“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.”