On a crisp October morning in 1964 we received word of the death in a highway accident of a young friend, Father Martin. He had been assistant to the pastor at a church near our home in Richmond Heights, Missouri, He had fallen asleep at the wheel of his car and crashed head-on into a huge tractor-trailer rig. He was dead when the highway patrolmen arrived.
His body was brought back to his church where he lay in state for several days while stricken parishioners filed past the casket to pay their final homage. My family and I were among the mourners.
Although I am not a Catholic, Father Martin had been a good friend with whom I had spent many pleasant hours discussing the Bible, theology, and the hereafter. We often discussed whether the Jewish people in Biblical times had believed in life after death, or if this precept is peculiar to Christian teachings.
Early in the afternoon before his funeral on November 8, 1964, we visited the church once more. As I knelt before the casket I wondered; Had Father now learned the answers to all the questions we had been asking?
About 3:15 afternoon, having returned from a shopping trip, I started downstairs to the laundry room. Suddenly and inexplicably I felt someone or something close behind me. An ice-cold surge of terror paralyzed my body. I couldn’t move! All I could see was a mist, but the mist formed a human outline.
It was father Martin – his distinctive face, light hair, and slim form. Although it seemed longer. the experience lasted little more than a few moments. The mist dissolved and my paralysis lifted.
Now, years later, I am certain of what happened that autumn afternoon, and I know what it meant. Father Martin and I had talked many times of ghostly visitations during the first days after death. In a most convincing manner he had given me definite proof of survival beyond physical death.
Beverly C. Jaegers
Richmond Heights, Missouri