In Paradise, NDErs rediscover feelings of childlike wonder. Everything is new but familiar, with certain similarities to things on Earth. This enables them to feel at ease readily, muting the shock of finding themselves there. These elements of similarity illustrate the Transfer Principle in action, and some NDErs even record that they immediately felt at home in Paradise. In personal correspondence (June 2015), Dale Black helped me to understand this feeling better with his observations:
I felt that I was in a place that had been created just for me. I also sensed that I had been created for that place from the beginning. It was somewhat like being able to breath effortlessly compared to struggling to breath during an asthma attack. That’s how different it seemed to me. It must have been the lack of sin that contributed greatly to the extreme sense of peace. Pure love and holiness was more than amazing and impossible to describe. It felt PERFECT to be there! At first, I never wanted to leave that place. But shortly thereafter, I sensed the mission I was given back on earth, but which would be only for a time.
Soon figures and forms may be seen clearly. Deceased loved ones commonly appear in the light as a welcoming committee. Accompanying them may be pets recognized by the NDEr. Less commonly, the meet and greet group may also comprise spirit beings variously described by NDErs as angels, guides, guardians, beings of light, or holy ones.
Thousands of NDErs describe meeting with dead relatives and friends. This is not anti-scriptural – even King David expected to meet with his dead son in the afterlife. In 2Samuel 12:23, David states: ‘Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me’.
An intuitive knowledge that these people have come to greet the NDEr is very common, as with Teresa 1:
I was suddenly standing before my mother and my brother, who had passed on before me. There was a tremendous light around them. I stood watching them, but I was very aware of this glowing light that came out from around them, and just seemed to surround them and came out toward me. Oh, I was so joyful after I saw them just standing there, just knowing they were OK! Knowing the joy and the happiness they were experiencing was just exactly what I would want to have known. This was my baby brother with my mother! They wanted me where they were, and I wanted to be there. We were ready to embrace each other. At that moment, it didn’t happen, I was taken away.
Amongst the dead relatives are often ancestors, perhaps not known previously and only recognised in some old photograph after the return to Earth. Dr Maurice Rawlings 2 gives a graphic example. During an NDE, his patient had met both his mother and stepmother.
He ‘saw’ his mother for the first time. She had died at age twenty-one when he was fifteen months old, and his father had soon remarried. This man had never even seen a picture of his real mother, and yet he was able to pick her picture out of several others a few weeks later when his mother’s sister, after hearing of his experience, produced some family pictures for identification. There was no mistake – the same auburn hair, the same eyes and mouth – the face was identical to the lady he saw in his experience [NDE]. She was still twenty-one years old! There was no doubt it was his mother! He was astounded, and so was his father.
The fact that elderly people can look much younger in Paradise can be confusing. Chuck 1 described how his deceased Mum and Grandmother both looked in their prime and a similar age to one another.
All of a sudden I look up and see my mother and my grandmother standing about forty to fifty feet in front of me. They looked absolutely gorgeous, from thirty to thirty-five years, dressed in black and with pearl necklaces on, and they looked the best that I could imagine they looked in their lives.
Chuck of course had not known his grandmother in the flesh on Earth when she was that young. Did she and his mother appear dressed similarly and together to facilitate his identification of her, or did he remember her from an earlier photo? Chuck does not elaborate. But she was a special favourite of his, whom he recognised at once despite her apparent youth, and he rushed forward to greet them both.
Fathers and mothers who have pre-deceased the NDEr are often the first to be met again in Paradise. Arlene 1 who died in Rome during childbirth in 1965, met with her beloved father who was waiting for her as she emerged from the ‘cylinder’ tunnel.
I was so excited. I lost my father when I was ten. I loved him.
I said, ‘Daddy, Daddy, I’ve missed you so much! I want to be with you.’
I knew I was dead. I knew that, or else I could not have seen my father. But I also knew immediately that there was life after what we call death, that there is an existence of our dearly departed on the other side.
You are aware of complete tranquillity and great love and warmth. I said to my father, ‘I will not forget this day as long as I live, so help me God.’
I did not want to come back. I wanted to stay with him.
My father took command of the situation as he would have taken command of any situation, and he said, ‘You have to go back.’
But I said, ‘I don’t want to go back, Daddy, I want to be with you. I missed you.’
He said, ‘You’ve just had a baby, and you have another baby, and you have to go back. It is not your time.’
Her father pushed Arlene back down into the cylinder/tunnel, and she re-entered her body.
Another daughter who described meeting her father during an NDE was Kat 1. Her emphasis was on how well her father looked, which matches thousands of descriptions of people met in Paradise. I have not yet come across descriptions of relatives who looked unhappy or sickly.
Suddenly my father appeared in front of me. My father had been gone for about ten years, but he looked wonderful. His skin was bright and vibrant; his hair was the auburn I had remembered. His eyes were bright and shiny and he looked so healthy, and he looked so happy.
He was close enough for me to touch, and he had his hand out as if to welcome me. I was trying to reach out to hold him.
He told me everything was going to be all right, but there was more to do… It was not my time.
And I knew right away that’s what I had to do; I had to fight.
I had to come back.
RaNelle Wallace 3 died as a consequence of a dreadful air crash and fire back in 1985. She met with her grandmother, who introduced herself.
She was my mother’s mother, but she looked different than I had remembered. She was full and rounded and vibrant. She appeared to be about twenty-five years old, but her hair was glorious white, and everything about her was radiantly beautiful. Her body was glorious, and I began to understand why I hadn’t recognized her. She had been frail and sick all the years I had known her.
Then the realization hit me – Grandma was dead; she had died a couple of years before. And I thought; if she’s dead, then what am I doing here?
‘Oh, I’m dead.’
Now everything fit. The colourful lights, the Life Review, and now this light of glorious love, all of it naturally occurred as my life continued in this next world. This definitely wasn’t some dream or some drug-induced vision. I was more keenly aware and alive now than I had ever been in my body. I immediately accepted this and wanted to know where everybody was.
Grandma giggled. Her lips didn’t move, but her spirit giggled.
‘Aren’t people supposed to meet me when I die?’ I asked. ’Aren’t there supposed to be people singing hallelujah and coming up to hug me and saying, “Welcome”?’
She giggled again, and I thought it was the most delightful giggle I had ever heard.
‘Well,’ she said, ‘everybody is quite busy. Come on, you have a lot to see.’
Others confirm RaNelle’s discovery that there is a lot to do in the afterlife, and that spirits are busy.
Don Piper 4 fills in a little about the content of the communi-cation he had with friends who had passed on previously.
Our conversations centred on the joy of my being there and how happy they were to see me… They looked exactly as I once knew them – although they were more radiant and joyful than they’d ever been on Earth… I felt loved – more loved than ever before in my life.
Similar meetings with friends are described by other NDErs, but there are far fewer examples than meetings with family members. Nevertheless, friendship continues to be important after death, which confirms that the ‘brotherly love’ aspect of who we are on Earth remains significant in the afterlife.
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