The last time I died, on a hot summer day in 1943, it was quite a shock. I was only five years old and it took a while to realize I was dead. My name was Mary Anne and I had been traveling with my family to a reunion in the town of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The last thing I remembered was the sound of tires screeching and metal colliding. I was immediately surrounded with complete darkness. An unexpected jerk like a bolt of lightning brought all the senses to attention as my body slammed into a very hard object and landed somewhere in a dream world with a thump. Sharp pain, unlike anything I had experienced before, pierced my whole being.
I began gasping for air. A fear of drowning in this thick darkness and excruciating pain took over. The muscles in my chest felt like a huge elephant was sitting there making breathing impossible. I didn't want to stay in this place. Gratefully, air gradually filled my lungs in huge gulps and calmness slowly replaced the panic.
I Prayed to God for Help
I realized I couldn't move my arms or legs and my head felt like I had collided with a brick wall. I also couldn't open my eyes for some reason, and so I lay quietly in the darkness, waiting. As my thoughts returned to the accident, I began to worry about the condition of my parents and my older brother. I remembered that my mother and my Sunday school teacher had told me if I was ever afraid I could pray to God and pray I did. Over and over I asked God to help us like a beacon in the darkness. Suddenly, I felt a warmth surround and enclose my entire body. I wasn't hurting anymore. It was as if someone had wrapped me in a warm blanket ever so gently that covered me from head to toe. I seemed to be in the middle of a brilliant light that felt safe and comforting.
Slowly my eyes adjusted to the light and I began to see flowing forms moving on the other side of it. As everything came into focus, the entire scene of the wreck appeared below me. Apparently I was floating right above everything. This certainly was an odd dream. The evidence below confirmed that the two cars had collided at the stop sign. The impact had almost fused both cars at the front sides. Metal, glass, oil, and other car parts were strewn everywhere. Smoke poured from under the hoods of both cars and the smell of burnt rubber was noticeable.
Upon further examination, there seemed to be several people lying on the ground around the wreck. Two of them were immediately recognizable as my parents. My father lay on the ground next to the driver's seat. Pieces of glass glittered in his forehead in a random pattern. A large gash above his left eye produced a swelling of the eye and he was bleeding heavily. The steering wheel had made an imprint on his dark brown suit at his chest. Even though he seemed to be having difficulty breathing, he was alert and asking others to check on his family.
My big brother, Jason, had been traveling in the backseat of the car with me and he was still there. His body was crumpled and his legs twisted like a pretzel. He was unconscious but breathing. I finally saw my mother, who was also on the ground. She wasn't moving and didn't even answer me. I became alarmed when I looked closer and discovered scarlet blood coming from her crushed forehead. Another kind of liquid was seeping out of the same area, sliding down her cheek and hitting the pavement with little splats. She wasn't moving at all.
My attempts to talk to her and the other family members were futile. They either couldn't hear me or just wouldn't respond. At first I was terrified of being by myself. But in the middle of all the confusion, my attention was diverted when, an older man from the crowd carefully picked up a little girl. She had obviously been in the wreck and was lying on the ground face down. As he tenderly turned her over, I examined her closely. She had straight brown hair almost down to her waist. Both arms and legs hung limp and useless from her body. She wore a yellow dress with white frilly socks. What used to be blue eyes and a snubbed nose was no longer there. Instead, in their place the skin was peeled back to reveal bones and muscles. The eyes were smashed in toward the brain.
Was I Dead?
To my horror I slowly realized that this was me! But it couldn't be, because I couldn't be in both places at once and certainly wasn't hurting anywhere. I didn't quite understand what dead meant, but maybe that's what happened to me. If this is what it felt like, I didn't like it at all. I realized that I was totally by myself since the others couldn't see or hear me. It slowly dawned on me that I could never go home again or play with my friends. I could never sit in my father's lap or feel my mother's hugs. I began to cry as if my heart had broken. What was happening to my world?
