Martha C. Lawrence

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Contents © 1996 - 2015 by Martha C. Lawrence except where noted. All rights reserved. No part of the contents herein may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.
Martha's eyes.

This Month's Topic: Near Death Experiences

Most of us hope that there’s life beyond this one, but what’s the evidence of that, really?

Near death experiences (NDEs) may be the most thoroughly researched mystical experience by modern Western scientists. More than 10,000 NDEs have now been documented. In his video Life After Life, Dr. Raymond Moody recounts the case of a woman who died on the operating table in a hospital. She left her body, traveled out the hospital window, and noticed a shoe stuck on the ledge of the building several stories above the street. When doctors revived her and she described her experience, hospital personnel checked outside. Sure enough, there was the shoe, lodged on the ledge of the building.

Our letter this month highlights near death experiences, when people close to physical death see and hear things that point to a world beyond. Liz Hussmann writes:

"When my father, a Lutheran minister, was dying, I was sitting with him in his hospital room. He was in and out of consciousness, but at one point he sat bolt upright in bed and said very conversationally, "Mrs. Fitzsimmons?" Then he repeated the name, as if to commit it to memory. I asked my mother that evening if she knew anyone by that name and she said no. I was puzzled by it, because he had said the name so clearly and naturally, and he was at that time very ill. He died a few days later and as I walked into the funeral home for his visitation, you can guess whose visitation was next door to his: Mrs. Fitzsimmons. My father would surely have discounted supernatural experiences, but I am convinced that he was meeting other travelers on the road he was taking. I still get chills just recalling this experience, but am somewhat comforted that we will have contact with others and are not alone, even in death."


Thanks for writing, Liz. I had a similar experience with my own mother. As I mentioned in my last letter, Mom was psychic enough to balk at an airport gate and refuse to let our family get on a jet that crashed and killed everyone on board.
"I knew it was an end," she told me later, "and I knew it wasn’t our time to end."
When Mom discovered she had terminal cancer in December 1999, she was calm and centered about her fate. (I was not so calm and centered, and still miss her like crazy.) I tried to take comfort in all the evidence I’ve seen that points to a life beyond this one. Since Mom and I were both psychic, I wanted to approach the subject of her contacting me after she crossed over. With this thought in mind, I sat at her side and began:

Martha's mom, Carroll Horton Driggs (in a Halloween costume)

"Mom, I’ve been thinking--"
But she read my mind before I could finish the sentence.
"I’ll try," she said. "I can’t promise I’ll be able to contact you after I go, but I promise you I’ll try." Her telepathy startled me and I had to laugh.
Mom went into a coma a few days after that conversation. I sat at her side, holding her hand. It felt as if she’d already left her body. She barely had a pulse and her skin was cold. She’d been comatose for about five hours when suddenly I felt her come back into her body. She sat up, opened her eyes, and gave me the brightest, most joyful smile I’d ever seen on her face.
"It’s wonderful!" she said, telling me about where she’d been. I could see the awe and amazement in her eyes as she struggled to find words for the experience. "There’s…my mother…and bees!" Her joy was palpable, infectious. My mother was dying, yet at that moment I felt elated, touched by a power much greater than myself. I put my arms around her.
"I love you, Mom," was all I could think to say.
With what little strength she could muster, she patted my back.
"My baby," she said. It was Christmas Eve. She closed her eyes and slipped away for good that time. But she left me the best possible gift: the knowledge that her destination was a glorious one.

Yours in intrepid consciousness exploration,
Martha C. Lawrence signature