Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Visits from the Dead?

While workers in the medical field have to be some of the most rational and logical individuals of any field, if you spend some time with anyone who deals with death and dying you will eventually come across some very strange and odd stories.
Whether it be care assistants, nurses or even physicians themselves, there are many in the medical field that have an amazing story to tell.
The problem is getting these people to tell their stories.
Like in any other field of work there are many of those who doubt and mock the stories of the unexplained. And perhaps those in the medical profession are more suspect of such stories; since many are surrounded by death and dying constantly but few ever have an unexplained experience. And unless you are a good friend most of those who experience the paranormal at the medical workplace will keep quite about their experiences.
But if you are fortunate to have them share their brief encounters with the unexplained, you often find they are some of the most heartwarming and assuring you have ever encountered.
Pearl had worked at the hospital for more than 20 years, and was used to switching shifts. When she was younger she hated the night shift if only for the reason that she had a young family to care for and she hated leaving her children with a sitter. But now as she was older and her children were in college, she saw the night shift as a relaxing and peaceful time to care for her patients and have the ability to actually finish all of her paperwork. Being a floor that was home to many terminally ill patients, it did have its times of stress and chaos. But most of the time she would be at her desk or assisting some of the other nurses in caring for those who were about to cross the mortal veil.
Many times she became very close to the patients that she tended, especially with those who still had their mental abilities unimpeded during their stay on the ward. It was very hard to get to know and appreciate these patients only to loose them within a few weeks, but that was the nature of the job.
Roger had terminal cancer, but was still coherent and mobile when he came to the floor. Even though walking was very difficult for him, he took at least two or three walks around the hall during Pearl’s shift. He would walk around and joke other patients and flirt with all the pretty nurses. With his cordial attitude and carefree humor he won the hearts of all he socialized with. Sometimes he was the only friendly face and comforting voice besides the faculty that some of the other patients had seen all day.
When he became too sick to do his daily walks, the other patients sorely missed him. His inability to be mobile also had an effect on his morale and he deteriorated very quickly. It was less than a week later that he was dead.
A few days after Roger’s passing Pearl head one of the patients carrying on a conversation by himself, intermingled with uproarious laughter. This in and of itself was nothing too uncommon, many of the clients on the floor had dementia and often relived their past or carried on an existence living in an unseen fantasy world. But Pearl knew this patient to never have an incident of dementia; he had a clearer mind than she did most of the time. So she entered the room to investigate. When asked what all the commotion was the patient told Pearl that Roger had been ‘a card’ tonight and he cheering him up. The man pointed at the chair next to his bed and then sat up with surprise.
“Where did he go?” he asked looking quickly left to right for his friend, “He was sitting right here…”
When she informed him that Roger had passed away days ago the man was insistent that there had to be some kind of mistake, Roger was there just moments before and he had seen him for the last few days. “He said he was feeling a lot better, I was worried because I hadn’t seen him in a while.”
The staff normally did not notify any other patient if there was a death on the ward, those who remained did not need to know and it would cause their morale to drop. And some of the patients were clinging on by a sliver of hope. So the man had no idea previously that Roger had died. He insisted that the he had visited him.
Within the next coming weeks the man’s condition also declined. He passed quickly. The nurses heard him carrying on conversations all the time with an unseen guest. One night shortly before he passed Pearl visited him once again and asked how he was doing. The man told her that he was alright, everything would be fine. Roger had visited him and told him that even though he would be passing soon there was nothing to fear.
The next shift Pearl worked she found that the man had indeed passed. As she talked to another nurse about the incident the nurse reported that on the night of the mans death he had been carrying on a conversation with someone who was not there. According to the nurse the last words he had said were, “Ok Roger, I’m ready.”
Did the Roger continue his rounds cheering up a fellow patient and escort him onto the other side?
It seems the phenomena of a lingering soul shortly after death is something that others have experienced as well. After I wrote about the haunting of an Ambulance company on this blog an anonymous writer left the comment:
“I am a Registered Practical Nurse working in Long Term care (nursing home). Night shift is a good time to see things. I was working alone one night and out of the corner of my eye I saw a resident from the other unit next to mine standing in front of my desk at the nursing station. He didn't say anything, just stood there, this was about 10:45 pm near the end of my eve shift. My first reaction was "gee, Stuart doesn't usually stay up this late or come over here, I wonder what he wants?". Then it dawned on me that Stuart had died over a week ago, I looked up quickly but he wasn't there anymore. I was a bit scared but since he never hurt anyone in life I figured he wasn't going to hurt me now. Stuart had died suddenly and unexpectedly of a massive heart attack. He died in the same room he shared with his wife of many years who was very ill. I thought maybe Stuart didn't know he was dead and was worried about his wife so I said to the empty hall, "Stuart, I can see you, I know you're here, if you aren't sure, you died last week, it's time for you to go home now, I promise we will take good care of Lucy for you". I never saw him again after that, I think all he wanted was to know that his wife would be looked after.”
Another person, a paramedic wrote of similar phenomena,
“I worked for 15 years as a paramedic and started out as a skeptic, but over the years I had many experiences of looking in my rear view mirror to see the person who we just delivered DOA to the hospital looking back at me as if they didn’t realize they were dead yet. We even sometimes talked to them after they had died to be sure to tell them they were dead and they needed to move on.
We also had them follow us around after returning to our station house. It was not unusual after a bad auto wreck to see the transparent figure of the dead person you just worked on slowly wandering the station house as if they just didn’t know what else to do. Maybe since we were the last person to be helping them, they followed us to seek more help not believing they had passed.”
If seems for many people there is a part of us that lingers on after death.
Perhaps to do some specific thing or perhaps they have just not yet been able to pass on.
Many times it is just to say goodbye.
Janice was the daughter of a famous minister who worked with homeless children and orphans, she has worked in a nursing home for decades. Her family has been experiencing paranormal phenomenon for years in their small home. Items would be moved, unearthly sounds were heard and sometimes there was a phantom touch from nowhere. Janice finally reached her last straw when she woke up one night with a shadow man sitting on the end of her bed. She woke up suddenly because she had felt a kiss on her forehead. It terrified her. And as she awoke the shadow dissolved into nothingness. After an interviewing her with some friends of Flagship Paranormal, it was deducted that these experiences were actually her patients saying goodbye before they passed on. She had compassionately cared for them in the last moments of their lives. She was there through the trauma and pain, a living angel ushering them through the veil. And they wanted to say thank you before they passed on. As we prayed for Janice after she reclaimed her house and asked to be left alone,we all said a hearty 'Amen'. Just then thunder boomed quickly and the lights flashed on and off as if God agreed and said 'Amen' as well. 
Whatever it is many who deal with death every day occasionally have an experience that they cannot explain. Some would discount such stories as hallucinations due to overwork or stress. To others it is an encouraging testimony of hope that one day though the physical body may fail, we will pass into peace without pain and struggle.
A hope of life beyond the grave. A vindication of one of the essentials of faith.

