Opening Heaven's Door: What the Dying Are Trying to Say About Where They're Going (English Edition)

ⶢ Good ᒕ Opening Heaven's Door: What the Dying Are Trying to Say About Where They're Going (English Edition) to read online ѷ Author Patricia Pearson र ⶢ Good ᒕ Opening Heaven's Door: What the Dying Are Trying to Say About Where They're Going (English Edition) to read online ѷ Author Patricia Pearson र Opening Heavens Door CHAPTER 1 An Unexpected Vision My father died in his blue striped pajamas on a soft bed in a silent house He wasnt ailing At three or four in the morning, he gave out a sigh, loud enough to wake my mother, who sleepily assumed that he was having a bad dream A sigh, a moan, a final breath escaping She leaned over to rub his back, and then retreated into her own cozy haze of unconsciousness Morning arrived a few hours later as a thin suffusion of northern March light She roused herself and walked around the prone form of her husband of fifty four years to go to the bathroom Downstairs to the humdrum rituals of the kitchen Brewing coffee, easing her teased apart English muffin halves into the toaster, listening to the radio, on which I was being interviewed about a brand new book Her youngest of five children, I was providing commentary about a lawsuit brought by a man who had suffered incalculable psychological damage from finding a dead fly in his bottle of water Did he have grounds the host was asking me Was it possible for a life to unravel at the prospect of one dead fly My mother spread her muffin with marmalade, thought ahead to her day Some meetings, a luncheon, an outing with her granddaughter Rachel, who was visiting for March break She didnt wonder why Geoffrey, my father, still remained in their bed No heightened sense of vigilance for a healthy man whod just turned eighty In families, attention is directed toward crisis, and during the early spring of 2008, we were all transfixed by my sister Katharines health It was she, not my father, who faced death Vivacious Katharine, an uncommonly lovely womanmother and sister and daughterwas anguished by the wildfire spread of metastatic breast cancer Katharines fate had become the familys extreme reality, as Virginia Woolf once put it My father played his role most unexpectedly Rachel, said my mother, shaking my nieces slack shoulder where she lay snoozing in the guest room, after Mum had headed back upstairs for her morning bath Rachel My niece opened her eyes, glimpsed an expression of wild vulnerability on my mothers face, and shot into full awakened consciousness Granddaddy wont wake up Later that morning, we all received the call, the what the hell are you talking about news that my mother, with Rachels astonished assistance, dialed out to the family But Katharine, one hundred miles east of my parents, in Montral, received her message differently On the night of my fathers death, she would tell mourners at his memorial service some weeks later, I had an extraordinary spiritual experience My sister, please know, wasnt prone to spiritual experiences Stress, she was familiar with, as the single mother of two teenaged boys Laughter, she loved Fitness of any kindshe was vibrantly physical Fantastic intellect, fluent in three languages But she hadnt been paying much attention to God It was about four thirty a.m., she said, of that night, and I couldnt sleep, as usual, when all of a sudden I began having this amazing spiritual experience For the next two hours I felt nothing but joy and healing There was a quality of light about my sister Katharine, a certain radiance of expression, a melody of voice that hushed every single person in the churchatheist, agnostic, devout She clutched the podium carefully, determined to be graceful while terminal illness threatened her sense of balance I felt hands on my head, and experienced vision after vision of a happy future Katharine had described this strange and lovely predawn experience to her elder son as she drove him to high school, before she received the call about Dad She also wrote about it in her diary I thought, is this about people praying for me And then I thought of Dad cocking his eyebrow, teasing me about hubris She hadnt known how to interpret the powerful surge of energy and joy she felt in her bedroomthe sense of someone there, the healing handsuntil the next day I now know that it was my father, she told the mourners Flat out, she said this, without the necessary genuflections to science and to reason, no patience for the usual caveats Call me crazy, but I feel deeply, humbly blessed and loved, she said simply, and sat down Astral father, there yet not there Love flowing unseen A benign companion of some sort, whose embrace is light but radically moving My family is not in the habit of experiencing ghosts Arriving at my parents house on March 19, the day after Dads death, I heard about Katharines vision for the first time and collapsed to the carpeted floor of the hallway, on the verge of hysterical laughter My reaction wasnt derisive so much as surrendered Reality was vibrating, close to shattering Dad is dead, Dad is dead, I had muttered for twenty four hours already, like a child fervently memorizing new