Dear Spirit to Spirit friend,
This story found its way to me recently.
Roger Ebert, the renowned film critic, passed in 2013. This is a description of his transition written by his wife, Chaz Ebert, for an Esquire magazine article. She shares his perceptions as he sat on the cusp of this world and what comes after.
Even though life/reality may appear to be a particular way for a very long time... in any moment... it may reveal itself as something very different. Something completely surprising, unexpected, and radically different. Something that changes us forever. As we are open to it, as we perceive it.
"On April 4, he was strong enough again for me to take him back home. My daughter and I went to pick him up. When we got there, the nurses were helping him get dressed. He was sitting on his bed, and he looked really happy to be going home. He was smiling. He was sitting almost like Buddha, and then he just put his head down. We thought he was meditating, maybe reflecting on his experiences, grateful to be going home. I don't remember who noticed first, who checked his pulse…
In the beginning, of course, I was totally freaked out. There was some kind of code thing, and they brought machines in. I was stunned. But as we realized he was transitioning out of this world and into the next, everything, all of us, just went calm. They turned off the machines, and that room was so peaceful. I put on his music that he liked, Dave Brubeck. We just sat there on the bed together, and I whispered in his ear. I didn't want to leave him. I sat there with him for hours, just holding his hand.
Roger looked beautiful. He looked really beautiful. I don't know how to describe it, but he looked peaceful, and he looked young.
The one thing people might be surprised about — Roger said that he didn't know if he could believe in God. He had his doubts. But toward the end, something really interesting happened. That week before Roger passed away, I would see him and he would talk about having visited this other place. I thought he was hallucinating. I thought they were giving him too much medication. But the day before he passed away, he wrote me a note:
'This is all an elaborate hoax.'
I asked him, 'What's a hoax?'
And he was talking about this world, this place. He said it was all an illusion. I thought he was just confused. But he was not confused. He wasn't visiting heaven, not the way we think of heaven. He described it as a vastness that you can't even imagine. It was a place where the past, present, and future were happening all at once."
In Gratitude & Love, Joanna