At a time when we feel we just couldn't take any more stress, the prospect of our loved one's funeral can be overly daunting. It is very common for people to feel that they just can't face the day of the funeral, yet feel that they somehow must.
Having both experienced the funerals of our own loved ones and also having performed funeral services for other people's loved ones, we fully understand and are writing this short article to share some suggestions to lessen the pain and difficulty for others. We don't write this without having given it much thought.
This was brought home to us recently when we were doing a funeral service for a friend. The widow of the deceased made some very sensible decisions which enabled her to survive a very difficult day. We share some of these here and some others of our own.
Many people feel that they must force themselves to go through with what they think are traditional procedures. Sometimes they feel guiltyor worry about what other people will think. This is a time for neither. Remember - your loved one will not be wanting you to suffer more than you already are.
When sitting in a big black funeral car following a hearse, the ride to the crematorium or church can feel like the longest ride of your life - even though it is typically only 10-20 minutes. The practical reason for using funeral cars is to remove the need for family members to have to drive a car when under great strain and distress. This is obviously a sensible precaution in terms of road safety, but there are alternatives to using the big black cars provided by the funeral directors. If you feel that the funeral cars will add to your trauma on the day, consider asking a friend to drive you - or even a reliable taxi service.
Following the coffin
There are two main alternatives for the beginning of a funeral service. Either the close family follow the coffin in to the church/crematorium chapel and others follow after OR all attending the funeral take their places in the chapel and the coffin is then brought in by the funeral directors. Many people will find that it is less traumatic to opt for the second of these options. Following behind the coffin, as we have both found, can be very painful and emotionally difficult. A person can feel that all eyes are on them and their legs can feel like jelly. Again, a short walk can seem a very long walk indeed. By taking their seats in the church and quietly waiting for the service to begin, those closest to the deceased can take a moment to compose themselves and pray.
Funeral directors expect both options equally and are very helpful. It is best to make your wishes known when you discuss the funeral arrangements. That way, the funeral director can gently manage proceedings in the smoothest and most respectful way.
At the end of the service
In a cremation service, there are various options - some of which depend on the deisgn of the crematorium chapel. Some chapels have curtains and roller beds. Some have a mechanism that simply lowers the surface that the coffin is displayed on.
For some people, it is very upsetting to see the coffin being lowered. In practical terms, the lowering is entirely symbolic. As such, there is little point doing something that will only serve to distress. If you would like the coffin to not be lowered, let the funeral director and minister/priest know your wishes. Again, it is quite normaly for people to opt for either decision.
Similar choices are available where the chapel has a curtain and rollerbed arrangement. For some people, the closing of the curtain adds unnecessary distress. Rollerbeds that move the coffin through a hole in the wall can be even more upsetting. You should feel free to ask the funeral director and priest to not close the curtain or start the conveyerbelt mechanism. Instead, the coffin is left in the same position at the end of the service.
NDE testimony - one from someone who went to heaven and another from someone who experienced both Heaven and Hell. Some interesting insights and descriptions of Heaven:
Depression for many is part of working through the bereavement process. It can take so many forms and have some surprising symptoms. It does get easier in time, but it is hard to believe that when you are in the depths of it. When I have lost loved ones, I got quite impatient with people that told me that time heals. It was as if they didn't understand how real it is to me at the time. Having been through several major bereavements in recent years, I did find that time did heal though. I also found that bereavement got a little easier to deal with after I had been through it a few times.
The pain of loss is inevitable, I believe, if you love someone. Any amount of practise or faith won't change that. Not being able to reach out and physically touch and hug your loved one is a very painful experience. It's so hard to understand too. Somehow it doesn't make sense. I have found that some of the symptoms of bereavement can be very much helped by understanding what death is and what lies beyond death. That's what bereavement rescue is all about.
Having done the research and learned about these things, Rod and I want to share what we have learned so that other people can suffer less with bereavement. We have no wish to hold up a pretty picture that will make you feel better, because we know people aren't daft and that these things are not effective if they are not believable. What we want to share is not based on fantasies and hopes, but the findings of medical and scientific studies undertaken by professional scientists.