instructions about the way of things, crisscrossing the icy park beside my house, pacing back and forth Dad is dead Now Katharine had had a vision We took it in as an aftershock But almost immediately, it began to make profound sense, like puzzle pieces slipping perfectly into place Without discussing it, we were convinced as a family that he had done something of great emotional elegance He had died for his daughter He had seized a mysterious opportunity to go to her, to her bedroom in Montral, to caress her and calm her before heading on his way Later, I learned that this sort of experience when someone has died is startlingly common, not rare, but families shelter their knowledge, keeping it safe and beloved like a delicate heirloom, away from the careless stomp of strangers There was much I would learn in the ensuing year about the kept hidden world all around me, but at the time I understood this much what a gift this was for Katharine Waking up over the previous twelve months had meant regaining knowledge of her predicament, which was like an immersive drowning terror in the darkness How limited we have become, in our euphemistic language, that we speak of patients battling cancer, without affording them the Shakespearean enormity of their vulnerability, as if they are pragmatic and detached, marshaling their troops, and nothing like Ophelia, or Lear I knew my sister better than anyone else in my life except, perhaps, my children She was no or less brave than the biblical Jesus when he called out My God, my God, why have you forsaken me She stood keening in the shower the night that the emergency room doctor dispassionately informed her that she had lesions on her brain she begged an abstracted universe for ten years to see her sons through school and their own weddings Then, suddenly, this astonishment when our father diednot knowing that hed diedof feeling serene, protected, and joyful Katharine had watched herselfthe future beheld in a mirror, a pool as she played with an unborn granddaughter, who she understood to be her teenaged son Graemes child, on the floor of her bedroom A five month old baby she knew to be named Katie, this wobbly little creature was trying to sit up straight In her vision, Katharine was holding up the baby girls back, helping her sit and crushing on her sweetness, admiring the wacky little bow in her hair She was beautiful, Katharine told Graeme, of his distant future fairy child, when she drove him to his Montral high school that morning All will be well, and all manner of things will be well Back at the house, the phone rang My mother, calling to report that our father had died A month later, in early April, I flew to Arizona to visit the Grand Canyon A scan had shown that Katharines cancer had spread to her bones, her liver Beauty is only the first touch of terror we can still bear, wrote the poet Rainer Maria Rilke I read that some time later and thought, Ah Along the South Rim of the canyon, flies buzzed about the twitching ears of pack mules as they descended the Bright Angel Trail, hooves stepping lively along the steep traverse a few hundred yards ahead of my husband and me We leaned reflexively into the cliff wall as we followed the party of mule riders, shrinking back from the empty, falling spaces that seemed almost to pull at us, inviting us to swoon and tumble headlong a thousand feet to our doom Were only tourists venturing down this crumbling path, I wondered, or pilgrims, too, intent on humbling themselves, feeling their way with hands scrabbling rock, confessing to having no knowledge of the vastness that engulfed them, lured by that very admission When a scouting party of conquistadors first set eyes on the canyon in the sixteenth century, they chose to believe their eyes, and thought that the Colorado River in the canyons depth was simply a creek, a thread of blue, easily trudged across at knees height by their horses They never did grasp that the canyon was ten miles across, rim to rim, and that the river below coursed as wide as the Nile We understand those dimensions now, only because the guidebooks make it plain We fix our eyes accordingly and, when we spy the river, calculate in relation to what weve been told if that ribbon down there is actually one mile across, then this height is dizzying We cower into the Supai sandstone How do we know what is infinite and what is not What do we trustour eyes or our instincts, our guidebook or our gut My sisters death was imminent, I felt, perhaps a month away, although she hadnt been given a prognosisdidnt want oneand was still working out at the gym, where people were starting to call her the Lance Armstrong of Montral She certainly looked the part, graceful, agile, and strong I was acutely aware of her dying, so much so that it seemed to me that the air itself was dangerous to breathe, for each breath demarcated the passage of time I sensed the clock continuously, how it betrayed me, let go of me, ruined me, and broke my heart with every exhalation Its not that soon, do you think my husband asked uncertainly, hiking beside me, aware of my fear of the cell phone in my pocket, of its ring Well, yes, it was that soon Id done the research Average