This I Believe

Andrew - Rockville, Maryland
Entered on October 1, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: afterlife
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Clues of an afterlife are all around us…if you believe.

We find clues around us that somehow we cannot explain. Are there angels among us? Do they intervene when we most need it? How do we explain a miraculous brush with death?

These questions are partially answered by the experiences we have in our lives. There are times where some have reported seeing their departed loved ones right before death. Are they delusional or do they speak the truth?

Twenty-five years ago, at a pool party, my friend Roger nearly died when he broke his neck after a fall from a slide. Years later, he confided in me that he had an out of body experience. He explained floating out of his broken body, watching himself from above. A clue, I believe.

Dream visitations are common. They’re different than common dreams. You wake with a very different feeling; a kind of certainty the departed has come to see you. My sister-in-law, who is an agnostic, had a visitation dream after her mother died. In the dream, her mother explained she wanted her ashes spread at a secret gathering place where she and her granddaughter Katie would spend time together. “Down by the creek, by the log where the crawfish live,” She said. My sister-in-law thought it was strange, because she knew nothing about the gathering place. So she asked Katie the next day. “Who told you?” Katie asked. She did not want to betray her grandmother. “Well, I guess its okay now that Nanny’s gone. It’s the creek we used to spend our secret time together, where the crawfish live.” When I heard this story, I started humming the theme from the Twilight Zone…and believed.

Brushes with death are another clue. I have had brushes with death. One worth mentioning was when I nearly shredded myself with a tree chipping machine. Ironically, this happened at a cemetery where I was employed to clear trees for a new burial section. It was back breaking work. One sweltering summer day, I squeezed a Y shaped branch into the machine and found myself snatched from my feet. Before I realized what was happening, I was inches from death. I don’t know why I wasn’t killed. Others have died in similar situations. Not me. Funny, I would have been the first “buried” in the section I was clearing. An interesting footnote – years later a college friend was buried in the very section I nearly died. It’s one of life’s strange circles. It’s yet another clue.

Why would I survive those circumstances? Could it be it’s not my time to die? Could it be luck? But what is luck anyway? Webster defines luck as “a force that brings good fortune or adversity.” What force? Is it spiritual? If so, does this qualify as a clue?

Pondering the possibility of an afterlife is a step of faith thinking it may be true. With these experiences and others, I believe, do you?