Book Discussion on Afterlife

“How Close Are We to Those Who Have Died?”

In her book titled “Beyond Death”, Flora Slosson Wuellner writes about contact with those who have died as opposed to “a total separation from loved ones still on earth” in the chapter, “How Close Are We to Those Who Have Died?” She discusses both healthy and unhealthy contacts and says “we judge the health of our beyond-death contacts the same way we discern whether our earthly contacts and relationships are healthy: do we feel free or controlled? Are we growing in loving outreach to others around us? Is our daily life still interesting? Do our usual activities give us energy? Do we make independent choices and explore options? Or do we feel a growing dependence, addictiveness?” She goes on to advise that “some after-death contacts should be discouraged, just as some types of earthly relationships should be discouraged.”

Wuellner gives an example of a grandfather of one of her life-long friends that died but didn’t want to enter his next life. He wanted to stay “earthbound” because in life he had “maintained iron control” over his family that he had pulled out of poverty and feared losing what he had gained. He wanted to do the same in death so he came to his granddaughter one night very angry that no one listened to him anymore and he wanted something done about it! The unafraid granddaughter “of great spiritual strength and insight” spoke to him lovingly but firmly and explained that though “they admired him for the many good things he had done for the family…it was time for him to move on…that Christ awaited him, friends awaited him, and that all he had to do was to turn toward the Light.” He was told to leave and not come back complaining because she needed to sleep! “He left sulkily”. Then she prayed for him and slept. Many years later he returned with a peaceful face and then never tried to make contact again.

In another incident, an ex-husband (who in life had “remained in friendly contact for the sake of his daughter”) came back and everyone from the daughter to the dog saw him. Apparently, he wasn’t angry or controlling but “had no wish to explore new options”. He wanted no part of life after death. He wanted to stay on earth where things were familiar and had “no special desire to come closer to God.” Wuellner’s friend knew this was not healthy …” his visits were disrupting their daily lives. Friends, understandably, stopped coming to his house.’” So, this friend got her prayer group to pray; “surrounded herself with God’s love and light”; and told her former husband very firmly to stop the visits, “turn to God’s Light and move on. There he would find family and friends who had died earlier. They awaited him and would welcome him to a better, happier life.” Even after assuring him he needed to go and grow, he tried to return many times.  She learned to be “very tough with him”; told him to go into the Light; don’t fear; God is with you holding your hand; we are praying for you.

Wuellner explains that these were not demonic encounters but just ‘childish, earthbound souls clinging to what they were used to, wanting people to notice and listen to them. They would not let go, release.” She says they had to be dealt with just like a clinging neighbor on earth who visits or calls too much, always needing reassurance or talking trivia. She sums it up by saying: “The fact that people had died makes no difference in the way they needed to be encountered: with lots of tough love and firmly set boundaries.”


Author: Debi

I live in Leesburg, Virginia where I teach high school students in the Agriculture Department. Additionaly, I am self-employed as a horticultural consultant and landscape designer. "Beefriend the Bees!" and "Neither Here Nor There" are children's books I wrote and illustrated available from Amazon ( Chaves&x=12&y=25. Other interests include singing and playing my guitar (also have a CD for sale on Amazon called "Gardening Therapy"); walking my American Bulldog, Cloud and Olde English Bulldogge, Sky; staying active in my local church, and blogging on the

18 thoughts on “Book Discussion on Afterlife”

  1. Thanks for sharing your book review, Debi. I must say very interesting . Reading things so unfamiliar to me gives me pause to ask myself, do I really listen to others whose journey is at that moment what seems to be complicated or very different than mine?

    When I read life stories like unto these my mind begins to think on what I feel is a scripture of mystery:
    “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” ‭‭John‬ ‭21:25‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    It starts me thinking about, “the many other things” could they be ongoing stories of lives touched and changed by Jesus? It seems stories are recorded in The Word for our edification like the paralyzed man that walked again among many others …
    “Then, before He was finished Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
    The Bible says that the man got up, took his mat and walked out in view of them all. I just have to wonder how the man reacted when he was suddenly told that he could get up and go home…The crowd was very amazed and they praised God saying, “We have never seen anything like that.” (Matthew 9)

    Many strange happenings with no novel endings in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. What happened in your life after Jesus touched you? WOW 😮 I say breathtaking thoughts!

    And, breathtaking thoughts as told by author, Wuellner.

  2. Thank you for the excellent review. What an interesting topic. Never had a visitation like the people above, just a feeling. However I did see my mother and father faces appear to me through a very very difficult time in my life. There was a comforting feeling that was extended to me.

    In your review I was left wondering if she addressed in her book any negative visitation of “a man who had iron clad control” with an evil presence which was present on earth. As one who has experienced this, I know to plead the Blood of Jesus over every room of my house and me. For days I prayed telling it to leave in Jesus’s name. What a relief, it finally did.

    1. Rena, the topic is very interesting. And, so very real to so, so many. And, in some Christian circles so very taboo for dialogue. And, many have so many experiences while afraid to share.

      One thing I find interesting in your experience of seeing the faces of your parents was just how comforting they were. When your parents were earth living they often brought great comfort to you. Our Heavenly Father through various ways and people offer His children comfort. I can surely understand how the seeing of your heavenly parents would blanket your soul.