time to death after brain metastasis from inflammatory breast cancer three months But I was alone with this knowledge, because Katharines oncologist wouldnt say anything out loud that didnt involve metaphors of war He was currently engaged in bringing out the heavy artillery, as he called it Shells were exploding in the rain dark trenches My clock felt increasingly internal and intuitive When you need to read the world differently, when ordinary channels of information are blocked, what then do you do About a quarter mile down the Bright Angel Trail, we stopped to rest My husband went off to make sound recordings, a passion of his, and I crouched in the scant shade of an overhanging rock, perched uneasily on the slope The view from here was altered, for the canyon now towered above me My tilted chin faced an immense wall of stone, as tall as a skyscraper A red tailed hawk circled high above me in the shimmering air What I saw, I labeled instantly, unconsciously a bird of prey, a wall of stone, the quick and apprehensive movement of a ground squirrel Some tourists, French and German, lumbering along, out of breath, their nylon packs a jarring shade of blue Someones dog, trotting the flies, the mules dung And far away a helicopters burr Would a Hualapai woman pausing here a few hundred years ago have broken down this vista into its constituent, material parts Or would she have seen a landscape rich with portent and spirit, where that bird was not just a bird but a song One has never seen the world well, wrote the metaphysicist Gaston Bachelard, if he has not dreamed what he was seeing Father dead and sister dying, time to welcome portent and spirit, even while the doctor yacks on about the efficacy of the latest round of chemo We climbed out of the canyon, stopping frequently to take sucks of water from the clear plastic tubes jutting out of our newfangled backpacks As we approached the rim, I noticed a rainbow A perfect, vivid little crescent rainbow hanging in the desert sky as if a child had placed a decal on a window It was so incongruous, given the arid climate, that I chose to make note of it, and checked my watch Just shy of noon By evening the sun set breathtakingly, spilling colored light into the canyon From an Adirondack chair on the porch of the El Tovar Lodge, I called Katharine in Montral on my cell No answer Kitty Kat, I tell her answering machine, Im at the rim of the Grand Canyonat the end of the world, at the confluence of beauty and terror here for you, here without you Katharine, Im thinking about you all the time She didnt respond, my sister At the hour I saw the rainbow in the desert sky, just shy of noon, she was being admitted to a hospital in Montral suffering from acute septicemia, being urged by the doctors to scribble a living will A week later, I lay entangled with her on her narrow hospital bed at Montrals Royal Victoria Hospital, watching CNN on the hanging TV in her curtained off ward cubicle In her wisp of a hospital gown, she sipped Pepsi from a straw, bald as an eagle, hands bruised from multiple IV punctures, her legs too pale and slender My face was tanned from the Arizona sun, while my beautiful sisters was puffed by steroids and flushed from the blood infection that was slowly being brought under control She was finally on morphine, and for the first time a little smile played at the corners of her mouth after a weeklong stretch of pained affliction due to wave after wave of intense headaches, with nothing being offered by the hospital but Tylenol because they were treating her for a blood infection and had lost track of the other medical team who had been treating her for cancer Katharines characteristic grace and composure masked the degree of her suffering from nurses and doctors on ward rotation, until I had a Tasmanian Devilstyle tantrum at three in the morning, when the nurse once again said that Tylenol was the only option allowed So that was where we were, my sister and I, holding hands on her bed and watching coverage of the 2008 U.S primaries, when her oncologistfinally aware of her existence on this ward being treated for septicemiacame in to break the news that he was transferring her to palliative care No chemo No further radiation The guns would go silent It was time, now, he said, to manage the symptoms Katharine moved to hospice on May 14, 2008 The palliative care physician guessed that she had weeks, at the outside margin But nobody told her that She was left to envision a horizon without end, distant or near, bright or dark She didnt ask Instead, she became a peaceful queen presiding over her court as fifty or friends, relations, and colleagues arrived for one last conversation, a final kiss The short hallway of the hospice seemed to me to be streaming to and fro with weeping executives in tony suits, and well heeled women with red rimmed eyes carrying bottles of Veuve Clicquot Just one toast, another laugh The hospice nurses were fascinated, as they told me later, for they were accustomed to small family groups visiting elderly patients in a quiet, off and on way They watched as we cracked open champagne and played Katharines favorite songs while she swayed dancingly in her bed, and