Monday, January 31, 2011

A‘Resting’ Souls

In police work I saw my fair share of dead bodies. To the average American it would be a lot. To a Medical Examiner it’s all in a day’s work. And for the most part, I dealt with it as a fact of life. Blocking out emotion to look at the scene for any sign of a struggle, foul play or evidence that lead to the killer. If it was a crime scene, I was too busy with the job to feel anything. Time is precious in life, and in an investigation.

But the calls involving natural death when I had to sit in someone’s home, alone with the deceased, waiting for the medical examiner’s office or a funeral home to come pick up the body, I would be lying if I didn’t admit I felt something in the ‘air’ on occasion. Whether it was the overactive imagination of a bored cop, or an ‘other’ worldly experience, who’s to say? I can only acknowledge that I felt a sense of invasion into their privacy. I wasn’t invited to sit at their table where a half-eaten cookie lay on a plate next to a glass of juice, nor was I offered a seat on their couch or a spot to stand in their foyer, and I certainly wasn’t asked to stand over their naked body in the bathroom.

My first sergeant in Violent Crimes, known as the Queen, always said, “Everyone in Homicide knows, there are to be no naked pictures taken of ‘the dead Queen’ in her bathroom.” She was the boss and she was going to make sure we heard her voice in our heads even after she was gone. And it was like these people were doing just that. Expressing their own discomfort, “That’s my breakfast, don’t touch it,” “That’s my favorite spot to sit and watch TV,” “Get out of my house,” or “Hello trying to take a dump here. Do you mind giving me a little privacy?” I felt their voice echoing through the residence and they were trying to say something. I just couldn’t understand the language.

I will say, I never felt anything from a body. When a person dies, I firmly believe the soul leaves it. Like a butterfly leaving a cocoon, it soars around the room, a little disoriented, maybe a little frightened of its new form or tired from the transformation and needing to rest. It’s like there is a time period, when the soul isn’t quite ready to leave, that a presence can be felt by those who are in-tune with its feelings. If I was busy--I didn’t feel anything. If I was bored—I got the message, but it wasn’t loud or clear.

Whether it was my own design, or their souls really were there, I don’t know. As the body was removed and I turned out the lights and locked the door, who’s to say how long it hung around. But I do believe when a soul is finally ready to spread its wings, this gorgeous creation is off to see new things.

What do you think happens to the soul after a person dies? Do they walk among us? Head straight for the Maternity Ward to be born again? Or are they figments of our imagination to ease our own fears of death? I’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences.



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20 comments:

  1. I think that after death, there are a lot of possibilities. I think you get choices, and if you haven't learned certain lessons or are needed, you do go back. I like the concept of reincarnation, I like the thought that somewhere in the world, those souls that I have loved are out there, loving and being loved still.

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  2. Well, having died in an accident at the age of 16, I could tell you my experience, but I think people need to believe whatever they want to believe. I'll only say that I didn't want to come back and I did not head to the maternity ward!

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  3. Thanks Julia and Heather. I;m not sure what I think about reincarnation, but I named my daughter after her two grandmothers. Both had passed on by the time we adopted her. And from the moment of notification,I knew she was the one and that she had my mom's 'fighting' spirit. Now she acts like my mom, says she is my mom, and drives me crazy like my mom! So who knows, maybe she's back giving me heck the way I gave it to her. And Julia, you can not drop a bomb shell about your experience and not share! Please do!

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  4. Perhaps it merely takes longer for the brains' spiritual energy to fade than it does for its physical functions to end.

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  5. Kym - I have no doubts about reincarnation. A resounding yes.

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  6. A very interesting idea Gina. So does that mean the spiritual energy of the brain seperates from the body? And is it the brain or the heart?

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  7. Julia-you are a tease at heart! Is coyness a passed on trait?

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  8. I don't know what's on the other side, but I do strongly feel death isn't an end. I can say for certain though, I'm not exactly ready to find out first-hand. :-)

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  9. I agree Tracy. Sometimes we get caught up in the other side and fail to realize how wonderful this life can be. Look forward to today, cause it's filled with endless possibiiites.

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  10. Not trying to be coy, I just don't usually talk about my experience - because sometimes very religious people take offense.
    You have given me an idea for a blog post tomorrow though!

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  11. In some ways I think what initially happens when we pass is what we believe will happen--whether that is the light, the door, the pearly gate etc. I do know that what happens afterwards depends on you. While I'd like to think that many career criminals have to come back a million times as cockroaches to be squished, I don't believe that is the case. Still, I know that when I think about my deceased grandparents or mother-in-law, I can often hear them in my head as well as sense them around me.

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  12. Julia put your blog link on so we can all check in tomorrow-I can't wait to read it!

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  13. Oh Linda, you've brightened my day with the thought of squashing nasty bugs as giving a scumball her/his just due that s/he didn't receive in life! I've hated scorpions for years, now I know why! The next time I get the opportunity to kill a scorpion, I'll think of a sexual predator that got away!

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  14. Thanks for stopping by everyone! May your year be full of goodness and light. And the next time you have a bug in your house, think of it as an opportunity to instill a little justice!

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  15. I have had too many near death experiences but they echo the experience my esteemed friend Julia mentioned. There is, according to the Tibetan book of the Dead, a definite period of time during which the essence of a person hovers around its body before heading off to the bardo where it is drawn by its own momentum towards a next life. When I say momentum,I mean the energy of our last life, positive or negative.
    Is this correct? Th Tibetan Book of the Dead is a human and cultural interpretation of the experiences of people who have had spiritual experiences, sometimes those of a near death nature.

    Thanks for bringing this to us. I think treating the bodies of the dead is important both because the spirit may be hovering and confused and disrespect may influence the direction of the spirit. And, disrespect of the body dead shows a callousness that cannot be good for the person being disrespectful.

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  16. And I am following you now.
    Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust
    email: steph@fangswandsandfairydust.com
    twitter: @fangswandsfairy

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  17. Kym, what a lovely analogy of death. It fits my ideas exactly. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. Thanks Caroline. I appreciate your kind words. Steph I agree with you about respecting the remains of the dead. There is something seriously wrong with an individual that does not. I'm not talking an autopsy because I believe that is done out of respect, I'm talking the criminal mind that dismembers or otherwise. Or even those who would pose the dead in so called funny positions. The soul may be gone but disrespecting their remains shows a serious moral flaw that will come back to haunt them. Maybe in the form of being smooshed by a shoe in another life. ( I still love that!)

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  19. Great post, Kym!
    I really appreciated your cop's eye view of the death scene. You made me mist up with the half eaten cookie and not asking you to sit down on the couch. Wow!

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