As fate would have it, my mother died in that accident as well. To my amazement and joy she sat up out of her body and stood over it. My crying stopped. It was like she was taking off her dress or slip. She did not accept dying either, but soon became distracted to aid my father and Jason. We followed them to the hospital and stayed with them most of the time. Even though they couldn't see or hear us, we discovered that we could meet them in their dreams and talk and hug just like we used to. Father had a crushed rib cage and a concussion, and my brother, Jason, had broken bones in both legs and his nose. He also had an injury to his neck and had bruised his brain, which caused him to remain in a coma for several days. They both remained in the hospital for several weeks recuperating.
Mother and I took time to watch the people at the mortuary carefully clean and dress our bodies for the funeral. They did what they could to our faces, but the damage had been quite extensive. They dressed us up in our Sunday clothes and attempted to fix our hair. My Grandmama picked out a bright blue dress for Mother that she often wore. I was very happy to notice that my favorite teddy bear was placed with me.
We didn't say much to each other during the process, each of us deep in our own thoughts. It's difficult to describe how it felt to watch people cleaning and dressing your body when you are right there watching.
We also attended the funeral, which was a very interesting process coming from our side. Since I had never been to a funeral, I was constantly asking Mother questions. One of the questions I had asked her about concerned the two boxes placed at the front of the church. She said, "The boxes are called caskets and our bodies are placed in there. That's where we will stay."
Afraid to be in a Box
This response brought fear to me as I thought about how it must feel to be closed in there. "I don't want to stay in a box for ever. I'm scared," I whined. She comforted me by saying that we didn't have to actually get in the box, they only kept our bodies in there. She explained it was a safe place, very much like when she tucked me in at night. That answer seemed to make sense and calmed me.
We sang along with the beautiful songs they played and listened to the minister and friends say nice things about us. We tried to comfort the relatives and friends, but they didn't seem to hear us. The most interesting part of the whole funeral was when they took our caskets to the back of the church to bury them in the graveyard. It was there I discovered many other spirits like us, just sitting on their graves as if they were anticipating something or someone. I finally got the nerve to approach an older man who was patiently waiting next to his wife.
"Excuse me, I was wondering what you are doing?" I timidly asked the man.
I really didn't expect to hear them answer since no one else had heard me. But the old man looked me straight in the eye and to my amazement replied, "She's looking for our daughter. We wait here for our daughter to come visit us. She doesn't come often, but we continue to wait anyway."
"Why don't you go find her?" I questioned.
"My wife is afraid to go anywhere else because she thinks she'll miss her," he replied. "I wanted to leave this place some time ago, but she insists that we be here for our daughter. I'm not going to leave her here alone after all this time, so we both wait."
"I still don't understand why you are stuck here. We've been traveling different places; why can't you?"
"Look around you," he said impatiently. "Do you see all these people just hanging around?"
Dead or Dreaming?
I saw some people who were wearing strange clothes and soldiers with long guns. Men, women, and children were standing, sitting, or lying on their graves all over the place. The old man explained that most of the spirits were waiting on God to come get them or were stuck waiting on relatives to release them. Still others didn't even know they were dead. They thought they were just dreaming and would wake up someday. It was really fascinating to see all these people waiting to be released or rescued. They were just sitting on their tombstones listening to our funeral, but not noticing each other. The old man, it seemed, knew he could go on, but just wouldn't go without his wife. She kept staring at the gate of the cemetery waiting on their daughter. She felt the daughter still needed her. Her husband was so sad. I was really glad to leave that place.
As Mother and I hung around our old house trying to help with Father and Jason's recuperation, I would often get restless. I had found in the two months since my death that I seemed to be changing. It was like I was growing up very fast. I no longer thought like a five-year-old child, but was beginning to see and remember things as an adult. It was not something I consciously tried to do, but the more willing I was to release old fears and thoughts, the older I got. I also discovered there was another part to this world that I now lived in. We were surrounded by other dead people just like ourselves.