brought her foods for which she had a fleeting craving, and offered her lilies of the valley to bury her nose in, inhaling Never have I seen human beings so exquisitely emotionally attuned to one another as we were when we spent those last days in May with my dying sister When she wanted the volume of energy up, we turned it up When she wanted it down, we brought it down The calibration was so precise that when a visitor barged in, all innocence, but with the wrong energy level, we tackled them like a rugby team Get out, GET OUT Youre too chipper too sad too alpha too can do When I kissed my sisters cheek she would kiss me back and behold me in a manner that was so loving it startled me Generous love, released from need Often, we sat about wordlessly as she slept, my other two sisters, my brother, and me Sometimes we massaged her hands with cream and sang softly Her sweetheart, Joel, played his guitar My mother, awash in two waves of grief, read Katharine the love poetry that our father had penned for her in the early fifties One afternoon, Katharines ex partner came by with a vast bouquet of spring flowers that, he explained, had been left anonymously on their former shared doorstep Everybody in the neighborhood loves you, Katharine, he said with a fervent sincerity Surely theres someone who doesnt love me, she responded with dry amusement She spoke very little, in these final ten days of her life A few sentences here and there, often just a word or two Yet it was clear from everything she said that she was present and observing Which was why it grew remarkable to us that she seemed so content She enjoyed our company and the music we played, and gazed admiringly at the garden beyond her window, and the light playing in the curtains Wow, that was strange, she remarked, upon waking up once, her expression one of smiling delight I dreamed I was being smooshed in flowers All this appeared to interest herto interest and to please her, as if she were engaged in a novel and pleasant adventure She looked gorgeous, as if lit from within Sometimes, she would have happy whispered conversations with a person I couldnt see At other times, shed stare at the ceiling of her room as a full panoply of expressions played across her face puzzled, amused, skeptical, surprised, becalmed, like a spectator angled back in a planetarium, watching a heavenly light show I watched her ardently, but she couldnt translate it for me The sister with whom Id shared every secret had moved beyond words Its so interesting, she began one morning, and then couldnt find the language It must be so frustrating, I said quietly, to not be able to say, and she nodded We touched foreheads I was left to guess, or to glimpse what she was experiencing in the accounts of others whod recovered their voice I would read later, for example, about the Swiss geologist Albert Heim, who fell off a mountain and wrote, in 1892 No grief was felt, nor was there paralyzing fright no trace of despair, no pain but rather calm seriousness, profound acceptance and a dominant mental quickness She had not forgotten that she was dying Is Mum all right Katharine might ask me with concern Or You guys must be falling apart faster than I am Indeed, we were My brain was a computer in meltdown, a car shoved into neutral, an old black and white television whose brightness had narrowed to one fizzing star It is difficult to describe, because I was not capable, intellectually, of observing my own disintegration I was lost, but Katharine wasnt She knew very well that she was dying, and than that Forty eight hours before she died, she told us she was on her way Literally, as in I am leaving How did she know Hospice could have been two months or six months or two years If nothing else, hope could have swayed it that way, and shed subsisted on hope for the first eleven months of her illness A study conducted by Harvard researchers found that 63 percent of doctors caring for terminally ill patients wildly overestimated how much time their patients had left The patients themselves, however, can become crisply precise, sometimes nailing their departure to the hour, according to hospice staff Katharine woke up one morning and, looking decidedly perplexed, said to Joel, who lay disheveled on the cot beside her I dont know how to leave It was as if she were asking how to water ski or make bread dough rise Clearly, she didnt feel any the way that we felt, with our thirsting ecstatic joy to find she was still alive each day when we raced to her side She teased Joel that he looked like a drug addict in his hollow eyed disarray She was present, but also elsewhere Katharine had removed herself to some new plane of consciousness where we were unable to follow That afternoon, she gazed through the French doors of her room for a long time with a look that seemed to me, sitting beside her and stroking her hand, to be slightly exasperated Vexed What are you looking at I asked her She lifted her arm languidly and pointed in the direction of the garden, remarking Hapless flight attendants We all laughed in surprise Just then a hospice volunteer wheeled in a trolley of snacks Katharine alertly turned to this new visitor and asked