George Barth - Letter to 'Spiritual Magazine' January 1863 – The Death of his son
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
From Matter to Spirit – The Result of Ten Years Experience in Spirit Manifestation – Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan
Letter to 'Spiritual Magazine' January 1863
From long acquaintance with the family I am certain of the good faith of the narrator, and can have no doubt of the accuracy of the statement. …. Mr. Barth says:
‘On May 14, 1861, our son George, a most excellent and religious youth of 19 years, was removed from this to the spirit world. Perceiving that the time of his departure was near, his mother and I alone watched by his bedside. When the last breath had been taken in and expired, I quietly remarked,
“He is now gone."
His mother inquired the time, and then, seeing the rising sun shining over the blind of the room, which had an aspect to the east, she said: “See, the natural sun is just rising as our dear boy is rising to his heavenly home."
I have an object in noting the rising of the sun at the moment of his departure.
'Mr. Williams, a highly intelligent and worthy man, is united to our eldest daughter. At this time he was staying at his house in the city, his wife having been only a few days previously confined. He was sleeping in a room the windows of which faced the east. He states that he was soundly asleep, his hands outside the bedclothes, when he was suddenly aroused by feeling each of his hands firmly grasped and pressed. He instantly sat up, and by the bedside stood George, holding his hands, and smiling in his face with a look of peculiar sweetness and kindness. George was attired (seemingly) in his night-dress.
Mr. Williams was not at all alarmed; he knew it was George in the spirit, and his presence filled him with a calm feeling of peace and happiness which remained for many hours.
‘They thus held hands and looked on one another for a minute or longer, then the grasp relaxed, and George's spirit faded away. Mr. Williams noticed that the rising sun was shining into his room over the blind. His impression was and still is, that he saw George by this light and not by any other.
At 8 o'clock, Mr. Williams went to his wife's room and told her, in the presence of his mother and the nurse, that George was dead.
"Have you heard from my father?" was the natural query.
“No, but I have seen George, he came for a minute this morning at sunrise."
Mr. Williams, finding that his wife was quite incredulous, for she did not believe her brother so near the end of his earthly life, only quietly repeated what he had said, and expressed his belief that a letter would be received from Mr. Barth. In an hour later Mr. Williams received the letter which he expected.
'Mr. Williams and George were mutually much attached, in all his boyhood anxieties his brother James was George's confidant and friend. Hence a parting visit, and. a parting smile, and a last friendly grasp of the hand was that which a departing spirit might be glad to give to his friend and brother, but, he could not go in the body, nor give it while his body kept him.'
……. 'George appeared twice afterwards to a lady at Highgate, walking into her dining-room at mid-day, and bringing with him two of her spirit children, one in each hand. He was grateful to her while in the world for many kind attentions. The lady saw him quite distinctly floating a little above the floor with her two dear departed children, and smiling on her. She knew at the time they were all three spirits, but they gave her no alarm. George also appeared to our friend and former servant Anne, who lived with us as cook for twenty years, and now resides at Hounslow. He appeared to her at her bedside in his night dress, before she heard of his decease.
‘A few nights after the funeral, a Mrs. H- who was an inmate of our house, and who was sleeping in the next room to George, often visited him at night if she heard him coughing, and did many kind attentive acts, was awakened by hearing most extraordinary and beautiful music. (George was a fine pianist and musical enthusiast; in fact his devotion to music hastened his removal from this state.)
She got out of bed and opened her bedroom door to listen, wondering that my two girls should be at music at that hour, but all was quiet. She went back to bed, and presently the music recommenced, wonderful music she says. She got up and opened her window, and saw by the gaslight people walking about, but the music was not in the street. Again she listened in the house and out of the house, and the music ceased. When she was quiet in bed it recommenced and she fell asleep listening to it. Whence came this unearthly music? * * * GEORGE BARTH.'