Some of them seemed to be going about their lives just like they did when they were alive. There were mothers still cleaning house, cooking, and caring for their children. There were fathers going to work, mowing the grass, and reading the paper. There were even children who were playing and going to school. Each one seemed to be stuck in their routine and totally unaware that they were now dead.
There were also other spirits who seemed to be wandering, like they were looking for something. All ages and all types of people were constantly traveling in groups or just by themselves. "What were they looking for?" I wondered. I asked Mother about it one day.
She explained, "Some of the spirits are there to help those who were their relatives and friends deal with their death or other problems. Others seem to need to continue with their jobs and everyday routines. Perhaps they don't know they are dead or think the family can't do without them."
That was interesting. Why would these spirits just hang around? Then the thought occurred to me that that was what Mother and I were doing. But why would these people want to continue going to work or school? What about those spirits that seemed to be lost and were wandering? Where do we all go from here? I received my answers from an unexpected source.
It was late one night when Father was having a particularly bad time in his sleep. He constantly relived the accident, blaming himself, so he had some pretty terrible nightmares. Mother and I had been trying to help, but nothing would work. All of a sudden there was this blinding light in the darkness and I saw forms standing around Father. They were gently comforting him and trying to ease his pain.
They were magnificent beings. At first the light was so bright we couldn't look at them directly. The outline of their form resembled our bodies, only much taller. They were completely transparent, yet were filled with this exploding light. I finally gathered the courage to look one of them right in the eyes. My heart seemed to stop. It felt as if they could see right through me and know my thoughts. A voice broke the silence that I could only describe as one having the power of a thunderstorm and the gentleness of a whisper.
Without moving their lips the beings said, "We are your Father's angels." "That's not possible," I immediately thought, "because I would have seen you before and I haven't."
They answered, "We have always been here; you just have not seen us."
Now that was not an acceptable answer. There is no way one could miss these brilliant creatures. Yet they explained that I couldn't see them because I wasn't ready to see them. They told me both Mother and I had our own angels. That was difficult to accept, because what did I do to deserve these beings?
"We've always been right beside you," they said, "but your attention has been with your family and friends. You only saw us in your dreams."
Maybe I was looking for the wrong thing. Unlike the Sunday school pictures I had seen, they didn't seem to have wings or halos. They did have these rays of light shooting out of their entire forms. Each one of them reminded me of the bright light of the sun when I would try to look at it directly. After the initial shock, I asked them to answer my questions concerning all the other spirits around us.
They replied, "Some people are just not ready to accept that they have died. Maybe they fear what would happen to them if they did. So they try to feel in control by convincing themselves they will just do everything they normally do and it will be just fine. We try to get their attention, but they won't notice us. Others felt they had to complete something before they could go on. Maybe they needed to tell someone something or try and complete unfinished business.
"Still others seem to be stuck in this world by strong emotions to someone or something. Maybe they were angry with someone or felt they had been cheated or harmed. Often when humans take another's life, the dead souls seem to be attached to their murderers for some time. If they had a strong attachment to a place or a person, they won't leave even after dying. If the human was dependent on alcohol or a drug, they will continue to crave it even in death."
They also talked about the groups of spirits just wandering around in the darkness. They said these beings think they are lost or are expecting some kind of punishment for deeds they performed in life. Often they believe they are in hell when such a place doesn't exist. They are looking for something they couldn't even find while they were alive. Their hope is to find a way out of this place.
One of the angels, named Michael, spoke, "For all of these people who have died, their angels are standing right beside them. It doesn't matter what they are doing or thinking, they have our help. All any one of them has to do is take their attention and thoughts away from the distraction and look at us. That's really all there is to it. They get to choose even in death what they want to do. They can leave anytime. This place they are in is an in-between place for unfinished business. It's not for punishment, but for completion. We have no place of punishment."