Whats the situation Said the hospice volunteer with brisk cheer Well, the situation is that we have lemon tarts, Nanaimo bars, and oatmeal cookies All home baked My sister regarded her as if she were insane I mean, Katharine clarified, clearing her throat, for her lungs were becoming congested, when do I leave Joel, masterfully suppressing his grief about losing the love of his life after only three years, assumed a comical Indian accent theyd met in New Delhi and, wobbling his head, offered That is for you and God to decide Katharine left the next night, in silence and candlelight, while I lay with my cheek on her chest and my hand on her heart, feeling her breathing slow and subside like the receding waves on an outgoing tide Joel sat on one side of the bed, my sister Anne on the other The nurse came in, barefoot with a flashlight, to confirm death with a deferential, wordless nod, and we anointed her body in oil and wrapped her in silk Anne, the only actively religious one of my siblings, offered a Bahai prayer The staff lit a candle in the hospice window My mother my eldest sister, Hilary and Katharines godmother, Robin, three thousand miles westward in Vancouver, all awoke in their beds, attuned to some new sounding clock All the world should weep, at the loss of such a lovely girl, Robin found herself dreamily thinking as the curtains shifted and rustled, in the shadows of that dawn After Katharine died, I remember my face to the wind, feeling the air, the coolness and fluidity, the urgency Every day, wind in my face, capturing my attention in some fundamentally new way I was aware of breath, of what the Greek called pneuma, of a soul filled world I gulped the air Welcome to our tribe, someone said to me wryly that summer, speaking of the crazy shift in perspective that comes with grieving That is exactly how it felt Suddenly, there were people who understood how you could feel like you were gulping air It was a fiercely intimate bond even if we had nothing else in common, we had death in common now Its hard to imagine death and its shared rituals being the basis for tribal belonging two hundred or five hundred years ago, but now that the experience of grieving is socially fractured, we have no universal consolation to offer, like, Your father and sister are with God now Instead, either people feel awkward around you, or those who know all about your wild, unhinged reconfigurations say, Yup, I get it, my friend Stuff gets weird You respond to new sounding clocks, you gulp air For a subset of this tribe, the sense that we have encountered a radical mystery unites us as well We have quietly learned from the dying that additional channels of communication, of which we previously hadnt been aware, enable us to know things in mysterious ways They enable us to connect in mysterious wayswith one another, with the dying, and with the deadalong uncharted or long forgotten paths This shared sense that the dying have opened a door to us that leads elsewhere comes in hushed confidings During the summer and fall of 2008, people began to tell me things Some were friends and colleagues Id known for years, others sitting beside me on an airplane or meeting me for the first time in a bar If I told them what Id witnessed with my father and sister, they reciprocated Almost invariably, they prefaced their remarks by saying, Ive never told anyone this, but Or, Weve only ever discussed this in our family, but if you think you might do some research Then they would offer extraordinary storiesabout deathbed visions, sensed presences, near death experiences, sudden intimations of a loved one in danger or dying They were all smart, skeptical people I had no idea this subterranean world was all around me The director of a large music company drove me home from a dinner party and, when I explained that I was thinking of investigating what my family had gone through, he parked the car outside my house, not ready to say good night He told me that, as a boy, he had come down to breakfast one morning and seen his father, as always, at the kitchen table Then his mother broke the news that his father had died in the night He briefly wondered if shed gone mad Hes sitting right there, he said It was the most baffling and unsettling moment of his life On a hot summer afternoon, I stood chatting with a woman on a sidewalk in Pittsburgh we were waiting for some fellow tourists on a shared weekend trip to the Carnegie and Warhol museums She told me the story of her sister, who had woken one night to the sensation of glass shattering all over her bed, as if the bedroom window had been blown inward by a tempest With adrenaline rushing, the sister leaped out of bed immediately and felt around gingerly for the shards of glass she expected to find all over her blanket There was nothing there The window was intact all was quiet The next day, she learned her daughter had been in a car accident, in which the windshield had shattered We spoke about another death in her family, and by the time the other tourists rejoined us, there were tears filming her blue eyes It struck me again how powerful and raw our experiences around death are, how carefully we keep them concealed and yet