      Just today a suffering family that recently lost a loved one used these words in writing to me to express a thank you, “spiritual presence was a blanket of blessings.”

      The Holy Spirit is here doing all that Jesus promised He would do. And, comforter was high on the mega list.

      Thanks Debi for reading and story reporting. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

      1. Wuellner spoke of an account in her book ‘Enter By the Gate’ in the chapter ‘Peace at Our Center’ that ties in with what Sara wrote above related to “blanket of blessings” and “comforter”.
        In the account, a lady’s husband had died and she felt so alone in her house that first night and could not bear to go up to her bedroom so she lay shivering on the couch. The lord came and wrapped her in his warmth like a thick feather quilt. She thought about her mother that called those quilts a comforter and she recalled that Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter and that that must be what was enfolding her now…

    2. Rena, I am going to check the book and see if there are any accounts of someone “with an evil presence which was present on earth.” and then get back to you on your question above.

      1. As Debi checks her book for stories…it seems from what little I’v heard about after life visitors they are the same type personalities as earth life.

  3. Yes in the Bible one scripture that tells of personalities being the same on earth as in after life is Luke 16: 19
    through 26. “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.” To me the rich man now wanted Lazarus to come to hell after dipping his finger in water to cook his lips due to the fire. The rich man didn’t care for Lazarus pain and suffering on earth and he still didn’t care as he asked him to come into the flame to touch his lips with cool water. How insensitive wanting Lazarus to leave heaven to take care of his needs which was the way he was on earth. Lazarus was not demanding and now he didn’t have to beg for God loved him for not demanding his way on earth and rewarded him with all heaven had to offer.

    1. When I read about Lazarus and the rich man I feel a little healthy fear as these, heaven and hell, are truths to be reckon with by every human. Yet, don’t bring this subject up unless you want to be ridiculed in most circles of today. I think better me be ridiculed than ashamed of the reality of afterlife by all whether they believe it or not.

  4. After looking more thoroughly at Wuellner’s chapter titled, How Close Are We to Those Who Have Died?”, I did not see an account of someone she termed ‘evil’. Regarding evil, however, she did say, “We sense the presence of evil, embodied or disembodied, by its attacks on our freedom, our ability to make independent choices, our inner vitality and hopefulness, our sense of self-worth. When we experience un-freedom, lightlessness, and energy drain in earthly relationships or those after death, obviously we must separate ourselves from them and place ourselves immediately under the Light and protection of the living Christ.”

    1. Amen!! Thank you for taking your time by going back through the chapter in Wuellner’s book entitled “How Close Are We to Those Who Have Died.” What you have found mirrors my past life!!! So glad I can say past. It’s like getting out of Egypt or bondage. I love walking in the light with the lightness of freedom.

      1. Speaking of walking in the light, here, I certainly feel blessed.

        Psalm 89: 15 says
        “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you (Lord), who walk in the light of your presence, Lord”

    2. ”When we experience un-freedom, lightlessness, and energy drain in earthly relationships …..we must separate ourselves from them and place ourselves immediately under the Light and protection of the living Christ.” Debi, does Wuellner mention if it can become difficult for one to even recognize this “un-freedom, lightlessness, and energy drain” spoken of here?

  5. Tammy, the author did pose some questions to help us “discern the health of our contact”. Perhaps this will help answer your question and provide a barometer of sorts to help recognize.
    “We judge the health of our beyond-death contacts the same way we discern whether our earthly contacts and relationships are healthy: do we feel free or controlled? Are we growing in loving outreach to others around us? Is our daily life still interesting? Do our usual activities give us energy? Do we make independent choices and explore options? Or do we feel a growing dependence, addictiveness?”

      1. I have been reading some today in Sara’s book, “Designs of One’s Heart”, subtitled, “The Four Seasons – Hearts Are Seasonal Much Like the Four Seasons”. The chapter I was reviewing was “Summer Houses – Summer Maintains Us”. Sara writes here about summer fruit, preserving and maintaining it. and says “Maintain, according to Webster, “to hold in one’s hand; or to keep or hold against attacks; feed, preserve; to protect from harm and danger.” She refers to Proverbs 6:6-8 and reminds us that ants work hard all summer to gather food for winter. Further in the chapter we are told that, “All the substance that you will ever need is in Him”.

        I think reading what Sara wrote helped me realize the importance of having the true ‘substance’ of Christ’s Light and protection within to draw from when the need like Wuellner describes comes…”we must separate ourselves from them and place ourselves immediately under the Light and protection of the living Christ.”

  6. Thanks for the reminder of that retreat book, Debi. Maybe I will reread this chapter…… I’m thankful Sara was willing to give of her time, prayers, 💰, energy, etc. to put it together and then arrange to teach all those retreats !!! I think on those retreats now, and can’t believe how blessed I was to be a part of them.🙏

    1. Whoa! Yes, thanks for reminding us Debi of Light from our gatherings. I had a grateful thought to penetrate my mind while reading your review of a teaching season some of us were able to share in, (my thought) darkness appears but so does the moon and stars that are light looming that never grows dim.

      I see my mind is a little brighter when I allow the teaching of Jesus to paddle boat 🚣🏽 or jet ski 🎿 the workings of my mind.
      I John I :7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” And, Tammy your grateful ❤️ gives us throughout eternity fellowship with one another. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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