Our conversation continued well on into the night. They told me we humans were perfect. I just didn't see how. Since I was being the skeptic, they agreed to show me. That is what enticed me to leave Mother to take care of Father and Jason and go alone with them to a place we call heaven. It seemed like an instant from when I put my small hands in their large ones to when we arrived. In a second we went from a shadowlike darkness that surrounded us to nothing but a ball of glowing light. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. I had to shield my eyes at first because the light took me by surprise. It surrounded everything and was so brilliant it was difficult to look directly at it, just like the sun. The colors of the light would change from pure white to light blues just like the color of the sky on a summer day. This light seemed to be coming from inside of every person and spilled out beyond his or her body. They looked transparent, but everything felt solid to the touch.
The next thing I noticed was all of the activity. It looked like a bee's nest, as people were involved in something every where. Some people kept popping in and out like magic. Michael, an angel, told me that traveling in this place was very easy. You just thought about where you wanted to be and you would be there in an instant. He further explained that these people who were popping in and out were probably traveling back to Earth to visit relatives or friends. He also reassured me that I could do the same if I felt my family needing me.
It resembled Earth in that there were buildings, but they seemed to be made of this strange substance that looked solid yet was transparent, just like the people. The rooms were filled with beings like myself and teachers who obviously were angels. The students were excitedly asking questions and talking among themselves. Other rooms were filled with people who were playing music that literally could be heard everywhere, yet there wasn't a microphone or radio to be seen. You heard it with all of your body, not just your ears. It seemed to flow like a river throughout your body, healing everything it touched.
There were fields of flowers of every color and type in perpetual bloom. You could pick one and another took its place. There also were trees, large enough to provide shade and yet small enough for children to climb. Deep blue rivers flowed in, out, and around the buildings and people.
Animals and children romped in the fields together and played in the water, oblivious to others around them. There were people everywhere and each had their own angels with them and the conversations included everyone.
I noticed artists who were painting, sculpting, drawing, and creating. A large clear sphere emerged where, I was told, people were learning about future inventions. It was huge, much larger than anything I had ever seen. The sphere was totally round, like a large crystal ball, and yet there were different rooms throughout that just seemed to hang in the air all by themselves. People and angels were huddled in various sections, totally involved in their studies. In the very middle of all of this activity there were groups of people talking, laughing, and reuniting.
I noticed additional people on the outskirts of this heaven who seemed to be in their own little world. They didn't seem to notice all the activity going on right beyond them. They were fervently building places of worship, busy arguing philosophy, and trying to find places for themselves in this new world. I asked my angel John what was going on.
He explained, "These are people who are busy creating what they think heaven is supposed to be. They aren't ready to let go of their preconceived ideas of what it's supposed to be and aren't ready to accept new ideas. They will tire of this at some time and be willing to join the others. They think their connection to God can only be found in buildings or ceremonies. They don't understand that they are the connection, not the building."
I looked even beyond these people and to my surprise found others that seemed to be asleep. Their angels were patiently waiting right beside them for them to awake.
"What are those people doing?" I questioned.
"They are asleep because they had such a difficult time in their last lifetime, the soul needs to rest. The whole time they are resting, they are receiving what they think are dreams. These dreams are really messages to prepare them for the rest of heaven," replied Jonah, another one of my angels. That seemed to satisfy my curiosity.
At first, I spent some time with my angels at a very special place that looked like a small room with a huge screen. We were alone, yet I knew that others were around us doing the same thing. I couldn't see them and they couldn't see us. We watched the screen together and saw each of my lives and even the times in between, one at a time. It was most interesting and my angels patiently answered all my questions. Often I would ask them to stop the picture so that I could remember and feel what the other people in my life were feeling. Sometimes it hurt so much it felt like that pain I experienced at my death. And yet, other times it was so exciting and joyful. My angels told me it was like having a reunion with myself. All in all we watched twenty-two lifetimes, including the one I just left. I was speechless.
The angels explained that the purpose of reviewing all the lifetimes was to give me a better understanding of why I chose the things I did and who I really am. Until you see this, you can't see all parts of yourself in order to make better decisions in future lives. I asked them when would I be judged? Mother and others had told me throughout my life when I was bad I would be punished. I knew I had more than a few "bad" experiences and assumed I would have to pay dearly. Michael looked at me very surprised.
