I don’t think proof of the afterlife or the survival of our spirit will ever come at the hands of current science.  The scientific method of inquiry is not suited to studying matters of the soul.  It will by its very nature and a person’s own perceptions, culture and beliefs alter accordingly.

Instead proof, for me, comes in the form of serendipitous connections between events.

One of my last retail jobs kept me working until ten or eleven at night.  My homeward trip took me past the shores of a small lake; a restaurant, a public beach and private homes circled this little piece of water.  It was a peaceful drive because no motorized vessels were allowed and at night the moon and stars reflected in the black water.  I loved to drive past slowly, savoring the gorgeous sight.  Usually I was the only one on the road at that time.

He just appeared one night in the late fall/early winter.  Like Steve the jumper this spirit was soaking wet, shivering and lost.  There was such confusion and pain on his face.  He didn’t appear every night and didn’t catch on right away that I could see him.  He’d just stand in the gravel and peer desperately up and down the street.

The section of road where I saw the young man wasn’t a good area to try and stop my vehicle and it wasn’t a place I wanted to park and walk back through late at night, so my best option was to drive really slow (late, no one on the road, hey it worked) and try to flag him down.  It took a few nights before he picked up on my attention but once he did he was there every time I drove by.

“Please!”  At first that was all I could get from him, then it became “Please help me!”  He didn’t understand why he couldn’t get away from the shoreline.  He didn’t understand why he was just standing there or why I wouldn’t stop and give him a ride home.

“Do you remember the last thing you were doing?”  I asked him.

Images of swimming, laughing and joking with friends that turned to unease, then fear, then panic as he lost them in the dark.  Thrashing, increasing cold, a spreading heaviness and sinking away from a dimly seen surface along with incredible sadness all came through from this spirit standing at the road’s edge.

“I need to go home!  Can you take me home?”  It became his nightly plea.

I didn’t know his name but I did know how to help him get home; I told him he could ‘go into the light.’  Actually, I sent it as a visual image since lengthy explanations as I passed him were difficult.  Most of our communications were through images or emotions, although I tend to write them out as verbal sentences for clarity.

He refused.  This was a surprise because it was one of the first times a spirit had not wanted to cross the Veil.

“No, home, my house!  My family needs me.”  He clearly communicated that he needed to be with his family.  Which confused me, as the months went by, how could his family not know what happened?  It was a small lake, he went swimming with friends and his fate seemed obvious.

So it went, through the long winter.  In the snow, in the rain, in the breathtakingly clear cold he was there at the water’s edge.  Once he understood he was dead and not just weirdly unable to leave the lake his confusion left him but the sadness remained.  He’d glumly lift his hand as I passed; we ‘spoke’ less and less.

Each time I pointed and said, “You can go into the light whenever you want” his refusal was stubborn.

In the spring, his body floated to the surface of the lake and was recovered.  The local news covered it briefly; a young man went swimming last year and never made it out of the lake.  Because of the cold, his body sank and didn’t rise until the warming waters brought it back up.

The next time I saw him, he was glowing and for the first time I saw him smile.  His family had him back and he felt free to cross the Veil at last.

“Thanks for talking to me.”  He was grateful I’d taken the time to acknowledge him in his loneliness and confusion.

His farewell wave was joyful as he disappeared, freed from the bindings holding him to the earth.

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