Sunday, September 7, 2008

Life After Death: The Other Side of Through (Video: 5:53 mins.)

This post includes an excerpt from my book "Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes.” The book refers to life after death as the Other Side of Through.

Many people believe in life after death. For them, death is a comma, a pause proceeded by a dash into another dimension of life. Others say that life, as we know it while living, is all there is to existence. They consider death to be a period at the end of the final sentence in their life stories.

One day, my patient named Mabel (pseudonym) received a birthday card from her church members. This led to an interesting conversation about life after death.

“Were you active in your church?” I asked.

“Well, not too much. I helped out with a few fundraising activities like the annual church bazaar. I usually worked at the ticket booth. I didn’t want to be too active because I have my own personal views about religion. I don’t see religion the way most of my church people see it, so I stayed kind of low-key. Religion is fine, but I don’t believe in God. I only believe in Jesus.”

“Really? Why is that?”

“Jesus was a person in real life. People saw him and wrote down what he did and what he said as part of history. I know that Jesus existed. He was right there walking and talking in front of people. Nobody can deny that. But God is different. Nobody has really seen him. Nobody knows how he looks or even what he is. That’s why I don’t believe in God. But I definitely believe in my Jesus.”

“What about heaven, Mabel? What do you think of that?”

“If there is no God, then there is no heaven. It wouldn’t make sense to have a heaven without God. That’s how I see it.”

“What do you think happens after people die?”

“What do I think happens? Nothing. They get buried, and their problems are over. Their problems end, and ours continue.”

Mabel’s belief about life after death was one of numerous opinions that people have. Many have thought about the possibility of immortality. They connect it with a soul, reward, and punishment. Some have lived their lives according to those beliefs. For those who believe in an afterlife, there is often a spiritual motivation linked with nature’s cycles of birth and death. They embrace the mystery with faith and decide there is no spiritual death, only a change in their immortal soul’s experience.

Of course, a lot of people say they don’t know what to believe. Scientific research on near-death experiences and other death-related phenomena continues to accumulate data to shed new light on discussions about life after death. Ultimately, people have to decide for themselves what they want to believe.

© Frances Shani Parker

In this KVVU TV video, three individuals, who believe they traveled to heaven during near-death experiences, explain what happened. Did they really cross over to the Other Side of Through? Was it real or a hallucination caused by an oxygen-deprived brain? You be the judge.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
"Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes”
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog


  1. I was intrigued by the video as I believe I actually was witness to my mother having an out of body
    experience as she lay on her deathbed. She was hospitalized for one week before she died, and though before she always complained of being cold and had to
    wear layers of clothes to keep warm, while she was in the hospital she got progressively warmer as she neared death. One day while I was trying to prod her
    to eat she got very upset with me for insisting that she have another bite of food and she said, "Leave me alone. I am busy 'killing myself.'" Indeed, she was lying in bed with her eyes closed concentrating on something. Although her eyes were closed the whole time, when I kissed her good-bye (not knowing it would be the last time I would have that opportunity) she seemed to know that I put my cheek near her face and she returned my kiss and resumed her deep concentration.

    I truly believe that she was drawn into another world, one that embraced her with warmth and comfort, and that she was able to see what was happening in the
    room though her eyes were closed. It certainly confirmed my belief in a world to come that is
    inviting and pleasurable.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog. I look forward to
    reading more of your articles.


  2. Renee, thanks for sharing your mother's story that has brought you so much peace regarding life after death.