how close to the surface they stay In the late nineties, the palliative care physician Michael Barbato designed a questionnaire for family members of patients after realizing that neither his unit nor most other hospice facilities ever formally investigated experiences like that of my sister on the night of Dads death To his surprise, he found that 49 percent of his respondents had had such an uncanny event Even if we cannot understand the basis for these phenomena, Barbato argued in a subsequent journal article, the weight of evidence suggests we cannot continue to ignore them Certainly, you cannot ignore them when they happen to you There is pain in loss, and thenin our culturethere is further pain in the silence borne by fear of being dismissed or ridiculed when that loss entails something unexpectedly wondrous Tell someone your sister felt a presence in her bedroom on the night your father died and, at once, the explanations come Hallucination Wishful thinking Coincidence And the implied condemnation Know what Yer kinda credulous I attended a Christmas party with old university friends, and caught up with a man I hadnt seen for years who works in IT for a bank I told him about losing Katharine and Dad, some of what had transpired, and he said gently I dont mean to be unkind, but it is very likely that she was imagining all these things Walking home, I mused about why he found it necessary to say that and why he felt he could speak with complete authority on the subject of what the dying see He had casually stripped the meaning out of one of the most sacred moments in Katharines life Just like that When I stopped feeling angry, I wondered how he explained away his days We are meaning seeking creatures We dwell among stories and myths we dont do well chained in all around by a materialist frame and then, for good measure, labeled as fools while we grieve I love you, a man whispers to his new wife at their wedding reception Imagine a scientist barging into the building Prove it she commands Prove that you love your wife Do you have the MRI scan Prove your anger, prove your empathy, prove your sense of humor Nobody really asks you to do that scientifically, of course, because love, anger, empathy, and wit are all considered common elements of human nature, even if they are not scientifically measurable, beyond locating possible neural correlates Spirituality used to be considered an ordinary part of the human experience as well, but now we call for extraordinary evidence Why should this be In some ways it has to do with the rise of what has been called scientism, which is not the use of science as a method of inquiry but rather a prejudice that believes anything that eludes scientific measurement cannot exist In 1979, a survey of than one thousand college professors in the United States found that 55 percent of natural scientists, 66 percent of social scientists, and 77 percent of academics in the humanities believed that some sort of psychic perception was either a fact or a likely possibility Only 2 percent felt it was outright impossible In the 80s and 90s, assumptions deepened that all human experience would be explained by the workings of the brain More recently, some scientists have quietly started to probe that assumption In 1999, the psychologist Charles Tart put up a website called the Archives of Scientists Transcendent Experience, where scientists could anonymously confess their uncanny or spiritual experiences without risk of career blowback Tart described it as a safe space for these scientists, as if they were admitting to a lifetime of boozing or wearing womens underwear Engineers, chemists, mathematicians, and biologists posted These scientists, and many like them, put the lie to the persistent belief that only credulous and sentimental people fall prey to certain imaginings A recent study in the British Journal of Psychology showed that there is no difference in critical thinking skills between people who have uncanny experiences and those who call themselves skeptics Other studies confirm this lack of difference The retired Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson wrote in 2007 If one believes, as I do, that extrasensory perception exists but is scientifically untestable, one must believe that the scope of science is limited I put forward, as a working hypothesis, that ESP is real but belongs to a mental universe that is too fluid and evanescent to fit within the rigid protocols of scientific testing What he meant was that the tools we have designed to map the genome and determine what makes wheat grow cannot be applied here The paranormal or spiritual experience comes unbidden We cannot put my sister in a lab in Palo Alto and wait for my father to die one time Dyson received flak for his assertion, but like many of us, hed witnessed inexplicable phenomena within the confines of his own extended family his grandmother, he wrote, was a notorious and successful faith healer A cousin of his had been the longtime editor of the Journal for the Society of Psychical Research Skeptics warn that people who engage with the paranormal are either con artists or their credulous victims, and likely a few of them are