“What happens after we die?”

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INTRODUCTION

This is one of the  great questions of human existence. Like that  other great question- “Why are we here?- it has no single accepted answer.

For many, the survival ( or rebirth) of the individual is a  deeply held matter of religious faith. For others, the notion of an immortal soul is nonsense. The wisest religious  and  scientific  thinkers agree that they may never find mutually satisfactory answers to such  questions .

Faith either makes  sense or it does not, depending  on one’s  disposition, and  science has little to say one way or the other with any great confidence.

Is there any way out of this impasse?  When considering this question, it is important to note  that many millions of people, from the  beginning of recorded  history, have reported significant experiences that gave them  reason to believe in the survival of the individual  after death.

Departed souls have contacted  the living, have been seen and  heard, and have  reports on their condition. Persons on  the brink of death ( or beyond) have returned with information on what they saw  and experienced .”Past lives” have been  recalled, and sometimes  verified with astonishing  accuracy.

FATE magazine was founded  in 1948 to provide a  forum  for extraordinary experience experiences of all kinds. (The first issue   featured Kenneth Arnold’s  report on his “flying saucer”  sighting of the previous year- the sighting that marked the  beginning of the UFO era).

Contributions from  readers   have always featured prominently  in the magazine’s  content, beginning in the earliest  days with  a section called  “True Mystic Experiences.” In 1954,  the editors introduced  “My proof of survival,” a department dedicated to reader’s  reports bearing on the subject of life after death.

In the  forty-nine years since its debut,  FATE has published more than two thousand  stories of this nature, all  attested  to be true  by their  authors. The FATE  archives represent a tremendous resource for anyone interested in the  question of afterlife survival-whether looking for evidence, or simply  curious about what people believe and why.  Some of the best stories from our archives are presented in this book.

Messages

communication from the  Other side

What do the departed have to say to  the living? Sometimes, the simple  fact that a love  one is able to  communicate from the other side is enough. In these stories, FATE readers report messages of love,  encouragement, and hope  from the hereafter. (There are  also some humorous accounts indicating  the dead aren’t  above  taking offense at statements  by their survivors.)  These communications take  varied and sometimes  unexpected forms-everything from personal visits,  to written messages, to levitating objects, and more.

Night of the  “Living”

Our family friend of forty years died on December 3, 1993. His name was Joe G. and he lived in Sedona, Arizona. After his memorial service. I spent time at his condo packing and throwing things out. As I weeded through  his possessions, I apologized out loud  to Joe for having  to do  it.

Between tears  and laughter, I teased him about how  much of a pack rat he  had become. In his  drawers and closets were every bag and  box that had come his way  in the  two and a half  years  he had lived  there. Two boxes in particular were just the right size for  packing dishes. So I packed them up and left for lunch.

Knowing that only the property management company  and I had  access to the condo helped me reason away what  happened next.  Upon returning I found that on each   of the boxes were letters in black magic market, written in a shaky  scrawl that spelled  out the  word “living”. Well,  I thought, I must have missed that when  I packed the boxes.

After more packing and cleaning , eight o’clock rolled   around and I left for dinner, I couldn’t chase away my anxiety about returning after dark to stay there by  myself. But I  went  back anyway. The same  two boxes  were still in the hallway, but someone or something  had written “living” two more times. Now  there were  four words  that I hadn’t  seen before.

As much as  I tried to convince  myself that those words were there before I left,  I didn’t  believe it. I still had the  feeling I was not  alone. So I grabbed my things and stayed  at  a motel seven  miles  down the road.

I headed back to  the condo  the next morning thinking how silly I had been to  spend the extra money. I was sure it  was just  my imagination.

2 Messages

That morning  the sun was shining through the windows  and the place looked really cheery. Everything was just  where I had left it. Heaving  a sigh  of relief, I put  down my  purse   and walked  to the center  of the living  room to  finish  packing.

What I saw  next took my  breath away.  On six of  the boxes I found the word “living” written  very clearly in  black magic marker. I knew  every single one of those boxes had been  unmarked, because I had examined  them  thoroughly  after  the previous  day’s  scare. I truly  believe Joe was there  to let me know that, even though he didn’t  get to  say  goodbye in  person, he was still  near,  and still alive.

L.M. Nickerson

Sedona, Arizona

January 1998

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