Thursday, February 26, 2009

Life After Life.

Back in the seventies, I heard about the bestseller, "Life After Life" by Raymond Moody, Jr. M.D. "Life After Life" was on the New York times best seller list for several years.
It is about people declared clinically dead, and against expectation, came back alive to tell of an experience of being outside their own physical body, looking down at their physical body and hearing themself pronounced dead by a doctor.

Some tell of being in a bright light, after moving rapidly through a dark tunnel. Some tell of glimpsing the spirits of relatives and friends who have already died.

In the back of my mind, I thought the author must be the same Raymond Moody, a few years older than I, who grew up on the same street as I, who married a girl named Josie, who was a classmate of mine in high school.

I married in my teens and moved away from my hometown but had been told that Raymond Moody went to medical school. So when I heard after the book, I wondered if it was the Raymond Moody I had known as a youth.

My husband and I raised a large family. He served in World War II, went back to school. Every day of my life seemed to have been filled to the full.
Then, A few days ago, I stopped at a Flee Market and among shelf after shelf of used paperbacks for 25 cents each, I picked up Life After Life and read the interesting book. I learned Raymond Moody, Jr. born in 1944 is too young to be the Raymond Moody who grew up in my town and on my street!

So after checking the internet and found page after many pages about the famous doctor. Yes, he was born in my town in Georgia and is the son of the Raymond and Josie I knew as teenagers.


Jean said...

In ten years as a Hospice nurse, I had only one patient who related a near-death experience. He said had really thought he was dying on a previous day. In the course of the conversation, he said, "All I can tell you is, it was not unpleasant."

Carol said...

What a fascinating story. And what a cool coincidence about the doctor being the son of the man you remember.

Joan said...

Very interesting. I like to read your "stream of consciousness" writing. What flea market did you go to? I thought about going to an estate sale Friday and was going to see if you wanted to go too, but I petered out too soon!

Jane said...

That is so interesting. It is a small world!

Anonymous said...

My husband's grandfather told us the story of his mother's death. She died a long, painful death of cancer. 10-12 people were gathered around her deathbed at the end. 8-10 people who were believers, including her one son, my husband's grandfather. And two people who were not believers: her other son, who was by all accounts a scoundrel, and one of his friends, also a disreputable person. The dying woman stopped breathing and everyone began to cry and mourn. Then she began singing, a beautiful song that no one there had ever heard before. After a few moments of singing, she opened her eyes and said, "OH, are you all here too?" She lived for another few minutes, talking about where she had been, in heaven. Then she stopped breathing again and was gone forever.
Grandpa said it was interesting. The experience bonded all the believers together. They had together seen a glimpse of heaven and discussed it quietly amongst themselves as a precious memory.

But his brother and his friend claimed to have never heard the mother singing and to have no memory of the conversation afterwards. Grandpa said he always wondered if his brother had actually been unable to hear the song, or if he had just refused to admit to it.

Such stories have always fascinated me.
- Debi

Joan said...

Debi, what an amazing story. That's one we'll have to ask when we get there -- did the other actually not hear the song or were they just too stubborn to admit hearing it?

Carol said...

It's like THE POLAR EXPRESS - only the ones who believe can hear it. That's my text to text connection for the day. LOL!

Dorothy said...

I've read this book! I picked it up after having attended a 101 year old woman as she passed away. The night before she died she was crying and I asked her what was wrong. She said, "I really wish mama would come back." I thought she was confused and said,"Miss ___, You know, you're in the hospital, and your mom's in heaven, right?" and she said, "No baby, she was here but she left." The next night Miss was clearly dying, so I just sat with her so she wouldn't be alone. For 45 minutes she barely breathed at all, then turned, smiled beautifully and said, "well now see, here's mama!I told you girl!" and she drew her last breath about 30 seconds later. I felt so blessed to be with her at that moment.