The Spirit Lives On
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
The Spirit Lives OnWhat The Founding Father Really Saw
Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. As our second president John Adams lay on his death bed, his last words were, "Jefferson still lives." What he didn’t know was that our third president Thomas Jefferson had died a few hours earlier.
You may think this is about to become a history lesson, but it’s not. It is a discussion of the afterlife and exploring the question of “Do we really die?” Many believe for Adams there were deathbed visions of a world yet to come. As we die the veil between life and death is lowered for the dying. You would be surprised to look into the afterlife and see someone there waiting whom you thought was in our earthly world of the living. I believe as many others do that John Adams saw his friend waiting for him and realized not only that death is not an ending, but that we live. Jefferson lives!
We have all been taught if nothing else that death is the end, our end. Death is a broad traveler in our society today. It is sometimes the result of violence, sometimes a kind act of nature, sometimes the end of a long disease. We watch it in our homes on TV, we pay to see it on movie screens, and we play with it in video games. Perhaps we hope that the more we view it, the less we will fear it. Albert Einstein pointed out that time is not constant, that it’s relative to the observer. For now we can only observe time and the dying. As my work has brought me closer to this unwanted visitor, I have found more peace in death, and I have come to know on a very personal level that it is not an ending.
We live in time and die in time. While we inhabit our bodies, time is a useful measurement. Yet it has only as much value as we give it. Webster’s defines time as “an interval separating two points on a continuum.” Birth appears to be the beginning and death the ending but they are not; they are just points on a continuum.
Two weeks before my father died, I moved him into my apartment. I had a hospital bed brought into the living room. There he would receive one visitor after another. In the evening, friends and family would pull up chairs surrounding his bed. In illness as in health, he was a center of attention. The circle remained right up to his death. After he died we spent time with him, but suddenly realized his body was no longer given any attention. His body was no longer the center of attention. We were still talking, crying and laughing, but our body language and our focus was now on his spirit and not his body.
If you have been with a loved one who has died, you quickly see that their spirit has left their bodies. That spirit that is beyond description that made our loved ones who they are, our mother or a father is forever gone from its earthly body. The spark of life has left. Before us lies the body, like a suit of clothes that they were wearing their whole life. We love it, we are familiar with the look of it and yet we know that who they were is so much more. And that “so much more” their spirit, no longer dwells in their body.
None of us know what will happen after death, but I believe, if you look deep inside, deep in your soul, you will know you have always existed and always will. Spirit is eternal. If you think back, you’ll remember that you never felt as if you didn’t exist before you were born into this life. Rather, you felt as if you have always existed and always will. That’s why this death will not be an ending. You may not have life as you know it once you die, but you will continue. If you have lost a loved one, he/she still continues. The dying still exist. Now when someone I know is dying, I don’t say goodbye anymore, I just say, until we meet again. Marianne Williamson always reminds those at her lectures about the teaching of A Course in Miracles that birth is not a beginning and death is not an ending. There is a shift from the body identification to the spiritual identification.
No one can really claim to understand death unless they have actually died. We’re only observers until our time comes. What I teach about death is what I have learned from it. While my medical training touched on the subject, I learned most of what I know about death from the countless people I have had the privilege of caring for, and sharing with, in these most precious, final moments. What I know for sure is love is a house that even death cannot knock down.