But when you know peoplewhen you respect their intelligence, their groundedness, when you witness their discomfort with what theyre picking up by unknown meansthat characterization is simply unpersuasive As Dyson said of his cousin and grandmother Neither of them was a fool Nor are the people who have been coming out of the woodwork to tell me of what theyd encountered Nor was my sister Private moments of conversionfrom assuming the universe operates by one set of rules to suddenly suspecting there might be other forces at playcan happen to people like a jolt, as the University of California psychiatrist Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer said, after her own encounter with an act of perception that seemed to be drawing on some unknown sense In Mayers case, the jolt came as a result of clairvoyance, which is the ability to somehow glean information across distance Her daughter had a rare and valuable harp stolen near San Francisco in 1991 neither the police nor the familys public appeals managed to recover it After several months, a friend suggested to Mayer that she had nothing to lose by consulting a dowser Finding lost objects with forked sticks Mayer responded But her friend gave her the phone number of the president of the American Society of Dowsers, at the time a man named Harold McCoy who lived in Arkansas I called him that day Harold picked up the phonefriendly, cheerful, heavy Arkansas accent She told him she was looking for a stolen harp in Oakland, California, and asked, dubiously, if he could help her locate it Give me a second, he said Ill tell you if its still in Oakland He paused, then said, Well, its still there Send me a street map of Oakland and Ill locate that harp for you Mayer sent the map by express post, and two days later, McCoy phoned back to tell her precisely which house in Oakland contained her daughters harp Feeling as though shed surely lost her mind, she put up flyers in a two block radius of this house, in a neighborhood she was unfamiliar with She soon received a phone call from someone who had seen the harp in his neighbors house He was able to get it back to Mayer As I turned into my driveway with the harp , she later wrote, I had the thought This changes everything Mayer needed to completely reexamine her understanding of how the world worked, and after my father and sister died I felt much the same way I wanted to understand what we knew, and what remained unclear, scientifically elusive, about these controversial modes of awareness It wasnt enough for me, as a journalist, to accept the officially received wisdom, and it certainly wasnt enough for me as a sister to ignore Katharines intelligence and discernment and what she was willing to put on the line at our fathers memorial service I wanted to defend her integrity and show respect for our collective experience, so I tried to pursue these questions Why had my sister had a powerful spiritual experience in the hour of my fathers unexpected death How did she sense a presence in her bedroom, and feel hands cupping her head Why did she enter into her own dying experience afraid at firstonly to become increasingly joyful What was she seeing, what was she learning, what would she have told me if she could have, after she could no longer converse What I learned in the ensuing few years was far richer and mysterious than I ever imagined, and by sharing it with you, I am hoping that I open a door.The word is out you dont die when you die Thats the message from around 15 million Americans who have experienced a near death experience, as Patricia Pearson, in sparkling prose, shows in this enormously engaging book I know, I know this premise causes serious intellectual indigestion in die hard skeptics, but we should not be diverted by their leaky arguments The fear of total annihilation with physical death has caused suffering in human history than all the physical diseases combined Pearsons message is a Great Cure for this Great Fear This book conveys deep meaning and hope It takes the pressure off and makes life fulfilling and joyous There is only one reason why you should not read this magnificent book if you have a secret way not to die But since the statistics so far are against you, let Pearson be your guide Larry Dossey, MD, author of One Mind How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters Pearson brings her blend of humor, sympathy, and keen critical intelligence to a topic that is all too often off limits to writers of her caliber This is exactly the smart book on the possibility of an afterlife that readers curious about the topic but leery of mush have been looking for Ptolemy Tompkins, author of The Modern Book of the Dead and collaborator with Dr Eben Alexander on Proof of Heaven an Pearson has brought us something rare a unique blend of gifted storytelling combined with exhaustive scientific research about dying, grief, and spiritual connectivity Opening Heavens Door leaves us enthralled that deaths mystery may be lifes solution Allan J Hamilton, MD, author of The Scalpel and the Soul In this compelling and provoking read, Patricia Pearson examines death and dying with uncommon thoughtfulness, asking questions too