Our site doesn't have a lot of the information that we want to share yet. We will be working on getting it up here. Meanwhile, we would like to give an outline here...
The study of Near Death Experiences involves collection and analysis of reports of people who have died (often under medical supervision so there is no question of whether death actually occurred) and come back to life. Many people will tell you "dead people don't come back to life". This isn't true. With the advances in modern medical resuscitation, between 2% and 20% of cardiac arrest victims do return to life as a result of resuscitation. Many of these people come back and tell of marvellous experiences and of meeting loved ones.
The reports are strikingly similar and consistent worldwide, across all faiths and cultures. There are varying degrees of Near Death Experience (which is measured on the Greyson scale). Some people find their consciousness just leaves their body and looks down and observes medical staff working on them. Some people's consciousness leaves the room and floats up outside the building and can report on conversations that relatives in distant locations are having. These conversations are verified word for word (e.g. the case of Betty Eddie). Some Near Death Experiences are classified as "Deep Core". These take the consciousness into spiritual realms where they meet pre-deceased loved ones.
Being an animal lover myself, I was delighted to hear of a man who was greeted by all his dogs running towards him. Most people report being greeted by family and human loved ones though. These Near Death witnesses describe an atmosphere of fantastic reunion. I don't think anyone who has died and comes back is ever concerned about the welfare of a loved one who dies. Having been there themselves, albeit temporarily, they know their loved ones have gone somewhere absolutely wonderful where there is no pain, no illness, no stress, no unhappiness. It is just perfection. That's where your loved ones have gone. Once you understand that and have studied the evidence and found yourself convinced, you will feel happy knowing that you're only temporarily parted from your loved one and they will be waiting there to greet you on your passing.
No matter how unexpected or traumatic the passing of a loved one is, everything that we know from Near Death research and those that have come back tells us that there is a perfect time for each one of us to pass over. Many people who have deep core Near Death Experiences have conversations with Jesus/God/a Light. Something that many come back and tell us is that they were told that there are no mistakes. Howard Storm had a deep core NDE and one of the things he was told by Jesus was "We don't make mistakes". Of course, it is hard for us to understand that on Earth. It is very hard to accept that it could possibly be anything but a mistake when we see a loved one suffer, die traumatically or die younger than we would hope. But NDEs assure us that, when we get up to Heaven, our mind will open up and we will understand everything perfectly.
Once you accept that notion, it makes it easier even whilst here on Earth to find some way of understanding and accepting things that would otherwise be almost impossible to understand. One man, who had been clinically dead for a number of hours who came back to life whilst laying naked in a mortuary, had lost both of us parents tragically whilst he was a baby. Whilst in the presence of Jesus, it was explained to him the reason it had happened. When being interviewed on the television, he laced his fingers together and said "it all fitted perfectly and I understood anything. I said 'Of course!'". On returning to his body, he was left with the knowledge that he had been given the answer to losing both of his parents tragically, but the actual reason had been taken from him again.
A similar example of someone being given understanding whilst in Heaven, but having that memory wiped before returning to her Earthly body, was Betty Eddie. She was shown her mission in life, but told that when she went back she wouldn't remember it because she would rush it if she knew and the timing would be wrong.
This leads us to realise that each of us does in fact have a mission in Life. We are here for a reason, even though it is rare that anyone really knows their personal reason and mission. I personally believe we each have a list of missions and jobs to achieve, spiritual gigs to play, and when we have completed all of these, that is when we go home to be with our loved ones.I love life, but I am looking forward to what lies beyond. I can't wait to see my loved ones again! I hope this gives you some idea of what we want to share. I hope it also gives you some hope, a bit of light at a dark time for you. If you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact us directly. Our service is totally free. We just like to help. Here are some websites and books you could explore to learn more about Near Death Experience:
I hope this helps someone. Remember - you are not alone!
