One of the finest things about listening to public radio - the CBC or NPR or BBC - are the great interviews that you "stumble upon".
I am a regular listener of the CBC show Tapestry, and caught a really interesting interview with journalist Patricia Pearson about her new book Opening Heaven's Door: What The Dying May Be Trying To Tell Us About Where They're Going.
Pearson became interested in the topic of Near Death Experiences and the uncanny after her father's death, when it seemed he had "visited" her very ill sister before she discovered he had passed away.
You can listen to the whole interview here and it is certainly thought-provoking.
What Pearson argues, and has convinced me of, is that our secular, scientific world has left very little room for unexplainable incidents. The book cites numerous academic studies aimed at isolating and then proving (or disproving) the individual's contention that they have been part of something that simply cannot be explained using traditional and conventional approaches. An interesting aspect is how almost all individuals who have one of these experiences - knowing that someone has died in advance of being told, seeing their lived one's soul exit the body, having their own near death experience - are almost universally afraid of sharing their story for fear of ridicule.
They are right to feel this way it would seem. One of the most interesting parts of the book for me was the fact that many doctors have experienced the uncanny when their patient dies, but felt they would be drummed out of the career if they shared the information.
Our lives are orderly and neat compared to the lives of our ancestors, but in many ways, we have completely isolated ourselves from the experience of death and dying. Pearson unpacks the issue well in her book. This is no James van Praaghe or Long Island Medium kind of book (and that is not said with any disrespect), but a more academic approach to the issue, although one that is grounded with a lovely touch of believer by the end.
We all know people - our friends and family - who have experienced these kinds of things, and yet, they are often not spoken of save during late night conversations after a glass or two of wine. I know at least three family members who had unexplainable experiences, and always wondered if there was anything to it. Now, having read Pearson's thought-provoking book, I am more likely to believe than disbelieve. It is truly a fascinating subject and Pearson handles it well.
How about you? Have you had any uncanny or unexplainable experiences related to those who are dead and dying?
Have a lovely Sunday!