rarely asked Moving and insightful, Opening Heaven s Door is an important work for all of us struggling with the inevitably of death Steven Galloway, author of The Confabulist and The Cellist of Sarajevo Your life is over the moment you die So I used to believe, with something like religious fervor And then I read Opening Heavens Door, and such is the power and art, the passion and rigor of Patricia Pearsons writing that Im not nearly so sure of myself This is a splendid book in all the ways a book can be splendid It is a book to be read and re read and urged upon friends Barbara Gowdy, author of We So Seldom Loo Patricia Pearsons Opening Heavens Door is a fascinating examination of the conclusion of all our struggles and victories the instant of death This omnivorous journey through grief and neuroscience and spirituality carries the reader swiftly along and into places we can never truly knowbut Pearson provides an unprecedented glimpse Kevin Patterson, award winning author of On the night of my fathers death, said the authors sister at their fathers memorial service, I had an extraordinary spiritual experience How can you put down a book that begins like that Hardheaded and openhearted, Pearson has brought together riveting accounts of near death experiences that will shake your assumptions about where life ends, and what death means For seekers and skeptics alike, Opening Heavens Door is profoundly comforting, questing, and wise Marni Jackson, author of Pain The Fifth This remarkable new book by Patricia Pearson is a rare thing bringing journalistic rigor to an impossible question The book succeeds so well because it favors questions over answers, humility over certainty, and when called for crunchy ice breaking humor over earnestness But mostly it succeeds because of its unabashed concern with love, as its experienced not just by those at heavens door, but by the human tribe thats inevitably left behind when someone dies Love, too, is a mystery that changes us The Globe A wide ranging account of discoveries and evolving understanding about life, death, the afterlife, and the true dimensions of consciousness Numerous firsthand accounts, observations and results of scientific research provide a readable primer on psi phenomena, significantly expanding our understanding of the realities of our existence Light of Consciousness magazine Readers will be humbled and filled with a sense of hope rather than fear as they realize that the deaths of loved ones, or even their own deaths, are not losses, but simply transitions A fascinating and candid analysis of the process of dying Kirkus Reviews Opening Heaven s Door What the Dying Are Opening Are Trying to Say About Where They re Going eBook Patricia Pearson Kindle Store Heavens Doors Newfoundland Dogs, AKC registered pure breed dogs and puppies AnimeKaillou Paroles, Traductions, Extraits et PTCE Paroles Lyrics , Traduction, Captures, Extrait o disponible x non partiel Heaven Prisoners Wikipedia is a American thriller crime drama film directed by Phil Joanou starring Alec Baldwin, Kelly Lynch, Mary Stuart Masterson, Teri Hatcher Gate Rotten Tomatoes A notorious artistic financial failure, Michael Cimino was blamed for critically wounding movie Western definitively ushering out CCC PSP CCC South Korea All Time Weekends Box Rank Movie Title % of Total Gross Avengers Infinity War ,, Along with Gods The Last Days Words Invocations PeaceBang Spare me kitchen sink Invocation, its endless, droning phrases promises should have rhythm energy them that draw epic written Loosely based on Johnson County War, it portrays fictional dispute For fans series, Fate will be worth it, but if someone tries see without having any previous contact world, Biology, Higher Level Student Book Book eText Access Code IB Diploma Baccalaureate nd Edition International the Books Pearson Prentice Hall eTeach Strategies Visual INTRODUCTION CONTRASTING STYLES Silent very still sat kindergarten students, patiently waiting teacher begin her lesson Then, only then, may Dr Daly Dr Daly Chief Medical Health Officer Vice President, Public Vancouver Coastal She also Clinical Professor in Noel Noel born June an Australian lawyer, academic, land rights activist founder Cape York Institute Policy Leadership, CFA Catalog Fees Dues Annual Club Dues club fee membership insurance surcharge current list must received Central Office as February Patricia Cornwell Carroll Daniels contemporary writer known writing best selling series novels Richardson Arrest Richardson patricia richardson arrest Net Worth Million net million dollars Lester Bowles Wikipdia Lester parfois surnomm Mike n le avril Newtonbrook et mort dcembre Ottawa est un diplomate homme d tat Jobs Remote, Part or Freelance Find great jobs offer remote, part time, freelance, flexible work options Get started at FlexJobs better way Opening Heaven's Door: What the Dying Are Trying to Say About Where They're Going (English Edition)

    • Format Kindle
    • Opening Heaven's Door: What the Dying Are Trying to Say About Where They're Going (English Edition)
    • Patricia Pearson
    • Anglais
    • 05 October 2017
    • 273 pages

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