Dr Caroline Wilkins
This is what I wrote to a NDEs Research Foudation. It took me 38 years to tell my story because I was told not to by my Guides.(Angels). They also told me that one day I could. At age 8 my father took me and my 2 brother( ages 10 and 11) to go fishing in a river called (Rio Guaiba) In Porto Alegre- Brazil. It was a hot day and very sunny. When we got there my father was setting up camp when we ask him if we could walk up river a little bit. At first he said no, but after we begged a little bit he agreed, but told us not to go in the water, he said that a few times.
We started to walk near the water and we got to this bush that was half in the land and half on the water. I don't remember which one of us had the idea to go in the water grabbing the bush to get to the other side. My brother Marco age 10 went first, He took a few steps and I don't remember well how he lost hi's footing but he did, he went under, then my older brother Carlon tried to help him and went under also, I don't know why but I went after them, note (we didn't know how to swim).
I stared to panic, I was really scared, I remember trying to breath but I couldn't, water was going in instead, there was no more oxygen, I remember moving my arms and legs frantically trying to save my life. I remember my body hitting things under water, I don't know what I was hitting me but it was painful. That day the river was moving fast from west to east towards the ocean. I don't know how much time went by but I couldn't move any more, I remember just floating under water and I hit bottom. the water was brown and I couldn't see anything. I knew I was dying and I screamed PLEASE GOD HELP ME!. (My mom used to take me to church).
I don't know how but I knew that God was the only one that could help me. That was when I felt my life fading, then I heard the most pleasing voice telling me to relax and that everything was going to be o.k. I then felt this arms embracing me, I knew it was a men and he was very kind and gentle. I was so happy and confused at the same time. We were floating in mid air. I then realize that I was not dead, not yet anyway. I sensed we were going up very fast.
All my pains were gone and I could breath again. My body was not solid anymore, I could see right through it, but I could feel me. Then I saw that we going towards this light, slowly at first. When we got close to the light, the light just engulf me. It was brighter than the sun but didn't hurt my eyes. The angel that was we me said "tchau" and faded away.
I was floating there for a moment thinking, "what's happening?" I felt connected to everything and that everything was connected to me. (hard to explain) Then I felt I was not alone anymore. I could see this shape of a man coming closer. When he got close enough, I felt the most beautiful feeling of love and belonging, there's no words my human mind can said to describe this feelings (sorry). Imagine yourself in an airplane and the airplane blows up! Then you wake-up (just a dream). Kind of like that. I was so happy I wasn't dead for real, but where am I? (that place felt more real then this one).
This angel (I call them angels) came closer to my right side and spoke to me, but his lips was not moving. He was talking to my mind. I could hear him through mind, being, and my soul. He told me he was there to help me with my questions (and boy did I have questions) but first he started to show me my life like a movie (hard to explain). My life was going backwards. I remember thinking "How bad can this be, I'm only 8 years old."
The first image I saw was something bad that I did (I used a key to scratch a car). I could feel the pain that I cause because of my actions. Then I remember thinking "Oooh no! I'm in trouble!" My angel surprised me by saying "don't worry, these are just lessons." I remember thinking "Oh crap, he can read my mind too." He heard that too and gave me this lovely, beautiful smile.
This movie was showing, second by second my entire life; everything I saw I could feel the results of it. Like, everything I did had a life of its own. Like when I felt the owner of the car feelings and thoughts, then he told his wife about it and I could feel her pain too, and on and on and on. (not a good feeling).
He didn't show me just the bad things I did, he show me the things I did out of love too. He showed me the time I took this homeless boy I become friends with. I took him home with me, we shower together, we eat together and I give him some of my cloths too. I could feel how happy I made my angel feel. He told me that those are the things that really matter, those where the things that will make a difference in the world for the better.
As my life was going backwards I saw me as a baby inside my mother, then just a molecule of life, really really small but alive. Today when I see women having an abortion I want to cry. They don't understand that God give them this child for a reason, that she was chosen by that life (child). Don't know how I know that, I just do!.
Then the movie stop and he said two words and Everything I wanted to know was answer by it. (like a package deal). All my questions was answered in an instant. Then I started to miss my life as I knew it. I started to think about my mother and I could feel her pain when she heard the news that all her sons died. I knew my angel was showing me this because it wasn't my time, my mission wasn't done. What mission? I still don't know. I don't know how long all of this took, I didn't have the sense of time anymore. (but if I try, it will take years to show and tell everything.)