"There is no punishment here, only understanding. Why would we punish you for trying to learn about life and yourself? In looking at your different lives and feeling what others felt, as you have just done, you simply have a more complete understanding of who you are," explained Michael. "If God created you perfect, how could anything be wrong? Since God doesn't judge you, why should anybody else?" I was quickly relieved, as that made sense.
We gradually made our way to several of the classrooms going on near a lake. I recognized several of the people who had been in my past lives and decided to join in their conversation. They were talking about Universal Laws and how they related to us.
I didn't ever remember hearing about Universal Laws, yet, strangely I understood what they were saying even as it came out of their mouths. These were the guides for the universe created especially for us and I had to know more. I knew this was the truth as I had never experienced it. I quietly listened as every law came back to the fact that we each were perfect. Having just returned from revisiting all my past lives, I still didn't see how.
Many questions were asked and answered before the group broke up. I was so hungry to hear more that I kept walking until I found another group talking about these same things. I learned in this group there are eight Universal Laws. They are:
1) You are cocreators with God and are creating your own life
2) When you create you do it in circles or cycles
3) The Law of Cause and Effect -- only choices
4) There is no good or bad -- just opposites
5) Judgment -- there isn't any
6) All beings have angels to help them
7) Perfection is the combination of your opposites and the acceptance of both
8) All paths eventually lead to the same place; why not enjoy the trip?
I went through several classes to get as much information as possible. I knew as I heard it that what I was being taught was the truth. I wanted very much to remember it. But how?
I met with numerous people to decide when and where to reconnect with them in this next life. Using all the information I had received, I based my sex, race, culture, parents, lifestyle, and direction on what I wanted to learn this time. I chose my parents because they would remind me of the strengths I wanted to keep and the weaknesses I wanted to understand and change. I knew what I needed to do this next time and I wanted to remember as much as possible. When I decided on the parents and direction of my life, I started visiting the womb. It was quite cozy, but I didn't want to stay there. I would go back and forth from the womb to heaven continually, trying to memorize as much as possible of the Universal Laws. Just before the time of my actual birth, Michael handed me a small, worn book. I was really surprised; a gift? On the cover it was entitled "The Handbook for Perfect Beings".
"What is this?" I asked.
"It's what you have been requesting," answered John, an angel I was the most familiar with. "It's a book to help you remember how to get back to who you really are. You are going to get caught up in simply living while you are down there. Sometimes it's not enough that we are with you. Sometimes you need more. Every being gets a copy of this book at one time or another. It's your time. Also, you will be able to see us this time, which should help you."
I carefully examined the book and discovered all the Universal Laws were in there, as well as answers to most of the questions I had heard in the groups. I spent the last few hours before birth trying to memorize my book. Finally the time came.
As I felt myself being squeezed out of this very narrow opening, I kept saying to myself, "Remember the book, remember the book, remember the book."
Well, it's taken fifty years for me to remember the book totally. Pieces of it came a little at a time. Sometimes it came through the words of others. Sometimes it was through life experiences. Most of it came through me as I channeled angels in groups or individual sessions. The refining of the material has come as I have spent a great deal of time listening and talking to my own angels. They have been so important to me in this life. It did help that I could see them and talk to them. But I, like everyone else, have had periods in my life when I still felt alone. They've helped guide me and best of all remind me constantly of how perfect we all are.
This article is excerpted from the book:
Handbook for Perfect Beings
by B.J Wall.
About the Author
B. J. Wall realized, by the time she was six years old, that she was able to see and hear angels and the dead, but it was many years before she understood her ability. She has a master's degree in counseling and combines the metaphysical with the professional in her healing work. She recorded the truth she heard from her angels in The Handbook for Perfect Beings. B.J. is also the author of The Guidebook for Perfect Beings, and she has founded the Fellowship of Perfect Beings Church and continues to teach, counsel, and write.