Until next time,
Pastor Swope


Howard said...

The "Roger" story sounds familiar. I have read either it or a story practically identical to it before.

I am, however, suspicious of spirits encouraging people to be complacent in the face of death. It does not seem that "Roger" warned the unnamed man to get rid of any unrepented sins, nor is there any mention of faith in God. Maybe these were just omissions in the telling of the tale, or maybe the man did not think it necessary to give these details to the nurses, but if a spirit says, "Peace, peace," when there is no peace, it is not a good spirit.

Jose Prado said...

No offense Howard, but why are Christians so stuck on death and sin and blah, blah, blah. There is nothing there to even remotely assume that this spirit was an evil one.

It does not fit the classic M.O. of an evil entity. And encouraging people to be complacent in the face of death, well what else are they supposed to do? Get angry? Deny it? Try to fight it? Wouldn't that be contrary to God's plan?

If there is a Heaven why wouldn't everyone want to go there just to be stuck down here and suffer some horrible disease? Doesn't sound like the same God I've read about in the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Sorry not to have noticed your comment.

Maybe the best way to put it is that being contacted by a spirit is an unusual experience -- much like being contacted by the widow of a Nigerian general. There are, as I think you will admit, Nigerian generals, and sometimes they die and leave widows, but that doesn't mean you have to believe every email claiming to be from one. There are others who somehow still find it profitable to impersonate these widows.

Well, in the same way, there are spirits that will impersonate our loved ones who have already died. These beings are much more clever, much more powerful, and much more malevolent than a mere scammer.

What else should one do in the face of death? Plan for it; prepare for it. Above all, RECONCILE WITH GOD. That is a message you WILL find if you read the Bible; for example in the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). I'm sure Rev. Swope can provide you with plenty more references if you are interested.

-- Howard