Anyway, I was missing my life and I want to go back. I had flashbacks about playing soccer with my friend, being hugged by my mom, the sun the rain, things that made me happy. I also knew my angel did this for a reason because any sane person would not want to go back. I also realize for the first how beautiful and fragile Earth really is. I could sense the earth breathing like it was alive. I could see a light around everything that was alive, trees, flowers, grass, animals, volcanoes and humans. I sense that humans were in control over other living things, I have the word (aura) stamped in mind ever since.
Don't know why but the angel told me not tell anyone and that time will revealed itself. I said "What"? But then I felt a jolt in my soul, a feeling that I was back in my body. Next thing I know, I was being hold by another angel. He was pushing me out of the water. It was then that I realize that I was human again. Oh my god, what a feeling! I wish I could make everyone feel that feeling. Then I felt like I was drunk, the first thing I saw was this beautiful blue sky and I could breath again. Then I realize, "Where my brothers?" I Look to my right and there they were, walking out of the water with me! OH MY GOD! THANK-YOU! THANK-YOU! THANK-YOU! I have tear in my eyes thinking about it. Our God and father is so good to us.
Then I saw people rushing towards us, some were crying, some were smiling and hugging each other. They felt as happy as I did! Why? Than this police officer was talking on his radio he said, "I found them, I found the kids!" He told the others to come up river, the other officers were looking for us down river were they thought we were. After couple of minutes they got there and said, "This can't be them! They couldn't survive 22 minutes underwater and talk about it! The medical personal that was there agreed with them, and they all went back down river. I was trying to tell what happened but I couldn't speak. I mean my mouth was moving but no sound. I look up in the sky and said "Please give me my voice back, I won't tell anyone!' I got my voice back! I got a little stutter today but I don't care about that.
For all I know they still looking for us. I don't know which is better, being back here or having the knowledge that we never die. Today, I take things as they came and I try to do everything with love. But that sometimes is really hard because we live in a world of uncertainty. Some people don't know who God really is. They make it really hard for me to love them as I should, but I forgive them and love them on the inside, even though I don't show them sometimes. God knows what I mean. My brother's and I never talked about this till Christmas of 2007 (37 years later). I ask Marco if remember anything, he told me that an angel ask him not talk about it. A week went by and I ask Carlon what happened. He said that we died and that an angel saved us. He said he also saw the movie. I don't know why but we never got too deep on this conversation. I think we are scared that something would happen, because we were ask not to. If you guys don't hear from me you know why.
As I get older I have the urge to tell the world that God and heaven is very real. I have to be very responsible when talking about this. I don't feel that I am the one writing this, but my soul. I pray that one day the human race, the sons and daughters of God will live on Earth with that Love and Peace that I felt, and come to the realization that we are one and we never die.
Additional questions and answers: Greetings! Dr Long. Thanks for letting me share. You ask me some questions and I'll tell you as best as I can. I didn't sense the voice I heard it. I was told not to tell anyone. so the best way to answer this I have to put myself back on that day. I saw and felt all the wanders of the universe and how all things were made and how the earth will be one day. I remember knowing all that, but as soon I come back everything went blank.
When I got out of water I could Sense that a peace of that place was still with me. I try to tell people and I couldn't, I wanted to tell my mom one day but when I open my mouth I felt this emptiness inside like my soul left my body but I was in my body and not my soul (just for a second). That was very scary. It was the upset of what I experienced. Imagine a body with no soul!.
So I been living like this ever since. Hiding! For your second question, I called Marco after work and ask him a few questions and told him about you. He told me that he saw the light, he saw his review and they told him things too, he had no pain and could breath, he felt loved and that he told the angels he wanted to come back. And the angel told him not to tell anyone. My brother Carlon says the same things. And we all saw the same angel when we got out of water. He had dark skin, tall and beautiful. But no wings. I tell you more someday.( I hope).
Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? Yes To me I find hard to find word's to describe the beauty of it all, the sense of peace and the reality of it all. At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event? Yes! I was under water for 22 minutes.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I never lost my consciousness and alertness.
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal every day consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal? I went from being alive to being 100000 x more alive. My real life realy began after I had died.
If your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience was different from your normal every day consciousness and alertness, please explain: There's no hiding agenda in Heaven. I became one with the one. For the first time I truly felt alive.
Did your vision differ in any way from your normal, everyday vision (in any aspect, such as clarity, field of vision, colors, brightness, depth perception degree of solidness/transparency of objects, etc.)? Yes I feel they didn't show me everything for a reason. But what I saw was very real. I mean more real than what I see here. I never felt more alive in my life.
Did your hearing differ in any way from your normal, everyday hearing (in any aspect, such as clarity, ability to recognize source of sound, pitch, loudness, etc.)? Yes I didn't here things with my ears, I heard things with my soul. (hard to explain)
Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body? Yes
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Love, love, and loved, alive, but I had the feeling that I was not who I thought I was, feelings of belonging, joy, extremely happy, Tell me a good feeling and I had that ten fold.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure? Yes! If felt like a tunnel because there was a light in the distance.
Did you see a light? Yes I can cry just thinking about the light. I felt that the light was God. But, I was 8 years old.
Did you meet or see any other beings? Yes! They told who they were but I can't remember the words, I call them angels. I didn't recognize them, but they knew me! They told me lots of things. He was on my right side. And I didn't felt he was Jesus.
Did you experience a review of past events in your life? Yes I describe everything above. And yes I had my review.
Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later? Uncertain Things come and go as I need them or it's time for it.
Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions? Yes I saw the lights on living things on Earth.
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes! Past, Present and Future were all rap together.
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Yes When I walk out of the water I sense and knew I could do something that I couldn't do before, but something was holding me back and I didn't try it. (kind of scared) Today I go to church and I think I know more than the pastors do. I think only after we die we really understand what the bible is.( Our manual to get back home). The bible is all about that love I felt there. The only time I really feel alive here is when I'm in love with a girl, but it's very painful when they don't feel the same way. When I'm in love everything feels alive music, air, rain, sunshine. I can feel GOD again. Again, hard to explain.
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? !I felt the boundary, like I was in a waiting room or welcome room and if I past that room There was no way back.
Did you become aware of future events? No
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience? Yes I became the best goalie in my town. I went professional right before we moved to America. I could see or feel the path of where the ball would end up. I become one of the best limo driver people ever saw. Once I drove about 10 miles with a glass of wine on the roof of my limo. People were telling me to pullover, when I did and saw that I knew I was not alone. today I have a painting business and people tell me I'm a real artist. I just try to do my best with everything I do.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes It took me 36 years to feel free to talk about it. My mom was the first. My wife was the second. I told my pastor about it 1 years ago. (he was of no help at all). I want to scream to the world what I went thru, but I feel I can't. Can you help?
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
How did you view the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened: Experience was definitely real As real as you are viewing this words.
Were there one or several parts of the experience especially meaningful or significant to you? I don't want to just yet, but one thing I can say is that "loving one another is the most important thing we can do to save our souls"
How do you currently view the reality of your experience: Experience was definitely real More real now then ever. when I was in my 20's doctors told me I could never have a baby. My son is 8 year old. Nothing is impossible to God.
Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes! I became aware about the need of others.
Have your religious beliefs/practices changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes! God Is alive! he is inside of me. I know is hard to believe but he is. He is inside all of us.
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? Yes but my little miracle wants to use the computer, sorry. email me anytime.
Did the questions asked and information you provided so far accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes I don't think you can lie about this.
Are there any other questions we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Just tell the world!!!
We would be very grateful if you would consider donating to the Bereavement Rescue Centre Appeal. We are now at a stage with the Bereavement Rescue Centre project where we must pay for various services relating to the Planning Permission process (Ecological Surveys, Architect drawings and Planning Application fees). We expect to have to raise at least £1200 in order to get through planning before we can apply for a grant to enable the building of the Centre.