Obviously, I wasn't thinking clearly.

The rest of the afternoon was even less clear. I was going in and out of consciousness. I knew I had a lot of internal damage. I was air lifted to the hospital emergency room because the rescue workers were sure that I wouldn't make it down the hill in an ambulance. My left lung was collapsed, I had broken three vertebrae and eight ribs. My liver was lacerated, and my stomach and intestines were perforated. I was in really bad shape. I was rushed into the operating room as quickly as possible and they patched me up as best they could.

It was after my operation that my grandmother came to visit me. I was alone in the room in ICU, and was just starting to wake up when I saw her sitting at the foot of my hospital bed, knitting. I had tubes everywhere and couldn't talk, but as I rustled in bed, she saw that I was awake and looked up from her project and smiled at me. She got up, put her hand on my arm, and leaned over to kiss my forehead. She told me everything was going to be alright and to close my eyes and rest, which is what I did. I don't know how much longer it was when my mom and aunt came into the room to check on me, but I told them that they had just missed Grandma. They just looked at each other a little worried.

A couple of days later, my grandmother came to visit me in the hospital again. My lung was still in bad shape from being collapsed and I had exercises that I had to do to try and re inflate it. I can still remember how painful it was to try to breath. My grandmother was there when I woke up. She sat there talking to me a little while telling me that she knew I could do the exercises and that she was very proud of me for working through the pain. The exercise was to blow into a tube to make three little balls go up in three different chambers. I was unable to make even one ball rise until my grandmother talked to me that day. I finally got one ball to rise to the top of the chamber. My brother came by to visit me a little while after that and I told him that I had gotten the ball to rise while grandma was visiting. He questioned me a little but didn't remind me that grandma had been gone for over a year.

It wasn't until I got out of ICU that I remembered that my grandmother had died the previous year and that the visits she made were not physical but were in the spirit. After that, I knew that she would always be there for me when I needed her.

She also visited me after my oldest son was born and he had to stay in the hospital in the PICU for four days. She's visited me in my dreams many, many times and she
has also visited my sons when they were young.

It's never easy losing someone you love, but they are never truly gone, just in another place where it's not as easy to get a hold of them. It's comforting to know that my grandmother has been there to help me through some really tough situations and she always will be.

Christine Plaisted is a single mom of two teenage boys who she has home schooled
their entire lives. You can find her at her home school blog, her Pagan & Law of Attraction blog, and to follow her on twitter.
For more information, you might enjoy reading the complete book More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife available on

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Visit from Father After He Passed

Blogger Chelle Cordero shared a wonderful story with us about a visit from a deceased loved one. Chelle said:

I truly believe that I have had several "visits" from deceased loved ones - one of the most memorable was the night after we buried my dad in 1977. I stayed at my mom's apartment that night so she shouldn't be alone and I fell asleep in my dad's chair which looked down a long entry hallway. Perhaps some would say I only dreamt this, but I woke up to the front door opening and my dad walking in. He came partway down the hallway towards me and told me how concerned he was for my mom. He said he would be there for her when the time was right. Then he "faded". In early 1979 my mom passed away. The day of her death both my husband and I saw a "cloud" descending from the heavens; there was no mistaking the rigid lines of a staircase. It is comforting to know that my dad helped my mom up those steps and they are together now.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tell me about your visit from a deceased loved one.

If you'll post a comment here about your loved ones spirit visit, I'll convert your story into a post and give you credit as a guest blogger. If you would like to send me a longer story, please send it to me via my writing Web site, or send me a message on Twitter and I'll give you my email address.

For more information, you might enjoy reading the complete book More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife available on